Connecticut, US

Mar 21 2019

Weekly Immigration Update: March 15-21, 2019

Austria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, European Union, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Latvia, Slovak Republic, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States

In immigration news this week:

  • United States: New guidance from the Department of Labor imposes significant new requirements on notice posting practices for labor condition applications. Also in the United States, between April 1 and April 5, 2019, USCIS will only accept requests for premium processing on FY 2020 H-1B cap cases that request a change of status.  Premium processing will become available for other cap case types at a later date.
  • Greece: In a change of policy, employers are now required to file posted worker notifications for all foreign nationals remaining on home employment contract.
  • France: A ministerial decree, effective July 30, 2020, extends posted workers’ rights and tackles unfair competition and fraud related to posted workers in France. The Decree also imposes new obligations on client companies not based in France, among other items.
  • Canada: The Global Talent Stream pilot program, which facilitates the entry of highly-skilled individuals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics related professions, will become a permanent program under the government’s 2019 budget.



In Brexit news this week:

  • Estonia: The Estonian parliament has approved legislation detailing the treatment of UK nationals residing in Estonia after March 29, in the case of either a no-deal Brexit or if the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the United Kingdom.



These items and other news from Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, European Union, France, India, Ireland, Latvia, Slovakia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

Canada, March 19, 2019

Global Talent Stream Pilot Program to Become Permanent

Canada’s Global Talent Stream pilot program, which facilitates the entry of highly-skilled individuals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics related professions, will become a permanent program under the government’s 2019 budget.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, March 19, 2019

Premium Processing Will Be Available in Stages for FY 2020 H-1B Cap Cases; More Public Disclosure of Employer H-1B Data Forthcoming

  • Employers filing FY 2020 H-1B cap cases that request a change of status will be able to submit requests for premium processing with their cap filings on April 1. If premium processing request is not submitted concurrently with an H-1B cap change of status petition, the employer will need to wait until May to upgrade to premium service.
  • Employers will need to wait until at least June 2019 to request premium processing for all other H-1B cap cases.
  • On April 1, USCIS will unveil a new data website that will allow the public to search H-1B petition information by employer.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Denmark, March 18, 2019

EU Registration Applicants Must Visit Service Center to Submit and Collect Certificates

  • Further to the announcement that the Danish Agency of International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has started processing EU registration applications, the government has stated that as of March 15, 2019, such applications are no longer accepted online.
  • Instead, applicants must submit their applications in person by visiting the nearest Citizen Center, which operates on an online appointment system.
  • This personal visit requirement adds an administrative burden to the EU registration process.



To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, March 15, 2019

Labor Department Imposes Significant New LCA Electronic Notice Obligations on Employers and End-Clients

The Department of Labor issued guidance that imposes significant new requirements on notice posting practices for labor condition applications (LCAs). Employers may need to review notice posting practices at their worksites to validate those practices against the new guidance.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, March 15, 2019

April Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to Honor Final Action Dates Next Month

In April, USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Final Action dates listed in the State Department's April Visa Bulletin.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Greece, March 15, 2019

New Posted Worker Notification Required for Non-EU Assigned Workers

  • In a change of policy, employers in Greece are now required to file posted worker notifications for both EU and non-EU national workers remaining on home employment contract, where this was previously only required for EU nationals.
  • Employers are advised to file posted worker notifications for all non-EU national workers on home employment contract, a cumbersome additional step for affected foreign workers since the posted worker notification requires a personal visit to the Labor Inspection Body.



To view entire article, click here.

 

France, March 15, 2019

Ministerial Decree to Extend Posted Workers’ Rights

  • The French Minister of Labor has published a Decree which extends posted workers’ rights and tackles unfair competition and fraud related to posted workers providing services in France.
  • Notably, the Decree implements equal treatment for posted workers when compared with local staff working in the same branch of activities and broadens the remuneration for posted workers, including all types of premiums and bonuses. It also extends new obligations and penalties to client companies that are not based in France.
  • Further measures should give more authority to French labor authorities to fight illegal work in France and increase sanctions for breaches of posted worker rules.



The Decree will become effective on July 30, 2020. The road transportation sector is not affected by the Decree, as this sector remains under a separate labor law regime.

