Virginia, US

May 01 2015

Fragomen Immigration Update: April 27 - May 1, 2015

Canada, Dominican Republic, European Union, Hong Kong, India, Poland, Russia, Trinidad & Tobago, United States, Venezuela

Employment and Social Development Canada has implemented technical changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program adjudication standards pertaining to labour market impact assessment applications and employers’ obligations. These changes are effective April 30.

In the United States, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor have issued new regulations on wages and labor market testing for the H-2B temporary  non-agricultural program.  The rules, which took effect April 29, impose new obligations on employers that participate in the program.

Russia has announced deadlines for filing work permit quota applications. Standard work permit quota applications are due July 1, 2015, and corrections for 2015 are due September 1, 2015.

In Poland, only foreign nationals with Permanent Residence Permits and some EU nationals will be issued a personal identification number (PESEL) automatically upon registering their residence. Other foreign nationals must apply for a PESEL number at their regional city hall.

In Hong Kong, the pilot Admission Scheme for Second Generation Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents will be implemented May 4, 2015.  Additionally, the requirements under the General Employment Policy, the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals and the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme will be relaxed. 

India is expanding its e-Tourist Visa program to applicants from 31 additional countries. The program is expected to be further expanded to a total of 150 countries by the end of March 2016.

These items and other news from the Dominican Republic, the European Union, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, May 1, 2015

DHS and DOL Issue H-2B Rules with New Obligations for Employers

New regulations govern how prevailing wages are set for H-2B temporary non-agricultural workers and how employers apply for H-2B temporary labor certifications. The rules took effect on April 29.

To view entire article, click here.

 

India, April 30, 2015

E-Tourist Visa Extended to 31 Additional Countries

India is expanding its e-Tourist Visa (eTV, formerly TVoA) program to applicants from 31 additional countries. Visitors eligible for the eTV include business visitors and those traveling to sightsee, visit friends or relatives or to make short medical visits. The program is expected to be expanded to a total of 150 countries by the end of March 2016.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Hong Kong, April 30, 2015

Relaxed Criteria for Foreign Nationals to be Implemented May 4

A pilot admission scheme designed to encourage the return of second generation Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents who have emigrated will be implemented May 4, 2015. Additionally, the requirements under the General Employment Policy, the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals and the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme will be relaxed.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Russia, April 28, 2015

Standard Work Permit Quota Application Deadlines Announced

The deadline for filing standard work permit quota applications for 2016 is July 1, 2015, and to file standard work permit quota corrections for 2015 is September 1, 2015. Employers filing standard work permit quota applications must also confirm that they will provide medical insurance and accommodation to foreign employees during their assignment.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Dominican Republic, April 27, 2015

Director of Immigration Resignation to Cause Residence Permit Approval Delays

Due to the resignation of the General Director of Immigration, foreign nationals awaiting issuance and renewal of Residence Permits and Permanent Residence approvals will likely experience delays. No replacement has yet been identified, and it is unclear how significant the delays may be.

 

Trinidad and Tobago, April 27, 2015

Original Documents Required for Work Permit Applications

Work permit applicants must now submit original documents to the Work Permit Division of the Ministry of National Security following the mandatory online application process. Copies of certain documents are no longer accepted due to reports of submission of false documents in support of work permit applications.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Poland, April 27, 2015

Some Foreign Nationals Subject to New Identification Number Application Process

Foreign nationals without Permanent Residence Permits in Poland will no longer be issued a personal identification number (PESEL) automatically upon registering their residence. Instead, they must apply for the number and await issuance, which could take at least a month. EU nationals may be able to obtain their PESEL number automatically based on the municipality’s discretion.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, April 27, 2015

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Adjudication Standards Reformed

Employment and Social Development Canada has implemented technical changes to the way that it adjudicates labour market impact assessment applications and the requirements for employers to meet the required elements under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). These changes follow last June’s reorganization of the TFWP, and are effective April 30, 2015.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

United States: New SEVP Rule Allows Limited Post-Secondary Study for Dependents of Foreign Students – Effective May 29, 2015, a new rule allows the F-2 and M-2 dependents of F-1 and M-1 foreign students to engage in limited post-secondary study at any  school certified by the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

Under the new rule, F-2 and M-2 dependents are permitted to study at any SEVP-certified school as long as they enroll in less than a full course of study per academic term – typically, less than 12 credit hours per term. Under prior regulations, F-2 and M-2 dependents were prohibited from participating in anything other than avocational or recreational study, other than children, who can enroll in full-time elementary and secondary schools.

F-2 and M-2 dependents remain prohibited from enrolling in a full course of study unless they change status to F-1 or M-1.

European Union: European Commission Seeks Compliance with Single Permit Rule from Belgium, Slovenia and Spain - The European Commission has asked Belgium, Slovenia and Spain to implement a clear set of rights for legal migrant workers, and specifically to take steps to implement a single permit for non-EU nationals to reside and work in the territory of an EU Member State within two months.  Otherwise, the Commission may refer them to the EU's Court of Justice.  Despite receiving letters of formal notice (the first step in an infringement procedure), the three countries have not notified the Commission of full compliance with a directive for all EU countries to implement such a policy by December 2013.  If a single-permit system is created, non-EU nationals should benefit as none of these countries currently offers a single procedure to obtain work and residence permits. Fragomen will monitor this situation and provide updates on any progress.

Venezuela: Shorter Hours for Public Administration Offices to Cause Delays -The Venezuelan Vice-President has announced the reduction of work hours for all Public Administration offices due to internal efforts to reduce electrical consumption. This is likely to cause delays in processing and legalizing documents, work permits and visas. Foreign nationals affected by the reduced hours should account for more time to process their documents and applications.

 

Global Immigration News Links

Austin Fragomen and Careen Shannon discuss a new USCIS Administrative Appeals Office decision that will make relocations of H-1B employees more difficult, time consuming, and costly.

Congressional members introduced legislation to speed-up the J-1 visa approval process for international physicians who are scheduled to work at hospitals in the United States.

A group of British artists and writers argue that those most likely to contribute to Britain’s arts will be penalized by the current immigration rules.

According to the Economic Times, Germany’s population is set to shrink by ten million by 2060 as immigrants arriving to the country fail to offset a falling birth rate.

Hungary will be conducting a national consultation on the country's immigration policy.

The U.S. Ambassador to Lima, Brian A. Nichols, announces that the Peruvian government is looking at ways to speed up efforts to make it easier for Peruvian tourists and business people to enter the United States.

Polish President Komorowski will argue at the Eastern Partnership in favor of visa-free travel for Ukrainians which will allow citizens of these two countries to travel freely throughout Europe for short stays such as tourism.

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