Connecticut, US

Jun 15 2018

Weekly Immigration Update: June 8 – 14, 2018

Algeria, Austria, Belarus, Bolivia, Canada, Czech Republic, European Union, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay

In United States immigration news this week, USCIS has begun issuing notifications to petitioners selected for 15,000 additional H-2B numbers for employment in FY 2018.

The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that EU countries must grant residence rights to same-sex spouses of EU nationals. Employers in Slovakia sponsoring foreign workers under a Blue Card, EU Intracompany Transferee Permit or Single Permit may be subject to rejections if they have been found to have violated the law against illegal employment practices.

The UK government has announced a new start-up visa for entrepreneurs, to be introduced in March or April 2019.

In Kazakhstan, quota number applications allowing employers to sponsor foreign workers in 2019 must be submitted by August 1, 2018.

In the Middle East and parts of Europe, foreign nationals and their employers can expect immigration processing delays through mid-June during the observance of Eid-al-Fitr.  

These items and other news from Belarus, Bolivia, Canada, Czech Republic, European Union, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, June 11, 2018

USCIS Completes FY 2018 H-2B Cap Lottery

  • USCIS has begun issuing notifications to petitioners selected in the FY 2018 H-2B cap lottery.
  • Receipting of H-2B cap cases is expected to continue for at least several more days.
  • USCIS will soon begin to return unselected cases and fee checks to petitioners, but has not identified a time frame for returns.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Bolivia, June 14, 2018

Documents Can Now be Apostilled

Bolivia was added to the Hague Convention. Consular legalization is no longer required. Therefore, authorities in Bolivia now accept documents legalized with apostille, which involves a streamlined legalization process.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, June 13, 2018

New Start-up Visa to Ease Qualification Criteria for Entrepreneurs

The UK government has announced a new start-up visa route for entrepreneurs, to be introduced in March or April 2019. The new start-up visa will replace the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa and will provide a faster entry process for qualifying entrepreneurs that will no longer be restricted to graduates. 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Worldwide, June 13, 2018

Government Closures During Eid-al-Fitr Holiday

Government offices across the Middle East and Europe will be closed due to upcoming Eid-al-Fitr holiday, marking end of Ramadan. Delays should be expected following the closures and the delays could continue in the upcoming weeks due to application backlogs.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Mexico, June 12, 2018

Increased Unannounced Inspections and New Criteria for Many Immigration Processes Delaying Applications

The National Institute of Migration (INM) has introduced new criteria for many immigration processes, which may delay pending applications. Additionally, increased unannounced workplace visits by the INM may prolong the response times to pending immigration applications.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Slovakia, June 11, 2018

Employers May be Subject to Sponsorship Rejections for More Work Permit Types

A new law clarifies that employers sponsoring foreign workers under more work authorization categories than were previously prescribed in the law may be subject to future sponsorship rejections. Effective May 1, 2018, employers sponsoring foreign workers under a Blue Card, EU Intracompany Transferee Permit or Single Permit may be subject to rejections if they have been found to have violated the law against illegal employment practices.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Kazakhstan, June 8, 2018

2019 Quota Applications Due August 1

Applications for quota numbers, allowing employers to sponsor foreign workers in 2019, must be submitted by August 1, 2018. Regional authorities are already accepting quota applications, so employers should start preparing supporting quota application documents.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Germany, June 8, 2018

Mumbai Consulate Experiencing Delays

In addition to delays at the Bangalore German Consulate, foreign nationals should expect delays at the German Consulate in Mumbai as there are currently no visa appointments available until at least August. Since foreign nationals seeking a German visa must file their application with the respective German consulate depending on their place of permanent residence, there are currently no workarounds and travel may be impacted by the delays.

To view entire article, click here.

 

European Union, June 8, 2018

Court of Justice Rules That EU Countries Must Grant Residence Rights to Same-Sex Spouses of EU Nationals

EU nationals moving to another EU country can now sponsor their same-sex spouse as a dependent in any EU country. The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that when an EU national has moved to a second EU country with a same-sex spouse and applies for residence rights there, the second EU country must recognize the same-sex marriage conducted in the other EU country and grant residence rights, even if the latter country does not allow same-sex marriage under national law.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Weekly News Briefs

United States: USCIS to Issue Receipt Notice with 18-Month Validity for Certain Petitioners Removing Residence Conditions – Effective June 11, 2018, petitioners who file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, will receive a Form I-797 receipt notice that can be presented with their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the expiration date on their Permanent Resident Card, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced. The agency is making the change from 12 to 18 months because of increased processing times for Forms I-751 and I-829.