To view entire article, click here.

 

France, March 15, 2019

Travel Restrictions Reduced for Eligible Talent Passport Holders

  • Talent Passport holders with a three-month visa will be granted a six-month temporary residence permit along with a filing receipt when applying for their residence permit in country.
  • Previously, these applicants were facing travel restrictions with the filing receipt received upon their residence permit application and after the expiry of their long-stay visa.
  • Eligible Talent Passport holders should benefit from increased mobility during their permit application, making the application process less cumbersome and reducing the impact of processing delays.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Brexit News and Related News Briefs This Week

Estonia, March 15, 2019

Parliament Approves Amended No-Deal Brexit Plans for UK Nationals

The Estonian parliament has approved legislation detailing the treatment of UK nationals residing in Estonia after March 29, 2019 in the case of either a no-deal Brexit or if the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the United Kingdom. The legislation differs from the initial government proposal and includes the following key points in case of a no-deal Brexit:

  • Eligible UK nationals and their family members would automatically be granted a temporary residence permit valid for up to five years, or a long-term residence permit if already residing in Estonia as long-term residents.
  • Eligible UK nationals and their family members would be issued residence cards starting April 1, 2020. Current identity cards remain valid in the interim.
  • UK nationals are urged to complete EU Registration (Elamisõigus) and obtain a local identity card, if not yet completed, to prove their right of residence after Brexit.
  • UK nationals and their family members arriving after March 29, 2019 would immediately be required to obtain a residence permit, under the rules that apply to non-European Economic Area nationals.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Czech Republic: Brexit – Reminder on Local Registration – As a reminder, Czech authorities have urged UK nationals to apply for an EU temporary residence certificate (Potvrzení k pøechodnému pobytu pro obèany EU/EEA) – a voluntary registration for EU nationals – before March 29, 2019. Those who fail to do so will not be able to continue residing and working in the Czech Republic post-Brexit and will only be able to perform activities allowed for business visitors. Non-EU family members of UK nationals are urged to apply for a dependent residence permit before March 29, 2019. Only those with a valid residence certificate, residence permit, or pending application will benefit from the grace period and transitional measures in a no-deal scenario announced in January. Separately, Czech authorities have clarified that UK nationals and their family members who have resided in the Czech Republic for five years or more on March 29, 2019 and seek to obtain a permanent residence permit will not be required to demonstrate Czech language knowledge, as non-EU applicants would.

Ireland: Non-EU Family Members of UK Nationals To Automatically Receive Alternate Permit – The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) has confirmed that non-EU family members of UK nationals who currently hold a valid dependent residence permit (‘EU Treaty Rights’ permission) or have a pending application will automatically be granted an equivalent alternate national permit type in case of a no-deal Brexit. The national permit type will have equivalent rights to reside and work in Ireland. It is not yet confirmed within what timeframe following a no-deal Brexit the permits will be replaced. Separately, it is not yet confirmed what permit type will be required for non-EU family members of UK nationals arriving after Brexit.



Latvia: No-Deal Brexit Update – The Latvian parliament approved a bill stating that UK nationals and their family members must apply for a new residence permit at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) before December 31, 2020 to maintain status in Latvia. After March 29, 2019, the government will send UK nationals with a valid Latvian residence document a letter explaining the procedure for obtaining their new residence document. Latvia previously announced that it would allow UK national residents and their non-EU family members to stay and work in the country until December 31, 2020 in case of a no-deal Brexit. 

Slovakia: How UK Nationals in Slovakia Should Prepare for No-Deal Brexit – While the Slovak government is awaiting the United Kingdom's reciprocal guarantee that the rights of Slovak nationals in the United Kingdom will be preserved in case of a no-deal Brexit, human resources departments of employers with UK nationals in Slovakia should ensure their UK employees and assignees have completed residence registration with the Slovak Foreign Police and that they hold a valid Slovak Residence Card (Pobytovy preukaz obcana EU). The residence card will serve as proof of legal residence in Slovakia prior to Brexit. Local employees or seconded assignees who are not registered yet but plan to stay in Slovakia after March 29, 2019 should register their residence as soon as possible. 

