Virginia, US

Oct 21 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: October 14 - 20, 2016

Austria, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, United States

In United States immigration news this week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has determined that it 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 November Visa Bulletin. The agency will accept employment-based fifth preference adjustment applications from foreign nationals whose priority date is current for final action.

In Canada, 1,804 candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence in its 45th Express Entry draw; the minimum qualifying score for this draw was 475.

China’s State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs released policy guidelines for the Unified Work Authorization Application, which has been designed to attract highly-skilled foreign nationals, streamline the application process, increase transparency and improve data sharing schemes. Implementation details for the three different categories of foreign applicants are expected to be released in the near future.

In Austria, employers based in the European Union/European Economic Area or Switzerland sending employees on assignment to Austria must appoint a document maintenance and information agent by January 1, 2017, according to a new law.

New Zealand has restricted the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa eligibility criteria and increased the points threshold for selection.

These items and other news from Japan, Sweden, Thailand and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

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

In November, 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 November 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.

 

Austria, October 20, 2016
EU Employers Must Appoint Document Agent by January 1

Employers based in the European Union/European Economic Area or Switzerland sending employees on assignment to Austria must appoint a document maintenance and information agent by January 1, 2017. Employers must disclose the appointed agent at the beginning of every project, or at the latest with the first KIAB/ZKO filing that has a validity period on or after January 1, 2017.

To view entire article, click here.

 

China, October 20, 2016
Further Information on Unified Work Authorization Application Policy

The government has released policy guidelines for the Unified Work Authorization Application, including more web-based services, a points-based eligibility system and different application processes depending on whether applicants are working on- or off-shore. Further implementation details for the three different categories of foreign applicants are expected to be released in the near future.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, October 19, 2016
More Invitations Issued in Latest Express Entry Draw

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will invite 1,804 candidates to apply for permanent residence in its most recent Express Entry draw. The minimum qualifying score for this draw is 475.

To view entire article, click here.

 

New Zealand, October 14, 2016
Skilled Migrant Residence Visa Eligibility Criteria Restricted

The Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa eligibility criteria has been restricted, including an increase in the points threshold for selection and a requirement for some applicants to complete formal tests to prove their knowledge of the English language.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

United States: Latest PWD Processing Times – As of October 1, 2016, the Department of Labor is issuing prevailing wage determinations (PWD) for PERM and H-1B requests filed in June 2016, and H-2B requests filed in September 2016. The agency has been processing PERM redeterminations requested in June 2016 and H-1B redeterminations requested in July 2016, and PERM and H-1B center director reviews requested in August 2016.

PWD processing times are available on the iCERT home page.

Japan: Trusted Traveler Program to Offer Expedited Entry and Exit Procedures – The Japan Immigration Bureau will launch a Trusted Traveler Program on November 1, 2016 at Chubu, Haneda, Kansai and Narita Airports. The program will expand the use of the automated gates to qualified travelers who are members of the program. The automated gates offer expedited entry and exit without the need for an inspection with an immigration officer. To qualify, travelers will have to meet requirements such as frequent visits to Japan and having never been subject to a deportation order, among other requirements.

Interested travelers can submit an application form and supporting documents on the Immigration Bureau website before arrival. Upon arrival, they will undergo an immigration inspection, provide their fingerprints and other personal identification information and submit their original supporting documents. Once the applicant is approved, the Immigration Bureau will register him or her for automated gate use and will issue a Registered User Card.

Sweden: Work and Residence Permit Applications Delayed – The Swedish Migration Agency has reported increased processing times for work and residence permit applications due to the influx of asylum seekers. Foreign nationals should expect a one- to two-month delay for initial applications and a two- to three-month (or more) delay for permit extension applications. Those who have held a work permit in Sweden in the last seven years should expect a two- to three-month (or more) delay. Applicants and employers should take these delays into consideration and should apply for work permits and extensions far ahead of time.

Thailand: Travel Advisory Issued for Foreign Nationals – Due to the observance of an official one-year mourning period for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej that started on October 14, 2016, the government may restrict access to entertainment, including restaurants, bars and shopping areas in the coming months. Due to strict decency laws in Thailand, perceived insults or ridicule of the monarchy are considered a serious offense and may be investigated by the police. Foreign nationals are advised that their conduct and dress could be subject to heightened scrutiny during the mourning period if it is considered inappropriate.

 

Global Immigration News Links

In the final U.S. presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump argued their positions on immigration – the first time immigration was addressed in the debate series.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has tasked a team of ministers with curbing immigration, including through a “targeted visa system,” Reuters reports.

The birth rate in Germany has risen to its highest level in more than three decades, fueled largely by immigration.

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.