Virginia, US

Oct 30 2015

Fragomen Immigration Update: October 23 - 29, 2015

Canada, Chile, Colombia, European Union, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Israel, Poland, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States
In United States immigration news this week, registration for the fiscal year 2017 Diversity Visa lottery ends on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at noon EST. Entrants must submit their online registration forms and accompanying digital photographs at the State Department’s official lottery website.
 
Israel extended the validity of the short-term work permit from 30 to 45 days, according to an announcement from  the Work Permit Unit and the Ministry of Interior. 
 
The British Embassy in Abu Dhabi has introduced Business Select, a streamlined UK business visa program for companies based in the United Arab Emirates. Participation in the program is by invitation only.
 
Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced the Employer Portal, a mandatory electronic system for Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt foreign workers, to be used by employers immediately. The nineteenth Express Entry draw was also conducted in Canada. Applicants invited to apply for permanent residence included some who did not obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment or Provincial Nomination certificate. 
 
South Africa has eased application procedures for foreign nationals who must apply in person for South African visas and clarified exit and entry rules for those traveling with minors.
 
The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower issued an amended regulation that reverses most of the controversial new requirements issued in July, including the removal of the local to foreign worker ratio and the rule for non-resident directors and commissioners to obtain a work permit. 
 
These items and other news from Chile, Colombia, the European Union, France, Georgia, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.
 
 
Important Updates in Immigration This Week
 
United States, October 27, 2015
Reminder: FY 2017 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Ends November 3
 
Entrants have until Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at noon EST to submit their online registration forms and accompanying digital photographs at the State Department's official lottery website.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Canada, October 29, 2015
New Online Employer Portal Should be Used Immediately
 
On October 26, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced a mandatory electronic system for Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt foreign workers, the Employer Portal.  Official guidance suggests that employers should begin using the Employer Portal and should not continue to use the old paper-based form.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Georgia, October 28, 2015
Stricter Residence Permit Requirements to be Implemented for Employers
 
Employers with foreign workers who require residence permits must submit information on each foreign worker to the Social Service Agency within 30 days of the signing of an employment contract and must abide by stricter rules regarding employment contract language, according to a new rule in effect November 1, 2015.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Turkey, October 28, 2015
Delays Continue on Dependents’ Online Residence Permit Appointment System
 
Foreign nationals whose dependents are seeking an appointment for residence permit application submission can expect to encounter errors on the online system, as delays and backlogs for filing residence permit applications continue.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
South Africa, October 28, 2015
Work Permit Applications Delayed at South African Mission in India
 
Foreign nationals submitting work permit applications in India during the past two months have experienced significant processing delays due to the absence of the adjudicator of the Mumbai South African Mission in India.  Services at the New Delhi Mission are also delayed. Processing times at both offices are over 100 days in some cases.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Indonesia, October 28, 2015
Most New Work Permit Policies Reversed
 
The Ministry of Manpower has removed the local-to-foreign-worker ratio and the requirement for non-resident directors and commissioners to obtain work permits.  The amended regulation also allows foreign nationals to conduct training, make speeches or attend seminars or meetings with local offices in Indonesia without a work permit.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
South Africa, October 27, 2015
Amendment Brings Eased Visa Application Methods and Clearer Child Travel Rules
 
An amendment brings eased application methods for foreign nationals required to apply in person for South African visas and clarifies exit and entry rules for those traveling with minors. Additionally, the Department of Home Affairs is considering implementing various streamlined visa programs.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Israel, October 26, 2015
Short-Term Work Permit Validity Extended
 
The validity of the Short Employment Authorization (SEA) has been extended from 30 to 45 days per calendar year. Other features of the SEA visa program will remain unchanged. Temporary regulations for the program have been published and will remain valid until July 31, 2016.
 
To view entire article, click here
 
 
United Arab Emirates, October 26, 2015
Streamlined UK Business Visa Program Introduced for Select Companies
 
The British Embassy in Abu Dhabi has introduced a streamlined new visa program designed to facilitate the UK business visitor visa process for eligible organizations with more than 40 employees based in the United Arab Emirates. The scheme is for organizations that have operated in the United Arab Emirates for at least 18 months that send employees to the United Kingdom for business purposes on a regular basis. Companies must be invited to participate. 
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Canada, October 23, 2015
Latest Round of Express Entry Program Selections Show Ongoing Selection Flexibility
 
Citizenship and Immigration Canada conducted the nineteenth Express Entry draw, with 1,502 candidates invited to apply for permanent residence, including candidates who have not obtained a Labour Market Impact Assessment or Provincial Sponsorship.
 
