Jun 24 2021

Weekly Immigration Update: June 18–24, 2021

Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Brunei, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Union, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Zambia

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.
  • United Kingdom: As a reminder, the EU Settlement Scheme application deadline is June 30. Separately, the Home Office has updated employer guidance for right to work checks, and further delayed the end date for the temporary right to work check measures to August 31.
  • European Union: As a reminder, UK nationals and their family members seeking residence rights under the Withdrawal Agreement based on residence before December 31, 2020, must apply for Article 50 residence permits before or on June 30th in Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovakia.
  • United States: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Final Action Dates listed in the State Department’s July 2021 Visa Bulletin. In connection with the COVID-19 emergency, USCIS is extending its deadline extension policy for responses to agency actions through September 30. It is also extending through July 21 CBP border restrictions that permit only essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada land borders.
  • New Zealand: Effective November 1, a new Accredited Employer Work Visa process will replace certain existing temporary work visa processes.



These items and other news from Australia, and the United Arab Emirates follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important updates in immigration this week



United States, June 24, 2021

USCIS Extends Existing COVID-19 Accommodations on RFEs, NOIDs, Appeals and Other Responses Through September 30, 2021

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, USCIS is extending its 60-day deadline extension policy through September 30, 2021.
  • Petitioners and applicants will have an additional 60 days to respond to requests for evidence, notices of intent to deny or revoke, notices of intent to terminate EB-5 regional investment centers and certain other notices dated between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.
  • Employers and foreign nationals will also have 60, rather than 30, days to file any appeal or motion to reopen a USCIS decision that was issued between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. 

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Arab Emirates, June 23, 2021

Temporary Suspension of Issuance of Emirates Identity Cards

  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) has suspended the issuance of physical Emirates Identity Cards because of the ongoing work on a new, advanced version of the card.
  • Applicants who currently require a new Emirates Identity Card or who require a card to renew their residency status can instead obtain a digital version of the document until the new cards are issued.
  • It is not yet known when the FAIC will begin issuing the new version of the card.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

New Zealand, June 23, 2021

New Accredited Employer Work Visa Process to be Introduced

  • Effective November 1, 2021, New Zealand will be introducing a new Accredited Employer Work Visa process to replace certain existing temporary work visa processes (not including the Specific Purpose Work Visa).
  • Employers will benefit from a simplified visa application process and the streamlining of labour market tests, which will likely result in simpler requirements and faster processing times. Immigration New Zealand is expected to release further details ahead of the launch in November.
  • The change is in line with the New Zealand government’s aim to decrease reliance on lower-paid temporary workers, increase productivity, address infrastructure challenges and ultimately increase the skill levels of foreign nationals migrating to New Zealand.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, June 23, 2021

Right to Work Check Guidance Updated

  • The Home Office has updated employer guidance for right to work checks.
  • Acceptable documents (List A and List B) for valid right to work checks from July 1, 2021 have been added.
  • Guidance has been provided regarding late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme after June 30, 2021.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, June 22, 2021

Reminder - EU Settlement Scheme Deadline is June 30, 2021

  • As a reminder, the application deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme is approaching on June 30, 2021.
  • EU and European Economic Area nationals who held residence in the United Kingdom by 23:00 local time on December 31, 2020 must submit a timely application under the scheme to ensure that they can continue to work, rent and access healthcare in the United Kingdom.
  • Importantly, individuals who hold permanent residence or a European Residence Card either as a European national or a family member must also register for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or apply to naturalise as British citizens before June 30, 2021.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

European Union, June 22, 2021

Upcoming Post-Brexit Rights Application Deadline for Certain EU Member States

  • As a reminder, UK nationals and their family members seeking residence rights under the Withdrawal Agreement based on residence before December 31, 2020, must apply for Article 50 residence permits before or on June 30, 2021 in Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovakia.
  • UK nationals and their family members who do not file applications by June 30, 2021 in France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Malta may lose their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
  • Additionally, in Germany, late applicants may have difficulties proving their status.
  • In Croatia, Greece, and Slovakia, late applicants may face fines but may still be able to retain their residence status, at the authorities’ discretion.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, June 21, 2021

U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico Land Border Restrictions Extended Through July 21

  • CBP border restrictions permitting only essential travel across the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico land borders will be extended through July 21, 2021. The restrictions do not affect air travel.
  • Essential travel includes travel by U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals traveling to work in the United States, among others.  
  • Visa Waiver and other business travelers may face additional scrutiny at the border. 
  • “Non-essential travel” at land borders is not permitted, which includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, June 18, 2021

Temporary Right to Work Check Measures Extended to August 31, 2021

  • The Home Office has further delayed the end date for the temporary right to work check measures to August 31, 2021.
  • Starting September 1, 2021, employers will need to either check the employee’s original documents or check the employee’s right to work online.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, June 18, 2021

July 2021 Visa Bulletin Update - USCIS to Honor Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Categories

Next month, USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Final Action Dates listed in the State Department’s July 2021 Visa Bulletin.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other weekly news briefs



Australia: Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List Expanded – The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs has announced that the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) will now include 22 additional occupations across the accounting, engineering, information and communication technology and medical and hospitality sectors, bringing the total number of occupations on the current PMSOL to 41. The PMSOL identifies critical skills needs to support Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and is based on expert advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with Commonwealth departments, Australian employers, business leaders and industry bodies. The composition of the list follows analysis of the recent changes to the vacancy index, changes in employment, and longer-term stability in the labour market for certain occupations. Certain critical workers sponsored by employers to work in PMSOL occupations in Australia are given priority processing of their Temporary Skill Shortage visa and Employer Nomination Scheme applications as well as the ability to apply for an individual travel exemption.

 

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