Virginia, US

Mar 31 2017

Fragomen Immigration Update - March 24 - 30, 2017

Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ghana, India, Israel, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela

In United States immigration news this week, visa applicants will face closer questioning and more security checks under new State Department procedures.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, beginning the United Kingdom's exit process from the European Union. Any proposed legislation will not come into effect until the exit process is complete. The UK government has also published a White Paper on The Great Repeal Bill, detailing the government's approach to converting existing EU law into UK domestic law post separation.

A new decree in Peru codifies the changes resulting from a law implemented earlier this month, clarifies the rules for the Temporary Appointed Worker Visa and Residence for Appointed Worker Visa categories, and implements changes.

Nigeria has issued regulations to implement the 2015 Immigration Act and consolidate existing immigration rules. The regulations set criminal penalties for employers who do not comply with already-existing rules under the Immigration Act, and provide details on Business Permits, the Spousal Residence Permit, and a new investment visa pathway, among other changes.

These items and other news from Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ghana, India, Israel, Mozambique, New Zealand and Venezuela follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, March 24, 2017
State Department Orders Greater Scrutiny of Visa Applicants
Visa applicants will face closer questioning and more security checks under new State Department procedures. Longer waits for visa appointments and issuance are likely.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, March 30, 2017
The Great Repeal Bill White Paper Published

Following the triggering of Article 50, the UK Government has published a White Paper on The Great Repeal Bill, detailing the government's approach to converting existing EU law into UK domestic law post separation.  It has also published a guidance document that emphasises that giving maximum legal certainty to businesses, workers and investors is a priority as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Peru, March 30, 2017
Decree Codifies and Clarifies Law Implementing New Immigration Categories

A new decree effective immediately codifies the changes resulting from a law implemented earlier this month, clarifies the rules for the Temporary Appointed Worker Visa and Residence for Appointed Worker Visa categories, and implements changes. A communication containing guidelines and directives regarding the changes is expected within approximately 60 days.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, March 29, 2017
Article 50 Triggered Today

As expected, the Prime Minister has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, beginning the United Kingdom's exit process from the European Union. According to the Prime Minister's speech, though the United Kingdom intends to remain an open and tolerant country, there will likely be stricter measures that will control the number of immigrants entering the United Kingdom. Any proposed legislation will not come into effect until the exit process is complete.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Nigeria, March 28, 2017
New Regulations Implement 2015 Immigration Act

Nigerian immigration authorities have issued regulations to implement the 2015 Immigration Act and to consolidate existing immigration rules. The regulations do not change existing transactional immigration processes or implement new responsibilities for employers of foreign workers, but instead set criminal penalties for employers that do not comply with already-existing rules under the Immigration Act.  The new regulations provide details on Business Permits, the Spousal Residence Permit, a new investment visa pathway,  an expanded visa-on-arrival and a new registration requirement for foreign nationals, among other changes.

To view entire article, click here.

 

India, March 27, 2017
Biometric Requirement Implemented in Pune

Foreign nationals submitting various immigration applications at the Foreigners' Registration Office (FRO) in Pune must complete biometric formalities, effective immediately. This process may be implemented across other Foreigners Regional Registration Offices and FROs in India in phases.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Israel, March 24, 2017
Short-Term Work Permit Applications Rejected for In-Country B-2 Visa Holders

The Ministry of Interior announced this week that short-term work visa applications (SEA B-1 Work Visas) for B-2 Visitor Visa holders already in Israel will be rejected automatically without refunding government submission fees.  B-2 visa holders already in Israel who seek to apply for an SEA visa should depart Israel and have their sponsor apply for the visa while they are abroad.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Colombia: End of Assignment Notifications Require Visa Cancellation Process – Although the end of assignment notification filed before the Sistema de Información para el Reporte de Extranjeros (SIRE) completes an employer's obligation for visa cancellation, foreign nationals with visas sponsored by a Colombian company and their dependents must additionally complete a visa annulment (anulación) process before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The process entails presenting the original passports and the employee’s end of assignment notification (desvinculación) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and requesting that the visas be marked as cancelled. Within 30 calendar days, the employee must either request a new visa or depart the country.

