Virginia, US

Jun 16 2017

Weekly Immigration Update: June 9 – 15, 2017

Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Israel, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United States, Venezuela, Zambia

In United States immigration news this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to lift a lower court injunction that prohibits the Trump Administration from enforcing an entry suspension against nationals of six restricted countries and refugees from any country, but will allow the Administration to go forward with a worldwide visa security review. The decision comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a Trump Administration request to lift two injunctions and consider whether the president has the constitutional authority to implement the entry ban.

Also in the United States, final action cutoff dates for EB-3 China will retrogress by nearly three years in the professional and skilled worker subcategory, while remaining unchanged in the other worker subcategory, according to the State Department’s July Visa Bulletin. 

The Canadian government has piloted a Global Skills Strategy (GSS) program for an initial period of two years to facilitate the entry of skilled foreign national workers to meet important labour market needs. 

In Denmark, new salary requirements under the Pay Limit Scheme will take effect on July 1, 2017.

Israel has implemented a new Work Visa category relating to unique technology and mechanization projects.

In the United Arab Emirates, foreign residents in Qatar holding a UAE E-visa issued on the basis of their Qatari Residence Permit approved before or after June 5, 2017 may be denied entry to the UAE.

These items and other news from Malaysia, Qatar, Spain and  Zambia follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, June 15, 2017
July Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to Honor Employment-Based Final Action Dates Only Next Month

In July, USCIS will only accept employment-based adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is current for final action under the State Department's July Visa Bulletin.

To view entire article, click here.

United States, June 13, 2017
Ninth Circuit Upholds Injunction Against Entry Ban

The Court of Appeals has declined to lift a lower court injunction that prohibits the Trump Administration from enforcing an entry suspension against nationals of six restricted countries and refugees from any country, but will allow the Administration to go forward with a worldwide visa security review. The decision comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a Trump Administration request to lift two injunctions and consider whether the president has the constitutional authority to implement the entry ban.

To view entire article, click here.

United States, June 9, 2017
July 2017 Visa Bulletin: Retrogression for EB-3 China; Modest Advancement in Most Other Categories; EB-1 India and China Remain Backlogged

In July, EB-1 India and China will remain retrogressed. In the EB-2 category, final action cutoff dates will advance by three weeks for both India and China. Cutoff  dates for EB-3 will advance by nine months for India, one year for the Philippines, and will retrogress by nearly three years for professionals and skilled workers from China.

To view entire article, click here.

Zambia, June 14, 2017
Strict New Requirements for Employment Permit Applications

Effective immediately, the Zambian Immigration authorities have introduced new requirements for Employment Permit applications.  Maximum validity period will be determined on a case-by-case basis and is no longer limited to two years.  Employers must provide training programs to contribute toward skills development of Zambian nationals upon the foreign national's departure.  Labor market tests must be conducted by advertising the position in at least two leading newspapers for 14 to 30 calendar days. Quarterly audits are expected to ensure compliance.

To view entire article, click here.

Denmark, June 14, 2017
New Salary Requirements Under Pay Limit Scheme Take Effect July 1

New salary requirements under the Pay Limit Scheme will come into effect on July 1, 2017.  All applications submitted on or after July 1, 2017 will be subject to the requirement that applicant's salary be paid into a Danish bank account and new restrictions on the salary components which can be attributed as part of the applicant's salary.  Applicants under the Fast Track Scheme to be employed according to the conditions of the Pay Limit Scheme - one of the four tracks available under the Fast Track Scheme - will also be subject to the new requirements.

To view entire article, click here.

Venezuela, June 13, 2017
Limited Notarization and Legalization Services Resumed Amid Increasing Political Unrest

SAREN, Venezuela's national registry and notary service, has announced that it has resumed notarization and legalization services following temporary suspension due to a fire during protests last week. Continuing delays in processing and ongoing stoppages should be expected.

To view entire article, click here.

United Arab Emirate, June 13, 2017
Update on Qatari Residents Travelling to the UAE

Foreign national residents in Qatar holding a UAE E-visa issued on the basis of their Qatari Residence Permit approved before or after June 5, 2017 will possibly be denied entry to the UAE. Their eligibility to enter the UAE based on other categories of visas remains unaffected.

To view entire article, click here.

Canada, June 12, 2017
Global Skills Strategy Details Announced

The government of Canada has released the details of the Global Skills Strategy as part of its Innovation Agenda to facilitate the entry of skilled foreign national workers to meet important labour market needs.  The Global Skills Strategy will introduce a streamlined Labour Market Impact Assessment route called the Global Talent Stream and short-term Work Permit rights without the need to obtain work authorization in specified situations as well as facilitate priority processing at Canadian diplomatic missions abroad. Starting June 12, 2017, the GSS pilot program will run for an initial period of two years.

To view entire article, click here.

Spain, June 12, 2017
EU Posted Workers Directive Implemented

Spain has implemented the EU Directive on the posting of workers. The new requirements include submitting the application through a central electronic register, providing contact details of a representative in Spain and retaining specific documentation during the process.

To view entire article, click here.

Israel, June 12, 2017
New Work Visa Implemented for Technology and Mechanization Projects

The Israeli Ministry of Interior has implemented a new Work Visa category relating to unique technology and mechanization projects. Though the new category eases salary requirements, processing times are longer.

To view entire article, click here.

Middle East, June 12, 2017
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE Set Up Helplines for Families Affected by Ban of Qatari Nationals

Governments of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have set up helplines for families with marital ties to Qatari nationals in order to address their concerns relating to the recently imposed travel ban impacting the nationals of these countries.

To view entire article, click here.

Weekly News Briefs

Malaysia: Closures and Operating Delays Expected During Hari Raya Aidilfitri – Malaysian companies registered with the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) for the purposes of submitting Work Pass applications should note that MYXpats Centre will be closed from June 23 at 12:00 p.m. through June 27, 2017.  During this closure, MYXpats Centre counter, telephone and email services will be suspended.  Services will resume on June 28, 2017, operating with minimal support through June 30, 2017.  The deadline to make payments and submit passports for endorsement before the closures will be before 12:00 p.m. on June 19, 2017.  All submitted passports will be returned by June 21, 2017.  ESD online system will cease its services from June 23 to June 27, 2017.  During this time, companies will not be able to access the ESD system or submit any online applications, and users will not be able to submit online applications for company registrations.  ESD will resume its online services on June 28, 2017.

Qatar: Employment Residence Permit Renewals May be Initiated Three Months Prior to Visa Expiry – Effective immediately, renewal of the Employment Residency Permits can be done only if the remaining validity of the permit does not exceed three months at the time of submission. Previously, the renewal process could be initiated up to six months before the expiry date of the permit.  Renewal process for Residency Permits for dependents remains unchanged, and the applications can be lodged up to six months before the visa expiry date.

Global Immigration News Links

A fact sheet from the American Immigration Council provides an overview of the occupational, gender, educational, and geographic distribution of foreign-born STEM workers in the United States. Notably, the total number of foreign-born STEM workers in the U.S. workforce has increased dramatically since 1990, both in absolute numbers and as a share of the total workforce.

Immigration to the U.S. has failed to make up for the number of residents leaving the nation’s top three metropolitan areas, Bloomberg reports.

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