Virginia, US

Jun 29 2018

Weekly Immigration Update: June 22 - 28, 2018

Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, European Union, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

In United States immigration news this week, the Supreme Court held that President Trump acted within his authority when he imposed travel restrictions on certain nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. Nationals of the restricted countries remain subject to travel limitations, unless otherwise exempt or granted a waiver.

Also in the United States, the House of Representatives voted down the border security and immigration reform bill.

Employers in Russia must file second quarter notifications for salaries paid out to highly-qualified specialists by July 31.

Effective July 1, work and business visa holders in Kazakhstan will no longer have to complete a migration card upon arrival or register their passport within five calendar days of arrival.  

In the United Kingdom, numerous changes to the Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Indefinite Leave to Remain categories will take effect on July 6.

Oman has extended the suspension of the recruitment of foreign workers in 87 professions across various industries through January 30, 2019.

These items and other news from Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, June 27, 2018

Border Security and Immigration Reform Bill Defeated in the House of Representatives

The bill – which was defeated by a vote of 121 to 301 – would have eliminated per-country quotas on employment-based immigrant visas and created a points-based permanent residence program for DACA-eligible foreign nationals and certain children of nonimmigrants, among other provisions.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, June 26, 2018

Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban

  • The Supreme Court held that President Trump acted within his authority when he imposed travel restrictions on certain nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
  • The Court also found that the travel restrictions are justified by national security concerns; as such, the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed in their claim that the restrictions violate the First Amendment.
  • Nationals of the restricted countries remain subject to travel limitations, unless otherwise exempt or granted a waiver.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Kazakhstan, June 28, 2018

Simplified Arrival Process for Visa Holders Starts July 1, 2018

Effective July 1, 2018, work and business visa holders in Kazakhstan will no longer have to complete a migration card upon arrival, and will no longer have to register their passport within five calendar days of arrival.  

To view entire article, click here.

 

Kazakhstan, June 26, 2018

Application Filing Deadlines Less Restrictive and Filing Locations Added

Foreign nationals and employers should be aware that certain application deadlines for Kazakhstani immigration documents have become less restrictive as follows: 

  • Visa reference number application deadlines have been shortened to five business days prior to arrival in Kazakhstan from 14 business days; and
  • Work visa extension applications can be filed up to 30 calendar days prior to expiry instead of two weeks prior to expiry.



Foreign nationals can now also apply for Kazakhstani visas in countries where they have business, work or investor visas, instead of only from countries of permanent residence and citizenship.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Russia, June 25, 2018

Second Quarter Salary Notifications for Highly Qualified Specialists Due by July 31, 2018

Employers must file second quarter notifications for salaries paid out to highly-qualified specialists (HQS) by July 31, 2018. Violations of the established notification procedures, including failure to notify, will result in administrative fines for the employer.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Oman, June 25, 2018

Suspension Extended for the Recruitment of Foreign Nationals Across Various Industries

The Ministry of Manpower in Oman issued a decision extending the suspension of the recruitment of foreign workers in 87 professions across various industries for an additional six months. The suspension will be in effect through January 30, 2019.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, June 25, 2018

Tier 1, 2, and 4 and Indefinite Leave to Remain Changes

Following the removal of medical staff from the Tier 2 quota pool, UK authorities have announced further changes effective July 6, 2018. The amendments include smaller changes that will align the immigration processes with current policy priorities and address topical concerns.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Ireland, June 22, 2018

Employment Permit Applications Significantly Delayed

The current processing time for Trusted Partner Initiative applications is now over five weeks, up from the typical two to four weeks. Standard Employment Permit applications are currently taking over twelve weeks to process, up from the usual seven to nine weeks.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Weekly News Briefs

Belgium/European Union: Belgium Must Process EU Family Member Applications Faster – The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that EU immigration authorities have six months to adjudicate and confirm their decision to non-EU family members of EU nationals applying for residence. The ruling was the result of preliminary questions asked by a Belgian court in a case involving the residence permit application of a Guinean national seeking to stay with his Dutch child in Belgium.

Canada: Shorter Deadline for Express Entry Permanent Residence Applications – Foreign nationals invited by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) after June 26, 2018 to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry will only have 60 days, instead of the previous 90 days, from the date of invitation to complete and submit their permanent residence applications online. Foreign nationals who were invited to apply on the draw conducted on June 25, 2018 will still have 90 days to complete and to submit their applications. The shortened application deadline only applies to Express Entry permanent residence applications. Affected applicants should be prepared to gather the required documentation for their permanent residence applications during this shorter timeframe.

