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Jul 01 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: June 24 - 30, 2016

Belgium, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Israel, Kenya, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States

In United States immigration news this week, all qualifying citizens of Singapore 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.

Following ‘Brexit,’ free movement to the United Kingdom from the European Union and vice versa will remain unaffected until formal separation procedures are introduced. Visit our dedicated Brexit website and Fragomen FAQs on this issue for more information.

In Canada, starting December 1, 2016, Mexican nationals will be able to travel to Canada without a business/tourist visa, likely for up to 90 days.  In the 37th Express Entry draw, the number of invitations for permanent residency remained low. 

Israel and China ratified a multiple-entry visa agreement, which permits business visitors and tourists to make multiple entries using the same ten-year visa.

In the Netherlands, Japanese nationals will require work authorization effective October 1, 2016.

An agreement between Kenya and Ethiopia is likely to bring streamlined work permit processing and relaxed reciprocal work permit rules.

These items and other news from Belgium, Israel and Sweden follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, June 30, 2016
Global Entry Opens to All Eligible Citizens of Singapore

Qualifying citizens of Singapore are now eligible to apply for Global Entry membership. Applicants who meet program requirements and pass a background check can benefit from expedited entry to the United States at designated airports. Similarly, qualified U.S. citizens are eligible for enrollment in Singapore's enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS).

To view entire article, click here.

 

Worldwide, June 30, 2016
Brexit Update and Resources

As we have been reporting, on 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Once the United Kingdom formally starts the separation process, the exit negotiations are expected to take at least two years. The exact impact of Brexit on individuals and employers is uncertain. Visit the dedicated Brexit website and Fragomen FAQs on this issue for more information.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, June 29, 2016
Latest Express Entry Draw Remains Low

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will invite 733 candidates to apply for permanent residence in its most recent Express Entry draw. The number of invitations remains low, as in the past few recent draws.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Israel/China, June 29, 2016
Reciprocal Ten-Year Multiple-Entry Visa Agreement Signed

The Israeli parliament has ratified a multiple-entry visa agreement with China under which Chinese business visitors and tourists can enter Israel multiple times with the same ten-year visa and vice versa.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, June 28, 2016
Mexican Business Visitors and Tourists to be Eligible for Visa-Free Travel in December

On or after December 1, 2016, Mexican nationals will be able to travel to Canada without a visa for business and tourism, likely for up to 90 days.  This agreement is subject to the level of Mexican asylum seekers in Canada remaining at a steady level.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Netherlands, June 28, 2016
Work Permit Exemption for Japanese Nationals to be Eliminated

Japanese nationals, who have been work permit exempt since December 2014, will once again require work authorization on or after October 1, 2016.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, June 27, 2016
Free Movement for Foreign Nationals Unaffected Until Formal Separation

Following the public vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, free movement to the United Kingdom from the European Union and vice versa will remain unaffected until formal separation procedures are introduced, which are unlikely to take effect for at least the next two years.  In the meantime, EU nationals may wish to consider documenting their status ahead of separation by applying for a registration certificate (a currently optional document that EU nationals who wish to register their status in the United Kingdom can file), permanent residence or naturalization (if eligible).  Processing times for such applications are likely to increase due to high demand.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Israel, June 24, 2016
Work Permit Processing Changes Require New Forms and Letters

Following last December's regulations that created different work permit schemes for expert activities that require academic qualifications and those that do not, the Work Permit Unit of the Ministry of Interior has started implementing the requirements for work permit applications.  The requirements also apply retroactively to pending work permit applications. 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Kenya/Ethiopia, June 24, 2016
Reciprocal Agreement Likely to Relax Work Permit Rules

Kenyan and Ethiopian leaders have agreed to remove legal hurdles that have restricted the movement of workers between the two countries.  The agreement is likely to bring streamlined work permit processing and relaxed reciprocal work permit rules.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Belgium: Swiss Nationals Now Eligible for Same Residence Permits as EU Nationals – In an effort to consolidate documentary requirements, Swiss nationals and their dependents are now eligible for the same Belgian residence permit as EU nationals and their dependents, as a result of a Royal Decree. Currently, Swiss nationals and their dependents hold C-cards, while EU nationals and their dependents hold E-cards or F-cards. Under the new program, C-cards  will remain valid until their expiry date, though Swiss nationals and their dependents can exchange their C-card for an E- or F-card at the local Belgian town hall with jurisdiction over their place of residence. There are no practical differences or benefits to the E or F card.

Sweden: Work Permit Processing Delayed – Foreign nationals should expect new and renewal work permit application delays during the summer months due to staff shortages at the Swedish Migration Board and a recently-implemented law. Applicants should assume there will be an eight-to-ten-week backlog for new work permit approvals, and a ten-to-twelve week backlog for renewal approvals.

 

Global Immigration News Links

The Washington Post takes a close look at how immigrant voters could affect the 2016 presidential election.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board recounts the events that led to the Supreme Court’s decision to hold President Obama’s immigration executive actions.  Undocumented immigrants remain cautious after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

UK voters supporting the Leave campaign cared more about immigration than the economic risks, The New York Times reports.

Switzerland’s struggle to reach an agreement with the European Union to limit immigration has reached new heights after Britain’s decision to split from the European Union, Bloomberg 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, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.