Virginia, US

Nov 03 2017

Weekly Immigration Update: October 27 – November 2, 2017

Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, European Union, Italy, Malaysia, Oman, Peru, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United States, Venezuela

In United States immigration news this week, qualifying Taiwan passport holders are eligible to apply for Global Entry membership. Approved applicants benefit from expedited entry to the United States at designated airports. Reciprocally, U.S. citizens enrolled in a CBP Trusted Traveler Program are eligible to apply for membership in Taiwan’s e-Gate program.

Also in the United States, California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act takes effect on January 1, 2018, but may be challenged in court. The Act prohibits employers in the state from allowing immigration agents to access the worksite or employee records without a subpoena or a court warrant. It also requires employers to notify employees before and after certain immigration inspections take place and imposes state penalties for improper reverification of employees and for other violations of the Act.

Saudi Arabia has reduced the validity of block visa approvals from two years to one year. In the United Arab Emirates, supporting documents for immigration applications submitted in Dubai must now be in Arabic or accompanied by an Arabic translation.

Czech Republic's Visapoint system, which allows foreign nationals to register appointments to submit applications for visas and residence permits, was shut down on November 1. A new system will be implemented December 1.

In Singapore, starting December 2017, companies will need a CorpPass account instead of SingPass to transact with the Ministry of Manpower’s online portals. The Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation will launch an enhanced eXpats online system for MSC-Malaysia Status and Information Communication Technology Sector companies on November 15.

These items and other news from Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, the European Union, Italy, Oman, Peru, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland and Venezuela follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, November 2, 2017

California Imposes New Worksite Enforcement Obligations on Employers

The Immigrant Worker Protection Act prohibits employers from allowing immigration agents to access the worksite or employee records without a subpoena or a court warrant; requires employers to notify employees before and after certain immigration inspections take place; and imposes state penalties for improper reverification of employees and for other violations of the Act. The Act takes effect on January 1, 2018, but may be challenged in court.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

United States, November 2, 2017

Global Entry Opens to All Eligible Taiwan Passport Holders

Qualifying Taiwan passport holders are now eligible to apply for Global Entry membership. Applicants who meet program requirements and pass a background check can benefit from expedited entry to the United States at designated airports. Qualified U.S. citizens enrolled in a CBP Trusted Traveler Program are now eligible to apply for membership in Taiwan’s e-Gate program.


To view entire article, click here.

 

 

Venezuela, November 2, 2017

Passport Extension Process Released

Venezuelan immigration authorities released the process by which Venezeulan nationals with eligible current passports can obtain a two-year passport extension.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

United Arab Emirates, November 2, 2017

Supporting Documents Submitted in Dubai Must be in Arabic

Effective immediately, supporting documents for immigration applications submitted in Dubai, including diplomas and marriage certificates, must be in Arabic or accompanied by an Arabic translation. If the original language of the document is English, the Arabic translation will not be required.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

Saudi Arabia, November 1, 2017

Block Visa Validity Reduced to One Year

Effective immediately, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development has reduced the validity of block visa approvals from two years to one year.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

China, November 1, 2017

Unified Work Authorization Policy Implementation Causing Processing Delays

Due to the implementation of the Unified Work Authorization Policy, foreign nationals and employers should expect longer processing times than under the previous immigration policy at Chinese embassies, consulates, and other locations for Notification Letters of Work Permit, Work Permit and Z Visa applications.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

Czech Republic, November 1, 2017

System for Registering Visa and Residence Permits Appointments Terminated

Effective November 1, 2017, the Visapoint system, which allows foreign nationals to register appointments to submit applications for visas and residence permits, has been shut down. A new system will be implemented December 1, 2017.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

Singapore, October 31, 2017

CorpPass to Replace SingPass for Company Transactions Online

Starting December 2017, companies will need a CorpPass account instead of SingPass to transact with the Ministry of Manpower’s online portals. This should make transactions with the Ministry of Manpower more convenient and safer.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

Singapore, October 30, 2017

Reminder - Employment Pass and S Pass Holders Must Register Residential Address Changes

Employment Pass and S Pass holders must update their residential addresses in the Ministry of Manpower’s Employment Pass Online portal within 14 days of any change in order to avoid penalties. Foreign nationals should also update mobile numbers and email addresses.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

Argentina, October 30, 2017

Short-Term Visa Holders to be Impacted by Airline Strike on October 31, 2017

Foreign nationals who hold 24(h) short-term visas may be impacted by an Aerolineas Argentinas strike on October 31, 2017. Since travel plans to Buenos Aires, where renewal applications must be filed, may be disrupted by the strike, foreign nationals whose visas will expire shortly should make alternate travel plans and renew their visa applications as soon as possible.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

Malaysia, October 30, 2017

Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation to Enhance eXpats System

On November 15, 2017, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation will launch an enhanced eXpats online system for MSC-Malaysia Status and Information Communication Technology Sector companies. The system will have faster processing times and improve overall user experience.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

 

Weekly News Briefs

Brazil: Decree of New Immigration Law Released – The decree of Brazil's new immigration law – which will become effective on November 21, 2017 – was released November 1 for public comment. Fragomen is reviewing the content of the decree, which contains over 300 articles, in order to make suggestions to the authorities. Further information on the decree’s details will follow next week.

