May 27, 2011

Recent Enforcement Actions Underscore Importance of Proper I-9 Training 


A recent wave of enforcement action by the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) highlights an important compliance lesson: now more than ever, employers must become familiar with the national origin and citizenship anti-discrimination provisions of federal immigration law, in addition to the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Important Updates in Immigration This Week

May 26, 2011

United States
Supreme Court Upholds Arizona E-Verify Law

An Arizona law that requires employers to use E-Verify and allows the state to suspend or revoke the business license of an employer that knowingly employs undocumented workers does not impermissibly conflict with federal law, the Supreme Court has ruled.

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May 26, 2011

United States
Summer Travel Planning for Foreign Nationals

Before traveling abroad, foreign nationals should make sure that they have the appropriate travel documents and understand their immigration obligations so that delays in returning to the United States can be minimized.

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May 26, 2011

Germany
Permit Processing Delays Expected to Increase in August

Foreign nationals are experiencing delays of up to four weeks in work permit processing due to internal restructuring at government agencies. Delays are expected to lengthen in August when new biometric work and residence permits are introduced.

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May 23, 2011

European Union
Member States Will Implement the EU Blue Card in June

European Union (EU) member countries that have elected to take part in the EU Blue Card program for highly skilled third-country nationals have until June 19, 2011 to incorporate the program into their domestic immigration laws. Participating countries have begun to detail how and when they will implement the program.

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May 23, 2011

Australia
Federal Budget Seeks to Ease Migration Restrictions, Address Skills Shortages

The Australian government is planning to increase the number of employment-based visas, ease migration restrictions and reduce temporary work visa processing times to help employers address a shortage of skilled local workers. The new initiatives will take effect in Fiscal Year 2012.

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May 20, 2011

Italy / Spain
Summer Holiday Season May Delay Processing of Work Permit and Visa Applications

Government office closures and staff reductions during the summer holidays are expected to cause visa and work permit processing delays in Italy and Spain.

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May 20, 2011

Canada
New Computer System Resulting in Application Delays at Canadian Posts in the United States

The introduction of a new computer system at Canadian consular posts in the United States is resulting in application processing delays and a week-long suspension of walk-in services for the Buffalo Consulate.

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Other Immigration News This Week

 

United States: USCIS Updates H-1B and H-2B Numbers - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to accept H-1B petitions against the cap for Fiscal year 2012, at a rate consistent with previous weeks. As of May 20, 2011, USCIS had received 12,300 filings against the standard H-1B cap of 65,000 and 8,500 filings against the cap exemption of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. This is an increase of 1,100 standard cases and 600 advanced-degree cases since last week.

H-2B numbers for temporary non-agriculture continue to be available for employment in the second half of FY 2011. As of May 20, USCIS had received filings on behalf of 27,788 beneficiaries, against a target of 47,000, for employment in the second half of FY 2011. Though the cap for each half-year is 33,000, USCIS accepts filings in excess of the cap (up to the beneficiary target) because some cases will be denied or withdrawn and because employers may ultimately employ fewer H-2B beneficiaries than reflected in their petitions.

United States: State Department Extends Student Visa Validity for Iranians - Qualified Iranian applicants for student and exchange visitor visas in the F, J, and M nonimmigrant categories are now eligible for two-year, multiple entry visas. Previously, Iranian students could only obtain three-month, single entry visas. To qualify for the two-year visa, an Iranian student must participate in a non-sensitive, non-technical field of study or research. The change in policy seeks to allow Iranian students and exchange visitors to travel more easily, to promote the free flow of information and ideas.

Luxembourg: Delays as New Biometric Residence Permits are Introduced - Foreign nationals are experiencing permit processing delays due to the introduction of a new biometric residence permit that complies with European Union security standards. Because the new permit contains fingerprints and a digital photograph, applicants must visit the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs twice - first to provide their biometric features and again to collect the permit once it is issued.  


Global Immigration News Links
  • Seventy percent of the finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search, previously known as the Junior Nobel Prize, were the children of immigrants, according to a study by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). "The Impact of the Children of Immigrants on Scientific Achievement in America."
  • Georgia farmers are preparing for the implementation of the state’s new immigration law. Some farmers fear that they will face business-ending labor shortages or that they will have to stop producing crops like onions and peaches, which require labor-intensive hand harvesting. "Georgia Farmers Brace For New Immigration Law."
  • Despite high-profile state immigration laws being passed in Georgia and Utah, nearly every other state effort this year failed. Lawmakers in almost every state considered immigration measures this year, and more than half considered Arizona-style enforcement measures. The state laws that have been passed so far this year mostly reinforce current federal law. "AP Enterprise: States' Immigration Efforts Fizzle."
  • Following a long-term investigation, the Houston Chronicle reports on the EB-5 immigrant investor program, focusing on troubled regional investment centers in Texas. The paper finds that while the program has great potential, foreign nationals considering making an investment under the program should carefully research programs before making their investments.  "Federal Program Offers Investors Visas, a lot of Risk."


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