Virginia, US

Jul 07 2017

Weekly Immigration Update: June 30 – July 6, 2017

India, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, Thailand, United States

In United States immigration news this week, all qualifying citizens of India are now eligible to apply for membership in the Global Entry trusted traveler program, which facilitates expedited U.S. immigration and customs clearance at participating airports.

In India, the deadline to apply for the Overseas Citizen of India Card in lieu of Person of Indian Origin Card has been extended from June 30, 2017 to December 31, 2017.

Immigration New Zealand has adopted a new policy interpretation making Work Visa holders' dependent children under five years of age eligible to obtain a Visitor Visa only, where as previously they were eligible for a Student Visa.

In Portugal, employers sponsoring posted workers for new assignments must now notify the Authority for Labor Conditions and provide detailed information on the posting.

In Thailand, employers canceling a foreign national employee's Work Permit are now required to notify the Registrar within seven calendar days from the last official work date.  Effective January 1, 2018, a new labor law sets higher penalties for employers that hire unauthorized foreign nationals or allow authorized Work Permit holders to work in prohibited professions or occupations or carry out work other than what is authorized by the Work Permit. 

These items and other news from Sweden and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, July 5, 2017
Global Entry Opens to All Eligible Citizens of India

Qualifying citizens of India are now eligible to apply for Global Entry membership. Applicants who meet program requirements and pass a background check can benefit from expedited entry to the United States at designated airports.

To view entire article, click here.

Thailand, July 5, 2017
Mandatory Notification for Work Permit Cancelation

Effective immediately, employers canceling the foreign national employee's Work Permit are now required to notify the Registrar within seven calendar days from the last official work date.  This change does not affect the cancelation process for long-term visas.

To view entire article, click here.

Thailand, July 5, 2017
New Labor Law Sets Higher Penalties for Employer Noncompliance

Effective January 1, 2018, a new labor law referred to as the Decree on Managing the Work of Foreigners will impose significantly higher penalties for employers that employ unauthorized foreign nationals or that allow authorized Work Permit holders to work in prohibited professions or occupations or to carry out work other than what is authorized by the Work Permit. 

To view entire article, click here.

New Zealand, July 4, 2017
Work Visa Holders’ Dependent Children Under Five Restricted to Visitor Visas

Immigration New Zealand has adopted a new policy interpretation making Work Visa holders' dependent children under five years of age eligible to obtain a Visitor Visa only instead of the previous Student Visa.

To view entire article, click here.

India, July 3, 2017
Deadline for OCI in Lieu of PIO Card Applications Extended Until December 31, 2017

The deadline to apply for the Overseas Citizen of India Card in lieu of Person of Indian Origin Card has been further extended from June 30, 2017 until December 31, 2017.

To view entire article, click here.

Portugal, July 3, 2017
EU Posted Workers Directive Implemented

Effective immediately, Portugal has implemented the EU Directive on the posting of workers.  Employers sponsoring posted workers for new assignments in Portugal must now notify the Authority for Labor Conditions and provide detailed information on the posting.

To view entire article, click here.

Weekly News Briefs

United States: USCIS Ombudsman Issues 2017 Annual Report – In its 2017 annual report to Congress, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ombudsman voices concerns about escalating filing fee costs and continued delays in employment authorization and other application processing. The report also highlights longer processing times and backlogs in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program.

Sweden: Processing Delays Expected During Summer – Foreign nationals should expect processing delays for Work and Residence Permit applications during the summer period due to staff shortages at the Swedish Migration Agency. Applicants and employers should take these delays into consideration when submitting new or renewal applications as well as before making firm travel plans in conjunction with pending applications.

Global Immigration News Links

Fragomen is set to launch a unique Immigration Technology Innovation Lab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which will serve as an innovation hub to develop technology for client-facing services, The American Lawyer and The Legal Intelligencer report.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills which – if approved by the Senate and signed into law by the President – would allow for stronger punishments for those re-entering the U.S. illegally and withhold federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities that fail to comply with federal immigration orders, according to USA Today.

U.K.’s finance firms placed flexible immigration rules among their top priorities for a Brexit deal, as the industry seeks to mitigate the potential impact of leaving the EU, Bloomberg reports.

A skills shortage in the U.K. workforce could cost the country 90 billion pounds a year, and Brexit could make it worse, the Independent reports.

Foreign nationals in the U.K. directly affected by the Grenfell Tower fire will be allowed to remain in the country for 12 months regardless of their immigration status, BBC reports.

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