Connecticut, US

May 21 2020

Weekly Immigration Update: May 15-21, 2020

Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal , Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam

In immigration news this week:

  • Worldwide: Jurisdictions around the world continue to adapt their coronavirus-related travel restrictions and quarantine measures, and many have implemented extension policies and other concessions. Visit Fragomen’s coronavirus-related news page for the latest immigration updates.
  • United States/Canada/Mexico: Border travel restrictions permitting only essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders have been further extended through June 22.
  • United States: According to the State Department's June Visa Bulletin, all employment-based categories will continue to advance, with significant EB-3 movement for most countries. USCIS has confirmed that it will accept employment-based adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Final Action dates listed in the June Visa Bulletin.



These items and other news from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, May 21, 2020

June Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to Honor Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Categories Next Month

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

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, May 20, 2020

June 2020 Visa Bulletin: Employment-based Categories Continue to Advance, Significant EB-3 Movement for Most Countries

  • EB-1 China will advance by one month to August 15, 2017, while EB-1 India will advance by more than 10 months to June 8, 2016. 
  • EB-2 China will advance by one month to November 1, 2015, and EB-2 India will advance by 10 days to June 12, 2009.
  • EB-3 Worldwide will advance by just over 10 months, to November 8,  2017, while EB-3 China and EB-3 India will each advance by one month, to June 15, 2016 and April 1, 2009, respectively.
  • EB-5 China will advance by two weeks to July 15, 2015, EB-5 India will advance by three months to January 1, 2020, and EB-5 Vietnam will advance by three weeks to April 22, 2017. 



To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, May 19, 2020

U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico Land Border Restrictions Further Extended Through June 22

  • CBP border restrictions permitting only essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders will be extended through June 22.
  • 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.

 

Other Weekly News Briefs

Italy: Investor Visa Investment Amount Lowered – According to a published decree, Italy has reduced the minimum investment amount required for an Investor Visa to EUR 500,000 (down from EUR 1 million) for investment in Italian companies and to EUR 250,000 (down from EUR 500,000) for investment in innovative startups. Other requirements, including obtaining special clearance online and filing a visa application at an Italian consulate, remain the same. The visa is valid for two years, renewable for another three years. Further amendments may be made to the decree when it is converted to law.

Bahrain/Egypt/Iraq/Oman/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/United Arab EmiratesImmigration Processing Delays Expected During Eid-al-Fitr – Foreign nationals and their employers can expect immigration processing delays over the coming weeks in the Middle East and North Africa due to the observance of Eid-al-Fitr, in addition to the delays already caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Bahrain: Government offices will be closed on the first day of Eid and the subsequent two days. If the first day of Eid falls on a weekend, offices will remain closed for an additional day.
  • Egypt: Government offices will be closed from May 24 until May 28.
  • Oman: Government offices will be closed from May 24 until May 26. Work will resume on May 27 if the first day of Eid falls on May 24, or on May 31 if the first day of Eid falls on May 25.
  • Iraq: Government entities will be closed from May 24 until May 28.
  • Qatar: Government entities will remain closed from May 19 until May 28, and work will resume on May 31. Holiday closures for the Qatar Central Bank and institutions under its jurisdiction, as well as for the Qatar Financial Market Authority, will be announced separately.
  • Saudi Arabia: Government entities will remain closed from May 15 until May 28, and work will resume on May 31.
  • United Arab Emirates: If Ramadan ends on May 23, government offices will close on that date and resume work on May 26. If Ramadan ends on May 24, government offices will close on that date and work will resume on May 27. 

 

Peru: Online Visa Application System Expanded to More Application Types – The National Superintendence of Immigration is expanding the online visa application system to include renewing resident visas (such as Resident Worker Visas or Dependent Visas) and filing change of status applications for eligible Venezuelan nationals holding a temporary permit. This change is intended to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the country but is expected to remain in place after the COVID-19 emergency subsides, as part of the government digitalization efforts. More details on the implementation and availability of these online services are expected once the National Superintendence of Immigration reopens.

Russia: Citizenship Changes Forthcoming – Starting June 17, 2020, simplified Russian citizenship applications will be processed in three to six months, where these are typically processed in six to 12 months. Simplified applications are available to nationals of countries which previously comprised the former Soviet Union, among others. Also starting June 17, 2020, Russian language testing – which is part of the citizenship qualification criteria – may be waived for eligible Belarussian and Ukrainian nationals. Lastly, as of July 24, 2020, foreign citizens need not renounce their current nationality to obtain Russian citizenship. Russian authorities previously streamlined citizenship applications for foreign nationals with Russian children, and expanded the list of eligible professions for early citizenship qualification.

United Kingdom: Broader Access to EU Settlement Scheme for Northern Ireland – Starting August 2020, eligible individuals born in Northern Ireland will be able to sponsor family members under the EU Settlement Scheme, where this is not typically possible for other UK nationals. 

United States: DOL Finalizes Rule Authorizing Labor Secretary to Intervene on BALCA Cases – The Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized a rule that gives the Labor Secretary the authority to review decisions of and appeals before the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA). The regulation allows the Secretary, in his/her sole discretion, to initiate the review of BALCA cases he/she deems “necessary and appropriate.” DOL notes that it does not expect secretarial review will be used often, and "will typically be reserved for matters of significant importance." The comment to the rule suggests that intervention could occur on matters where there have been inconsistent adjudications.

Under the new process, the Secretary may intervene under the following conditions: 

  • PERM cases: The Secretary may intervene from the time the appeal is filed with BALCA until the passage of 30 days after the BALCA decision has been issued.
  • H-2A cases: The Secretary may intervene from the date the appeal is received by BALCA until the passage of 10 days after the BALCA decision has been issued.
  • H-2A cases where de novo review is sought: The Secretary may intervene within 15 days after the BALCA decision has been issued.



When the Secretary assumes jurisdiction over a case and makes a ruling, the Secretary’s decision "shall constitute final action by the Department and shall serve as binding precedent on all Department employees and in all Department proceedings involving the same issue or issues." The rule will take effect on June 19, 2020.

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