Virginia, US

Dec 24 2015

Fragomen Immigration Update: December 18 - 23, 2015

Australia, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Canada, Germany, Morocco, Tanzania, United States

In United States immigration news this week, high-volume H-1B and L-1 employers are now subject to an additional $4,000 fee with each H-1B petition and extension, and an additional $4,500 fee with each individual L-1 petition, extension and blanket L visa application. In related H-1B news, employers are beginning to prepare for the FY 2017 H-1B cap filing season, which will open on Friday, April 1, 2016. Though April 1 is several months away, it is not too early for organizations to begin assessing their H-1B needs and making initial preparations for filing.

Foreign nationals travelling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program are now subject to new travel restrictions and passport requirements.

A new law in Tanzania requires business visitors holding a Carry on Temporary Assignment Permit to convert to a new Short-Term Permit by December 29, and requires employers to ensure that foreign workers have valid work permits by that date or face fines and/or imprisonment.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) conducted the twenty-first Express Entry draw. The selection process continues to indicate flexibility since selected candidates included those who did not have a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment/Labour Market Opinion or a Provincial Nomination certificate at the time their profile was set up.

Starting January 1 in Germany, labor market rules will be relaxed for western Balkan nationals with a job offer in the country. Such nationals will be able to obtain a D-visa (long-term visa) as long as the applicant meets the position's experience requirements.

These items and other news from Australia, Azerbaijan, Botswana and Morocco follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, December 23, 2015

The Upcoming H-1B Season: Planning Ahead is Key

It's not too soon to begin preparing for the FY 2017 H-1B filing season. Demand for H-1B quota numbers is expected to reach new highs next year. Starting early will help ensure that your organization is ready when the filing period begins on April 1, 2016.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, December 23, 2015

What Travelers Need to Know About the New Visa Waiver Program Rules

Nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries are subject to new travel restrictions and forthcoming heightened passport requirements under a new law enacted on December 18. VWP travelers must ensure that they comply with the new requirements before traveling to the United States. 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, December 21, 2015

Increased Fees for High-Volume H-1B and L-1 Employers Take Effect

Employers with 50 or more employees, more than 50 percent of whom are in H-1B or L-1 status, are now subject to an additional $4,000 fee with each H-1B petition and extension, and an additional $4,500 fee with each individual L-1 petition, extension and blanket L visa application. The fee was signed into law on December 18, 2015 and took effect immediately.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Botswana, December 22, 2015

Government Imposes Moratorium on Short-Term Work Permits

Foreign nationals are no longer able to apply for Short-Term Work Permits in Botswana, due to a moratorium aimed at stopping alleged abuse of these permits. In the meantime, all foreign nationals intending to work in Botswana must apply for long-term work permits.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Tanzania, December 21, 2015
Business Visitors and Employers Face Tight Deadline to Comply with New Law

A new law eliminates the Carry on Temporary Assignment Permit and requires business visitors in Tanzania to convert to a new Short-Term Permit by December 29, 2015.  It also requires employers in Tanzania to ensure that foreign workers have valid work permits by that date. Failure to comply with the law may result in fines and/or imprisonment.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Germany, December 21, 2015

Labor Market Rules Relaxed for Western Balkan Nationals

On or after January 1, 2016, nationals of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia with a job offer in Germany will be able to obtain a D-visa as long as the applicant qualifies for the position. This new exemption will be in effect until 2020.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, December 18, 2015

Latest Express Entry Selections Show Ongoing Flexibility

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will be conducting the twenty-third Express Entry draw today through tomorrow, December 19, and 1,503 candidates will be invited to apply for permanent residence. The selection process continues to indicate flexibility since CIC selected candidates who did not have a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment/Labour Market Opinion or a Provincial Nomination certificate at the time their profile was set up.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Australia: Work and Holiday Visa Program Expanded – Nationals from the Slovak Republic and Slovenia will be eligible for the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) program as of January 1, 2016. This program allows certain nationals ages 18 through 30 to work and stay in Australia up to one year. Eligible nationals should contact their immigration professional to discuss the application process.

Azerbaijan: Foreign Nationals Subject to Tax Judgments Must Pay Before Departure – Foreign nationals and stateless persons who have failed to pay their Azerbaijani taxes within mandated periods and are subject to a court judgment are now restricted from leaving the country, according to recent changes to the Migration Code. These individuals must pay their taxes and any penalties or interest and have their court judgment reversed before they can be cleared to depart Azerbaijan.

Morocco: Holders of Expired Residence Permits Must Obtain Departure Permission – Foreign nationals with expired residence permits are no longer allowed to depart from Morocco unless they hold a special approval issued by the Immigration Authorities or their residence permit has been renewed, according to a newly-adopted regulation. If a foreign national attempts to depart from Morocco without a valid residence permit, the immigration authorities may stop the traveler at the border and require police approval. If approval cannot be issued, the traveler must renew or cancel the residence permit. Previously, foreign residents in Morocco could exit the country based on their passport, even if their residence permit was expired.

 

Global Immigration News Links

A Fortune op-ed discusses immigrant integration and its significance to the current immigration debate.

Official figures could be underestimating the true scale of immigration in the United Kingdom, BloombergBusiness reports.

United Kingdom's new immigration bill might leave victims of trafficking more vulnerable, according to the Guardian.

Eurostat reports that foreign nationals accounted for fewer than 7% of persons living in EU Member States in 2014 and over 40% of them were nationals of another EU Member State.

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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