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Nov 06 2015

Fragomen Immigration Update: October 30 - November 5, 2015

Canada, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, United States
In United States immigration news this week, qualified United Kingdom citizens can apply for membership in the Global Entry trusted traveler program beginning December 3. Successful applicants benefit from expedited U.S. immigration and customs clearance at participating airports. With the approach of the holiday season, foreign nationals in the United States who are planning to travel internationally should make sure they have all the necessary travel documents and instructions to minimize reentry delays.
Canada announced the intake periods for Quebec's Regular Skilled Worker Program through March 2016, and introduced a new online application system. Also in Canada, Quebec has set its foreign national quotas for 2016.
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has narrowed the scope of specialized skills that foreign nationals can perform under the Work Pass Exempt category, and has removed software installation from the allowable activities list.
Indian nationals in India seeking a short-term Schengen visa must now attend an appointment at the respective Schengen consular post to provide biometric data.
New Zealand effectuated policy changes to the Skilled Migrant Category and the Entrepreneur Work Visa category. The policy changes also clarify investment criteria under the Entrepreneur Work Visa category.
These items and other news from Canada, Indonesia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Poland, Slovenia and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.
Important Updates in Immigration This Week
United States, November 5, 2015
Holiday Travel Planning for Foreign Nationals
If you are a foreign national who will be traveling internationally during the upcoming holiday season, make sure that you have all the necessary documents, including a passport with sufficient remaining validity, a valid visa in the appropriate classification, and advance permission to travel where necessary. If you will need to apply for a visa while you are abroad, be prepared for possible delays in visa issuance. On reentry to the United States, you should expect thorough screening at the port of entry. 
To view entire article, click here
United States, November 3, 2015
Global Entry Opens to Citizens of the United Kingdom
Qualifying citizens of the United Kingdom will be eligible to apply for Global Entry membership beginning December 3. Applicants who meet program requirements and pass a background check can benefit from expedited entry to the United States at designated airports. Qualified U.S. citizens are now eligible to apply for membership in U.K.'s Registered Traveller program.
To view entire article, click here.
Canada, November 5, 2015
Foreign National Quotas Announced in Quebec
The volume of foreign nationals in Quebec for 2016 has been determined to be between 48,500 and 51,500, according to the plan submitted by the Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion to the National Assembly. This is the same amount as in 2015.
To view entire article, click here.
Singapore, November 5, 2015
Work Pass Exempt Category Activities Restricted
The Ministry of Manpower has narrowed the scope of the specialized skills that foreign nationals can perform under the Work Pass Exempt category, and has removed software installation from the allowable activities list. The activities that are now eligible for a Work Pass exemption are providing expertise related to commissioning or audit of a new plant and equipment, and installing, dismantling, transferring, repairing or maintaining machines or equipment. 
To view entire article, click here.
Canada, November 4, 2015
Federal Government Announces Immigration, Labour Ministers
Following the Liberal Party of Canada's win in the recent federal election, the new cabinet has been announced, and includes a new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and a new Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
To view entire article, click here.
Kazakhstan, November 4, 2015
Rules Restricted for Multiple-Region Travelers
Employers will no longer be able to expand the coverage area of their work permits to cover two or more cities or regions, according to amended rules expected to be published and effective in the next few weeks. 
To view entire article, click here.
India/Schengen Area, November 3, 2015
Biometric Schengen Visa System Requires In-Person Appearance by Indian Nationals
Due to the implementation of the Visa Information System, Indian nationals in India seeking a short-term Schengen visa must attend an appointment at the respective Schengen consular post to provide biometric data.
To view entire article, click here.
Canada, November 3, 2015
Quebec Skilled Worker Program Intake Periods Announced; Documentary Requirements Simplified
The intake periods for the Regular Skilled Worker Program have been set and a new online system will be available for application submission by the end of the year. Applicants will be required to use the online platform to submit certificates of selection for Quebec. Lastly, the Ministry will start returning only original supporting documents submitted with Regular Skilled Worker Program applications.
To view entire article, click here.
New Zealand, November 2, 2015
Policy Rewards Workers Outside of Auckland; Clarifies Entrepreneur Visa Criteria
Policy changes aimed at regional development outside of Auckland have been effectuated, including a greater award of points for Skilled Migrants and Entrepreneur Work Visa applicants who work outside of Auckland. The policy changes also require Skilled Migrants, who have worked less than three months and were awarded extra points for working outside of Auckland, to remain employed outside of Auckland for twelve months. Additionally, criteria for capital investment and residential property development under the Entrepreneur Work Visa have been introduced.
To view entire article, click here.
Germany, November 2, 2015
New Federal Law Clarifies Registration Requirements; Implements New Renters’ Registration Rule
The Federal Registration Act introduces new deadlines for residence registration and de-registration and requires renters to obtain a confirmation letter from their landlord to register their residence.
To view entire article, click here.
Other Immigration News This Week
United States: USCIS to Issue Interim Employment Authorization to Re-registered El Salvador TPS Beneficiaries – U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will automatically issue a 180-day employment authorization document (EAD) to current El Salvador Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries who re-registered for TPS and requested an EAD and their request has been pending for 90 days or more. 
