Virginia, US

Dec 30 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: December 23 – 29, 2016

Brazil, India, Italy, Peru, United States, Vietnam

In United States immigration news this week, USCIS’s Administrative Appeals Office announced a new and more flexible test to determine when an EB-2 foreign national is eligible for a discretionary waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirements in the U.S. national interest.

India has extended the deadline to apply for the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card in lieu of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card from December 31, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

EU and non-EU employers seconding employees to Italy are now subject to previously announced online notification requirements.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Labour has published guidelines that address the new Short-Term Work Permit exemption and new documentary requirements for experts and specialists submitting Work Permit applications, among other changes.

These items and other news from Brazil, Peru and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, December 28, 2016
USCIS Unveils New Eligibility Standard for National Interest Waivers

USCIS’s Administrative Appeals Office has established a new and more flexible test to determine when an EB-2 foreign national is eligible for a discretionary waiver of the job offer and labor certification requirements in the U.S. national interest.  The new test is intended to make the national interest waiver available to foreign nationals working in a broad range of fields and endeavors that benefit the United States, but much will depend on how the decision is interpreted by USCIS adjudicator.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Italy, December 29, 2016
New Obligations Take Effect for Foreign Companies Posting Foreign Workers

EU and non-EU employers seconding employees to Italy are now subject to previously announced online notification requirements, effective December 26, 2016. The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy has launched a new online portal to accept the notifications and released additional guidelines for the new requirements.

To view entire article, click here.

 

India, December 29, 2016
Deadline for OCI in Lieu of PIO Card Applications Extended Until June 30, 2017

The deadline to apply for the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card in lieu of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card has been extended again, from December 31, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Vietnam, December 27, 2016
Work Permit Guidelines Released

The Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs has published new guidelines for a decree that took effect in April. Notably, the guidelines update the Short-Term Work Permit exemption category, and outline new documentary requirements for experts and specialists submitting Work Permit applications and new requirements for workers at a company branch or client site, among other changes.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

United States: USCIS Releases New Editions of Many Key Employment-Based Forms – New editions of the Form I-129 nonimmigrant worker petition, the Form I-140 immigrant worker petition, the Form I-485 application for adjustment of status, the Form I-765 application for employment authorization and many other employment-based immigration forms were issued on December 23, 2016, coinciding with a recent increase in USCIS filing fees. 

USCIS will  continue to accept previous editions of affected forms until February 21, 2017, with the exception of Form N-400, the application for naturalization, which must be filed on the new edition, dated December 23, 2016. Initially, the agency did not provide a grace period for the use of previous editions, indicating that it would accept cases filed on outdated form editions only in its discretion. After business immigration stakeholders raised objections, the agency decided to provide an official transition period.

United States: Employment Authorization Extension for Certain Nepali F-1 Students – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the effective date of an earlier notice, which suspended certain regulatory requirements for Nepali F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015, for 18 months. Effective December 27, 2016 through June 24, 2018, eligible Nepali F-1 students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F-1 status until June 24, 2018.

In addition to being a citizen of Nepal, eligible applicants must have been lawfully present in the United States in F-1 status on April 25, 2015; are enrolled in a school that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified for enrollment of F-1 students; are currently maintaining F-1 status; and are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the damage caused by the earthquake.

Brazil: Foreign Students May Convert to Temporary Work Visas While in Brazil – Student visa holders are now permitted to apply for Temporary Work Visas directly to the Ministry of Labor in Brazil. Students who are currently engaged in graduate or post-graduate studies in Brazil can apply for a Temporary Work Visa six months after starting their course. If approved, they will receive a Temporary Work Visa that is valid for one year initially that can be extended until the end of their courses. Those who have graduated from a course of study that was held completely or partially in Brazil can apply up to twelve months from the end of their courses if their planned work activities in Brazil will be the equivalent of their academic curriculum. If approved, they will receive a Temporary Work Visa that is valid for two years initially and that can be transformed into a permanent visa. The new rule comes from a new Resolution issued by Brazil´s National Immigration Council on December 22, 2016.

Peru: Supporting Documentation Requirements Simplified – The Peruvian Immigration Office no longer requires the submission of a number of original documents for visa applications, such as certificates of powers of representation (commonly known as Vigencia de Poder) for companies sponsoring foreign workers or certificates of profession registration for professional applicants. In lieu of original documents, the Immigration Office now requires notarized affidavits that are dully signed by the relevant parties, such as by the individual applicant in cases of professionals, dependents, or students or by a company representative in resident worker visa cases. Affidavits are also required in lieu of: certificates showing that accompanying dependents over the age of 18 are unmarried; proof of income for foreign students; and certificates of registered Peruvian capital for investors. In addition, applications for work permits under the Peru-Argentina Agreement require neither affidavits nor original Peruvian criminal clearances or foreign police and judicial records. The change is the result of a Ministerial Resolution that was published and took effect on December 22, 2016.

 

Global Immigration News Links

CNN looks into what the immigration battle might look like under President-elect Trump.

In a New York Times op-ed, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) urges Congress and President-elect Trump to reduce lower-skilled immigration.

Undocumented immigrants who benefit from President Obama’s DACA program to help young people stay in the country have been applying for permission to leave the United States so they can reenter legally, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Houses of worship are poised to serve as Trump-era immigrant sanctuaries, according to the New York Times.

The European Union hailed Switzerland’s decision on free-movement of immigration as progress.

Dubai's immigration agency is seeking a blockchain startup to develop a system that will cut illegal residency in the country.

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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