Virginia, US

Jun 30 2017

Weekly Immigration Update: June 23 – 29, 2017

Belgium, China, Denmark, Mexico, Republic of the Philippines, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela

In United States immigration news this week, a more limited version of President Trump's travel ban against certain nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and against refugees from all countries went into effect at 8pm EDT on Thursday, June 29. The ban will be in effect for 90 days for nationals of the six restricted countries and 120 days for refugees, unless they are exempt or granted a waiver. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled that the March 6 version of the travel ban could proceed, but exempted those who have a credible and documented work, educational or family connection to a U.S. person or entity. The Court also agreed to consider the merits of the travel ban executive order during its next term, which begins on October 1, 2017.

The UK government released a Policy Paper on its proposed plans for managing the immigration status of EU nationals in the United Kingdom following the UK's departure from the European Union.

In Belgium, the city of Antwerp is the first to introduce an administrative fee for the renewal of Temporary Residence Permits. More municipalities are expected to introduce the additional fee in the future.

In the Philippines, foreign national holders of Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Cards must first downgrade their Long-Term Visas before they file an application to cancel their cards.

These items and other news from China, Denmark, Mexico, Venezuela and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, June 29, 2017 (Updated June 30, 2017)
What Foreign Nationals Need to Know About the Travel Ban

The travel ban will be enforced against certain nationals of six restricted countries and against refugees, but  there are  broad exemptions for U.S. visa holders, lawful permanent residents, persons with valid advance parole and those with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States.

To view entire article, click here.

United States, June 23, 2017
USCIS Resumes H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Foreign Physicians

Starting Monday, USCIS will resume premium processing for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of certain foreign physicians working in underserved areas of the United States or for federal agencies.  Premium processing remains suspended for all other types of H-1B petitions, though the agency suggested that it plans a gradual phase-in of expedited processing as resources become available. 

To view entire article, click here.

United States, June 26, 2017
Supreme Court Keeps Travel Ban Suspension in Place for Foreign Nationals with US Ties

Nationals of six restricted countries should not be subject to the travel ban if they have a credible and documented work, educational or family connection to a US person or entity, the Court ruled today.  Those who do not have bona fide ties to the United States may be restricted from entering for the duration of the travel ban.  The Court will consider the travel ban executive order in full in its next term.

To view entire article, click here.

Belgium, June 29, 2017
Administrative Fees for Renewal of Temporary Residence Permits Introduced in Antwerp

Following the amendment to the law and the consequent adoption of the Royal Decree allowing the municipal authorities to introduce an administrative fee for the renewal of the Temporary Residence Permits, the city of Antwerp is amongst the first to implement an additional fee of EUR 50 for all its nine districts.  The administrative fee is in addition to the cost of the electronic card.  More municipalities are expected to introduce the additional fee in the future.

To view entire article, click here.

Mexico, June 28, 2017
Transition to New Officials Causing Processing Delays

Processing delays and inconsistent application of adjudication criteria are expected while new officials take office in Mexico City. Following allegations of increased irregularities, the immigration authorities were granted additional funds and resources, likely resulting in an increase of unannounced site visits to employers.

To view entire article, click here.

Venezuela, June 27, 2017
Inbound and Outbound Courier Services Resumed

After a week of suspended service, major courier companies are resuming services in and out of Venezuela.

To view entire article, click here.

United Kingdom, June 26, 2017
Policy Paper on Proposed Rights of EU Nationals Published

The UK government has released the Policy Paper on its proposed plans for managing the immigration status of EU nationals in the United Kingdom following the UK's departure from the European Union.  There is no immediate impact on EU nationals in the United Kingdom as the content of this Policy Paper is only a proposal at this stage.

To view entire article, click here.

China, June 23, 2017
Online Application System Upgrades Affecting Company Registration Details

Upgrades to China's online Work Permit application system from version 1.0 to 2.0 have caused instability affecting the registration details of several companies, preventing them from completing their transactions through the online system. In such cases, companies may need to re-submit their registration details in order to continue using the online system.

To view entire article, click here.

United Kingdom, June 23, 2017
Prime Minister May Makes First Offer on the Rights of EU Nationals Residing in UK

As Brexit negotiations begin in Brussels, both the United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed that the resolution on the rights of EU nationals residing in the United Kingdom (and vice-versa) is a top priority. Establishing the relevant date on which the rights of EU nationals already in the United Kingdom are deemed to have been "cut-off" as a result of Brexit remains contentious.  In an initial offer, Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated that the United Kingdom would agree to a cut-off date sometime between May 29, 2017 (the date on which Article 50 was formally triggered) and March 28, 2019 (the date by which Brexit negotiations must be concluded).

To view entire article, click here.

Philippines, June 22, 2017
Downgrading of Long-Term Visa Now Required Prior to Cancellation of ACR I-Card

Effective immediately, the Bureau of Immigration has announced that foreign national holders of Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Cards must first downgrade their Long-Term Visas before they can file an application to cancel their cards.  Foreign nationals leaving the country following the end of assignment or termination of employment are required to have their ACR I-Cards cancelled before they are cleared for departure.

To view entire article, click here.

Weekly News Briefs

United States: Visa Applications Could Take Longer to Process Following Amended Executive Order – Applicants for nonimmigrant visas should expect more lengthy processing times following President Trump’s latest Executive Order that amends a 2012 Obama Administration order on visa processing. The President’s brief directive removes a section from the earlier order that instructed the State Department to “ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed within three weeks of receipt of application.” 

The move appears related to the Trump Administration’s push to implement its "extreme vetting" directive to immigration agencies. Earlier this month, the Administration took steps towards implementing this effort by unveiling new visa application questions for foreign nationals who are deemed by a U.S. consulate to pose heightened security concerns.

Denmark: Changes to Local Registration Requirements for Accompanying Family Members – Marriage and birth certificates from most non-EU countries, as well as marriage and birth certificates from some EU Member States, must now be apostilled or legalized when submitted as part of local registration procedures in support of accompanying family members. Previously, requirements for apostille or legalization of documents for accompanying family members varied by municipality.  As such, accompanying family members should carry apostilled or legalized birth and marriage certificates when travelling to Denmark.

Global Immigration News Links

A Georgetown University law professor demystifies some of the questions surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in President Trump's travel ban executive order.

Americans are more positive now than a decade ago about the effects that immigration has on the U.S., according to a recent Gallup poll.

The National Foundation for American Policy analyzes the fundamental problems with the United States’ current system for determining prevailing wages for workers being sponsored under the H-1B program or for employment-based green cards.

British citizens settled in Europe have expressed concern that UK Prime Minister Theresa May is willing to sacrifice some of their rights post Brexit to cement immigration limits on EU citizens coming to the UK.

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