Approximately 6,000 El Salvador TPS renewal applications were pending adjudication as of late September. These individuals had not yet received new EADs to replace ones that expired on September 9, 2015, after having been automatically extended from March 9, 2015. 
USCIS has begun issuing interim EADs with a 180-day validity period to those affected individuals whose cases are pending adjudication. USCIS expects to adjudicate these cases and issue final EADs to eligible beneficiaries by the end of December 2015. The final EADs will have an expiration date of September 9, 2016. 
Indonesia: Entry Restrictions Imposed on Repeat Travelers, Long-Term Indonesian Residents – Foreign nationals who have resided in Indonesia for a cumulative period of four months within one year (except those holding a valid limited stay permit (KITAS), permanent residence visa (KITAP), diplomatic visa, service visa (DINAS) or multiple entry visa), and foreign nationals who attempt to enter Bali under a visa-on-arrival (VOA) or visa-exempt status for the third time within one year may be refused entry into Bali, according to a recent policy change. The rule – which has been implemented due to reported abuses of the VOA and visa-exempt system by foreign nationals who have entered Bali for freelance work - will be imposed until December 31, 2015. Immigration agents at ports of entry in Bali may still allow visa-exempt or VOA-eligible nationals to enter Bali if a valid reason for frequent visits is provided. At least until the end of the year, affected foreign nationals should plan ahead for possible refusal of entry into Bali.
Kazakhstan: Work Permits Rules Eased for Heads of Legal Entities – Heads and deputies of legal entities applying for a Work Permit will no longer be bound by the regulatory Special Conditions, which currently require host businesses to train or create new jobs for Kazakhstani nationals as part of the application process. This comes as a result of amended rules, which should be published and effective in the next few weeks. Work permit applicants should contact their immigration professional to discuss other Work Permit application criteria.
Poland: Work Permit and Other Processes Delayed - The Labor and Immigration Office in Poland is experiencing delays in the processing of several types of applications. Work Permit applications are taking up to 30 days to process in Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk and Lodz, up to 60 days in Wroclaw and up to 90 days in Poznan. Single Permit/Residence Permit processing is taking up to 120 days in Warsaw, Wroclaw and Poznan and up to 90 days in Gdansk and Lodz, with an additional 30 days in each city for Residence Card issuance. Applicants to Warsaw must make an appointment prior to submitting an application. The wait for an appointment is currently up to 40 days. Work Force Demand processing is taking up to 21 days in all cities. Special Permission processing is taking up to 30 days in Wroclaw, ten days in Warsaw and 14 days in other cities.  
Additionally, the Labor Office in Warsaw is now requiring Work Force Demand applications to be submitted at least seven days prior to the submission of Special Permission Applications, and the employer must be registered for at least twelve months prior to submitting an application. Travelers are advised to enter Poland under long-term visas so that they will not be prevented from traveling outside of Poland while they await the issuance of their Residence Cards.
Slovenia: Single Permit System Implemented – Visa-exempt nationals can enter Slovenia under a single permit, without a separate entry visa. Foreign nationals applying for the single permit must submit their applications to a consular post in their country of residence, and must personally collect their permit at the consular post. If an employer applies for the permit on behalf of the foreign national, the application is submitted in Slovenia and the employee can collect the single permit at the Slovenian consular post with jurisdiction over his/her country of permanent residency, unless a special exception applies that will allow the single permit to be collected in Slovenia.  
Slovenia: Short-Term Work Exemptions Implemented – A new law allows foreign nationals to perform certain activities that were previously considered work under an entry visa and without a work permit for up to 14 days each period in 90-day cumulatively per calendar year.  The activities are: delivering and installing machines, appliances and equipment on the premises of the Slovenian company with which the initial sales agreement is in place; providing initial instructions/training on the machines if these activities are explicitly described in the initial sales/supply agreement; and repairing/maintaining machines if this is done to rectify a defect and/or if the work is explicitly described in the initial sales/supply agreement; working on behalf of a foreign legal entity to perform urgent life-saving or health-risk prevention services; and performing services related to the remediation or prevention of damage by natural disasters. It is not yet clear whether the exemption will apply to software repair/maintenance.
Lastly, the law allows non-European Union/European Economic Area/Swiss national managing directors or members of a Board of a Slovenian entity registered as legal representatives (not founders, shareholders or members of a supervisor board) to participate in legal representation activities such as negotiating and signing contracts, supervising, interviewing, management and delivering training, for up to 90 days per calendar year, with an online application filed with the Employment Service prior to the commencement of services. An entry visa is still required for visa nationals. Foreign nationals interested in the exemption or short-term work program should contact their immigration professional to discuss eligibility.
Global Immigration News Links
Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) past pro-immigration position may be an obstacle to his presidential ambitions, says BloombergPolitics.
Over 230 entrepreneurs urged UK Prime Minister David Cameron to welcome more immigrants and criticized restrictions on skilled migrants in an open letter.
The Australian government is set to trial a new cloud passport system that would allow Australians to travel without a physical passport.
This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.