Jul 29 2021

Weekly Immigration Update: July 23–29, 2021

Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Mauritania, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia , United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam

In immigration news this week:

  • Worldwide: Jurisdictions around the world continue to adapt their coronavirus-related travel restrictions and health requirements based on several factors, including fluctuating infection rates and growing vaccination initiatives. Visit Fragomen’s COVID-19 website for the latest immigration updates.
  • Belgium: Belgium has delayed the implementation of the EU Intra-Company Transferee Permit, although it has been accepting applications for the permit since October-November 2020.
  • United Kingdom: The UK government has published its Innovative Strategy, which sets out a long-term plan to attract talent and introduces a new “High Potential Individual Route”, which allows individuals to enter the United Kingdom without a job offer.
  • United States: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has run a second lottery for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap after not receiving enough cap petitions to meet the quota during the initial filing period.  USCIS also announced that employers may again file H-2B petitions for returning workers from any country of origin because it did not receive enough petitions to exhaust the Northern Triangle carveout outlined in the recent supplemental H-2B regulation. 
  • New Zealand: The government has announced several changes to the Essential Skills Visa, which will streamline certain processes and increase visa validity for those earning less than the median wage.


These items and other news from Angola, Canada, Egypt, Ireland, and South Africa follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.


Important updates in immigration this week


United States, July 29, 2021

The Status of DACA: What Foreign Nationals and Employers Need to Know

We provide some answers to frequently asked questions about DACA and the recent July 16 federal court decision based on newly updated USCIS guidance.

To view the entire article, click here.


United States, July 29, 2021

USCIS Runs Second Lottery to Select More FY 2022 H-1B Cap Cases

  • Earlier today, employers began receiving USCIS notifications that additional H-1B cap registrations were selected in a second FY 2022 cap lottery draw.
  • The additional selection is taking place because USCIS did not receive enough H-1B cap petitions during the initial 90-day filing period to meet the 85,000 quota for FY 2022.
  • Employers whose cases are selected in the second drawing have from August 2, 2021 to November 3, 2021 to file petitions for their newly-selected registrations.


To view entire article, click here.


Belgium, July 29, 2021

EU Intra-Company Transferee Permit Implementation Delayed

  • Belgium’s implementation of the EU Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) Permit, designed for intracompany transfers of managers, specialists and trainees from outside the European Union to Belgium for more than 90 days, has been delayed.
  • Brussels and Flanders have been accepting EU ICT Permit applications since October-November 2020, but corresponding EU ICT Permit cards are not being issued.
  • EU ICT Permit holders from other EU Member States can work at a Belgian group entity of their home employer for up to a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period, provided the employer submitted a Posted Worker (Limosa) notification.
  • When implemented, EU ICT Permit card holders will also benefit from long term intra-EU mobility into Belgium under the advantageous terms of the EU ICT Permit Directive.


To view entire article, click here.


United Kingdom, July 26, 2021

Innovation Strategy Announced

  • The UK government has published its Innovation Strategy, which sets out a long-term plan to attract global talent to the United Kingdom.
  • This includes the introduction of a new ‘High Potential Individual route’, which will allow individuals to enter the United Kingdom without a job offer.
  • The UK government will implement the Strategy in a Statement of Changes later in the year.


To view entire article, click here.


United States, July 23, 2021

Employers May Seek Remaining FY 2021 Returning Worker H-2B Visas, Cap Likely to be Reached Quickly

  • Employers may again file FY 2021 H-2B visa petitions for returning workers from any country who have held H-2B status in fiscal years 2018, 2019 or 2020, after USCIS failed to receive enough petitions to exhaust the Northern Triangle carveout.
  • USCIS will accept returning worker H-2B petitions until September 15, 2021 or until the remainder of the cap is reached, whichever is earlier.
  • Petitioners must attest that their business is likely to suffer irreparable harm if they are unable to hire additional H-2B workers.
  • Employers are advised to file their H-2B petitions as soon as possible; USCIS says that “the few” remaining H-2B slots are likely to go quickly.


To view entire article, click here.


New Zealand, July 23, 2021

Essential Skills Visa Online System Temporarily Suspended; Improvements to Visa Process

Essential Skills Visa applicants will see several changes to the visa process due to recent amendments and process changes:

  • Applicants must submit their applications by mail or in person until August 30, 2021 due to a temporary online system suspension;
  • Visa renewal applicants no longer need to provide documents they submitted with past applications; and
  • The visa validity period for those earning less than median wage has been increased.


To view entire article, click here.


Other weekly news briefs

Angola - Agreement on Mobility of Citizens in Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries Signed - The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) member states have signed an agreement permitting mobility of their citizens throughout their nine member states. The agreement provides for the issuance of, among other types of immigration statuses, Short Stay CPLP, CPLP Temporary Stay Visa and CPLP Residence Permit. The Short Stay CPLP will be issued for short visits into a member state. CPLP Temporary Stay will be issued for stays not exceeding 12 months and the CPLP Residence Visa will be issued for the purpose of applying for and obtaining a CPLP Residence Permit. The CPLP Residence Permit will be issued for one year and be renewable for successive periods of two years. The agreement will enter into force once three member states have ratified it, which is not expected until 2022. The CPLP is an international organization whose member states have Portuguese as an official language and include Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, and East Timor. The new mobility agreement is expected to promote tourism, access to skills by member states and investment in the CPLP region.

Canada: New Interim Work Permit Available for Foreign Nationals Awaiting Adjudication of Permanent Residence Applications – Foreign nationals who are awaiting adjudication of their permanent residence applications can apply for a new interim work permit if they had applied under the new pathways for essential workers and international graduates. This will allow these foreign nationals to continue to work while their permanent residence application is pending. To be eligible for the interim work permit, foreign nationals must possess a valid work permit at the time they submitted their permanent residence application; a valid work permit expiring within four months of submission of the work permit application; hold temporary status, maintain status or be eligible to restore their status when they submit their open work permit application; reside in Canada when they submit their work permit application; have been employed at the time they submitted their permanent residence application; and meet the language requirements of the permanent residence pathway under which they applied.

EgyptExtended State of Emergency May Delay Residence Permit Processing – A state of emergency, which has been in place since June 2018, was recently extended through October 24, 2021. As a result, foreign nationals seeking employment and residency in Egypt should expect extensive security screening that may delay their immigration process. The security clearance is the first stage of the application process for work and residence permits.

Ireland: New Immigration Service Website – The Department of Justice has replaced the Immigration Service website. The old website (inis.gov.ie) is now defunct and the new site is www.irishimmigration.ie. The new site, which is easier to navigate and more user-friendly from a foreign national point of view, is part of the Department of Justice’s strategy to improve service delivery and provide better online support.

South Africa: National Employment Labour Policy to be Tabled Before Cabinet - The Minister of Employment and Labour has announced that a National Labour Migration policy (NLMP) will be tabled in the Cabinet soon. The policy is expected to target mainly lower-skilled workers in sectors such as hospitality, restaurants, security, farming and agriculture and logistics and is designed to protect the labour market for local workers where the employment of foreign nationals is found to be high. One of the expected measures includes the use of quotas for local and foreign nationals in identified sectors, among other measures. The new policy is likely come into effect by the end of 2022.

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