Ethiopia: E-Visa System Now Accessible for All Visas – Foreign nationals entering Ethiopia under any visa, including business visas, can now apply and pay for their visa using the e-Visa portal. Online applicants will receive their visa via email within three calendar days, as opposed to the ten days it takes through the manual application method. Applicants can still apply for their visa at Ethiopian consular posts, but the government will likely phase out this application method.

Nigeria: Additional Fee for Biometrics on Visa-on-Arrival Suspended – The Nigerian Immigration Service has announced that foreign nationals entering Nigeria under a visa-on-arrival will no longer be required to pay an additional fee of USD 90 due to biometrics requirements implemented earlier this month.

Russia: Second Quarter Salary Notifications for Highly Qualified Specialists Due by July 31, 2018 – Employers have until July 31, 2018 to file second quarter notifications for salaries paid out to highly-qualified specialists (HQS). The notification must state the salaries paid to HQS from April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. The reported HQS salary should be no less than RUB 167,000 per calendar month or RUB 501,000 per quarter (if there was a break in work during the reported period). Violations of the established notification procedures, including failure to notify, will result in administrative fines for the employer.

Turkey: Free Trade Zone Applications Face One-Month Delay – Free Trade Zone (FTZ) applications face an additional one-month delay in addition to the already delayed processing of FTZ cases, this time due to login issues with the online filing and appointment system. The login issues are resulting in the following disturbances in the work authorization process:

  • Applicants cannot access the online system to prepare applications and schedule appointments for in-person FTZ work authorization filing.
  • For FTZ work authorization applications that were already registered in the system but not yet submitted, applicants cannot complete the application within the 10-day reference number validity period. Once the reference number has lapsed, applicants must file a new application, which is cumbersome and time-consuming.
  • For applications that were submitted but not yet approved, FTZ Directorate officials cannot access the system to issue their preliminary approval in a three-step approval chain. As a result, the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Labour cannot issue their approval either, and no FTZ work authorization approvals can be issued.



United Arab Emirates: Service Fees and Packages Announced for Recruitment of Domestic Workers – The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced service fees and packages for the recruitment of domestic workers through its dedicated Tadbeer Service Centers. Families and businesses recruiting domestic workers can choose from the following packages that are expected to be reviewed every six months:

  • Employment of workers who are outside of the United Arab Emirates – this option triggers a recruitment fee varying between AED 2,000 and AED 15,000 (depending on the country of origin of the worker), and excludes governmental fees and accommodation.
  • Employment of workers for a fixed six-month or 12-month contract – this option triggers a monthly salary of between AED 2,200 and AED 2,500 per month (depending on nationality) to be paid by employer. After the end of the contract, the worker will be allowed to transfer their sponsorship directly to the employer, subject to a mutual agreement and payment of an additional fee. The sponsorship transfer is not possible for workers with a 12-month contract.
  • Employment of workers on a monthly, weekly, daily or hourly basis, depending on their requirements. The fees remain the same, regardless of nationality: AED 120 for four hours daily, AED 200 for eight hours daily, AED 1,120 for seven days, AED 3,500 for 30 days, AED 3,250 monthly for six months or AED 3,000 monthly for 12 months.



United Kingdom: Indefinite Leave to Remain Changes – In January, the wording of the rule for Points Based System migrants and their dependants applying for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom was changed to require applicants to show that they were not away from the United Kingdom for more than 180 days during any consecutive 12-month period. A new rule effective July 6, 2018 states that where a foreign national is absent from the United Kingdom during periods of leave granted under the rules in place before January 11, 2018, the applicant must not have been absent from the United Kingdom for more than 180 days during each consecutive 12-month period, ending on the same date of the year as the date of the application for indefinite leave to remain.

United Kingdom: Plans Announced for Digitalizing Immigration Processes – UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is piloting several changes to promote digitalization, including:

  • UKVI will conduct electronic compliance audits through digital uploading of compliance records. More employers would be checked more frequently. Site visits should continue but may decrease.
  • Immigration processing will be moved back to the United Kingdom from overseas posts. Visa processing centers around the globe should be equipped with scanning technology, allowing electronic submission of documents.
  • The processing hub in New York is expected to close in October, in line with the planned introduction of online filing for the United States.
  • Premium services will be divided into several components, allowing employers to choose certain elements of additional services rather than paying a single significant lump sum.
  • In-country applicants will be able to apply and pay online, and submit documents electronically at various service centers, starting October 2018.

 

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