Jun 03 2021

Weekly Immigration Update: May 28–June 3, 2021

Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia , Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, 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 COVID-19 website for the latest immigration updates.
  • United Kingdom: European Economic Area nationals and their families who were residing in the United Kingdom by December 31, 2020 must submit applications under the EU Settlement Scheme by June 30, 2021 to remain lawfully resident in the United Kingdom from July 1.
  • Israel: A temporary regulation in place until June 8 will allow employers to apply for work permits and work visas for foreign nationals in certain occupations.
  • United States: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received enough petitions to reach the 16,000 supplemental H-2B visa cap made available to returning workers. The agency continues to accept H-2B petitions for the additional 6,000 visas allotted for nationals of Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador).
  • Cameroon: Effective immediately, a Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training decree will prioritize the employment of locals in public-private partnership investment projects in the country. The decree requires that employers seeking to hire a foreign national submit a skills transfer plan to the Ministry with the name of the local worker who will take over the position of the foreign national upon the expiry of their work permit.
  • Singapore: The Ministry of Manpower clarified Dependent’s Pass (DP) holder requirements following new DP work requirements that took effect May 1. DP holders must obtain an Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit and satisfy relevant minimum salary requirements, quotas and levies in order to work in Singapore.



These items and other news from Azerbaijan, Kenya, the Netherlands, and Qatar follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important updates in immigration this week



United States, June 3, 2021

USCIS Reaches FY 2021 H-2B Cap for Additional Returning Workers; Continues to Accept Filings for Northern Triangle Nationals Until July 8

  • USCIS has received enough FY 2021 H-2B petitions to reach the 16,000 supplemental cap for returning workers. Returning worker H-2B petitions received after June 1, 2021 will be rejected.
  • The agency continues to accept H-2B filings for Northern Triangle country (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) nationals until July 8, 2021.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, June 3, 2021

Deadline Approaching to Apply to EU Settlement Scheme

  • European Economic Area nationals and their families who were residing in the United Kingdom by December 31, 2020 must submit applications under the EU Settlement Scheme on or before June 30, 2021 to remain lawfully resident in the United Kingdom from July 1.
  • Eligible individuals who fail to apply by this deadline may automatically lose their UK immigration status and beginning July 1, 2021, will face difficulty proving their right to work, live, study or access the National Health Service.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Singapore, June 3, 2021

Work Requirements for Dependent’s Pass Holders Clarified

  • The Ministry of Manpower has clarified that Dependent’s Pass (DP) holders applying for Work Permits are not required to submit security bonds or medical examination results every six months, under the new DP work requirements that took effect on May 1, 2021. Also, female DP holders are not subject to pregnancy restrictions. As a reminder, however, DP holder’s Work Permits are counted towards their employer’s quota.
  • The MOM also clarified that the validity period of DP holders’ Work Permits will be tied to their underlying DP, unlike DP holders who obtain S Passes or Employment Passes, who must cancel their DP once the new passes are issued. As a result, employers with foreign nationals who currently hold a DP using a Letter of Consent for work authorization should ensure that the DP renewal process is started early because the DP must have a minimum validity of four months in order to apply for a Work Permit tied to the DP.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Israel, June 2, 2021

Temporary Regulation Allows Employers to Apply for Work Permits and Work Visas for Specific Occupations Until June 8

  • The Ministry of Interior published a temporary regulation that will allow employers to apply for work permits and work visas for foreign nationals in certain occupations for a trial period until June 8, 2021. This period may be extended.
  • The regulation allows for a maximum of 2,000 employee permits to be issued in occupations in the industrial and manufacturing sectors and for mechanical engineers, inventory clerks, and machine operators, among others.
  • The permit will only be available to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Bulgaria, the Cayman Islands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Hungary, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
  • Employers who seek to obtain these visas should immediately contact their immigration provider for assistance, since the window for applications is extremely short.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Cameroon, June 2, 2021

Employment of Locals Workers Prioritized for Public-Private Partnership Investment Projects

  • The Cameroonian Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training issued a decree, effective immediately, which prioritizes the employment of locals in public-private partnership investment projects in the country.
  • The decree requires that employers who are seeking to hire a foreign national submit a skills transfer plan to the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training with the name of the local worker who will take over the position of the foreign national upon the expiry of their work permit.
  • Once submitted, the Ministry will conduct an investigation to ensure that no local workers currently have the required skills for the position, and, if none are found, issue a certificate of deficiency, allowing the employer to hire the foreign national.
  • Additionally, the decree mandates that certain positions can only be filled by local workers.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other weekly news briefs



Azerbaijan: New Submission Process for Online Work Permit Applications – The State Migration Service has changed the internal process for online work permit applications and now requires initial and renewal Work Permit applications to be uploaded to their website by using the Azerbaijan Services and Assessment Network (ASAN) signature of the work permit sponsoring company. As a result, work permit sponsoring companies need to provide their immigration provider with their ASAN signature details, including their number, user identification, and email of an authorized person under the ASAN signature. Previously, Work Permit applications were submitted directly to the State Migration Service’s website upon completion of registration on the site. The State Migration Service will continue to accept work permit applications submitted directly at the Migration Department of ASAN centers.

Kenya: Initiative Launched to Eliminate Citizenship and Permanent Residence Applications Backlog – The Department of Immigration has launched a Rapid Results Initiative (RRI), aimed at eliminating the processing backlog of citizenship and permanent residence applications. Though the government has not published clear details about the initiative, Fragomen expects that some pending citizenship and permanent residence applications will be processed in under 60 days, which is a major shift from the usual process where such applications take up to a year or more for both application types. The current initiative is expected to last until July 31, 2021, after which the government is expected to resume the normal process, albeit in a more streamlined manner.

Netherlands: Stricter Eligibility for Graduate Permit Forthcoming – The Dutch Minister of Justice and Security announced that stricter eligibility requirements for the graduate permit (‘orientation year highly educated persons’) will be implemented soon. Under the new rules, graduates are eligible for the permit if their international educational institution is listed in two of the following lists, up from one list: top 200 of the general ranking or ranking by subject of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings or Academic Ranking of World Universities. As before, graduates of foreign institutions must have obtained their Master’s degree or PhD no more than three years before applying for the permit in the Netherlands. The new rules must be formalized in an updated ministerial decree, which is expected to occur in the next few weeks. The stricter requirements apply to applications filed after the effective date of change and will not impact pending applications.

Qatar: Platform Launched to File Complaints of Violations of the Labour Law – The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs launched an online platform, the Unified Platform for Complaints and Whistleblowers, which allows employees, companies in the private sector, and domestic workers to file complaints related to violations of employment rights and the country’s labor law provisions. The platform is expected to launch in phases. In the first phase, users can anonymously file labor complaints against companies and domestic workers can file complaints against their employers. Items that can be reported include the gathering of workers, inappropriate accommodations for workers, and other explicit violations of the labor law at worksites. At this time, there is no additional information on how the platform will operate in the subsequent launch phases.

 

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