Virginia, US

Nov 04 2016

Fragomen Immigration Update: October 28 - November 4, 2016

Botswana, Canada, France, India, Panama, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, United States

In United States immigration news this week, Fiscal Year 2018 Diversity Visa lottery entrants have until Monday, November 7, 2016 at noon EST to register online at the State Department's official lottery website.

The Canadian government plans to introduce a short-term work permit for intracompany transferees, international exchange students and experts, and reduce visa and work permit processing times.

In the United Kingdom, the Tier 2 ICT (Skills Transfer) category will close and salary thresholds will change, among other rule changes, effective November 24, 2016. In France, a short-term work permit exemption has been implemented for foreign nationals working in several types of activities, including those attending conferences, seminars and trade shows, among others.

Botswana has implemented stricter work permit documentary requirements, including a requirement to certify all supporting documents in their country of origin and to include more details in the employment contract and a more stringent corporate documentation requirement, among other changes.

These items and other news from Canada, France, India, Panama, South Africa, Spain and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, October 31, 2016
Reminder: FY 2018 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Ends November 7

Entrants have until Monday, November 7, 2016 at noon EST to register online at the State Department's official lottery website. Lottery applications must conform to the State Department's strict requirements.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, November 3, 2016
Closure of Tier 2 ICT (Skills Transfer) Category, Minimum Salary Modifications Among Forthcoming Changes

New rules effective on or after November 24, 2016 will include the closure of the Tier 2 ICT (Skills Transfer) category, changes to salary thresholds and new rules for overseas graduates of UK universities, among other changes.  There will be some transitional arrangements for the closure of the Tier 2 (Skills Transfer) category and minimum salary requirement changes.

To view entire article, click here.


France, November 3, 2016
Short-Term Work Permit Exemption Introduced

A short-term work permit exemption has been implemented for foreign nationals working in several types of activities, including those attending conferences, seminars and trade shows, those seconded to France to participate in audit, information technology, management, finance, insurance, architecture or engineering-related activities and those participating in cultural, artistic and scientific events. Rules and mandatory formalities regarding a secondment declaration and representative designation in France remain applicable. 

To view entire article, click here.


Canada, November 2, 2016
More Invitations Issued in Latest Express Entry Draw

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will invite 2,080 candidates to apply for permanent residence in its most recent Express Entry draw. The minimum qualifying score for this draw is 472.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Canada, November 2, 2016
Faster Work Permit and Visa Processing and New Short-Term Work Permit Program Proposed

To attract foreign investment and talent, the Canadian government plans to reduce visa and work permit processing times to two weeks. Additionally, the government plans to introduce a work permit exemption for intracompany transferees, international exchange students and experts entering Canada to work up to 30 days per year.

To view entire article, click here.

 

South Africa, October 31, 2016
New Biometrics Requirement Causes Delays Upon Arrival

Foreign nationals entering South Africa through any port of entry should expect delays up to four hours due to a new enhanced security measure that requires the capture of fingerprints and a photograph.

To view entire article, click here.

 

India, October 28, 2016
Short-Term Assignees Subject to New Tax Clearance Requirement in Gurgaon

Short-term assignees registered at the Foreigners' Registration Office in Gurgaon must contact their tax consultant to apply for a Tax Clearance Certificate prior to final departure and must have their special endorsement on the Residential Permit cleared, due to a new requirement. 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Botswana, October 28, 2016
Work Permit Documentation Requirements Restricted

Immigration authorities have implemented stricter work permit documentary requirements, including a requirement to certify all supporting documents in their country of origin, to include more details in the employment contract and a more stringent corporate documentation requirement, among other changes. Work permit applicants and their employers can expect delays as authorities will have to verify the new information in the application process.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

United States: DOL Issues Fourth Quarter Processing Statistics – The Department of Labor's latest quarterly processing statistics show that PERM processing decreased in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year in comparison to the third quarter. Some 29,908 PERM cases were processed to completion (either certified or denied) in the fourth quarter. Of these, just over 5 percent were denied. By comparison, 33,078 cases were processed to completion in the third quarter; of these, 4 percent were denied. Overall, processing decreased approximately 9.6 percent in the fourth quarter. The agency received 22,879 new filings in the fourth quarter, a 18.6 percent decrease from the third quarter.

DOL's latest quarterly statistics for prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) show that PWD requests for H-1Bs decreased and for PERMs slightly increased in Q4 of this fiscal year. The agency saw a decrease of 8 percent in PWD applications for H-1Bs and a 2.7 percent increase for PERMs. Overall, some 24,966 PWs were determined in the fourth quarter, an approximately 30 percent decrease from the previous quarter. By comparison, 35,593 PWs were determined in the third quarter.

France: New Consular Application Requirement for Talent Passport and Intracompany Transferees to Cause Delays – Foreign nationals seeking the new Talent Passport for skilled workers or an Intracompany Transferee visa must now apply at a French consular post in their country of residence, instead of in France. This will likely cause processing delays during the transition period. Affected foreign nationals should contact their immigration professional to discuss the new application process.

Panama: New Port of Entry Security System May Cause Delays – On November 2, 2016, Panama implemented a new security system called PISCES at Tocumen International Airport and at immigration checkpoints in Paso Canoas, Guabito and Meteti.  The system is designed to improve security measures and allows immigration officials to photograph and capture the fingerprints of residents and tourists who are entering the country for the first time. Panamanian temporary and permanent residents will no longer be able to use the line designated for Panamanian nationals and should expect delays upon entry.  For all subsequent entries, only fingerprints will be taken.

Spain: Online Application System Implemented for Work Permit Renewals – Employers can now submit work permit renewal applications through an online system and if choosing this option, can avoid having the company representative appear at the immigration office.  Applications submitted by mail still require a personal appearance by the company representative. Applications for Entrepreneurs Act work permits submitted by mail can still be filed with the legal representative's signed authorization, without the need for a personal appearance. Initial work permit applications still require the appearance of the company representative.

 

Global Immigration News Links

Canada will allow 300,000 immigrants to enter the country in 2017, the same as this year’s target despite a recommendation to increase the number to help economic growth.

Japan will allow more unskilled workers to enter temporarily, as companies struggle to fill positions in a country with the lowest unemployment rate among the Group of Seven nations.

The free movement of people was arguably the most controversial issue during the EU referendum campaign. Immigration remains a difficult issue for Labour and a concern for many of our voters.

The apparent collapse, and subsequent resurrection, of a free trade pact between Canada and the European Union last week might at first glance seem to be of little concern to Britain.

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.