May 14 2020

Weekly Immigration Update: May 8-14, 2020

Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curaçao, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia , Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, 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 Kingdom: To determine skills currently in short supply across the UK labor market, the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) public consultation is asking employers and business organisations to share information about medium skilled occupations (Regulated Qualifications Framework Level 3-5) that should be added to the Shortage Occupation List. The consultation will close June 24, and the report is expected to be published in September.
  • United States: Immigration and Customs Enforcement is extending its remote I-9 document inspection policy through June 18, 2020 due to the COVID-19 emergency.


These items and other news from the European Union, Lithuania, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the Schengen Area, and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.


Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, May 14, 2020

ICE Extends Interim COVID-19 Procedures for Form I-9 Compliance

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is extending its remote I-9 document inspection policy for an additional 30 days, through June 18, 2020.
  • Eligible employers will not be required to review I-9 identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence until the interim policy expires or until 3 days after the COVID-19 emergency is over, whichever comes first.
  • The relaxed policy only applies where company employees are working remotely due to the COVID-19 emergency.


To view entire article, click here.


United Kingdom, May 13, 2020

Migration Advisory Committee Launches Call for Evidence on UK Shortage Occupation List

  • The Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) public consultation is asking employers and business organisations to share information about medium skilled occupations (Regulated Qualifications Framework Level 3-5) that should be added to the UK Shortage Occupation List.
  • This consultation will help the MAC determine which skills are currently in short supply across the UK labour market.
  • The consultation will close on June 24, 2020. The report is expected to be published in September 2020


To view entire article, click here.


Other Weekly News Briefs

European Union/Schengen: Intra-Schengen Border Controls Extended – Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden have extended intra-Schengen border controls until at least October 2020. Internal border controls are in principle not allowed within the Schengen Area, except for temporary national security measures. The current controls have been in place since late 2015. In 2016 and 2017, the European Council recommended prolonging the checks due to migration flows and intra-EU security issues.

Lithuania: Quarterly Increase of EU Blue Card Salary Level – The minimum gross monthly salary level for EU Blue Card applicants increased to EUR 2,020.05, up three percent from February 2020, following the quarterly increase of the national average monthly wage. Applicants earning over EUR 4,040.10 gross per month benefit from a streamlined application process. The exchange rate at the time of publication is 1 EUR to 1.07 USD. The change does not affect current permit holders or applications filed before May 4, 2020. Employers are advised to regularly check the applicable salary threshold and maintain a safe margin when determining EU Blue Card applicants' salaries. As a reminder, EU Intracompany Transferee Permit applicants must receive a salary in line with the local average for the position.

Netherlands: UK Nationals Reminded to Apply for Post-Brexit Permit – The Dutch Immigration Authority (IND) reminds UK national residents to apply for a post-Brexit residence card within four weeks of receiving their invitation letter. Only 50% of invited residents have so far applied for a residence card, which could worsen the anticipated backlog in issuing post-Brexit residence documents. Residence card applications continue to be processed despite COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions.

Saudi Arabia: Wages Protection System and Part-Time Work Rules to Regulate Labor Market Announced – The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development (MHRSD) announced the implementation of a Wages Protection System and rules concerning part-time work which will further regulate the labor market in Saudi Arabia. Effective May 1, 2020, companies with 11 or more employees must disburse all salaries through the Wages Protection System. Employers must generate a payroll file and register it with the MHRSD before wages are paid. Alternatively, employers can utilize a new electronic payroll platform called “Mudad” which assists small and medium-sized companies with salary operations. Additionally, beginning in July 2020, a new government program will regulate part-time employment of Saudi national workers. Employers will be required to sign an electronic contract and register the Saudi worker with the General Organization for Social Insurance. Individuals will be allowed to work part-time for up to 95 hours per month for a single employer and will be counted as one-third of a full-time employee in the Nitaqat system for their employer.

United States: Latest PERM and PWD Processing Times – As of April 30, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) was conducting analyst review for PERM applications filed in December 2019 or earlier, and processing audited cases filed in July 2019 or earlier. DOL is working on standard reconsideration requests submitted in March 2020 or earlier.

DOL is issuing prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) for PERM and H-1B requests filed in February 2020. The agency has been processing PERM and H-1B redeterminations requested in March 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.