USCIS will also issue new Form I-797 receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents (CPR) whose Form I-751 or I-829 was still pending as of June 11, 2018. Those Form I-797 receipt notices will also serve as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the expiration date on petitioner’s Permanent Resident Card.

Belarus: Visa Waiver for FIFA 2018 – Belorussian authorities have confirmed that between June 4 and July 25, 2018, foreign FIFA world cup spectators with a fan identification number issued by FIFA can enter Belarus with only their passport and no additional visa. Additionally, border checkpoints with sufficient infrastructure will allocate corridors to supporters. Information about entering Russia through Belarus during the World Cup can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Russia and Belarus will continue to negotiate future reciprocal visa waivers based on the FIFA world cup experience.

Canada: Consolidated Entry Stream for Students from China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam – To encourage international students' entry to Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has created a new immigration category called the Student Direct Stream (SDS), available to eligible students from China, India, the Philippines or Vietnam applying for a study permit. Candidates will need to meet certain SDS eligibility requirements and should benefit from faster study permit processing times. The stream consolidates four other streams that were previously available for students from these countries. IRCC also announced plans to expand the program to students from Kenya and Senegal.   

Czech Republic: August Consular Appointments in New Delhi Filled – The Embassy in New Delhi confirmed that all available appointment slots for August are filled. It will publish the new code for scheduling appointments for September on its website on August 1, 2018 at 11:00 am local New Delhi time. Appointments cannot be booked without the code. The number of available appointment slots has been increased to 72 per week or 288 per month. As before, appointments are scheduled based on the time stamp of email requests and cannot be expedited or changed. Changes would require a new appointment request. No workarounds are available.

Netherlands/Croatia: Work Permit Requirement for Croatian Nationals to be Eliminated July 1 – Croatian nationals will no longer require work authorization in the Netherlands effective July 1, 2018. This comes as a result of the Dutch government’s decision to not extend the immigration restrictions allowed as a transitional measure when Croatia joined the European Union in 2013. Croatian nationals will still be required to register with their local town hall in the Netherlands for stays exceeding four months.

Reciprocally, effective July 1, 2018, Croatia will lift the immigration restrictions on Dutch nationals. Locally-hired Dutch nationals will no longer require a stay and work permit for employment over 90 days.

European Union: Progress on Schengen Information System Amendments – The European Council and the European Parliament have reached an informal agreement on the proposed amendments to the Schengen Information System (SIS), the electronic database on Schengen visa holders. The full Council and Parliament must still formally approve the amendments before they become effective. ​

Peru: Work Contract Approval Delays at Ministry of Labor – The Ministry of Labor is taking 15 business days to approve a work contract, which is a prerequisite for Residence Visa applications for non-Mercosur nationals. Previously, this approval took seven business days. Companies should be aware of the longer processing time and plan accordingly.

Poland: New Shortage Labour Permit – Poland is planning to introduce a new Single Permit type for shortage occupations by January 1, 2019, according to information from the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry will compile the list of eligible occupations by the end of 2018. The Single Permit offers expedited access to permanent residence after four years of stay instead of five, as is offered with the other permit types in Poland.

Russia: Government Authorized to Introduce Sanctions – The Russian government has adopted a law allowing the introduction of restrictive measures on other countries in response to unfriendly political or other actions. The wide-ranging law lists potential restrictive measures, notably excluding immigration restrictions such as a ban on employing foreign nationals from designated countries. The law, however, contains a blanket authorization to introduce any restriction not specifically listed. Introducing any restrictive measures would require a separate decree or by-law.

United Arab Emirates: Visa Exemptions for Nationals of Brazil, Uruguay and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Effective immediately, nationals of Uruguay are eligible for visa-free entry into the United Arab Emirates for stays of up to 90 days for business and tourism.

Additionally, nationals of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are eligible for a visa-free entry into the United Arab Emirates for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period for business and tourism.

Lastly, nationals of Brazil are eligible for visa-free entry for tourism and business for up to 90 days in a 365-day period, following the date of first entry into the United Arab Emirates. Travelers from either country will receive an entry stamp upon arrival.

Previously, nationals of all the above countries had to apply for a UAE visa prior to travel.

United Arab Emirates: Update on Visa-on-arrival for Indian Nationals – The General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai has announced that Indian passport holders with a valid residency visa issued by the United Kingdom or a European Union Member State can now obtain a 14-day single-entry visa-on-arrival in the United Arab Emirates. The new law was approved by the UAE Cabinet in September 2017 but was not implemented until now.

 

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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.