Virginia, US

Nov 26 2014

Fragomen Immigration Update: November 21 - 26, 2014

Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Hungary, Ireland, Mozambique, Myanmar, United Kingdom, United States

In United States immigration news, President Obama announced a broad outline for administrative reform of the immigration system, with the goal of providing relief to the undocumented and to facilitate the hiring and retention of skilled foreign workers. The business immigration initiatives will in most cases require regulatory review and are likely to take several months or longer.

Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister has implemented changes to the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, including an increased penalty for misrepresenting immigration-related information, entry restrictions for foreign nationals convicted of serious offenses and their family members and expedited removal for foreign nationals convicted of serious offenses. 

Australia and China have completed negotiations for a Work and Holiday Visa program that will allow Chinese nationals to visit Australia for up to twelve months and work for up to six months during their visit. A free trade agreement between the two countries has also been proposed that would encourage trade and investment. 

In the United Kingdom, employers who contract out foreign nationals to work for third-party clients will likely see visa application processing delays and may have to provide copies of their end-client contracts. The Home Office now has expanded authority to request service contracts at the application stage and to deny applications where the foreign workers will be filling a routine role for the client.

These items and other news from Chile, Hungary, Ireland, Mozambique, and Myanmar follow in this early holiday edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update. 

Remember that the Immigration Update is available through both e-mail and Web version by clicking on "View as Web Page" above.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, November 21, 2014

President Announces Plans for Business Immigration, Removal Relief

The President has offered a collection of initiatives that, among other things, should permit earlier filing of employment-based adjustment of status applications, broaden employment authorization opportunities for STEM-degree graduates of U.S. institutions, and expand employment authorization for certain spouses of skilled nonimmigrants in line for a green card. Actions will also include an expansion of DACA relief and deferred action to certain parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Several of these proposals are only preliminary, and may change as they move through the process.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, November 25, 2014

Immigration Penalties Increased for Foreign Nationals Convicted of Serious Crimes

Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister has implemented changes to the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, including an increased penalty for misrepresenting immigration-related information, entry restrictions for foreign nationals convicted of serious offenses and their family members and expedited removal for foreign nationals convicted of serious offenses.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Australia/China, November 25, 2014

Work and Holiday Visa Finalized With China; Free Trade Agreement Proposes Streamlined Entry

Australia has completed negotiations for a Work and Holiday Visa program that will allow Chinese nationals to visit Australia for up to twelve months and work for up to six months during that time. A free trade agreement between the two countries has also been proposed that would encourage trade and investment. Lastly, an investment facilitation arrangement would allow Chinese companies undertaking large infrastructure projects in Australia to sponsor subclass 457 visas for a wider range of occupations.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, November 21, 2014

New Restrictions for Companies Placing Foreign Employees at Third-Party Client Sites

Employers who contract out foreign nationals to work for third-party clients will likely see visa application processing delays and may have to provide copies of their contracts. The Home Office now has expanded authority to request service contracts at the application stage and to deny applications where the foreign workers will be filling a routine role for the client.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

Chile: Issuance of Local Identification Cards and Police Records Suspended Due to Strike - Issuance of local identification cards and Chilean criminal record certifications is temporarily suspended due to a strike at several government offices (excluding the Immigration Department, which processes work visas, and the International Police, which processes work visa registrations).

Chilean citizens and foreign nationals residing in Chile will not be able to request vital records, such as birth and marriage certificates and local criminal record certificates until after the strike concludes. Foreign nationals with approved work visas will not be able to apply for local identification cards until the strike ends but can continue using their provisional identification card (RUT) for local transactions and can remain on local payroll if already enrolled. 

It is not yet known how long the strike will last, though initial reports indicate that it could end as early as next week. After the strike ends, processing delays can be expected. 

Hungary: Holiday Closures May Cause Delays - Hungarian immigration offices will be closed December 24-26, 2014 and January 1-2, 2015. Employers and foreign nationals should submit applications by mid-December, as there will be significant processing delays after that time. 

Ireland: Trusted Employer Program Postponed Until Early 2015 - The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has confirmed that the introduction of the Trusted Partners Scheme has been postponed until early 2015, from December 2014. The scheme is an accreditation program for sponsoring employers that is expected to reduce permit processing times and streamline the application process. 

Mozambique: Pre-Approval Requirement at Some Consulates May Cause Delays - Certain Mozambique embassies and consulates are requiring pre-approval from the Mozambique Immigration Service before approving entry and other visa applications. Foreign nationals applying at certain consulates may be required to submit their visa applications to the Immigration Service and await the Immigration Service to issue a pre-approval notice to the respective embassy or consulate. This extra step may cause delays of up to three weeks. It is recommended that foreign nationals contact the consulate or embassy at which they plan to apply to determine whether they are subject to this requirement. 

Myanmar: Permanent Residency Program Proposed – For the first time, the government of Myanmar has proposed a permanent residence program, which may be available the first week of December, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Immigration and Population. Foreign investors, scholars, experts, intellectuals, former Myanmar citizens, foreigners who married Myanmar citizens and foreign nationals with one parent from Myanmar will be eligible to apply for a five-year stay with the possibility of one five-year extension. Permanent residence application forms should be posted on the Ministry's website the first week of December. More information will be provided as details of the program become available.

 

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