Virginia, US

Apr 29 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: April 22 - 28, 2016

Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, United States, Venezuela

In United States immigration news this week, initial adjudication of premium processed FY 2017 H-1B cap cases should be completed by May 27 - slightly earlier than USCIS's initial projections.

In Canada, visa-exempt foreign nationals can enter and exit Canada by air without an Electronic Travel Authorization until September 29, 2016.  After that date, these travelers will need to obtain online authorization to visit.

Singapore has introduced a fingerprint clearance system to verify the thumbprints of arriving and departing travelers ages six and above at select immigration checkpoints.  Japan’s Immigration Bureau will be closed April 29 through May 5 in observance of the Golden Week holidays.

In Turkey, the Migration Directorate started denying the short-term residence permit applications of applicants who have been outside the country for more than 120 cumulative days under their most recent residence permit.

In Venezuela, public offices will operate on Mondays and Tuesdays only until further notice.

These items and other news from Colombia, Guatemala, Russia, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.


Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, April 22, 2016

USCIS to Begin Adjudicating Premium Processed H-1B Cap Cases on May 12

Initial adjudication of premium processed H-1B cap cases should be completed by May 27 - slightly earlier than USCIS's initial projections.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, April 28, 2016

Visa-Exempt Nationals to Require Electronic Travel Authorization On or After September 29, 2016

Due to a relaxation of the deadline to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization, visa-exempt nationals who plan to enter or exit and re-enter Canada by air will be able to board their flight and enter Canada as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport, until September 29, 2016.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Venezuela, April 28, 2016

Public Office Closure to Cause Delays

All public offices, including public ministries, registries, notary offices, city halls, among other offices, will only operate on Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Guatemala, April 27, 2016

Residence and Work Permit Approvals Delayed

Residence permit applicants should expect delayed approvals due to recent staffing changes and an ongoing internal audit. Additionally, the Ministry of Labor is experiencing internal delays and will likely implement new work permit rule interpretations.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Turkey, April 26, 2016

Short-Term Residence Permit Applicants With Extended Stays Abroad Subject to Application Denial

The Migration Directorate has recently started denying the short-term residence permit applications of applicants who have been outside of Turkey for more than 120 cumulative days under their most recent residence permit.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Trinidad and Tobago, April 26, 2016

Work Permit Extension Application Deadline Strictly Enforced

Immigration authorities will start strictly enforcing work permit extension rules. Those who fail to renew their work permit before it expires must leave the country and file a new work permit application.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Singapore, April 25, 2016

New Fingerprint Clearance System Introduced at Immigration Checkpoints

Immigration authorities in Singapore will start using a new clearance system that verifies the biometric fingerprints of arriving and departing travelers at select immigration checkpoints in Singapore. This enhanced clearance system is intended to improve border security.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Russia, April 22, 2016

Federal Migration Service Merger into Internal Affairs Ministry May Delay Immigration Processes

The merger of the Federal Migration Service office into the Internal Affairs Ministry may cause delays in work permits and invitation letter issuance, however is not expected to change any Russian immigration processes.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Japan, April 22, 2016

Immigration Bureau to Close for Upcoming Golden Week Holiday

Japan's Immigration Bureau will be closed April 29 through May 5, 2016 for Golden Week holiday observance. Foreign nationals should expect processing delays for immigration applications filed before or after this period. New Certificate of Eligibility applications should be filed by April 26, 2016, on May 2, 2016, or once the Immigration Bureau resumes work on May 6, 2016. Renewal applications for work permits set to expire between April 29, 2016 and May 5, 2016 should be filed by April 28, 2016. Those who fail to do so may need to leave Japan and apply for a new Certificate of Eligibility while abroad.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

United States: USCIS Updates H-2B Cap Count – USCIS reports that as of April 25, 2016, it had received filings on behalf of 29,030 H-2B beneficiaries for the second half of FY 2016. Of these, 23,421 had been approved and 5,609 remained pending. The cap for each half-year is 33,000, but USCIS accepts filings in excess of the cap because some cases will be denied or withdrawn and because employers may ultimately employ fewer H-2B beneficiaries than reflected in their petitions.

Colombia: Mercosur Visa Renewals No Longer Permitted - TP-15 Mercosur visa holders can no longer renew their visas and must therefore request a Resident Visa (RE) before expiration of their two-year Mercosur visa, according to an unofficial policy change by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The lead time for an RE Visa application is approximately 60 to 90 days.  Previously, Mercosur visa holders could renew their visa for an additional period of two years or could apply for a RE Visa after two consecutive and uninterrupted years of residency under the Mercosur visa. Foreign nationals under Mercosur visas should contact their immigration professional far in advance of the expiration of their visa to discuss applying for a RE Visa, if necessary.  Foreign nationals should note that the government fee for an RE Visa is more than that of the previous Mercosur extension.

Taiwan: Streamlined Entry System Coming Soon for U.S. Citizens – U.S. citizens will soon be the first nationals eligible for Taiwan's e-Gate program, according to an agreement signed by the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States. The program is expected to provide faster immigration clearance checks to pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival at selected ports of entry in Taiwan.

Taiwanese nationals are also expected to become eligible for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry Program in the future. However, officials from Taiwan and the United States are still determining the implementation timelines and application details. Interested applicants should contact their immigration professional to discuss eligibility and application criteria.

Global Immigration News Links

The number of undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S-Mexico border is on the rise, according to new statistics released by Border Patrol.

In an effort to deal with a rapidly aging population, Japanese policymakers are exploring ways to bring in more foreign workers without calling it an immigration policy, Reuters reports.

The free movement of workers within the EU makes it more difficult to curb immigration to the UK, according to UK Home Secretary Theresa May.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

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