Virginia, US

Feb 19 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: February 12 - 18, 2016

Belarus, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, United States

In United States immigration news this week, all qualifying German citizens can now apply for membership in the Global Entry trusted traveler program. Successful applicants will benefit from expedited U.S. immigration and customs clearance at participating airports.

F-1 students who have applied for or are working on optional practical training or are planning a change of status to H-1B should be aware that traveling abroad could impact their F-1 status, ability to change status and ability to reenter the United States. 

As a reminder, eligible Chilean and Singaporean H-1B1 and Australian E-3 nonimmigrants who are being sponsored for an extension of stay can now benefit from extended work authorization benefits while their petition is processed by USCIS.

Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program will be reviewed by a parliamentary committee, which may result in the removal of restrictions in key industries such as tourism, seasonal businesses and the service sector.

Mexico has increased the number of on-site inspections, especially in high-volume jurisdictions like Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Villahermosa and San Luis Potosi.

These items and other news from Belarus, Mexico and Turkey follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, February 17, 2016

Travel Tips for F-1 Students on OPT or Planning a Change of Status to H-1B

If you are an F-1 student who has applied for or is working on optional practical training (OPT) or who is seeking a change of status to H-1B in this year's H-1B cap lottery, be aware that traveling abroad could affect your F-1 status, your ability to change status and your ability to reenter the United States. Before you travel internationally, make sure you understand the risks and requirements.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, February 16, 2016

Extension of Work Authorization Now Available to H-1B1s and E-3s with Timely-Filed Application to Extend a Stay

Eligible H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrants with a timely-filed application to extend a stay now benefit from a 240-day extension of work authorization beyond the expiration date of their Form I-94 arrival record, under a new regulation that took effect on February 16, 2016.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, February 12, 2016

Global Entry Program Opens to All Eligible Citizens of Germany

All qualifying citizens of Germany are eligible to apply for Global Entry membership beginning February 16. Applicants who meet program requirements and pass a background check can benefit from expedited entry to the United States at designated airports. Qualified U.S. citizens are now eligible to apply for membership in Germany's EasyPASS registered traveler program.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, February 18, 2016

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Up for Review

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program will be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.  Restrictions may be removed in key industries such as tourism, seasonal businesses and the service sector, among other changes.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Turkey, February 18, 2016

Shutdown of Online System Delays Residence Permit Processing

The online residency permit system has been down since last week for technical upgrades, preventing applicants from scheduling appointments or submitting initial or renewal residency permit applications. Initial and renewal residency permit applicants should expect processing and possible start date delays.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Mexico, February 12, 2016

Site Inspections Increased

National Immigration Institute officials have stepped up the amount of on-site inspections.  This trend is expected to continue for the rest of the year, especially in high-volume jurisdictions like Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Villahermosa and San Luis Potosi.  

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Belarus: Social Security Insurance Requirement Implemented – Employers hiring foreign workers in Belarus are now subject to mandatory social security insurance payments in the amount of 34% of each foreign worker's annual salary.  Employers must file a report confirming such payments. One percent will be withheld from the foreign worker's annual salary to contribute to such payments. According to Belarussian law, gross salaries (including the 1% social security withholding) are used to make minimum salary determinations.

Mexico: Employers Should Update Corporate Registration Certificates – Mexican companies that employ foreign nationals must update their Corporate Registration Certificate when filing file their annual tax returns, which are due March 31, 2016. Although there is no deadline for updating Corporate Registration, employers that fail to do so will not be able to continue employing foreign nationals until it has been updated. Since the updating process takes at least four weeks, employers should contact their immigration and tax professionals to start the process in tandem with tax return filing.

 

Global Immigration News Links

In the absence of immigration reform from Congress, the number of states tackling the issue continues to grow. The National Conference of State Legislatures released a new study that found state immigration laws increased by 26 percent in 2015.

Immigration patterns have changed drastically in Mexico as the country has become a transit route to the United States for Central American migrants fleeing their countries. Under its Southern Border Plan, the Mexican government has strengthened border enforcement in the country’s southern states, as a result, the New York Times reports.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s crackdown on immigration is making it challenging for businesses to hire personnel from outside Europe, BloombergBusiness 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