Those who fail to annul their visa may face difficulties in applying for a new Colombian visa in the future. Those who fail to annul their visa and depart and re-enter while the visa is still active will be automatically admitted to Colombia under their former visa category.  If this occurs, foreign nationals will need to complete a correction process before applying for a new visa. Fragomen can assist with the annulment process with a duly notarized Power of Attorney.

Czech Republic: Quota for Fast Track Applicants Met – The annual quota of 100 positions for Fast Track applications has been met for 2017. Employers included in the Fast Track project can continue to submit their applications to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI); however, the decision to include new applications will be made on a case-by-case basis at the MOI's discretion. The next quota of 100 positions will be available in January 2018. Eligible foreign nationals should contact their immigration professional for more information.

Denmark: Pay Limit and Other Applications Delayed – Pay Limit and Fast Track application processing (except Fast Track quick job permits) is delayed and is currently taking five weeks, instead of the standard four weeks.  Additionally, processing times for dependents’ applications and work residence permit extensions are also delayed past the standard processing times of two and three months, respectively (and possibly longer).

Ghana: Case Processing Delayed at Ghana Immigration Services – Foreign nationals in Ghana may face immigration processing delays following the appointment of a new head and deputy of Ghana Immigration Services. Employers and employees should take the delays into consideration when planning start dates.

Israel: On-Site Inspections to Increase – The National Immigration Authority plans to increase on-site inspections at multi-national companies that employ third-party employees at client sites and sites with large number of contracts.  To ensure compliance with immigration laws, employers should review the immigration status of all contractors and sub-contractors, as well as the activities of business travelers in Israel. Employers should maintain the following reports and immigration documents at the worksite:

  • List of all foreign nationals employed in Israel;
  • Copies of visas in the foreign national’s passport;
  • Copies of payroll slips for the last three months;
  • Copies of valid contracts of employment;
  • Copies of health insurance certificates; and
  • Proof of adequate housing for foreign nationals.

Employers should contact their immigration professional if they are advised of an upcoming audit. Fragomen worked closely with Kan-Tor & Acco Law Firm (Israel) to prepare this update.

Mozambique: Employee List Required for Immigration Compliance – Mozambican companies must submit their annual list of employees through an online portal or by hard copy to the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security between April 1 - 30, 2017. The list must include all nationals and foreign nationals employed as of March 31, 2017. Failure to comply will impact approvability of future long-term work permit applications and renewals. Employers requiring assistance should contact their immigration professional or Africainfo@fragomen.com.

New Zealand: Minimum Salary Level Increased – On or after April 1, 2017, Essential Skills Work Visa applicants with accompanying dependents must meet the minimum salary threshold of NZD 37,090.68 gross per year, an increase from the current requirement of NZD 36,850.44.  This increased minimum salary level complies with the Jobseeker Support and Accommodation Supplement rates and the Family Tax Credit rate for one child.  Employers of foreign workers whose Essential Skills Work Visa applications are pending on April 1 should raise the minimum salary for the applicant to comply with the new requirement.

Venezuela: Potential Delays in Document Legalization Process – A change in the Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could result in potential delays in the document legalization process, which typically takes 30 to 45 business days. Fragomen will report additional information as developments occur. Affected employers and foreign nationals should contact their immigration professional for further information.

 

Global Immigration News Links

A federal judge in Hawaii has granted the state's request for a longer-term halt of President Trump's revised travel ban executive order, CNN reports.

Immigrants are responsible for nearly half of U.S. population growth and a sizable part of growth in the U.S. labor force.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions urged sanctuary cities to comply with federal immigration detention requests or risk losing billions in federal grant funding.

Brexit Secretary David Davis acknowledged that Britain’s cap on migrants from the European Union post-Brexit was going to constantly change, at the government’s discretion. 

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.