Virginia, US

Jun 03 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: May 27 - June 2, 2016

Algeria, Bahrain, Canada, France, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates

In immigration news this week, Canada has enforced additional special measures to support foreign nationals affected by the Alberta wildfires.  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada conducted its 35th Express Entry draw; the number of invitations remains low, as in the past few recent draws.  The intake period for Quebec's Skilled Worker Program will open on June 13.

In Switzerland, nationals of Bulgaria and Romania under a local Swiss employment contract will be exempt from Swiss labor market rules effective June 1. 

In the European Union, foreign nationals who study at EU universities or conduct research at EU research organizations will, by May 2018, be able to work or study in other EU countries and seek employment or set up a business after the completion of their studies or research project.  

Employers in Singapore seeking to perform work pass-related transactions, including submission of Employment Pass and S Pass applications, will be required to use a new online verification process starting July 5.  In Indonesia, foreign nationals renewing their long-term work permits will need to provide proof of enrollment in Indonesia's social security, healthcare and insurance programs and an Indonesian tax card.

In the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and parts of Asia, foreign nationals and their employers can expect immigration processing delays from the beginning of June through the end of July during the observance of Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr. 

These items and other news from France, Poland, Thailand and Turkey follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.



Important Updates in Immigration This Week

Canada, June 2, 2016
Quebec Skilled Worker Program Intake Period to Open June 13

The intake period for Quebec's Skilled Worker Program will open on June 13, 2016 at 8:30am EST. The first 5,000 candidates with an online Mon projet Québec account will be able to submit an application for a Certificate of Selection under the program.

To view entire article, click here.


Canada, June 2, 2016
Latest Express Entry Draw Remains Low

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 762 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.


Thailand, June 1, 2016
Shorter Processing Times for Regular Work Permit Applications

Work Permit applicants with pre-work permit approval letters will see a reduced processing time. In addition, applicants must now collect their Work Permit booklet on a date scheduled by the labour officer, or face potential rejection of their application.

To view entire article, click here.


Switzerland, May 31, 2016
Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals to be Exempt from Labor Market Rules

On or after June 1, 2016, nationals of Bulgaria and Romania under a local Swiss employment contract will no longer be subject to Swiss labor market rules such as a labor market test, salary and working condition checks and the foreign national quota system.  

To view entire article, click here


Indonesia, May 30, 2016
Work Permit Extension Requirements Enforced

Foreign nationals seeking to renew their long-term work permits will need to show proof of enrollment in Indonesia's social security, healthcare and insurance programs and an Indonesian tax card. Employers are reminded to make these arrangements for their foreign employees as soon as possible to avoid delays with the renewal process.

To view entire article, click here


Canada, May 27, 2016
Foreign Nationals Affected by Alberta Wildfires Eligible for Additional Special Measures

Additional special measures are now in place to support those affected by the Alberta wildfires, including a work permit extension grace period, expedited processing options and the waiving of certain fees and requirements for visitors, workers and students. The government has established a dedicated email address for those with related inquiries.

To view entire article, click here


Singapore, May 27, 2016
Employers Seeking Work Passes Subject to New Online Verification System

On or after July 5, 2016, employers seeking to perform work pass-related transactions, including submission of Employment Pass and S Pass applications, will be required to use a new online verification process meant to secure personal information online. Employers who fail to register for the system on time will likely face work pass processing delays since their online access will be blocked.

To view entire article, click here


European Union, May 27, 2016
Relaxed Rules for Researchers and Students Forthcoming

Entry and residence rules for foreign nationals who study at EU universities or conduct research at research organizations will be relaxed in the European Union (excluding Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom) by May 2018, as a result of the recent adoption of the revised Student and Researchers Directive.  Notably, researchers and students will be able to work or study in other EU countries and seek employment or set up a business after the completion of their research project or studies.

To view entire article, click here


Worldwide, May 27, 2016
Immigration Processing Delays Expected During Ramadan

Foreign nationals and their employers can expect immigration processing delays from the beginning of June through the end of July in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and parts of Asia during the observance of Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr. Many government offices worldwide reduce their hours and/or close during Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr. Processing delays could continue in the weeks following Ramadan, due to application backlogs that accumulate during the closures.

To view entire article, click here



Other Immigration News This Week

France: New Secondment Declaration Form to Replace Current Form – Employers that send employees to France on short- or long-term work assignments must use new secondment declaration forms on or after June 15, 2016.  The new form requires additional details regarding the home company, host company and the seconded employee.  Secondment declaration requirements apply to all employees on home payroll and under a foreign employment contract.  Employers should contact their immigration provider to start gathering the new information required on the new form.

Poland: Work Permit Appointment Delays in Warsaw Require Earlier Application Submission – Foreign nationals submitting work permit applications in Warsaw can expect delays and extended processing times due to internal process changes.  For example, the Gdansk and Wroclaw offices are experiencing 90 day delays beyond the normal processing time.  Applicants should take these delays into consideration when considering their travel plans and start dates. 

Work permit renewal applicants in Warsaw should schedule an appointment to submit their application at least 80 calendar days prior to the expiry of their work permit due to the delays. Failure to submit a renewal application prior to expiry of the current permit can result in a loss of work authorization rights until a new work permit is obtained, which can take 90 days or more.

Turkey: Discretionary Residence Permit Document Apostille Rule Implemented – Foreign nationals filing residence permit applications in Istanbul do not have to submit apostilled supporting documents despite an announcement from the Interior Ministry of Turkey, according to the Migration Directorate of Istanbul. Issuing offices outside Istanbul have discretion to implement apostille rules (for example, the Balikesir office is requiring apostilled documents); therefore, applicants should check with the issuing office prior to filing.  Fragomen can assist with the apostille process where it is required. Additional fees may apply for such services.



Global Immigration News Links

The United States is struggling to admit the 10,000 Syrian migrants it promised to resettle by the fall, the New York Times reports. 

Nineteen people involved in the production and shipping of thousands of fake European Union passports were arrested in Greece and the Czech Republic.

Immigration is one of the key battlegrounds in the UK referendum debate and the focus of an open letter to David Cameron that argues the government's pledge to get migration below 100,000 was unachievable.

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.