Virginia, US

Nov 18 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: November 11 - 17, 2016

Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, United States

In United States immigration news this week, USCIS published a new rule that is intended to ease restrictions on job mobility for foreign workers awaiting employment-based permanent residence. The new rule, which  takes effect on January 17, 2017, also establishes grace periods for nonimmigrant workers before and after their employment, and provides automatic work authorization extensions to adjustment applicants and certain other classes of foreign nationals who have timely filed for renewal of an employment authorization document.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new version of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form which will become mandatory on January 22, 2017. Until that time, employers may use either the current version or the new version.

In Canada, effective November 19, 2016, permanent residence candidates applying through the Express Entry program will be subject to a new scoring system.

In the Netherlands, an EU Intracompany Transferee Permit will become available on November 29 for qualified foreign managers, specialists and trainees who are sent from a company outside the EU to a company in the Netherlands in the same corporate group. These companies will no longer be able to use the Knowledge Migrant Scheme for such transfers.

In Belgium, the minimum base salary for several work permit categories will increase on January 1, 2017.

These items and other news from Argentina, the European Union, Peru, Singapore, Thailand and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, November 17, 2016
New USCIS Regulation Eases Job Portability for Employer-Sponsored Foreign Workers

With some limitations, the new regulation affords greater job flexibility to foreign nationals awaiting employment-based permanent residence and to nonimmigrants.  It also provides for the automatic extension of work authorization for adjustment applicants and certain other classes of foreign nationals who have filed a timely application to renew an employment authorization document.  The regulation is set to take effect on January 17, 2017.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, November 15, 2016
USCIS Releases New Edition of Form I-9

USCIS has released a new “smart” PDF version of Form I-9,containing embedded instructions and drop-down menus of acceptable verification documents. The new form, which remains paper-based despite smart functionality, will become mandatory on January 22, 2017.  Until then, employers may use either the current version or the new version.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, November 14, 2016
December Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to Honor Filing Dates for EB-1 through EB-4, Final Action Dates for EB-5

In December, USCIS will accept employment-based first through fourth preference category adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is current for filing under the State Department's December Visa Bulletin . The agency will accept employment-based fifth preference adjustment applications from foreign nationals whose priority date is current for final action.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Belgium, November 17, 2017
New Minimum Salary Levels Announced for Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia

On January 1, 2017, the minimum base salary for several work permit categories will increase in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia. The minimum base salary will increase to EUR 40,124 annually for Type "B" work permits, to EUR 66,942 annually for executives and to EUR 51,882 annually for EU Blue Card holders. Foreign nationals applying for work permits as trainees and specialized technicians are exempt from these minimum salary requirements.

To view entire article, click here.

 

European Union, November 16, 2016
Travel Information and Authorization System Proposal Published

The European Commission has published a proposal for a European Travel Information and Authorization System, an electronic database that will help to determine the eligibility of visa-exempt third-country nationals entering the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. The proposal will be debated by the European Parliament and the Council and the system is expected to be fully operational by 2020.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Singapore, November 15, 2016
New Requirement for Employment Pass Holders Seeking Appointment as Director of Related Company

The Ministry of Manpower now requires that an employer seeking to appoint an Employment Pass (EP) holder currently sponsored by another parent, subsidiary, or shareholder company must obtain a Letter of Consent (LOC) before the appointment. Employers of a board member who already holds an EP must submit an LOC application to the Ministry of Manpower.

To view entire article, click here.

 

The Netherlands, November 15, 2016
EU Intracompany Transferee Permit to be Implemented on November 29

On November 29, an EU Intracompany Transferee Permit will become available for qualified foreign managers, specialists and trainees who are sent from a company outside the EU to a company in the Netherlands in the same corporate group. These companies will no longer be able to use the Knowledge Migrant Scheme for such transfers. This new permit is related to a 2014 EU Directive aimed at harmonizing immigration rules for intracompany transferees.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, November 11, 2016
New Express Entry Scoring System Means Faster Selection for Labour Market Impact Assessment-Exempt Work Permit Holders

On or after November 19, 2016, permanent residence candidates applying through the Express Entry program will be subject to a new scoring system. As a result, labour market impact assessment-exempt work permit holders such as intracompany transferees and those who graduated from a qualifying Canadian educational program will be eligible for faster selection under the program.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Argentina: Visa Exemption for Canadian Business Visitors – On or after December 1, 2016, Canadian nationals will be visa-exempt for business visits for up to 90 days, renewable for another 90-day period. Upon entering Argentina under business or tourist status (for which they are already visa-exempt), Canadian nationals will need to show proof of payment of the reciprocity fee.  This fee is subject to change and must be paid online prior to entry. Canadian nationals with questions about the new policy should contact their immigration professional.

Peru: Document Requirements Relaxed for Work Permits Work permit applicants no longer have to submit their legalized professional degrees or certificates, or a legalized copy of their and any dependents’ return ticket. Additionally, instead of an affidavit stating that the proposed hire falls within the mandatory ratios of local to foreign workers, the host company must submit an affidavit indicating that the employee’s employment contract fulfils Peruvian legal conditions and that the employee has the training or work experience required. All other documentary requirements remain the same.

Thailand: New Fee Imposed on Applications Filed with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand – The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has started requiring government fees for work permit and visa applications filed by companies under the IEAT process. These applications were previously processed without a fee. The new fees are in addition to those required by the Immigration Department and Employment Department. The following are details for the news fees:

     1. THB 200 (approximately USD 6) per principal applicant or dependent’s application for the use of Electronic Permission and Privilege.
     2. THB 2,000 (approximately USD 57) per each of an employee’s new and renewal work permit and visa applications; and
     3. THB 2,000 (approximately USD 57) for each dependent’s visa application.

 

Global Immigration News Links

Mayors of several U.S. cities have pledged to remain immigrant sanctuaries.

Computerworld speculates that Donald Trump’s election as the U.S. president sets the stage for reforms to the H-1B nonimmigrant visa category.

UK business leaders have outlined their vision of a London-only visa that would allow them to maintain access to foreign labor, the Financial Times reports.

The number of workers in the United Kingdom from eight eastern European Union countries increased following the Brexit referendum, official estimates suggest.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

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