As the US Citizenship and Immigration Services begins to implement its online electronic registration system for H-1B cap-subject petitions for Fiscal Year 2021 – which is a major deviation from prior years – an examination of the additional changes to the H-1B programme which may be made in the future is in order. US employers should be aware of these possible revisions to the H-1B programme and plan accordingly.
In this era of globalisation, there is a growing need for companies and business organisations to relocate foreign workers in order to perform various tasks that require knowledge, expertise or proven management capabilities (whether these tasks be permanent, long term or temporary). This article outlines the steps that employers should take in order to employ foreign workers.
Some employers have learned the hard way that the role of representatives and attorneys is clearly separated in the Programme Electronic Review Management (PERM) rule and that a violation of this rule may have serious consequences. Violators of the PERM rule will find their applications denied or worse, as there are several strategies to punish employers that act in bad faith.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a rule to increase the filing fees for most of its applications and petitions for immigration benefits. Some of the provisions in the proposed rule to increase filing fees suggest that US employers or the public may pay the same or more money, but receive less service from the USCIS. US employers should plan and budget accordingly, monitor the movement of the rule through the rulemaking process and watch out for any possible litigation.
The Department of Labour has introduced its electronic review officers and launched its new online portal: the Foreign Labour Application Gateway (FLAG). The FLAG portal is not yet up and running for Programme Electronic Review Management applications, but is available for all labour condition, temporary H-2A and H-2B and prevailing wage applications.
The Cyprus Investment Programme is ranked among the top 10 programmes in the world for global citizenship. It was established to attract foreign direct investment and encourage high-net-worth individuals to settle and conduct business in Cyprus, thereby boosting the nation's economy. One of the programme's key features is its investment policy, under which non-EU citizens can obtain Cypriot citizenship by making specific investments. This article examines recent amendments to the programme.
In January 2019 the US Department of Homeland Security passed a rule that amended the regulations governing the H-1B cap-subject selection process. One of the biggest changes requires employers seeking to file an H-1B cap-subject petition to register the foreign national with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services online electronic registration system. This article sets out some of the items to be aware of with respect to the online electronic registration system for the upcoming H-1B cap season.
The Agreement on Admission to the Labour Market for a Temporary Transitional Period following the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the Free Movement of Persons will provide facilitated access to the labour market for British nationals in Switzerland and for Swiss nationals in the United Kingdom after Brexit. The agreement will serve as a transition regime in the event of a no-deal Brexit and would be entered into for a limited period until 31 December 2020.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation recently announced that private companies in the United Arab Emirates may now employ men who have been sponsored by their families on a dependant visa. The ministry has already begun issuing two-year work permits to eligible men sponsored by their families according to the announcement. Until now, only women sponsored by their families were entitled to work. Men were entitled to a work permit only if covered by their employer's visa allocation.
The Ministry of Manpower recently issued Decree 228/2019 on Certain Positions Permissible for Foreign Employees, which came into effect on 27 August 2019 and revoked all prior relevant decrees on this matter. The appendix to Decree 228/2019 provides a list of positions and business fields in which foreign employees can be employed. The list will be evaluated every two years (or as needed).
Two new resident status categories for foreign nationals were recently put in place in order to cope with Japan's labour shortage. The first of these new resident categories is the specified skills 1 category, which covers individuals who have a substantial degree of knowledge or skill in the 14 initial industrial fields that require additional labour. The second, the specified skills 2 category, covers individuals who have sufficient skills in the specified industrial fields.
In light of the continuous developments and ambiguity surrounding the Brexit negotiations, as well as the uncertainty facing British citizens who currently reside in EU member states, the Maltese government recently propagated regulations concerning the residence and employment rights which will be upheld for British citizens who already reside and work in Malta. The regulations are set to come into force in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Foreign Nationals Act has been renamed the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act, with effect from 1 January 2019. The Foreign Nationals and Integration Act has revised the earlier provisions and introduced new ones to encourage and support foreign nationals' integration into Switzerland. Further, the act now includes provisions relating to the integration of non-EU nationals in Switzerland.
President Donald Trump has issued a memorandum to the attorney general and secretary of homeland security as a follow-up measure to a recent proclamation which declared a national emergency in order to address the security and humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border. The memorandum confirms that further steps should be proposed to enhance the integrity and efficiency of the existing asylum system.
The Board of Alien Labour Certification (BALCA) recently reversed a decision where a certifying officer had denied a Programme Electronic Review Management labour application because the employer had not specified the exact combination of education, training and experience equivalent to a bachelor's degree that would be acceptable. BALCA held that the language used by the employer had been acceptable.
The Board of Alien Labour Certification recently ruled that there is a lack of clarification about licensing on Form 9089 and that a Programme Electronic Review Management application should not be denied for failure to state the alien's acquisition of a licence. However, the fly in the ointment is that while Form 9089 does not itself clarify this point, the separate instructions to the form do require employers to include licence acquisition.
The Home Office recently released its statement of changes setting out proposed changes to UK immigration rules. The statement contains the long-awaited details of changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) visa, which were announced in December 2018 shortly after the Home Office backtracked from its announcement that the visa was about to be suspended. The proposed changes are significant and clarity is needed with regard to the application of the transitional rules.
The Council of Government recently came to an agreement on the status of British citizens living in Luxembourg in the event that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 29 March 2019 without a withdrawal agreement. According to the statement, answers to questions concerning the situation of British nationals living in Luxembourg, as well as Luxembourg nationals living in the United Kingdom, are available online.
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In the event of a no-deal Brexit, British nationals who take up residence in Switzerland after 29 March 2019 would not benefit from any rights of protections currently granted under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons and would thus be considered non-EU nationals. Under Switzerland's ordinary immigration regime, non-EU nationals generally have no right to obtain a Swiss residence and work permit, and Swiss immigration authorities have wide discretionary power when reviewing permit applications.