Virginia, US

Mar 24 2017

Fragomen Immigration Update: March 17 – 23, 2017

Bahrain, China, Colombia, India, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Panama, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States

In immigration news this week, travelers on direct flights bound for the United States or the United Kingdom from certain Middle Eastern and North African countries are prohibited from carrying laptops, tablets and other devices in the passenger cabin. Restricted devices may be packed in checked baggage if otherwise permitted. Cellphones and smartphones are permitted in passenger cabins but must meet size limits on UK-bound flights.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Theresa May will formally notify the European Union of the United Kingdom's departure on March 29, 2017, triggering the two-year Article 50 process.

A new law in Lithuania exempts certain non-EU/ European Economic Area employees from a work permit or Labour Exchange decision. In Luxembourg, a new EU Intracompany Transferee Permit is now available.

In China, employers who need to sponsor foreign workers in Shanghai after March 27 must be registered with the Shanghai Expert Bureau. The new Unified Work Authorization Policy will commence in Shanghai on March 27.

Employers in Bahrain can no longer apply for a temporary work permit, as the category has been discontinued. Employers who require short-term workers can instead apply for a Work Visa and Residence Permit with a shorter validity period. In Turkey, regulations have been published for a new permanent work category for eligible investors, researchers and other highly-skilled foreign nationals.

These items and other news from Colombia, India, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Panama and the United Kingdom follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States/United Kingdom, March 21, 2017
New Electronic Device Restrictions on Certain US- and UK-Bound Flights
Travelers on direct flights bound for the United States or the United Kingdom from certain Middle Eastern and North African countries will be prohibited from carrying laptops, tablets and other devices in the passenger cabin. Restricted devices may be packed in checked baggage if otherwise permitted. Cellphones and smartphones are permitted in passenger cabins but must meet size limits on UK-bound flights.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Myanmar, March 23, 2017
Parliament to Vote on Proposed Bills Affecting Foreign Workers

The Myanmar Parliament will vote on two bills proposed by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population. If they pass, the new laws would create a new Work Permit scheme for skilled foreign nationals, a Foreign Workers Supervisory Body, stricter travel requirements for Foreign Registration Certificate  holders, and penalties for violations of the regulations.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Mexico, March 22, 2017
Compliance Enforcement and Workplace Inspections Increased

Immigration authorities have started requesting business and tourist visitors to present proof of departure from Mexico within the prescribed period, among other information related to the purpose of their visit. Additionally, Corporate Registration Certificates must be updated in conjunction with tax return filings, and National Immigration Institute officials have increased the amount of on-site inspections at companies' registered addresses.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Turkey, March 22, 2017
Regulations for New Permanent Work Permit Category Introduced

Regulations for the Turquoise Card, a new permanent work category for eligible investors, researchers and other highly-skilled foreign nationals, have been published. A new online application system is expected to be implemented soon. The regulations generally outline the new category's eligibility criteria and related filing information. More details are expected from the Directorate soon.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Lithuania, March 21, 2017
Law Creates New Work Permit Exemption and Residence Permit Category for Technology Startups, Among Other Changes

A new law exempts certain non-EU/European Economic Area employees from a work permit, exempts EU Blue Card applicants from a Labour Exchange decision if their profession is on a list of approved shortage occupations, increases the validity period for directors and shareholders' temporary residence permits and creates a new residence permit category for foreign workers in technology startups, among other changes.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Luxembourg, March 21, 2017
EU Intracompany Transferee Permit Forthcoming

On March 23, the new EU Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit will become available in Luxembourg.  It will apply to non-EU qualified managers, specialists and graduate trainees temporarily assigned from an entity outside the European Union to an entity in the same corporate group in Luxembourg for a period of over 90 days. The ICT Permit will extend the duration of allowable stay in ICT status to three years but will introduce stricter rules for the previous experience requirement and a cooling-off period between assignments.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Bahrain, March 21, 2017
Temporary Work Permits No Longer Available

Employers in Bahrain can no longer apply for a temporary work permit, as the category has been discontinued by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority. Employers that require short-term employment authorisation should now apply for a Work Visa and Residence Permit, which affects the employment quota and takes longer to process, instead of a temporary work permit.

