District of Columbia, US

Oct 26 2018

Weekly Immigration Update: October 19 - 25, 2018

Bahrain, Belgium, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Slovak Republic, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, United States

In United States immigration news this week, the Department of Labor will require employers to name third-party organizations where H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 workers will be placed on a forthcoming new edition of the Labor Condition Application form. The form is expected to be implemented in the coming weeks.

Immigration processes in Mexico are expected to be significantly delayed starting at the end of November 2018, following the transition to new government officials and the national holiday closure period.

In Belgium, Slovakia, and Kazakhstan, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers will increase effective January 1, 2019.

In Ireland, the national hourly minimum wage will increase effective January 1, 2019. This change affects only specific work authorization categories.

Indonesia released a regulation that complements recent changes, announced in July, that were intended to streamline the Work Permit authorization process. The changes are expected to be implemented by the end of this year.

These items and other news from Bahrain, Ireland, Norway, Papua New Guinea, PortugalSpain, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago and Ukraine follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, October 19, 2018

Forthcoming LCA Form Will Require Employers to Disclose End-Clients

  • A forthcoming new edition of the Labor Condition Application form will require employers to name third-party organizations where H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 workers will be placed.
  • The form has cleared federal review and is expected to be implemented in the coming weeks.
  • H-1B dependent employers claiming certain exemptions from their recruitment and non-displacement obligations will need to identify the basis for the exemption.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Mexico, October 25, 2018

Government Transition and Upcoming Processing Delays

Immigration processes in Mexico are expected to be significantly delayed starting at the end of November 2018, following the transition to new government officials and the national holiday closure period. Employers and foreign nationals should file immigration applications as soon as possible to avoid delays, which could extend into the first quarter of 2019.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Slovakia, October 25, 2018

Minimum Salary Level to Increase

Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for locally-hired employees will increase to EUR 520, up eight percent from last year. The impact of this change is minimal for foreign workers since employers typically pay employees relocated to Slovakia salaries that are above this threshold.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Belgium, October 24, 2018

Minimum Salary Levels to Increase

Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers in Belgium will increase to EUR 41,739 for highly skilled workers; EUR 69,637 for executives; and EUR 53,971 for EU Blue Card applicants; up 1.9 percent from last year.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Indonesia, October 23, 2018

New Regulation Issued on Streamlined Work Visa Process

Indonesia's Ministry of Law and Human Rights recently released a regulation that may eventually affect the rules governing the application and issuance of Limited Stay Visas (VITAS) and Limited Stay Permits (KITAS). These changes complement the changes announced in July that were intended to streamline the Work Permit authorization process, many of which are still not implemented in practice. Included among the most important potential changes is a new consular personal appearance requirement to file the VITAS application and a KITAS-on-arrival service which would allow eligible travelers to start work immediately upon entry to Indonesia instead of completing additional in-country steps. The changes are expected to be implemented by the end of this year.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Ireland, October 19, 2018

Minimum Wage Increased

Effective January 1, 2019,  the national hourly minimum wage in Ireland will increase to EUR 9.80, up 2.6 percent from last year. However, because most work authorization categories in Ireland require a minimum salary that is significantly higher than the national minimum wage, this change affects only specific work authorization categories that allow a lower minimum salary, such as the Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit, Internship Employment Permit and Atypical Working Scheme Authorization.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Kazakhstan, October 19, 2018

Minimum Salary Level for Foreign Workers to Increase

Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers will increase to KZT 42,426, up 50 percent. Despite the steep increase, employers will likely easily meet the requirement since only executives, specialists and highly-qualified workers are eligible for a work permit in Kazakhstan.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Weekly News Briefs

Bahrain: Georgian Nationals Now Eligible for Visas-on-Arrival The Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs Authority has included Georgia on the list of countries whose citizens can obtain visitor visas-on-arrival, in addition to pre-approved visas (e-visas) that are applied for through an electronic portal before arrival in Bahrain. Visas-on-arrival are renewable and issued with a validity of two weeks (single-entry) for a fee of BHD 5 or 30 days (multiple-entry) for BHD 25. E-visas are multiple entry and allow for a maximum stay of 30 days and cost BHD 29. Previously, Georgian nationals had to apply for visitor visas at a Bahraini consular post.

