Virginia, US

Jul 21 2017

Weekly Immigration Update: July 14 – 20, 2017

Australia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, European Union, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, Thailand, United States

In United States immigration news this week, the Supreme Court affirmed a federal district injunction that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from applying the Trump Administration’s travel ban to grandparents, grandchildren and certain other family members of persons in the United States, but stayed a part of the ruling that pertains to refugees.

In other United States news, qualifying employers may petition for additional H-2B workers from July 19, 2017 through September 15, 2017 or until the additional visas are exhausted. The new edition of Form I-9 is now available on the USCIS website and becomes mandatory on September 18.

Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection has clarified that the exemption to English language proficiency and skills assessment for high income earners will continue to apply to applications that were submitted, but not finalized, before July 1, 2017. 

The European Commission has instructed EU Member States that the short-term intra-EU mobility provisions of the European Union Intracompany Transferee Directive are enforceable in all Member States, even those that have not yet passed legislation implementing the Directive. 

Romania has implemented the EU Directive on the posting of workers.  Employers sponsoring posted workers for new assignments in Romania must now notify the Regional Labor Inspectorate and provide detailed information on the posting.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, foreign national holders of Work Cards must now obtain new biometric Work Cards by August 10, 2017.The Nigerian Immigration Service is now issuing Temporary Work Permit Visa approvals via e-mail within 48 hours of application receipt.

These items and other news from Norway, Thailand and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, Updated July 20, 2017

Supreme Court Allows Travel Ban Exemption for Grandparents and Certain Other Relatives

The Supreme Court allowed a lower court injunction that prohibits application of the travel ban to grandparents, grandchildren and certain other family members of persons in the United States, but stayed a part of the injunction that prohibits the ban’s enforcement against certain refugees, pending further litigation.

To view entire article, click here.

United States, July 19, 2017

USCIS Completes Return of Unselected FY 2018 H-1B Cap Petitions

USCIS announced that it has finished returning H-1B petitions that were not selected in the FY 2018 cap lottery. Employers with cases not chosen for processing should receive their returned petition packages and fee checks by July 31, 2017.

To view entire article, click here.

United States, July 18, 2017
Additional H-2B Visas Made Available for Employment in Fiscal Year 2017

The Departments of Labor and Homeland Security will jointly authorize 15,000 additional H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers whose employers attest that they would suffer irreparable harm without them. Qualifying employers may petition for additional H-2B workers from July 19, 2017 through September 15, 2017 or until the additional visas are exhausted.

To view entire article, click here.

United States, July 17, 2017
New Edition of Form I-9 Now Available

The new edition of Form I-9, dated July 17, 2017, is available on the USCIS website and becomes mandatory on September 18, 2017. Employers can continue to use the November 14, 2016 edition of the form through September 17, 2017.

To view entire article, click here.

United States, July 17, 2017

August Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to Honor Employment-Based Final Action Dates Only Next Month

In August, 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 August Visa Bulletin.

To view entire article, click here.

Romania, July 20, 2017

EU Posted Workers Directive Implemented

Effective immediately, Romania has implemented the EU Directive on the posting of workers.  Employers sponsoring posted workers for new assignments in Romania must now notify the Regional Labor Inspectorate and provide detailed information on the posting.

To view entire article, click here.

European Union, July 19, 2017

Short-Term Intra-EU Mobility Provisions of EU ICT Directive Enforceable in Belgium

The European Commission has instructed EU Member States that the short-term (less than 90 days) intra-EU mobility provisions under the European Union Intracompany Transferee Directive are enforceable in all Member States, even those that have not yet passed legislation implementing the Directive.  The Belgian Foreigner's Office and regional employment authorities have confirmed this to Fragomen - holders of EU ICT Permits issued in another EU Member State may legally stay and work in Belgium for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

To view entire article, click here.

Nigeria, July 19, 2017

Temporary Work Permit Visa Approvals Now Issued via E-Mail

The Nigerian Immigration Service is now issuing Temporary Work Permit Visa approvals via e-mail within 48 hours of application receipt.

To view entire article, click here.

Democratic Republic of Congo, July 19, 2017

New Biometric Work Cards Must be Obtained by August 10

The Ministry of Labor has introduced biometric Work Cards for foreign nationals in country.  Foreign national holders of Work Cards must obtain new biometric Work Cards by August 10, 2017.

To view entire article, click here.

Australia, July 14, 2017

High Income Earners Exemption Retained for Applications Submitted Prior to July 1

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has clarified that the exemption to English language proficiency and skills assessment for high income earners with earnings of at least equivalent to the Australian Tax Office top income tax rate (A$180,001) will continue to apply to applications that were submitted, but not finalized, before July 1, 2017.  This exemption will continue to be removed for high income earners who submitted their applications on or after July 1.  This applies to the Direct Entry Stream under the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) Visa and Temporary Residence Transition Stream under both the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) Visa and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) Visa.

To view entire article, click here.

Weekly News Briefs

Norway: Updates to Minimum Salary Level Requirements – Effective immediately, work authorization applications must meet new salary requirements of NOK 386,700 per year for positions requiring Bachelor’s degrees, and NOK 416,600 for positions requiring a Master’s degree. Furthermore, applicants working in industries with collective agreements must be paid the collective wage rate. Applicants working in an industry with no collective agreement cannot be paid lower than the normal pay for local workers in the same position.

Thailand: Marriage and Birth Certificates for Dependent Visa Applications Must Be Legalized – All applicants for initial and renewal long-term dependent visas at the One Stop Service Center must now legalize their marriage and birth certificates. Previously, only applicants from 21 countries were required to legalize their personal documents, while applicants from the remaining countries were able to submit original, non-legalized certificates to support their dependents’ visa applications. Now, all foreign nationals must legalize their documents using one of the following methods:

Legalization at their country's Embassy in Thailand (if process can be done by their Embassy); or

  • Legalization at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or equivalent authority of the country where the document was issued, and authentication at the Thai Embassy in that country.

  • Applicants whose birth or marriage certificates are not in Thai or English language must have such documents translated and subsequently legalized using one of the above methods.

Global Immigration News Links

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