Virginia, US

Aug 10 2018

Weekly Immigration Update: August 3 - 9, 2018

Australia, Belarus, China, France, Indonesia, Israel, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Saudi Arabia, Spain, United States

In United States immigration news this week, a federal district court has ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but has stayed its order for 20 days to allow DHS an opportunity to appeal, which the agency is expected to do.

According to the U.S. State Department's September Visa Bulletin, EB-2 and EB-3 will retrogress for most countries through September 30. On August 9, foreign students and exchange visitors who violate the terms of their status become subject to new rules on unlawful presence.

In Australia, starting August 12, Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa nomination applications must be accompanied by evidence of labour market testing that meets amended requirements, and nominating sponsors will be subject to a Skilling Australians Fund charge.

Residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao working in Mainland China will no longer be required to obtain a Work Permit under a policy that will soon become effective nationwide.

In Saudi Arabia, effective September, foreign nationals renewing their work permits will need to submit a tenancy agreement authenticated by the Ministry of Housing.

These items and other news from Belarus, France, Indonesia, Israel, South Korea, Spain and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, August 9, 2018
New Unlawful Presence Rules for Students and Exchange Visitors Take Effect

  • F, J, and M nonimmigrants who violate the terms of their nonimmigrant status on or after August 9, 2018 will begin accruing unlawful presence the day after the status violation occurs.
  • F, J, and M nonimmigrants who violated the terms of their nonimmigrant status prior to August 9, 2018 will start accruing unlawful presence from August 9, 2018.
  • Because of the significant consequences of unlawful presence, employers and F, J, and M nonimmigrant employees should make sure to meet their compliance responsibilities.


To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, August 8, 2018
September 2018 Visa Bulletin – Immediate EB-2 and EB-3 Retrogression for Most Countries Through September 30

  • EB-1 for all countries except India and China will advance one month, to June 1, 2016.
  • EB-2 for all countries retrogresses immediately, with expected return to August priority dates in October. India retrogresses to January 1, 2007, while all other countries retrogress to January 1, 2013.
  • EB-3 for all countries except China retrogresses immediately, with return to August priority dates in October.


To view entire article, click here.


United States, August 6, 2018
Federal Court Reaffirms Order for Full Reinstatement of DACA, Stays Ruling 20 Days

  • A federal district court has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to fully reinstate the DACA program, but has stayed its order for 20 days to allow DHS an opportunity to appeal.
  • The order does not have an immediate impact on current or potential DACA beneficiaries, but unless it is stayed further, it would require DHS to accept new DACA applications in addition to renewals.


To view entire article, click here.

 

Australia, August 9, 2018
Upcoming Amendments to Labour Market Testing Requirements and Introduction of Skilling Australians Fund Charge

Starting August 12, 2018, Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa nomination applications in Australia must be accompanied by evidence of labour market testing that meets the amended requirements. Also starting that day, nominating sponsors will also need to pay the Skilling Australians Fund when they file a TSS application.

To view entire article, click here.

 

China, August 8, 2018
Work Permits Will Not be Required for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao Residents

Residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao working in Mainland China will no longer be required to obtain a Work Permit based on a policy to be effective nationwide in the near future. Instead of applying for a work permit, these residents may need to complete a registration process in China. Guangzhou, Wuhan and Jiangmen have already adopted this policy. The government is expected to release more details on this policy change by the end of August.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Saudi Arabia, August 7, 2018
Tenancy Agreement to be Required for Work Permit Applications

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development announced that starting in September, foreign nationals renewing their work permits in Saudi Arabia will need to submit a tenancy agreement authenticated by the Ministry of Housing. At the later stage, initial work permit applicants will also be required to submit a tenancy agreement, though it is not clear when this rule will be implemented.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Weekly News Briefs

United States: Latest PERM and PWD Processing Times – As of July 31, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) was conducting analyst review for PERM applications filed in May 2018 or earlier, and processing audited cases filed in January 2018 or earlier. DOL is working on standard reconsideration requests submitted in June 2018 or earlier. There is no update on the government error queue, though these appear to be current.

DOL is issuing prevailing wage determinations for PERM and H-1B requests filed in May 2018. The agency has been processing H-1B and PERM redeterminations requested in July 2018, and PERM center director reviews requested in May 2018.

These reports are available on the iCERT home page.