Ireland: Authorities Seek Employer Feedback on Eligible Occupations – The Irish Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) is seeking input from stakeholder employers on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and the Ineligible Categories of Employment List. These lists determine whether job positions qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) or General Employment Permit (GEP) for locally-hired foreign workers. The DBEI reviews these lists twice a year, and recently sought employer feedback in October 2017. The DBEI regularly calls for stakeholder feedback on eligible occupations lists, which is exceptional in Europe.

Norway: Appointment Delay Resolved – The two- to three-week waiting period for appointments to file work and residence permit applications in Norway, reported in August, have been resolved. Appointments to file applications are now once again available within three to five business days from the time the appointment is booked. Employers and foreign nationals should benefit from faster immigration processing for all permit types. Fragomen expects that the delays were the result of a higher than normal workload between June and August, with many officials on leave during that period.

Papua New Guinea: Year-End Closure Period and Filing Deadline Announced – The Papua New Guinea Labour Department announced that it will be closed December 21, 2018 to January 9, 2019 for its annual holiday period. Additionally, due to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, all public offices in Papua New Guinea will be closed November 15-16, 2018. As applications submitted during the closure period will not be accepted, all work permit applications for start dates from December through January should be submitted by November 14. Work permit holders with work permits due to expire in November, December or January should submit their applications by November 14 as well to avoid renewal delays.

Portugal: ICT Permit Applications Now Accepted – ​The Portuguese Immigration Services confirmed that the Lisbon office is now accepting Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit applications. Foreign nationals must schedule an appointment to file an ICT Permit application upon arrival. To account for continued lengthy appointment wait times, applicants are advised to carry full supporting documents for the ICT Permit application upon entry, and carry proof of the scheduled appointment once available, to demonstrate compliance in case of an inspection.

Spain: Visa Processing Delay Resolved – The delay in processing visa applications under the Entrepreneurs Act, reported in September, has been resolved. Visa applications in the expedited Entrepreneurs Act category, including intracompany transfers and local hires, are once again processed in 10 business days from filing at a Spanish consular post.

Thailand: Work Permit Exemption Now Available for Certain Foreign National Categories – Foreign nationals indicated in corporate registration documents as an authorized person of a local entity holding a Foreign Business Operation License as a Branch Office, Representative Office or Regional Office in Thailand may now be able to work in the country without the need to obtain a Work Permit. Qualified foreign nationals must enter Thailand on a Non-Immigrant B visa, which allows a maximum stay of up to 90 days. They can start working immediately upon entry but if they want to stay longer than 90 days, they must apply for a long-term visa at the Immigration Bureau or One Stop Service Center. Employees of companies registered with the Board of Investment are not eligible for this exemption.

Trinidad & Tobago: Work Permit Application Processing Delays – The processing time for work permit renewal applications has increased to 10 weeks, up from the usual six to eight weeks. The Ministry of National Security, which process work permit applications, has not confirmed when the delays will end. Foreign nationals residing in Trinidad & Tobago should begin their renewal process at least 90 days before their work permit expires to allow enough time for application processing.

Ukraine: Minimum Salary Level Under Review – The Ukraine parliament is currently reviewing draft legislation that would increase the gross monthly salary requirement for foreign workers to UAH 41,730, up 12 percent, as of January 1, 2019. The government is, however, considering halving this threshold and may submit draft amending legislation in the coming months. The high threshold was introduced in September 2017, while a related set of immigration changes was also released aimed at streamlining the work and residence permit application process. Graduates of top-100 universities; software developers working at information technology companies; workers in creative professions, creating copyright objects; and founders, shareholders, and/or ultimate beneficiary owners of companies have not been subject to the high threshold. This is not expected to change under the new legislation. Fragomen is monitoring developments and will inform clients of any updates.

 

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