Virginia, US

Aug 31 2017

Weekly Immigration Update: August 25 – 31, 2017

Austria, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Finland, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States

In United States immigration news this week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin to implement in-person interviews for employment-based applicants for adjustment of status on October 1. The agency expects to phase in the new requirement, but has not yet provided implementation details. The personal interview requirement is likely to delay the processing of employment-based adjustments.

Costa Rica has amended its Temporary Residence application process for some foreign nationals and dependents over age 12.

Finland has implemented the 2014 EU Directive on the posting of workers. In Austria, the EU intracompany transferee Permit will become available on October 1. In Switzerland, the third-quarter quotas for L- and B-Permits for EU nationals on assignments lasting more than four months have been exhausted.

United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced forthcoming changes to the company classification system, service fees and bank guarantee payments for companies in the mainland.

Worldwide government offices will be closed due to the upcoming Eid Al Adha holiday. Foreign nationals should check with their consular posts and/or government office to determine exact closure dates, and should consult their immigration professional about the extent of delays due to the closures.

These items and other news from Cambodia, Colombia, Indonesia, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, August 28, 2017
USCIS to Require In-Person Interviews for Employment-Based Adjustment Applicants

On October 1, 2017, USCIS will begin to implement in-person interviews for employment-based applicants for adjustment of status.  The agency expects to phase in the new requirement, but has not yet provided implementation details.  The personal interview requirement is likely to delay the processing of employment-based adjustments.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Finland, August 30, 2017
EU Posted Workers Directive Implemented

Finland has implemented the 2014 EU Directive on the posting of workers, effective September 1, 2017. Employers sponsoring posted workers for new assignments in Finland must notify the Finnish Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH) before the start of the assignment, and provide detailed information on the posting.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Austria, August 30, 2017
EU Intracompany Transferee Permit to be Implemented

The new EU intracompany transferee (ICT) Permit will become available in Austria on October 1, 2017. The new permit will apply to non-EU qualified managers, specialists and graduate trainees temporarily assigned from an entity outside the European Union to an entity in the same corporate group in Austria for over 90 days. The new permit was introduced pursuant to the EU ICT Directive.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Switzerland, August 30, 2017
Third Quarter Quotas Exhausted

The third-quarter quotas for L- and B-Permits for EU nationals on assignment lasting more than four months have been exhausted. Employers who wish to send EU nationals on an assignment to Switzerland will need to wait until October 1, 2017, when fourth-quarter quotas become available.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Arab Emirates, August 30, 2017
Company Classification System Changes, Service Fees and Bank Guarantee Payment Changes Announced

Employers in the mainland will see lower government fees and a bank guarantee exemption for immigration applications for skilled workers. Additionally, a new subcategory has been added to the company classification system. The new rules are expected to go into effect on November 30, 2017.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Tanzania, August 29, 2017
New Documents Required for Residence Permit Applications

Effective immediately, Tanzanian immigration authorities now require additional corporate documentation for resident permit applicants.  Failure to submit these additional documents with a residence permit application will result in application refusal.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Costa Rica, August 28, 2017
Temporary Residence Application Process Amended for Some Foreign Nationals and Dependents

Effective immediately, foreign nationals and their dependents over age 12 who travel to Costa Rica prior to filing the Temporary Residence for Accredited Companies application must appear for fingerprinting before they file their own respective application.  In such cases, foreign nationals and all dependents regardless of age must also register at their home country consulate in Costa Rica before their own respective application is filed. Additionally, following approval of the Temporary Residence application and prior to identification card registration, the main applicant's spouse and children age 18 and over must complete social security registration in Costa Rica.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Worldwide, August 25, 2017
Government Closures During Eid Al Adha Holiday

Government offices will be closed due to the upcoming Eid Al Adha holiday. Foreign nationals should check with their consular posts and/or government office to determine exact closure dates, and should consult their immigration professional about the extent of delays due to the closures.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Weekly News Briefs

Cambodia: Stricter Rule Enforced for Initial and Renewal Long Stay Visa Applications – Immigration authorities are now enforcing the existing rule that requires foreign nationals to be in possession of a valid Work Permit before they can apply or renew their long stay visa (type E visa).  Fragomen continues to advise foreign nationals to hold both a Work Permit and type E visa to legally stay and work in Cambodia. Companies who processed their employees' immigration requirements through Fragomen are compliant with this rule.

Colombia: Bogota Government Offices Closed September 7 – All government entities will be closed September 7 due to Pope Francis’ visit. Therefore, it will not be possible to submit any applications, obtain or legalize documents, or perform any activity that involves a government entity that day. All entities are expected re-open September 8.

Indonesia: Pakistan and Iraq Removed from List of Restricted Nationals – Immigration authorities have removed Pakistan and Iraq from the list of restricted nationals whose work permit and visa-related applications are subject to greater scrutiny and longer processing times. Nationals from these countries will now benefit from a more streamlined process and will be able to obtain work permits and visas through the usual application route available to all other non-restricted visa nationals.

Qatar: New Legislation Announced for Domestic Workers – Qatari authorities have announced that foreign domestic workers will be required to sign an employment contract with their employer, among other updated rules for domestic workers. The effective date of this law is yet to be announced. Since the employment of domestic workers, including nannies, drivers, gardeners, cooks, etc. is currently not covered by Qatari labour law, it is impossible for the employee to file a complaint against their employer with the Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs, if necessary. The change will allow such claims to be filed. Fines for violating the regulations are expected to be between QAR 5,000 and QAR 10,000.

Russia: Technical Problems at Moscow Migration Department Largely Resolved – Following disruptions in the acceptance of work permit applications and certain address registrations last month at the Moscow Migration Department in Sakharovo, the technical problems which caused these disruptions are now largely resolved. Processing times for employers and foreign nationals applying for work permits and completing address registration procedures at the Moscow Migration Department in Sakharovo have mostly returned to normal.

Saudi Arabia: Minimum Professional Experience Requirement Raised for Foreign Engineers – Employers in Saudi Arabia can now only recruit foreign engineers with five or more years of experience. Previously, the minimum was three years of experience. Additionally, candidates must now pass a professional exam and attend a personal interview with the Saudi Council of Engineers to qualify for the position.

 

Global Immigration News Links

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL) signed into law the Trust Act, a new law that would prohibit state and local police in Illinois from arresting or detaining a person solely because of their immigration status, or based on a federal immigration detainer, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Trump administration may allegedly dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an initiative of the Obama administration which has granted permission to stay and work to about 800,000 immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children, the New York Times reports. A report by the Center for American Progress and FWD.us highlights the escalating job losses that will occur over the course of two years if DACA renewals are put on hold, even for a short period of time.

Switzerland's three economic powerhouse cantons have demanded greater access to foreign workers from outside of the European Union.

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

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