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Jul 08 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: July 1 - 7, 2016

Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Congo, Republic of the Philippines, South Africa, United States
In United States immigration news this week, U.S. federal agencies significantly increased civil fines for I-9 paperwork and other immigration violations effective August 1. In light of the increased penalties, it is more important than ever that employers have comprehensive I-9 and other immigration compliance policies and procedures in place.  
 
The Canadian government’s public survey of its immigration system is now open. Fragomen is collecting client responses through the submission period, which closes on August 5. 
 
Norway has increased the minimum salary for new and renewal residence and work permit applicants.
 
In the Netherlands, EU service providers are now subject to Dutch labor laws.
 
The South African government has presented for public comment a policy paper that proposes changes to the immigration system. 
 
These items and other news from Belgium, Ireland, Israel, the Philippines, Poland and the Republic of Congo follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update. 
 
 
Important Updates in Immigration This Week
 
United States, July 6, 2016
Federal Agencies Significantly Increase Fines for I-9 and Other Immigration Violations Effective August 1, 2016
 
The Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and Labor Department have published interim final rules that will impose increased civil penalties on employers who violate I-9, E-Verify and immigration-related anti-discrimination rules. These significant fine increases mean it is more important than ever that employers ensure that they have a comprehensive immigration compliance program in place.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Poland, July 7, 2016
Delays Expected at Immigration Office in Warsaw Through Tomorrow
 
Due to this week's NATO Summit in Warsaw, foreign nationals awaiting updates and approvals on immigration applications submitted to the Warsaw immigration office and those seeking to schedule visa appointments should expect delays through tomorrow.  Normal processing will resume on Monday, July 11.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Canada, July 6, 2016
Submission Period for Canadian Government’s Immigration System Survey Now Open
 
Fragomen is collecting client responses to a directive by the federal government to examine what Canadians think immigration means for Canada, and how the government can continue to grow the country through immigration. The government's submission period will close August 5, 2016.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Belgium, July 6, 2016
Family Reunification Application Processing Time Extended
 
Due to the recent significant increase of family reunification applications, pending family reunification applications filed by a family member of a third-country national and those filed on or after July 8, 2016 will take nine months to process, instead of the current six months, according to a change in law.  Immigration authorities may also extend the processing time twice for three months at a time.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
South Africa, July 6, 2016
Policy Paper Published on Changes to Immigration System
 
The South African government has presented for public comment a policy paper that proposes changes to the immigration system. The paper suggests reviewing the country's overall immigration strategy by considering changes in politics, the economy, social development, national security, international and constitutional obligations and the overall increase in immigration. 
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Norway, July 5, 2016
Minimum Salary Increased for Non-EU Workers
 
New and renewal Residence and Work Permit applicants must earn a minimum annual salary of NOK 382,900 (approximately USD 45,754) if they hold a bachelor's degree (up from NOK 381,000) or NOK 412,600 (approximately USD 49,288) if they hold a master's degree (up from NOK 410,500).
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Canada, July 5, 2016
Postal Service Lockout or Strike Possible; Would Delay Return of Immigration Documentation
 
The Canadian postal service, Canada Post, may lockout its employees on or after Friday July 8, which would delay the return of work permits and temporary resident visas from Canadian government offices, and would affect consulates that utilize Canada Post, including U.S. consulates.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Netherlands, July 5, 2016
EU Service Providers Now Subject to Dutch Labor Laws
 
Employers based in the European Union who send workers to the Netherlands to provide services, transfer workers within a multinational company or who send workers through an employment agency must now comply with Dutch labor laws. This includes making documentation available at the Dutch workplace to evidence compliance with Dutch labor laws and appointing an internal contact person at the Dutch employer's workplace.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Republic of Congo, July 5, 2016
New Documentary Requirement for Business Visa Applicants 
 
Business visa applicants must now submit a certificate of accommodation instead of an invitation letter with their applications. The certificate is issued by the local authority of the town where the business visitor will live and must be endorsed by the immigration authorities.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Ireland, July 1, 2016
UK National Passport Applicants to See Delays
 
Irish passport applicants can expect delays in the coming months due to the high demand for applications following the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Other Immigration News This Week
 
Israel: Upcoming Immigration Office Holiday Closures – Israeli government agencies will be closed October 2 - 4 (to observe Rosh Hashanah), October 11 - 12 (to observe Yom Kippur) and October 16 - 23 (to observe Sukkot). During the closures, work permits and visas will not be issued. Israeli consular posts have the option of closing or operating on a part-time schedule, but delays and backlogs should be expected in visa and work permit processing either way. Employers are strongly advised to submit applications before October to ensure they are processed on a timely basis. Fragomen worked closely with Kan-Tor & Acco Law Firm (Israel) to prepare this update.
 
Philippines: Stricter Immigration Document Checks Coming for Indonesian Nationals – Indonesian nationals entering international airports and other checkpoints in the Philippines may be subject to heightened security checks due to an intelligence report on the arrival of Indonesian nationals to undertake training with the Islamic State-Philippines organization, according to a memorandum published by the Bureau of Immigration (BI). As a result, BI officers may request the following additional information from Indonesian travelers upon arrival: address(es) in the Philippines and in Indonesia; various types of identification; proof of finances; a list of people that the traveler plans to visit in the Philippines; contact phone number/details; whether anyone is traveling with the Indonesian national; and the purpose of travel to the Philippines. Employers sending Indonesian employees to the Philippines should advise them to prepare the above-listed information before they travel to facilitate possible inspections upon arrival. 
 
Philippines: New Bureau of Immigration Chief Appointed – Retired General Jaime H. Morente has been appointed as the new chief of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), replacing Commissioner Renaldo Geron, with immediate effect. Applications with and communications to the BI should now be addressed to the new commissioner. 
 
 
Global Immigration News Links
 
Immigration is on the congressional agenda in the eight days that remain in the legislative session before a seven-week summer recess. 
 
 
In October, Hungarian citizens will vote to approve or reject the European Commission’s proposed policy on mandatory refugee resettlement.
 
This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.