Oct 25 2013

Weekly Immigration Update: October 18 - October 25, 2013

Argentina, Canada, China, Mexico, United States
In U.S. immigration news this week, foreign nationals have until noon EDT on Saturday, November 2 to register for the State Department’s FY 2015 Diversity Visa lottery.
Canada is not expected to make additional changes to its work policies this year, though changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program can be expected early in 2014.
Mexico’s National Immigration Institute will no longer accept formal notification that a foreign national’s employment has terminated; however, employers should continue to maintain accurate employment records, including the last day of work, for foreign nationals.
These items and other news from Argentina, Canada, China, and the United States follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.
Remember that the Immigration Update is available through both e-mail and Web version by clicking on "View as Web Page" above.

Important Updates in Immigration This Week
October 22, 2013
United States
Reminder: FY 2015 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Ends Saturday, November 2
Foreign nationals have until noon EDT on Saturday, November 2, 2013 to submit their online registration forms and accompanying photographs.
To view entire article, click here.
October 24, 2013
Cancellation Notices No Longer Accepted
Effective immediately, the National Immigration Institute will no longer accept formal notification that a foreign national’s employment has terminated. Employers should continue to maintain accurate employment records, including the last day of work, for foreign nationals.
To view entire article, click here.

October 23, 2013
Work Permit Policies Not Expected to Change for Remainder of 2013
Employers can expect Canada’s immigration policies to remain stable through the end of this year, though further policy reviews and changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program can be expected early in 2014.
To view entire article, click here.
Other Immigration News This Week
United States: USCIS Updates H-2B Cap Count - USCIS reports that as of October 18, 2013, it had received filings on behalf of 7,837 H-2B beneficiaries for the first half of FY 2014. Of these, 6,541 had been approved and 1,296 remained pending. The cap for each half-year is 33,000, but USCIS accepts filings in excess of the cap because some cases will be denied or withdrawn and because employers may ultimately employ fewer H-2B beneficiaries than reflected in their petitions.
Argentina: Nationals of Guyana, Suriname Added to MERCOSUR Program – Nationals of Guyana and Suriname now qualify for nationality-based MERCOSUR residence permits in Argentina. The MERCOSUR program allows citizens of qualifying countries (including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) and their legal dependents (regardless of nationality) to obtain temporary residence through a simplified application process that can be completed in Argentina or overseas. Permit holders are initially authorized to stay in Argentina for two years, after which they become eligible for permanent residence. Both Guyana and Suriname joined the MERCOSUR trade bloc as associate members in July 2013.
Canada: Expansion of Start-Up Visa Program - On October 26, Canada will extend eligibility for its Start-Up Visa pilot program to foreign entrepreneurs seeking to participate in select business incubator programs. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will designate eligible programs in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation. CIC also announced it is designating an additional five Canadian venture capital funds as Start-Up Visa program partners. To participate in the program, foreign nationals must secure a minimum investment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor group, be proficient in English or French and have completed at least one year of post-secondary education.
The Start-Up Visa is a five-year pilot program limited to a cap of 2,750 applications per year. It is designed to attract select entrepreneurs who can advance the Government of Canada’s innovation agenda.
China: Visa-Free Transit Through Chongqing Soon Available to Select Nationalities - Nationals of 45 countries transiting through Jiangbei International Airport in Chongqing will be allowed to formally enter China without a visa and visit for up to 72 hours. To do so, eligible travelers must hold a valid passport, visas for their onward destination countries (unless visa exempt for those countries), and confirmed onward air tickets. The exact implementation date has not been confirmed yet, but indications are that it may be implemented in November 2013. Similar programs are also in place in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Global Immigration News Links
  • Austin Fragomen and Careen Shannon discuss the continuation of immigration-related operations after the federal shutdown.
  • House Democratic leaders on Wednesday renewed their push for a vote this year on comprehensive immigration reform. However, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is hopeful but non-committal on the issue. Representative Darrell Issa (R-Ca) plans on introducing legislation next week that would provide legal status for six years to undocumented immigrants in the United States.
  • Employers in Singapore can expect to see increasing government scrutiny on foreign hiring practices, according to recent statements from the Minister of Manpower.
  • Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison issued a stern warning to anyone who abuses the 457 visa program, saying they will be punished just as harshly as people smugglers. According to a recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, immigration accounted for 60% of Western Australian population growth.
  • Britain sent text messages to nearly 60,000 undocumented immigrants warning them to leave the country, but sparked a controversy when some legal migrants received the alert.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya announced that tourists may start using a single visa for East African countries by next year.
  • A senior EU border control official has warned that undocumented immigration into Europe is being fueled by cheap flights from Africa.


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