Nov 05 2020

Weekly Immigration Update: October 30–November 5, 2020

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Macau, Mozambique, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, The Bahamas, 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 COVID-19 website for the latest immigration updates. 
  • United States: A federal appeals court has put the Department of Homeland Security’s public charge rule back in effect by placing an administrative stay on a lower court’s ruling that blocked the rule earlier in the week. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for South Sudan has been extended for 18 months, through May 2, 2022. Current South Sudan TPS beneficiaries have until January 4, 2021 to re-register. Fiscal Year 2022 Diversity Visa lottery entrants have until noon EST on November 10 to register online at the State Department’s official lottery website.
  • Iceland: Visa-exempt foreign nationals who work for foreign companies can now work remotely in Iceland for up to six months.
  • Brexit: Authorities in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece and Hungary have published details on post-Brexit residence permits or residence registration options (‘Article 50 residence permits’) for current UK national residents and their non-EU national family members. Further information was added for Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Slovakia. Check this consolidated information page for more information.



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

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week 

Iceland, November 5, 2020

Remote Work Program Introduced 

  • Visa-exempt foreign nationals who work for foreign companies can now work remotely in Iceland for up to six months. 
  • The applicant must demonstrate an employment relationship with a foreign company, sufficient income and health insurance.  
  • Eligible travelers benefit from the program since there is now a path for legal remote work in Iceland, and since they can enter Iceland under a long-term visa without the additional typical residency requirements. 

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, November 4, 2020

Public Charge Remains in Place After Seventh Circuit Stays Lower Court Decision

  • The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed a lower court decision that vacated the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public charge rule, permitting the agency to continue implementing the rule for now.
  • Public charge forms and documentation will be required for adjustment of status applications and nonimmigrant extension and change of status applications until further notice.
  • The legality of the public charge rule is being challenged in various jurisdictions. Disagreements among appeals courts could mean that the U.S. Supreme Court makes a final decision on whether the public charge rule is lawful.



To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, November 2, 2020

Reminder: FY 2022 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Ends November 10

  • Entrants have until Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at noon EST to register online at the State Department’s official lottery website.
  • Lottery applications must conform to the State Department’s strict requirements.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, November 2, 2020

South Sudan TPS Re-Registration Period Opens

  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for South Sudan is extended for 18 months, from November 3, 2020, through May 2, 2022.
  • Current South Sudan TPS beneficiaries have until January 4, 2021 to re-register to maintain status through May 2, 2022.
  • Current South Sudan TPS employment authorization documents with an expiration date of November 2, 2020 will automatically be extended through May 1, 2021.



To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, November 2, 2020

Federal District Court Vacates Public Charge Regulation Nationwide

  • A federal district court in Illinois has vacated the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public charge rule as a violation of administrative law. The ruling prevents U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from applying the public charge rule starting today.
  • USCIS is expected to issue guidance on the impact of the decision to applicants for adjustment of status and nonimmigrant changes and extensions of status, but has not yet done so.
  • DHS is expected to appeal the court ruling, but the district court decision will remain in place while that appeal is pending.
  • The legality of the public charge rule is being challenged in various jurisdictions. Disagreements among appeals courts could mean that the U.S. Supreme Court makes a final decision on whether the public charge rule is lawful.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Weekly News Briefs 

Bermuda: Issuance of Some Initial Work Permits Temporarily Suspended – Due to growing unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bermuda is not issuing initial work permits for foreign nationals in over 40 job categories until April 30, 2021. The restriction does not currently apply to foreign nationals employed as executives or managers, or foreign nationals providing technical assistance in Bermuda (except technical sales personnel), among others. Foreign nationals can still apply to renew their current work permit. Check Fragomen’s COVID-19 website for more information about travel restrictions and other related policies.

Cayman Islands: Remote Work Program Introduced – The Cayman Islands’ Department of Tourism has launched the Global Citizen Concierge program, which allows foreign nationals who are employed by an entity outside of the Cayman Islands to reside in the Cayman Islands for up to two years and work remotely from there. According to the program’s website, applicants must have a minimum annual income of USD 100,000 (or USD 150,000 if accompanied by their spouse/civil partner; or USD 180,000 if accompanied by their spouse/civil partner and a dependent child or children), must have health insurance, and all adult applicants must submit a federal criminal clearance certificate from their country of origin, among other requirements.      

United States: Latest PERM and PWD Processing Times – As of October 31, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) was conducting analyst review for PERM applications filed in May 2020 or earlier, and processing audited cases filed in December 2019 or earlier. DOL is working on standard reconsideration requests submitted in July 2020 or earlier. DOL is issuing prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) for PERM and H-1B requests filed in June 2020. The agency has been processing PERM and H-1B redeterminations requested in October 2020. PERM center director reviews requested in September 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.