Virginia, US

Jun 08 2018

Weekly Immigration Update: June 1 - 7, 2018

Algeria, Austria, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Sweden, Turkey, United States, Uruguay

In United States immigration news this week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct a computerized lottery to choose 15,000 H-2B petitions for the FY 2018 supplemental cap, which was exceeded in the first five business days of the designated filing period. USCIS has also opened the final filing period for nationals of Honduras to extend their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through January 5, 2020.

Netherlands has implemented the EU Students and Researchers Directive, which aims to facilitate access to the European Union labor market for students, trainees and researchers.

Austria and Germany will increase border checks at their mutual border.

Nigeria is placing higher scrutiny on applications submitted by employers sponsoring foreign workers in the oil and gas sector for a Temporary Work Permit.

These items and other news from Algeria, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Turkey, Uruguay, and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.


Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, June 6, 2018
DHS to Conduct Lottery for Additional FY 2018 H-2B Visas

  • The quota of 15,000 for the FY 2018 supplemental cap was exceeded in the first five business days of the designated filing period.
  • In the coming days, USCIS will conduct a computerized lottery to choose enough H-2B petitions to result in 15,000 approvals.

To view entire article, click here.


United States, June 4, 2018
Final Re-Registration Period for Honduran TPS Set to Open June 5

  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras will terminate on January 5, 2020.
  • Current Honduran TPS beneficiaries will have 60 days to re-register in order to maintain status through the program expiration date, according to a USCIS notice that is to be published on June 5, 2018.
  • Honduras TPS employment authorization documents with an expiration date of July 5, 2018 will automatically be extended through January 1, 2019.

To view entire article, click here.


Uruguay, June 7, 2018
Vaccination Certificate Required for All Residence Applications

The Ministry of Health now requires foreign nationals to provide a vaccination certificate that complies with the Uruguayan Ministry of Health vaccination guidelines prior to applying for any type of temporary or permanent residence visa. Foreign nationals should review their vaccination records prior to traveling and should expect travel delays or restrictions if their records do not comply with the guidelines.

To view entire article, click here.  


Nigeria, June 6, 2018
Higher Scrutiny in Oil and Gas Sector Temporary Work Permit Application Process

The Nigerian National Content Development Management Board (NCDMB) is retrospectively checking that employers sponsoring foreign workers under a Temporary Work Permit in the oil and gas sector have submitted an application to the NCDMB as the first part of the entire application process. This process ensures that local employees are considered for open positions, and was not always strictly enforced.

To view entire article, click here.


Netherlands, June 4, 2018
EU Students and Researchers Directive Implemented

The EU Students and Researchers Directive aims to facilitate access to the labor market for students, trainees and researchers in the European Union. The Directive was implemented in the Netherlands on May 23, 2018.

To view entire article, click here.


Austria, Germany, June 1, 2018
Increased Border Checks Expected to Delay Travel

Austria and Germany have announced that they will conduct increased border checks at their mutual border. Travelers are advised to plan for delays and obtain an interim permit if they have a pending renewal application.

To view entire article, click here.


Weekly News Briefs

United States: Latest PERM and PWD Processing Times – As of May 31, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) was conducting analyst review for PERM applications filed in January 2018 or earlier, and processing audited cases filed in September 2017 or earlier. DOL is working on standard reconsideration requests submitted in April 2018 or earlier. There is no update on the government error queue, though these appear to be current.

DOL is issuing prevailing wage determinations for PERM and H-1B requests filed in March 2018. The agency has been processing PERM and H-1B redeterminations requested in April 2018, and PERM center director reviews requested in April 2018.

These reports are available on the iCERT home page.

Algeria / France: Young Worker Exchange Program Created – Effective May 28, 2018, France and Algeria have implemented a mutual young worker exchange program. Under the program, up to 200 workers between the ages of 18 and 35 years will benefit from facilitated access to visas and work authorization. Work authorization can be obtained for an initial period between six and 12 months, renewable for up to 24 months. The program aims to improve career prospects through professional experience. 

Israel: Hi-Tech Visa Available for All Nationalities – The Ministry of Interior has clarified that the Hi-Tech Visa category, offering a stay of up 365 days, is now available to all foreign nationals, not just visa-exempt nationals. The High-Tech Visa requires consular processing and takes three to five weeks to process. It is valid for up to 90 days, is still only available to visa-exempt nationals and requires the worker to meet a prevailing wage. The Hi-Tech Visa offers expedited and streamlined processing for applicants travelling to Israel to work at sponsor companies operating in designated high-tech industries based in Israel. Fragomen worked closely with Kan-Tor & Acco Law Firm (Israel) to prepare this update. 

Italy: Non-EU Sportsmen Quota Set for 2018/2019 Season – The Italian government has set the quota for the number of non-EU sportsmen who can be registered by the Italian Sports Club for the 2018/2019 sports season at 1,090, to be shared among the members of the National Sports Federation. This number includes both non-EU sportsmen entering Italy for the first time and non-EU nationals residing in Italy under a work or family permit. Italian Sports Clubs who wish to hire a foreign national must file an application and obtain a special permit from the Italian National Olympic Committee. Upon approval, the non-EU athlete must apply for a sports visa at the Italian Consulate in their country of residence. Within eight days of arrival in Italy, the non-EU national must apply for a Residence Permit, which is issued by the local police.

Italy: Delays Expected in August – Due to the public holiday period, many public offices in Italy and Italian consulates abroad will be understaffed in August, which may result in application and appointment delays.

Kazakhstan: Waiver Expanded to Local Companies With Foreign Ownership – The work permit waiver for (deputy) chief executives now also applies to Kazakhstani legal entities with full foreign ownership. Previously, this waiver was limited to branches or representative offices of foreign legal entities. Chief executives and deputy chief executives now also qualify for two to three year work permits, while the permit validity for other categories is one year.

Sweden: Police Granted Greater Authority to Inspect Worksites – Effective July 1, 2018, police in Sweden will have more power to check immigration compliance during worksite inspections, as a result of a legislative amendment. Such inspections are expected to be limited to high-risk sectors such agriculture and forestry, automobile repair, cleaning, construction, hospitality, personal assistance, service, staffing and trade. The same amendment also increases penalty amounts for related immigration violations. 

Sweden: Biometrics Appointments Delayed – Both the Migration Agency and the Tax Office in Sweden have reported appointment delays for biometric data submission. This Migration Agency delay affects visa- exempt nationals travelling to Sweden to file their residence permit card applications in country, given that the residence permit card must be obtained before starting work. The Tax Office delay affects applicants seeking a local Tax identification number, which is required to open a local bank account.

Turkey: Exit Documents No Longer Issued Same Day in Istanbul – According to the Migration Directorate, all exit documents will now be issued from the Main Migration Directorate in Istanbul within one to two weeks of the submission of Residence Card applications. Previously, exit documents were issued on the same day. Foreign nationals should plan their travel accordingly, allowing for a two to three week delay in exiting the country.


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.