Aug 06 2020

Weekly Immigration Update: July 31-August 6, 2020

Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Chad, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, The Bahamas, Togo, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

In immigration news this week:

  • Worldwide: Jurisdictions around the world continue to adapt their coronavirus-related travel restrictions and quarantine measures, and many have implemented extension policies and other concessions. Visit Fragomen’s coronavirus-related news page for the latest immigration updates.
  • United States: President Trump signed an executive order requiring federal government agencies to conduct a sweeping review of federal contractors’ and subcontractors’ use of nonimmigrant workers and overseas labor on federal contracts. The order also directs the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor to take steps to further ensure U.S. workers are not adversely affected by H-1B workers. A new USCIS fee schedule, slated to take effect on October 2, will increase costs for most petitioners and applicants, and will impose new filing fees and fee requirements for many case types. Following last week’s court order temporarily barring the Departments of Homeland Security and State from implementing their public charge rules during the COVID-19 emergency, USCIS has announced that it will not apply its public charge regulation to applications for adjustment of status or nonimmigrant changes or extensions of status that are adjudicated on or after July 29, 2020.
  • Bermuda: Bermuda has introduced a One Year Residential Certificate which allows foreign nationals who are employed with or own a company operating outside of Bermuda to reside in and work remotely from Bermuda. The Certificate also allows university students to study remotely from Bermuda.
  • Netherlands: Employment regulations stemming from the Posted Workers Directive went into effect July 30 and cover employment protections for long-term postings, the replacement of posted workers, requirements for successive postings and remuneration.


These items and other news from Angola, Australia, and Lebanon follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.


Important Updates in Immigration This Week

Bermuda, August 6, 2020

One Year Residential Certificate Introduced for Remote Workers and Students

  • The One Year Residential Certificate allows foreign nationals who are employed with or own a company operating outside of Bermuda to reside in and work remotely from Bermuda.
  • It also allows university-level students to continue their studies remotely from Bermuda.
  • Applicants must demonstrate sufficient means or continuous source of income to support themselves and their family during their stay in Bermuda.
  • The visa does not allow gainful employment in Bermuda.
  • Interested applicants can complete and submit the application online.


To view entire article, click here.


The Netherlands, August 4, 2020

Employment Regulations from Revised Posted Worker Directive Implemented

The Revised Posted Workers Directive covers the following key topics for employers posting workers in the Netherlands:

  • The duration of the applicability of the employment laws of the host country;
  • The applicability of employment rules for posted workers replaced with other posted workers; and
  • Counting allowances for posted workers toward minimum salary requirements.


To view entire article, click here.


United States, August 4, 2020

President Trump Orders Review of Foreign Hiring by Federal Contractors, Directs DHS and DOL to Increase Scrutiny of H-1B Program

  • In a new executive order, federal agencies are directed to review the use of nonimmigrants and offshoring by their contractors and subcontractors.
  • By mid-September, the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security must take steps to ensure that the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers are not adversely affected by H-1B workers.
  • The president’s directives could lead to an increase in employer inspections and the issuance of policies or regulations that may make H-1B employers and their end-clients jointly liable for compliance with H-1B program rules on wages and working conditions. 

To view entire article, click here.


United States, July 31, 2020

USCIS Provides Guidance on Public Charge Requirements in the Wake of a Federal Court Injunction

  • USCIS will not apply its 2019 public charge regulation to applications for adjustment of status or nonimmigrant changes or extensions of status that are adjudicated on or after July 29, 2020, the date of a federal court order blocking the agency from applying the regulation during the COVID-19 emergency.
  • While the court order is in place, applicants who file adjustment of status application postmarked on or after July 29, 2020 will not be required to submit the Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency and the supplemental detailed personal documentation. Similarly, nonimmigrant applicants will not be required to answer questions about their receipt of public benefits when seeking a change or extension of status.


To view entire article, click here.


United States, July 31, 2020

USCIS Finalizes Significant Filing Fee Increases and Changes to its Current Fee Structure

  • Fees for adjustment applications and ancillary benefits will nearly double, as will fees for naturalization applications.
  • USCIS will create separate fees and forms for H-1B, L-1 and other nonimmigrant case types.
  • USCIS will increase the premium processing timeline to almost three weeks, from 15 calendar days.
  • Asylum applicants and other humanitarian applicants will be subject to new and increased fees.
  • The new fee schedule is slated to take effect on October 2, 2020 for cases postmarked on or after that date.


To view entire article, click here.


Other Weekly News Briefs

Angola: Foreign Nationals Required to Open Local Bank Account – Effective August 29, 2020, foreign nationals working in Angola on an Employment Contract will be required to open a local bank account. Employers will pay the foreign national’s salary directly into their Angolan bank account following which the foreign national will be able to transfer the money to their home country account.  

Australia: Review of the Skilled Migration Occupation Lists Likely Forthcoming – Following public consultation on proposed skilled occupation changes in early 2020, it was expected that the revised skilled occupation lists would be released in March 2020. However, this was delayed due to COVID-19. It is now expected that the government will soon conduct a significant review of the skilled occupation lists to ensure they are responsive to the labor market needs in light of the high unemployment rate in Australia due to COVID-19. In the current economic climate, any review of the skilled occupation list may result in a reduction to the number of skilled occupations. Should this occur, business’ ability to utilise the employer-sponsored temporary and permanent visa programs for certain occupations may be affected. As such, Fragomen advises businesses to consider their foreign temporary workforce to identify employees that will require further sponsored temporary visa or permanent residence. Fragomen can assist in this determination and in analyzing the new list when it is released. MARN: 0004980

Australia: New Online Process to Expedite COVID-19 Travel Exemption Requests – Foreign nationals traveling together or for the same purpose who are entering under an exemption to the COVID-19 travel ban can now use a new website to link their exemption applications to streamline processing. The website also allows for travel exemption requests to be lodged prior to visa application submission, which will also streamline processing. Fragomen can assist with these travel requests, since exemption applicants must present strong evidence that they qualify under the exemption. See Fragomen’s COVID-19 website for more information. MARN: 0004980

Lebanon: Government Offices Closed through at Least Next Week – Government agencies, including labour and immigration authorities, are closed until at least August 10 and possibly longer. Affected applicants should contact the relevant agency to determine the reopening date and the extent of related processing delays, if any. There are currently no changes to arrival and departure requirements for passengers travelling to and from Lebanon. However, travelers should confirm by contacting their airlines prior to departure for Lebanon.

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