US

Jun 04 2020

Weekly Immigration Update: May 29-June 4, 2020

Albania, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Canada, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, France, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nepal , Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, The Bahamas, Tunisia , 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 coronavirus-related news page for the latest immigration updates.
  • United States: Effective June 1, Chinese nationals are prohibited from using F or J nonimmigrant visas to enter the United States to engage in graduate study or research if they have been associated with entities that support the Chinese government’s military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to resume its premium processing service for I-129 and I-140 petitions in four phases over the next month, starting June 1. Premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions will not begin until the last phase of the timeline, which is expected to start on June 22.
  • European Union: EU countries are starting to relax internal border restrictions and are implementing more health and entry requirements to control the spread of COVID-19.
  • South Korea: Effective June 1, most registered long-term visa holders who seek to depart and return to South Korea will need to obtain a re-entry permit and submit a consent form for medical examination before departing South Korea.
  • Canada: Stricter regulations for the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) – the fast-tracked program in the permanent residence process in Quebec – are expected to take effect June 29. Changes include longer work experience and stricter language requirements, among others.

 

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

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

Canada, June 4, 2020

Stricter Requirements for the Quebec Experience Program Forthcoming

  • The Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration announced stricter rules for the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) – the fast-tracked program in the permanent residence process in Quebec – most of which are expected to go into effect on June 29, 2020.
  • Changes include longer work experience requirements for the Temporary Foreign Worker and Graduate Student streams, stricter language requirements, and longer processing times.
  • The changes will make it more difficult for many foreign nationals, including temporary residents working or studying in Quebec, to apply for permanent residence in Quebec.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

European Union, June 1, 2020

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Easing at EU Internal Borders

  • EU countries are starting to relax internal border restrictions and are implementing more health and entry requirements to control the spread of COVID-19.
  • Many countries are now working toward restoring free movement within the European Union, though some countries are limiting entry on their territory to essential workers and others are opening their doors to entry for non-essential workers under certain conditions (such as for those holding proof of employment, cross-border workers, etc.).
  • Notably, France now allows all EU posted workers to enter, which is a significant step toward opening of French borders.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, May 29, 2020

Presidential Proclamation Suspends Entry of Certain Chinese F and J Nonimmigrants with Ties to Entities that Support PRC Military Initiatives

  • The proclamation prohibits Chinese nationals from using F or J nonimmigrant visas to enter the United States to engage in graduate study or research if they have been associated with entities that support the Chinese government’s military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy. The suspension takes effect at 12:00 pm EDT on June 1.
  • Chinese nationals entering the United States for undergraduate study are exempted from the ban, as are U.S. lawful permanent residents and the spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, among others. The proclamation also exempts those studying or researching in fields not deemed to advance China’s MCF strategy.
  • The Departments of State and Homeland Security are expected to issue details on implementation of the proclamation.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, May 29, 2020

USCIS to Resume Premium Processing in Phases for Forms I-129 and I-140

  • USCIS plans to resume its premium processing service for I-129 and I-140 petitions in four phases over the next month.
  • Starting June 1, the agency will begin accepting premium processing requests for all eligible I-140 petitions.
  • Premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions will not begin until the last phase of the timeline, which is expected to start on June 22.
  • Phase-in dates are subject to change as the agency resumes premium service.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

South Korea, May 29, 2020

Re-entry Permit and Medical Report to be Required Starting June 1

  • Effective June 1, 2020, all registered long-term visa holders (except A-1, A-2, A-3 and F-4 visa holders) who seek to depart and return to South Korea will need to obtain a re-entry permit and submit a consent form for medical examination (diagnosis report) before departing South Korea. The government will cancel the visa and alien registration of long-term visa holders who depart South Korea without obtaining the re-entry permit.
  • Pursuant to the above consent form, they must also obtain a diagnosis report issued no earlier than 48 hours from the date of departure to South Korea from a medical institution in the country the traveler is visiting and present it prior to boarding the return flight bound for South Korea and upon re-entry at airport immigration in South Korea. Long-term visa holders who fail to present the above diagnosis report will be prohibited from re-entry into South Korea.
  • Check Fragomen’s dedicated COVID-19 website for constantly-updated information on worldwide COVID-19-related policy changes.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Weekly News Briefs

Colombia: Visa Applications Subject to Medical Coverage Requirement – To verify an applicant's medical coverage while in Colombia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is increasingly requesting proof of affiliation and contributions to the Colombian social security/healthcare system from foreign nationals applying for Migrant M-5 or Visitor V-13 work visas, or proof of international health insurance coverage from foreign nationals applying for business or technical visas. Though not expressly an immigration requirement, employers are required by labor law to enroll all hired employees in the country's social security system. Foreign nationals applying for business or technical visas were not previously required to prove medical coverage while in the country.

United States: Latest PERM and PWD Processing Times – As of May 31, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) was conducting analyst review for PERM applications filed in January 2020 or earlier, and processing audited cases filed in August 2019 or earlier. DOL is working on standard reconsideration requests submitted in April 2020 or earlier. DOL is issuing prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) for PERM and H-1B requests filed in March 2020. The agency has been processing PERM and H-1B redeterminations requested in April 2020. PERM center director reviews filed in March 2020 remain pending. These reports are available on the FLAG page.

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