Many other EU countries have published contingency plans for UK nationals in case of a no-deal Brexit, with more expected soon. Fragomen will provide updates on the situation as they become available.

Please contact a Fragomen immigration professional for assistance in planning contingency arrangements in a single project. For more information, please visit Fragomen's dedicated Brexit site, which contains news, FAQs, and analysis/commentary in the form of blogs, videos, webcasts and events.

 

Other Weekly News Briefs

Austria: Dependents Can No Longer Enter with Principal Applicant in Two Cities  – Dependents of principal foreign workers applying for a residence permit in Kufstein or Schwaz (Tyrol) can no longer arrive in Austria simultaneously with the principal applicant. Instead, the principal applicant must enter Austria first, submit the dependent's insurance information, the principal’s first pay slip and proof of rental agreement that is sufficient for the applicant and the dependent(s) to the Austrian immigration authority. The immigration authority will then have at least six weeks from when the principal applicant started working to approve the dependent's application. In addition, the immigration authority is now requiring the principal applicant to submit an original diploma (previously, a copy was sufficient), and all applicants (principal applicant and all dependents) to show proof of travel insurance covering the period until the family is eligible for an Austria e-card (at least two months of stay, as required by some consular posts).

Brazil: Visa Waiver to be Implemented for Australian, Canadian, Japanese and U.S. Nationals – Effective June 17, 2019, nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States will no longer require a visa to enter Brazil for tourism, business, transit through the Brazilian airports, sports activities, performances or artistic performances. These nationals will be able to enter Brazil for up to 90 days and can extend their stay for up to 180 cumulative days every 12 months.

Ecuador/Colombia: Colombia Opts Out of Unasur Agreement – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility has announced that effective March 7, 2019, Colombian nationals in Ecuador are no longer eligible for Unasur Visas or Permanent Unasur visas since Colombia recently opted out of the Unasur Agreement. Colombian nationals on Unasur visas will need to obtain Mercosur Visas once their current visa expires.

European Union: Update on Students and Researchers DirectiveAs an update, Cyprus has implemented the EU Students and Researchers Directive, which harmonizes and simplifies rules on stay, labor market access and intra-EU mobility for qualified researchers, students and trainees. The following countries have yet to implement the Directive: Belgium (implementation scheduled for approximately May 2019); the Czech Republic (implementing legislation pending with parliament, implementation date is expected to be June 1, 2019); Greece (no estimated implementation date confirmed); Poland (implementation scheduled for June 1, 2019); Slovenia (implementing legislation pending with parliament, expected to be passed April-May 2019); and Sweden (implementation scheduled for July 1, 2019). The European Commission has been taking steps to urge implementation since July 2018. Fragomen will continue to monitor implementation and will report on relevant developments.

India: Update: New Electronic Visa Rules for Tourists and Business Visitors Implemented – In keeping with its plans to relax its policy for E-Visas, the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Home Affairs has updated the E-Visa program by extending the validity of E-Tourist and E-Business visas to 365 days (up from 60 days) and allowing multiple entries (from double entries) during its validity. Business travellers on the E-Business visa are permitted to stay for a maximum 180 consecutive days (up from 60 days) per visit. There is no change in the consecutive stay limit on the E-tourist visa, which continues to be 180 days for U.S. citizens, and UK, Japanese and Canadian nationals, and 90 days for nationals of all other eligible countries on each visit. The changes take into consideration travellers’ needs and are intended to boost tourism and encourage foreign investment.

Turkey: Online Government Communication System Account (KEP) No Longer Required for Work Permit Applications – The Ministry of Labor no longer requires employers to maintain an account on the government's electronic application and communication system (KEP) to register the Turkish company’s details through the online system. However, employers must still have an e-signature (which must be the same individual as the Social Security Company Representative) in order to proceed with the registration. The government is developing a new online communication system but no further information about the system is available at this time. Fragomen will report on relevant developments.

United Kingdom: Priority Fees Increase, Among Other Small Fee Changes – Effective March 29, 2019, UK authorities will increase visa fees for various categories. Affected foreign nationals should budget for the fee increase. The most notable increases are listed below:





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