Virginia, US

Aug 26 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: August 19 - 25, 2016

Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Nicaragua, United States

In United States immigration news this week, a proposed regulation would give the Justice Department broader powers to investigate immigration-related employment discrimination cases. The agency is accepting public feedback on the proposal through September 14, 2016. Another proposed regulation by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is likely to be published in the coming days and is expected to speed the entry of certain foreign inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs into the United States.

U.S. consulates in India continue to experience significant backlogs in nonimmigrant visa appointments for H, L and other employment-based nonimmigrant visas. The appointment backlog could delay U.S. employment start dates and reentry to the United States, unless applicants are able to secure a visa appointment at another consulate.

In Canada, 750 candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence in its most recent Express Entry draw. The minimum qualifying score for this draw increased to 538, substantially higher than previous draws.

In Malaysia, tougher requirements take effect September 1, 2016 for Employment Pass applications submitted to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation.

In Nicaragua, Venezuelan nationals seeking to enter Nicaragua now require a consular visa with a pre-approval from the General Directorate of Immigration, a process that takes 45-60 days.

In the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended the issuance of all visas until further notice.   

A strike by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs workers in Brazil will result in delayed visa processing and document legalization procedures, both within the country and at many consulates worldwide.

These items and other news from Brazil and Kazakhstan follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, August 25, 2016
USCIS to Propose Temporary Parole Program for Entrepreneurs

The proposal would create a temporary immigration program for foreign inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs planning to create start-up businesses with substantial U.S. investor funding or with the potential for innovation or job creation. The proposal is expected to be published for public feedback in the coming days.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, August 23, 2016
Update on Visa Appointment Backlogs at U.S. Consulates in India

Visa appointment backlogs at U.S. consular posts in India have further increased in the last several days. Foreign nationals who need to apply for an H or L visa in India currently face visa appointment wait times of 75 to more than 125 days at the U.S. consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. The appointment backlog is likely to delay U.S. employment start dates and reentry to the United States, unless applicants are able to secure a visa appointment at another consulate. Backlogs are likely to increase as the October 1 start date for FY 2017 H-1B cap employment nears.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, August 22, 2016
Lengthy Visa Appointment Backlogs at U.S. Consulates in India

Foreign nationals who need to apply for an H or L visa in India currently face visa appointment wait times of 75 to more than 115 days at the U.S. consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.  The appointment backlog is likely to delay U.S. employment start dates and reentry to the United States, unless applicants are able to secure a visa appointment at another consulate.  Backlogs are likely to increase as the October 1 start date for FY 2017 H-1B cap employment nears.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, August 19, 2016
Justice Department Proposes to Expand Employer Liability for Immigration-Related Discrimination Claims

A proposed regulation would give the Justice Department broader powers to investigate immigration-related employment discrimination cases, eliminate the time limit to file a complaint against an employer, and increase the bases upon which an employer could be found liable for discrimination.  The agency is accepting public feedback on the proposal through September 14, 2016.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Brazil, August 25, 2016
Visa Processing and Document Legalization to be Delayed Due to Public Worker Strike

A strike by Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs workers will result in delayed visa processing and document legalization procedures, both in Brazil and at many consular posts worldwide. It is not yet known when the strike will end.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Dominican Republic, August 25, 2016
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Suspends the Issuance of All Visas Until Further Notice

The Dominican Republic has suspended the issuance of all visas, due to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs decree that was issued shortly after the appointment of a new Minister.  Business and work visas will not be issued by Dominican consulates abroad until the Ministry lifts the suspension – the timing of which is unknown. The suspension applies to both new and pending visa applications.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Nicaragua, August 24, 2016
Entry Visa Now Required for Venezuelan Nationals

Venezuelan nationals seeking to enter Nicaragua now require a consular visa with a pre-approval from the General Directorate of Immigration, a process that takes 45-60 days.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, August 24, 2016
Latest Express Entry Draw Remains Low, but With Higher Qualifying Score than Previous Draws

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will invite 750 candidates to apply for permanent residence in its most recent Express Entry draw. The minimum qualifying score for this draw will increase to 538, substantially higher than previous draws.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Malaysia, August 23, 2016
Tougher Requirements Take Effect September 1 for Employment Pass Applications Submitted to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)

A series of new requirements will take effect September 1, 2016 for employers with Multimedia Super Corridor status that submit Employment Pass applications to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, including a longer passport validity requirement, a new cooling off period for certain renewal and conversion applications, and several new documentation requirements.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Brazil, August 23, 2016
Registration Appointment Delays Likely in São Paulo

Foreign nationals scheduling appointments in São Paulo to register their work visas and obtain a Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro (RNE) can expect delays due to the implementation of a new IT system at the Federal Police. It is not known how long such delays will last.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Kazakhstan: Upcoming Deadline for 2017 Work Permit Quota Applications – Employers choosing to obtain work permit quotas for foreign workers in 2017 must submit their quota applications by September 1, 2016. Quota applications identifying the number of foreign employees the Employer wishes to hire next year should be sent to the Labor Agency with jurisdiction over the project's location.

Each year, Kazakh employers are encouraged – but are not required – to file a report that outlines their need for foreign workers and estimates the number of foreign workers they expect to sponsor the following year. Employers who normally sponsor more than ten work permits per year are strongly advised to file quota allocation applications. Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Labor then allocates quota numbers among Kazakh cities and administrative districts, and in some years, makes additional quota numbers available. Typically, employers who voluntarily submitted allocation applications in the previous year are given priority to the additional quota numbers. In the city of Almaty, quota requests will be effectively mandatory for next year, as authorities there have stated they will not accept work permit applications from employers that did not submit quota requests.

 

Global Immigration News Links

According to a national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, while the public is divided over many aspects of U.S. immigration policy, more Americans say better border security and a path to citizenship for the undocumented should be given equal priority.

Brexit is a chance to fix the UK’s “broken” immigration system, BBC reports.

Japan has taken a few steps to boost immigration.

Ireland reported net immigration for the first time since 2009, Reuters reports.

 

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

© 2016 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.