US

Sep 24 2020

Weekly Immigration Update: September 18-24, 2020

Angola, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal , Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Republic of Guinea, Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, 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 States: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume applying the public charge regulation nationwide to affected adjustment of status applications and nonimmigrant extensions of stay and changes of status. A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposal, if finalized as proposed, would subject international students, exchange visitors and representatives of foreign information media to fixed periods of stay, eliminating the “duration of stay” policy. According to the State Department’s October Visa Bulletin, EB-3 will become current except for China and India, EB-1 and EB-2 China and India will advance, and rapid employment-based movement is expected in the coming months, with the exception of EB-5. USCIS has confirmed that it will accept employment-based adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the dates for filing listed in the October Visa Bulletin. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is extending its land and ferry border restrictions permitting only essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders through October 21.
  • Canada: The government of British Columbia introduced a law which requires employers in the province who hire foreign national workers to register with the province by December 15, 2020.
  • Ireland: Due to issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is automatically renewing all immigration permissions—including Irish Residence Permit cards, passport stamps and previously extended permissions—due to expire between September 20, 2020 and January 19, 2021, until January 20, 2021.

 

These items and other news from Austria, the European Union, Italy, and Kazakhstan follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, September 24, 2020

DHS Proposal Seeks to Replace Duration of Status Designation with Fixed Periods of Stay for F, J and I Nonimmigrants

  • The Department of Homeland Security is proposing a regulation that would subject international students, exchange visitors and representatives of foreign information media to fixed periods of stay, eliminating the longstanding “duration of status” policy. 
  • If the rule is finalized as proposed, F, J and I nonimmigrants would be required to apply for an extension of stay to continue their activities beyond their admission period and fulfill the related biometrics requirements. 
  • Where F, J and I nonimmigrants stay beyond their fixed periods of stay, they would become subject to the unlawful presence rules currently in place for other nonimmigrant categories. 

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, September 24, 2020

October Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to Honor Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Categories Next Month

USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment applications in October from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Dates for Filing listed in the State Department's October Visa Bulletin.

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, September 24, 2020

October 2020 Visa Bulletin: EB-3 Becomes Current, Except China and India; EB-1 and EB-2 China and India Advance; Rapid EB Movement Expected in Coming Months, Except EB-5

  • EB-1 China and EB-1 India will advance by three months to June 1, 2018. 
  • EB-2 China will advance by six weeks to March 1, 2016, and EB-2 India will advance almost two months to September 1, 2009.
  • EB-3 will become current for all countries except China and India. EB-3 China will advance four and a half months to July 1, 2017, and EB-3 India will advance three and a half months to January 15, 2010.
  • EB-5 China will remain at August 15, 2015 and EB-5 Vietnam will remain at August 1, 2017.
  • The State Department projects rapid advancement in most employment-based categories though January 2021.



To view entire article, click here.



Canada, September 24, 2020

Mandatory Registration Process Introduced for Employers of Foreign Nationals in British Columbia

  • The government of British Columbia introduced a law which requires employers in the province who hire foreign national workers to register with the province by December 15, 2020.
  • The law applies to all employers hiring foreign nationals through the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Home Child-care Provider Pilot or the Home Support Worker Pilot.
  • The new law is meant to safeguard workers’ rights and will allow the provincial government to track which employers are hiring foreign nationals, inspect these employers and sanction those who fail to comply.

 

To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, September 22, 2020

USCIS Resumes Nationwide Application of Public Charge Regulation

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will again apply its public charge rule nationwide.
  • Any adjustment of status application filed on or after February 24, 2020 and received by USCIS before October 13, 2020 may receive a request for evidence (RFE) for Form I-944 and accompanying public charge documentation.
  • Starting October 13, 2020, USCIS will reject any adjustment of status application filed without Form I-944 and related documentation.
  • Nonimmigrant extensions of stay and changes of status filed on Forms I-129 and I-539/A do not appear to be explicitly granted a grace period by USCIS. Foreign nationals should answer public benefits condition questions out of an abundance of caution on these forms.



To view entire article, click here.

 

United States, September 18, 2020

U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico Land Border Restrictions Extended Through October 21

  • CBP border restrictions permitting only essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders will be extended through October 21. The restrictions do not affect air travel.
  • Essential travel includes travel by U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals traveling to work in the United States, among others.  
  • Visa Waiver and other business travelers may face additional scrutiny at the border. 
  • “Non-essential travel” at land borders is not permitted, which includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Ireland, September 18, 2020

Further Blanket Extension of Immigration Permissions until January 20, 2021

  • Due to processing delays and closures arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to ensure that foreign nationals do not have a lapse in status, the government is automatically renewing all immigration permissions (including Irish Residence Permit (IRP) cards, passport stamps and previously extended permissions) due to expire between September 20, 2020 and January 19, 2021, until January 20, 2021 on the same basis as the existing permission.
  • In the interim, residents of Dublin should apply to renew their IRP cards through the new online system. Residents outside Dublin should continue to try to secure in-person appointments with their local registration office.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Weekly News Briefs

Austria: Post-Brexit Article 50 Residence Permit Forthcoming – The Austrian government published a legislative proposal to create a new '50 EUV' residence permit type for UK nationals and their eligible family members who have established their residence in Austria before the end of 2020. The permit name refers to Article 50 of the EU treaty, the article under which the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union. To be eligible, UK nationals must move to Austria and register their address with a local Registration Office before or on December 31, 2020. Applications for a 50 EUV permit will become available on January 1, 2021 and can be filed until June 30, 2021, but it is advisable to apply early in 2021. UK national residents and their eligible family members residing in Austria before December 31, 2020 may apply for permanent residence, even if the five-year term of legal and uninterrupted stay is reached after December 31, 2020. The proposal is expected to be accepted without significant amendments. UK nationals who fall under the transition regime and who qualify for the new '50 EUV' residence permit can continue to work in Austria. The process for obtaining Article 50 Residence Permits also exists in the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg. France and Belgium are making progress with their processes and other EU countries are expected to follow in the coming months.

Italy/European Union: Update on Posted Worker Directive ImplementationAs an update, Italy will implement the revised Posted Worker Directive effective September 30. Among the new regulations, there will be more favorable conditions in terms of labor law regulations and collective bargaining agreements that apply to individuals performing work activities in Italy (specifically their maximum work periods, health and safety rules, minimum paid holidays, minimum pay rates and non-discrimination provisions). The updated Posted Worker rules will apply to both EU and non-EU companies posting workers to Italy, as well as to employment agencies based in the EU that deploy individuals to Italy as part of an international project. Implementation of the Posted Worker Directive remains pending in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia (draft legislation currently in parliamentary review), Cyprus, Denmark (aims to implement by January 1, 2021), Finland, Greece, Ireland, Latvia (expected by end of 2020), Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia (legislation currently in initial drafting stage) and Spain. As the implementation deadline was July 30, 2020, the European Commission may start an infringement process against countries that have not yet implemented the Directive.

Kazakhstan: Border Pass Abolished – Effective immediately, Kazakh authorities have abolished the requirement for business or work visa holders to carry a border pass for activities in border regions. Border passes took up to one month to obtain and were issued for a fixed duration, allowing no flexibility where travel dates changed. Visa holders operating in border regions must still carry their passports, with a visa sticker, if applicable.

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