Colombia: Visas Unavailable December 13-14 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will suspend the internet platform for visa requests on December 13 and 14 to modify it so it is in compliance with a new law. Foreign nationals will not be able to request a visa on these days. Foreign nationals should ensure that any visa request submitted prior to the platform outage is complete; otherwise, their visa request will not be approved until after the outage and will be subject to the requirements of the new law. They should also anticipate that there may be issues with the platform on the days surrounding the platform outage and should prepare their visa requests accordingly. Registration and local Identification Card (Cédula de Extranjería) applications will not be affected by the outage.

European Union: Progress Toward New Border Registration System – Following a Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council of Ministers have each adopted their position on the Entry / Exit System (EES). The electronic border registration system is expected to be operational in 2020, and can be implemented only after EU institutions agree on the final text. The system would apply to both visa and visa-exempt nationals. Among the goals of the EES are speeding up entry by automating checks and improving the processes for registration and penalization of overstay. Fragomen will report further developments.

European Union: Progress Toward Amending Posted Worker Rules – Following a Commission proposal, the European Parliament and Council of Ministers have now both reached an internal agreement on amending the current rules for posted workers. Amendments will be effective only after EU institutions agree on the final text, and after a potential three- to four- year transition period. The main objective of the amendment is to reduce differences in employment conditions between posted and host country workers, among others, by establishing equal remuneration for posted and host country workers. Fragomen will report on further developments.

Italy: Simplified Procedure for Start-up Incorporation – The Administrative Court of Lazio ruled that start-up companies can incorporate in Italy without using a notary’s services. The ruling allows the incorporation of start-up companies to occur entirely through an online start-up platform. Corporate amendments can also be filed using the platform. Start-up companies will benefit from a streamlined incorporation process and lower overall incorporation costs since they will no longer need to pay for a notary to incorporate. For further information on guidelines and start up trends, visit the Italian Startup Act website.

Oman: Visitor Visa-On-Arrival Program Extended to 25 Nationalities – Effective immediately, passport holders from the following countries, who hold  a valid residency or entry visa issued by Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, United States or a Schengen Member Country State are eligible for a 30-day single-entry visa-on-arrival for tourism, provided that their passports are valid for at least six months and that they have a return ticket and confirmed hotel reservation:

  • Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Maldives, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Salvador, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam           

 

The visa costs OMR 20. Accompanying spouse and children of the visa holder are also allowed entry even if they do not have a visa issued by one of the approved countries.

Oman: Changes to Visitor Visa for Tourism – The Royal Oman Police have announced the following changes to the visitor visa for tourism, expected to come into effect on November 17, 2017:

  • The 10-day single-entry visa will be replaced by a single-entry visa valid for up to one month with the possibility of one-time extension. The visa will cost OMR 20.
  • The 30-day single-entry visa will be replaced by a multiple-entry visa valid for up to one year with a maximum allowable stay in Oman of up to 30 days. The visa will cost OMR 50.

 

Peru: Earlier Submission Required for Appointed Worker Visa Renewal – Foreign nationals are now required to submit renewals for Appointed Worker visas at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the initial visa. Authorities had previously allowed foreign nationals to submit renewals at any time while their initial visa was valid. 

Peru: Stricter Rules for Consular Resident Worker Visas – Foreign nationals arriving in Peru under a Resident Worker Visa issued by a consulate should be aware that authorities are strictly enforcing the Interpol registration requirement as well as the requirement to obtain a local identification card. As part of the registration process, foreign nationals must complete a background check and submit their fingerprints within 10 days of arrival to obtain their Peruvian identification card (Carné de Extranjería) before traveling abroad. Those who do not complete the registration process may not be allowed to exit, or the immigration authorities may invalidate  their visa.

Portugal: EU ICT Permit to Come Into Effect at End of November –  The EU ICT Permit will become available after November 28, 2017 in Portugal, when the implementation procedures will be published. This will cover transfers directly to Portugal, and EU ICT Permit holders from other EU Member States travelling to Portugal for more than 90 days in a 180-day timeframe. EU ICT Permit holders from other EU Member States may already benefit from short-term mobility to Portugal, not exceeding 90 days in a 180-day timeframe. Further information on the application process will be confirmed closer to the implementation date.

Saudi Arabia: Newborns of Foreign Residents Can Enter without a Pre-arranged Visa –  Effective immediately, newborns of foreign residents can enter Saudi Arabia without obtaining a visa in the parent’s home country. Instead, the child can be issued a visa upon arrival in Saudi Arabia. In order to obtain the visa, the newborn must have their own passport and a legalized birth certificate and the parents must have valid residency permits in Saudi Arabia. The mother of the child must be under the sponsorship of the father.

Switzerland: B Permits Will Likely Run Out by Early December – Quota figures for non-EU nationals for September have been published. 3,139 of 4,500 L permits and 2,451 of 3,000 B permits were used. B permits are expected to run out by early December. L permits are expected to last through December. Fragomen will keep clients informed on developments.

 

Global Immigration News Links

  • Restrictive U.S. immigration policies targeting not just undocumented low-skilled workers, but also legal high-skilled workers have surged, with the latest focusing on international students in the STEM field.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump criticized Senator Charles Schumer for helping to create the Diversity Visa (green card) lottery program that was used by an Uzbekistan-born immigrant charged with killing eight people in New York City. However, the bill that created the program was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, the Washington Post reports.
  • An increase in U.S. citizenship applications this year, especially after a presidential election when numbers generally fall, “underscores the deep and continuing uncertainty gripping immigrant communities,” the New York Times reports.
  • Canada is set to admit almost a million new immigrants over the next three years in an effort to spur economic growth and innovation, Bloomberg reports.

 

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

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.