Virginia, US

Aug 12 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: August 5 - 11, 2016

Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, European Union, India, Ireland, Morocco, Norway, Republic of the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

In United States immigration news this week, cutoff dates for EB-2 and EB-3 India will advance by just over three months and will be unchanged for EB-2, EB-3 and EB-5 China, according to the State Department’s September Visa Bulletin. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has determined that it will only accept employment-based adjustment applications next month from foreign nationals with a priority date that is current for final action under the State Department's September Visa Bulletin.

Applicants for certain Indian visas in the United Kingdom will have to attend a mandatory biometrics appointment effective August 19, 2016.

In China, new immigration policies are being piloted in Guangdong Province that should make it easier for four main categories of foreign nationals to obtain permanent residence status and also simplify various application procedures.

In the EU, foreign nationals who seek to legalize a document will be able to request it through a new multilingual form instead of the current apostille process, according to a rule expected to be implemented by February 2019.

In Ireland, a forthcoming online system for employment permits is expected to streamline the application process. Effective September 1, 2016, new rules will change allowable work hours for non-European Economic Area nationals studying in Ireland.

These items and other news from Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Morocco, Norway, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, August 10, 2016
September Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to Honor Employment-Based Final Action Dates Only Next Month

In September, USCIS will only accept employment-based adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is current for final action under the State Department's September Visa Bulletin.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, August 8, 2016
September 2016 Visa Bulletin: Modest Advancement for EB-2 India and Most Countries in EB-3; EB-1 India and China and EB-2 Worldwide Remain Backlogged

In September, cutoff dates for EB-2 and EB-3 India will advance by just over three months and will be unchanged for EB-2, EB-3 and EB-5 China. There will be no advancement in cutoff dates for final issuance of an immigrant visa for EB-1 India and China and EB-2 Worldwide.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, August 10, 2016
Latest Express Entry Draw Remains Low

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will invite 754 candidates to apply for permanent residence in its most recent Express Entry draw. The number of invitations remains low, as in recent draws.

To view entire article, click here.

 

European Union, August 9, 2016
New Forms to Replace Apostille Process for EU Nationals by February 2019

The EU Parliament and Council have approved a rule that will allow foreign nationals who seek a legalized document from an approved list to request it through a new multilingual form that will not require any legalization, apostille or translation processes. The rule is expected to be implemented by February 16, 2019.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom/India, August 8, 2016
Applicants for Indian Visas at High Commission of London Must Appear In Person

Employment Visa, Visit Visa, Project Visa and other Indian visa applicants in London will have to attend a mandatory biometrics appointment on or after August 19, 2016.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Ireland, August 8, 2016
Foreign Students’ Working Hours Rules Modified

On or after September 1, non-European Economic Area nationals studying in Ireland will no longer be able to work full time in May and will be able to work full time in September. The other months' hour allowances will remain the same.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Ireland, August 5, 2016
Online System for Employment Permit Applications Forthcoming

Starting early September, online filing of employment permit applications will become available, including completing the employment permit application form, uploading supporting documents and paying government filing fees. The system is expected to streamline the entire application process and reduce the adjudication time.

To view entire article, click here.

 

China, August 5, 2016
Relaxed Immigration Rules and Procedures Implemented in Guangdong Province

New immigration policies are being piloted in Guangdong Province that should make it easier for four main categories of foreign nationals to obtain Permanent Residence status and should simplify various application procedures. There are also plans to extend the visa-free policy from 72 hours to 144 hours.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Brazil/Chile/Morocco: Reminder: Apostilled Documents to Be Accepted by Consulates Brazil, Chile and Morocco have joined the Hague Convention on Legalization. The effective dates for each country to accept documents legalized with apostille, which involves a streamlined legalization process, are as follows: Brazil and Morocco: August 14, 2016; Chile: August 30, 2016. Consular legalization will no longer be required on or after these dates. Applicants planning to submit supporting documents for visa applications that require authentication in these countries should contact their immigration professional for further guidance.

Norway: Work Permit Processing Time Increased – The Norwegian Immigration Authority has increased the standard work permit processing time from 10 business days to four weeks. Work permit applicants should therefore submit applications far in advance of their start or entry dates to allow for the new processing time.

Philippines: Biometrics Rescheduling Fee to Apply – Effective immediately, foreign nationals seeking Alien Certificate of Registration identity cards (ACR-I Cards) who are unable to appear for their scheduled biometric appointment will be subject to a Php 1,000 rescheduling fee. Fragomen can prepare and submit the request to the Bureau of Immigration to reschedule the biometric appointment and can advance the rescheduling fee.

United Kingdom/India: More Cities Require Applicants for Indian Visas to Appear In Person – Foreign nationals seeking Indian visas at 11 VFS centers in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales must appear in person to submit biometrics on or after August 19, 2016. The centers are in Birmingham, Belfast, Bristol, Bradford, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leicester, Manchester and Newcastle. This is in addition to the London VFS centers  (located in Paddington, Goswell Road and Hounslow), as reported in this week’s alert. Affected applicants should contact their Fragomen immigration professional to schedule a biometrics appointment.

United Arab Emirates/Saudi Arabia: Applicants for Saudi Visas in UAE Require Health Insurance – Foreign nationals applying for Saudi visitor visas in the United Arab Emirates, including transit visas and visas for dependents, are now required to obtain health insurance coverage for the duration of their planned stay in Saudi Arabia. The cost of insurance is assessed by the respective visa application center (VFS TasHeel in the United Arab Emirates) at the time of application submission. The medical insurance policy was announced by the Cooperative Health Insurance Council last year, but had not been implemented for applicants in the United Arab Emirates until now. Visa applicants with questions on the new policy should contact their Fragomen immigration professional.

 

Global Immigration News Links

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that immigration would be at the top of her White House’s agenda from day one, Politico reports.

The number of Cubans who have entered the U.S. has spiked dramatically since President Obama announced a renewal of ties with the island nation in late 2014, a Pew Research Center analysis of government data has found. 

An Ipsos Mori study exposes the tensions that immigration flows are causing in an increasingly globalized world, Bloomberg 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.