Virginia, US

Aug 08 2014

Fragomen Immigration Update: August 1 - 8, 2014

Cambodia, China, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, United States

This week in immigration news, Ireland will soon implement employment permit reforms that broaden eligibility criteria for highly skilled employment permits, as well as codify and clarify many existing administrative rules. In December, Ireland will pilot the Trusted Partner Scheme, a new program that will offer accredited employers the benefits of reduced permit processing times, eased document requirements and a waiver of labor market testing.

In the Netherlands, minimum salary requirements for the Knowledge Migrant work authorization program recently increased by approximately eight percent.

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

Remember that the Immigration Update is available through both e-mail and Web version by clicking on "View as Web Page" above.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

Cambodia, August 7, 2014

Foreign Nationals Require Valid Work Permit in Addition to Visa and Employment Card

Cambodian labor and immigration officials are now strictly enforcing an existing rule requiring foreign workers to possess a valid work permit, in addition to a Category E visa and an employment card.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Ireland, August 6, 2014

Employment Permit Reforms Take Effect in September; Trusted Employer Pilot Program Launches in December

New reform legislation will broaden eligibility criteria for highly skilled employment permits, as well as codify and clarify many existing administrative rules. In December, Ireland will pilot the Trusted Partner Scheme, a new program to reduce permit processing times, ease document requirements and waive labor market testing for accredited employers.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Netherlands, August 1, 2014

Minimum Salary Increases for Highly Skilled Workers

Minimum salary requirements for the Knowledge Migrant work authorization program recently increased by approximately eight percent.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Immigration News This Week

United States: DOL PERM Processing Times Updated – As of August 4, 2014, DOL was conducting analyst reviews for PERM applications filed in March 2014 or earlier and processing audited cases filed in March 2013 or earlier. The government error queue is current. DOL is working on standard reconsideration requests submitted in August 2014 or earlier.

As of August 7, 2014, the processing times for PERM prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) are within the 60-day target timeframe. DOL is issuing determinations for prevailing wage requests submitted in July 2014.

PERM and PWD processing times are available on the iCERT home page. 

United States: U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv Resumes Limited Visa Processing – The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has resumed limited visa application processing, following a suspension of visa operations in July. Services for U.S. citizens, however, remain cancelled until further notice. The Embassy will conduct B-1/B-2 visitor visa interviews on a limited basis. B visa applicants whose interviews were cancelled over the last several weeks will be notified via email of rescheduled interview dates. The nonimmigrant visa unit will continue to accept urgent appointments approved by the Embassy, and applications for student visas and exchange visitors and petition-based employment visas. The Embassy is working on rescheduling all visa interviews that were cancelled. Visa applicants should experience delays of up to one week in addition to normal processing times.

United States: USCIS Updates H-2B Cap Count – USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions for employment start dates in the second half of FY 2014. The agency reports that as of August 1, 2014, it had received filings on behalf of 26,345 H-2B beneficiaries for the second half of FY 2014. Of these, 25,210 had been approved and 1,135 remained pending. For employment in the first half of FY 2015, the agency had received filings on behalf of 1,801 beneficiaries. Of these, 1,168 had been approved and 633 remained pending. The cap for each half-year is 33,000, but USCIS accepts filings in excess of the cap because some cases will be denied or withdrawn and because employers may ultimately employ fewer H-2B beneficiaries than reflected in their petitions. 

China: Polio Vaccinations Required for Travelers from Nine Countries – Effective immediately, citizens of Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Syria seeking to enter China must present an official certificate of polio vaccination at the port of entry. Travelers who cannot present a vaccination certificate that was issued within the previous year will either receive an oral polio vaccine at the port of entry or will be denied entry. Immigration officials have not clarified whether citizens of other countries who have visited these nine countries also require vaccination. Additional guidance is expected in the coming weeks.

Greece: Non-EU Foreign Residents Require Proof of Lawful Status to Receive Government Services – Effective immediately, non-EU foreign nationals in Greece must present a passport and proof of lawful residence, such as a visa or residence permit, in order to receive government services. All public officials and civil servants have been instructed to deny services to any non-EU national without proof of lawful status. Representatives, such as law firms and immigration service providers, can still be authorized to request public services on a non-EU national's behalf, if the representative can present signed and verified authorization from the non-EU national to act on his or behalf. The implementation of the new requirement has not been consistent across Greece so far, but it has had the most significant impact on non-EU nationals seeking official document translations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

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