To view entire article, click here.

 

India, March 21, 2017
Intern Visa Category Introduced

India has introduced a new Intern Visa category for foreign nationals seeking to intern in corporations, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations.  It will be issued for the duration of the internship or one year, whichever is shorter.  The category is subject to an annual quota and corporate internships are subject to a minimum annual salary requirement.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, March 20, 2017
Article 50 to be Triggered March 29

Prime Minister Theresa May will formally notify the European Union of the United Kingdom's departure on March 29, 2017, triggering the two-year Article 50 process.

To view entire article, click here.

 

China, March 17, 2017
New Work Authorization Policy to Commence Early in Shanghai

The Shanghai Expert Bureau announced on March 15, 2017 that the new Unified Work Authorization Policy due to commence throughout China on April 1, 2017 will commence in Shanghai on March 27, 2017.  Employers needing to sponsor foreign workers in Shanghai after March 27, 2017 must be registered with the Shanghai Expert Bureau. Clients who have not yet registered should do so as soon as possible. Other Chinese cities are expected to implement the new Unified Work Authorization Policy for all application types in coming weeks. Under the new system, employers can expect significantly longer processing times, additional complexities and extra documentation requirements for a majority of Work Permit Card applications.  

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Colombia: Change in Job Title/Position Requires New TP-4 Visa – Following a change in a foreign national's job title/position, the employer and foreign national should apply for a new  TP-4 Visa showing the new job title and update the Temporary Professional Permit, if applicable, within 30 calendar days.  Subject to the discretion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, failure to comply may lead to fines ranging from half to fifteen times the minimum salary threshold.  The Ministry has the discretion to issue a permit (salvoconducto) that authorizes the foreign national to remain in Colombia until the new visa is granted, or requires him or her to exit the country and re-enter the country to process the visa.

Nigeria: New Immigration Regulations Criminalize Prohibited Employer Activities – New regulations have been published that provide the legal framework for the implementation of the Immigration Act 2015 and replace all previous immigration laws. The regulations consolidate existing immigration regulations but do not change existing transactional immigration processes or implement new responsibilities for employers of foreign workers. Instead, the rules set criminal penalties for employers that do not comply with already-existing rules under the Immigration Act, among other regulations. The new rules reiterate that employers are responsible for ensuring that foreign employees comply with immigration laws.  Noncomplying employers are subject to penalties outlined in the Immigration Act 2015. Other key provisions of the new regulations include the following:

·    Establishment of the directorate of migration, and a division for irregular and irregular migration;
·    Registration of foreign nationals entering the country;
·    Criminalization of the smuggling of migrants;
·    Enhancement of internal security;
·    Streamlining of business travel; and
·    Reduction of work permit processing times.

Fragomen will report on further details of the regulations in an upcoming alert.

Panama: New Cooling-Off Period in Effect – Effective immediately, foreign nationals in tourist or business visitor status who have not applied for a work or residence permit and who spend five months or more in the country, will be required to remain outside Panama for at least one month before returning. Previously, a short trip abroad to gain another stay under tourist or business status was allowed. The new rule does not apply to those with a Residence Permit in process. Affected travelers should contact their immigration professional for more details on the new policy.

United Kingdom: Dependants No Longer Subject to Residency Requirement – The UK government has confirmed that, unlike main applicants, dependants of foreign nationals under the Points-Based System are not subject to the requirement to reside in the United Kingdom for at least 185 days per year to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain, according to a statement of changes published March 16, 2017. The requirement was added into the immigration rules on November 24, 2016, but has not been applied in practice. The rules will change to reflect this on April 6, 2017.

 

Global Immigration News Links

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has directed U.S. diplomatic missions to identify "populations warranting increased scrutiny" and toughen screening for visa applicants in those groups, Reuters reports.

Australia saw a growth rate faster than almost any other country in the OECD group of nations, except New Zealand, due in large part to increased immigration, according to The Australian.

France’s top five presidential candidates clarified their differences on issues ranging from immigration to the European Union in their first televised debate, 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.

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.