United States: DHS Entry/Exit Report Reveals Low Overstay Rates – Of the 52,656,022 nonimmigrants admitted to the United States via air and sea ports of entry in fiscal year (FY) 2017, 98.67 percent departed the United States on time and in accordance with the terms of the their admission, according to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Of that number, 1.33 percent or 701,900 nonimmigrants, overstayed. Of these, there were 606,926 suspected in-county overstays or 1.15 percent at the end of FY 2017. This includes those who remain in the United States beyond their period of admission and for whom there is no identifiable evidence of a departure, an extension of period of admission, or transition to another immigration status.

Belarus: Tourist and Business Visa Exemption Extended to 30 Days – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has extended the tourist and business visa exemption for nationals of 74 countries who enter Belarus through the Minsk International Airport from five to 30 days, effective immediately. Certain countries' nationals are eligible for longer stays without a visa depending on varying other agreements, and other countries' nationals are not eligible for visa-free entry. As before, this exemption does not apply to those who arrive in Minsk by a direct flight from Russia. Foreign nationals must register within five days of arrival or if changing their residence in Belarus. Nationals of China, Gambia, Haiti, India, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa and Vietnam must also present a valid multiple-entry visa from an EU Member State or Schengen country and a ticket from Minsk National Airport showing a planned departure within five days of entry into Belarus. Visa-free entrants must present a passport, health insurance policy and proof of sufficient funds for their stay, and nationals of China, India, Haiti, Gambia, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa and Vietnam may be subject to additional requirements.

France: New Immigration Bill Delayed Due to Constitutional Review  – The French constitutional council will soon review the new immigration bill to determine whether recently-adopted amendments to the asylum process are constitutional. If the Council finds that the draft must be amended, a new parliamentary vote will likely be required. Fragomen does not expect that the corporate immigration segments of the draft bill will be affected by the review, as these have passed various legislative steps unchanged thus far. However, the constitutional review will delay the final adoption of the draft.

Indonesia: Regulations for Online System Integration Published – The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has confirmed that the current online processes of the MOM, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights and the Ministry of Finance will remain the same until October 31, 2018, at which point the integrated online system will be launched. Employers are advised to create an account if they have not done so to avoid any delays when the integration is complete.

Israel: Processing Delay Expected Due to Holidays – Government application processing in Israel will likely be delayed between August 19, 2018 and October 2, 2018 due to the upcoming holiday season. All public offices in Israel will be closed September 9-11, 18-19, 23-30 and October 1-2, 2018 due to Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkoth. No appointments can be scheduled for these dates. Israeli consulates will work with limited staff and reduced opening hours during these dates. Applicants should account for additional processing time and should initiate processes in advance. Fragomen worked closely with Kan-Tor & Acco Law Firm (Israel) to prepare this alert.

South Korea/Egypt: Visa Exemption for Egyptian Nationals Revoked – Starting October 2018, nationals of Egypt will be required to obtain a pre-arranged entry visa before entering South Korea. Currently, they can enter South Korea under visa-exempt status for 30 days. According to the Ministry of Justice, the change in policy was due to the large number of refugees and illegal immigrants entering the country from Egypt.

South Korea: Visa Requirements Eased for Certain Categories of Foreign Scholars – Foreign scholars invited to give lectures or provide consulting services under a contract with the government, universities or non-profit organizations may now enter South Korea under a business visa or on visa-exempt status, without obtaining a C-4 short-term employment visa beforehand, as was previously the case. The invited foreign scholar may conduct lectures over a period of seven days at up to five institutions.

Spain: More Restrictive Criteria for ICT and EU ICT Permits Implemented – Effective immediately, Spanish immigration authorities have started requiring ICT and EU ICT Permit applications to include more evidence to prove the three years’ work experience requirement and the three months’ senior experience requirement with the sending company. This may include additional paychecks or other documents, depending on the sending country and company, at the discretion of the immigration authorities. It is unclear if this is a temporary or permanent requirement. Analysis will be conducted on case-by-case basis by the immigration professional. 

 

Global Immigration News Links

  • Following President Trump's Buy American, Hire American executive order, U.S. consular posts are increasingly questioning applicants for temporary employment-based visas about whether Americans can do their jobs.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to remove asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence.
  • The European Union has warned EU countries of the risks involved in citizenship by investment programs, emphasizing the need to adopt measures to combat money laundering. 


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