Virginia, US

Feb 24 2017

Fragomen Immigration Update: February 17 – 23, 2017

Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela

In United States immigration news this week, foreign nationals must be sure to comply with their immigration obligations and responsibilities in the current climate of increased enforcement.

Also in the United States, with just six weeks until the start of the FY 2018 H-1B cap filing season, employers should be working with their immigration counsel to gather necessary documents and submit required labor condition applications (LCAs) so that they are ready to submit cap petitions when the filing season opens on Monday, April 3. 

The United Kingdom Supreme Court ruled that the minimum income requirement for non-European Economic Area national dependents of British citizens and settled persons is lawful, but that the immigration rules do not take into account the best interests of children.

In Spain, signatories of employment contracts submitted with Residence Permit for Highly Qualified Professionals category applications under the Entrepreneurs Act must now be legal residents in the country.

The Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice has confirmed that employers can still choose between obtaining a Knowledge Migrant Permit, a national intra-corporate transferee permit or the EU ICT Permit to transfer Japanese nationals.

In South Africa, employers in the construction, hospitality and mining industries should expect more unannounced immigration inspections by the Department of Home Affairs in 2017.

These items and other news from Belgium, Spain, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, February 23, 2017
Your Immigration Obligations:  Guidance for Foreign Nationals in the United States

In the current climate of increased enforcement, foreign nationals must be sure to comply with their immigration obligations and responsibilities in the United States.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, February 22, 2017
H-1B Cap Reminder: To Ensure Timely Filing, Gather Documents and Submit LCAs Now

The FY 2018 H-1B cap is expected to be reached very quickly, due to anticipated heavy competition for quota numbers. Employers should work with their immigration counsel now to plan their cap filings, submit labor condition applications and collect supporting documents.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Spain, February 23, 2017
New Residence Requirement for Company Signatories

Effectively immediately, signatories of employment contracts submitted with Residence Permit for Highly Qualified Professionals category applications under the Entrepreneurs Act must now be legal residents in Spain. Pending applications may require employers to submit a new power of attorney and execute a new employment contract in accordance with the new regulation.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Venezuela, February 22, 2017
TR-L 90-Day Visa Issuance Temporarily Suspended

TR-L 90-day visa application issuance has been suspended until further notice due to an internal audit at the immigration office (Servicio Administrativo de Identificación Migración y Extranjería (SAIME), which processes this type of visa. At this time, there is no estimated date for when issuance will resume. Other visa applications are not affected.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Netherlands, February 22, 2017
Japanese Transferees Eligible for Knowledge Migrant Permit

Since the EU Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit became available in the Netherlands, employers have been obligated to use the new scheme for qualified transfers instead of the Knowledge Migrant Scheme. The Ministry of Security and Justice has now confirmed that employers can still choose between obtaining a Knowledge Migrant Permit, a national intra-corporate transferee permit or the EU ICT Permit to transfer Japanese nationals.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, February 22, 2017
Court Confirms Minimum Income Requirement for Dependents of Permanent Residents

The Supreme Court ruled today that the minimum income requirement (MIR) for non-European Economic Area nationals seeking leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom as dependants of British citizens and settled persons is lawful, but that the Immigration Rules do not take into account the best interests of children. Going forward, immigration decisions can continue to be based on whether dependants of British citizens and settled persons have met the MIR, although the Immigration Rules will have to be reconsidered as they affect children.

To view entire article, click here.

 

South Africa, February 22, 2017
Immigration Inspections to Increase in 2017

Employers in the construction, hospitality and mining industries should expect more unannounced immigration inspections by the Department of Home Affairs in 2017. Employers and employees could face severe consequences if they violate immigration laws.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Belgium: Decree on Fee Increases Published – Belgium has published legislation confirming administrative fee increases for the following applications, effective March 1, 2017:

  • Non-EU employees and self-employed individuals filing residence applications on the basis of a work permit or a professional card: EUR 350, up from EUR 215; and
  • Family reunification residence applications: EUR 200, up from EUR 160.

Employers and foreign nationals should consult their immigration professional about the new fees prior to filing a residence permit or visa D application.

Spain: Heightened Evidence Requirements for Highly Qualified Professionals' Residence Permits – Sponsoring employers in the Highly Qualified Professional category are now subject to more restrictive criteria.  Applicants are advised to provide additional evidence of their highly- qualified employment,  such as a detailed job description highlighting tasks requiring a high qualification, a document specifying their classification according to the applicable collective bargaining agreement, their job title and gross salary per year and their Spanish social security category. Additionally, applications with a salary under EUR 30,000 are subject to a higher rejection risk. Authorities will contact employers with pending applications if additional evidence is required.

United Arab Emirates: Fines Policy Clarified for Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage in Dubai – Employers and sponsors who fail to provide mandatory health insurance coverage for their employees and dependents by March 31, 2017 will be subject to a fine of AED 500 fine per each month of delay, according to the latest announcement from the Dubai Government. Previously, it was not clear when the authorities would start imposing fines. Valid proof of insurance is now required for the issuance and renewal of residence permits in Dubai.

 

Global Immigration News Links

The Trump Administration has decided to postpone its revised entry ban executive order until next week.

The Trump administration’s expanded enforcement against undocumented immigrants is likely to trigger waves of lawsuits and dwarf the legal fight over the administration’s temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim majority countries, according to Bloomberg.

Amid apprehensions of a clampdown on H-1B visas by the United States, the Indian Union Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh warned that any move to curb these visas could become an "emotional irritant" in Indo-U.S. ties.

To bolster its workforce, Canada is increasingly relying on immigrants and has brought in more than 800,000 immigrants over the past five years.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has said that the United Kingdom will remain open to migrants after leaving the European Union.

The Japanese government is moving to ease residency requirements for non-native service workers in an effort to deal with an influx of tourists from outside 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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