To view entire article, click here.
 
 
Other Immigration News This Week
 
Chile: Civil Registry Strike Delays Issuance of Identification Cards – Due to an ongoing strike at the Civil Registry office in Chile, foreign nationals seeking to register their residence and obtain or renew a identification card (cedula) are experiencing delays. However, as long as foreign nationals who are required to register with the police do so within 30 days of the issuance of their visa, they will not be subject to fines for not having updated identification cards. Additionally, since a valid identification card is usually required to travel in and out of Chile, the government has instructed the police to allow foreign nationals to enter and exit as long as they have registered with the police and if they can provide evidence of a valid visa or residence card.  
 
Colombia: Eased Citizenship for Children Born to Foreign Nationals – Children born in Colombia to foreign parents can now obtain Colombian citizenship as long as at least one of the parents had a valid work or residence visa at the time of the birth, according to a judgment by the Colombian Constitutional Court. The Court ruled that the previous position – that legal permanence could only be proven by a Residence Visa – was unconstitutional. Foreign parents of children born in Colombia can request Resident Visas in Colombia once the child obtains a Colombian passport. Due to the new procedures and guidelines, inconsistency in the authorities' application of the law is expected, and requirements and processing times are subject to change.
 
European Union: Border Controls Ruled Compliant with Schengen Borders Code – The European Commission has found that the reintroduction of border controls by Germany and Austria in September was compliant with the Schengen Borders Code. In its Opinion, the Commission recognized that the decisions were motivated by a security threat caused by the extraordinary influx of asylum seekers, and therefore found the temporary measures to have been justified. The Commission will publish a separate Opinion regarding Hungary's decision to temporarily reintroduce border controls at its border with Slovenia.
 
France: Blacklist Implemented for Companies Violating Immigration Laws – The names and information of employers hiring foreign employees without the appropriate work permits or violating other immigration rules in France will be published on an online blacklist maintained by the Labor Ministry, according to a new law. The listing will be made public for up to two years, as determined by the Labor Ministry. Employers can only have their name and information removed or modified by court decision. Employers should consult with their immigration professional to ensure they are complying with all French immigration and labor rules to avoid being placed on the blacklist.
 
Poland: Warsaw Labor Office Requires Job Posting Before Special Permission Application – Employers applying for Special Permission at the labor office in Warsaw must now also post a job advertisement at the labor office at least seven days prior to submitting the Special Permission application. Other cities in Poland will still process Special Permission applications based solely on the declaration of intention to employ a foreign national. Nationals of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine can work in Poland without a work permit for up to six months in a twelve-month period as long as the employer applies for Special Permission at the local labor office and declares an intention to employ the foreign worker.  Employers applying in Warsaw are advised to consult with their immigration professional prior to submitting a Special Permission application.
 
Sweden: Migration Agency Delays Require Early Case Initiation – Due to the large number of asylum-seekers arriving in Sweden, immigration services will be delayed beyond the average processing time of five to ten business days for the next six months. The average processing time for initial filing is expected to increase to four to five weeks. Extension application processing is expected to take approximately six weeks due to the prioritization of initial applications. Foreign nationals should initiate work and residence permit applications three to four months ahead of the start date. Employers are reminded not to send foreign workers on work assignments lasting less than four months, since four months is the minimum duration of a work and residence permit in Sweden.
 
 
Global Immigration News Links
 
Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) who was confirmed as the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has signed a letter promising that he will not bring immigration reform legislation to the House floor while President Obama remains in office, according to the National Review. 
 
California this year passed measures to help undocumented immigrants by improving their access to health care, opposing discrimination and enabling more people to apply for legal status, the New York Times reports.
 
Nepali travelers will now have the ability to choose a third gender option for their passports, with the addition of “O” for “Other.”
 
 
This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.