On 13th April 2018, a draft law was introduced to the Russian parliament, proposing new powers to ban or restrict the employment of nationals of the United States and/or other countries imposing sanctions on Russia.
RUSSIA: Draft Law to Restrict Employment of Foreign Nationals Introduced
SWITZERLAND: Government Extends “Safeguard Clause” Limiting Residence Permits for Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals
The Swiss Federal Council has decided to extend, for the year from 1st June 2018, the quota on Romanian and Bulgarian nationals (EU-2) of 996 long-term B permits, released quarterly.
NIGERIA: Ministry of Interior Online Services May Cause Delays
On 7th May 2018, the Federal Ministry of Interior (FMI) is expected to launch its new online service, covering all aspects of the operations and workflow of its Citizenship and Business (C&B) department.
COLOMBIA: New Requirement for Minors Travelling by Air
Effective 26th April 2018, anyone travelling by air within or out of Colombia accompanied by a minor child of seven years or under must provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
KUWAIT: Restrictions for Foreign National Engineers, and Diploma Holders Under 30 Years Old
Effective immediately, the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) requires engineers applying to renew or transfer their residence permits to present a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Kuwait Engineers Society (KES).
SPAIN: New Document Criteria for Residence Card Applications in Madrid
Effective immediately, an applicant for a residence card in Madrid whose passport does not bear an entry stamp affixed by the Spanish border control authorities must instead submit a statement of entry (“Declaración de entrada”).
CHILE: Post-arrival Temporary Residence Visa for Work Purposes to Be Discontinued
The Chilean Ministry of the Interior has announced that, effective 23rd April 2018, it will discontinue the post-arrival temporary visa for work purposes, introduced in 2015.
BRAZIL: Clarification of Procedure for Change of Status from Temporary to Permanent Residence Permit
The Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Justice have issued a joint statement clarifying that applications for conversion of temporary residence into permanent residence permits must be submitted to the Ministry of Labour for processing, rather than the Ministry of Justice.
BULGARIA: Amendments to the Labour Mobility Law
Effective 23rd May 2017, Bulgaria has passed amendments to the Labour Migration and Labour Mobility Act which relax the requirements for issuance of EU Blue Cards for non-EU nationals, increase the allowed ratio of foreign national to Bulgarian national employees and transpose into Bulgarian law EU Directive 2016/801 “on the entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing”.
MOROCCO: Fewer Intra-Company Transfers Qualify for Exemption from Labour Market Testing
In the last few weeks, the Ministry of Labour in Morocco has tightened the qualifying criteria for the intra-company transfer work permit process.
UNITED STATES: USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for Fiscal Year 2019
On 6th April 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received sufficient quota-subject H-1B filings for government fiscal year 2019 (1st October 2018 to 30th September 2019) to meet both the general H-1B quota (65,000) for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and the additional quota (20,000) for individuals holding a US master’s or other advanced degree.
GHANA: New Employment Guidelines Released by Petroleum Commission
Effective 2nd June 2018. the Petroleum Commission (PC) has released new guidelines covering the employment of foreign nationals.
PANAMA: Entry Rules Relaxed for Schengen Visa/EU Residence Holders and Indian Nationals
Effective 4th April 2018, valid Schengen visas and EU residence permits are again accepted for entry into Panama.
COSTA RICA: New Penalties for Overstay
Effective 20th April 2018, the General Directorate of Immigration will begin to enforce an existing, previously unenforced rule imposing a fine of USD 100 per month of overstay, or alternatively a ban from entering Costa Rica of three times the length of the overstay.
The penalties will be applied retroactively to any overstays since 1st March 2010.
NETHERLANDS: Reduced Application Fees
Effective 3rd May 2018, the Dutch immigration authorities (IND) have announced adjusted fees for immigration applications. Many fees will be reduced, and none will rise.
PANAMA: New Online Application for Travel Permits for Minors
Effective 1st April 2018, the National Immigration Authority will implement a mandatory online application process for travel permits for minors exiting the country with one or no parents.
ARGENTINA: Express Appointments Re-Established for Residence Applicants
Effective immediately, Argentina's National Immigration Office (DNM) has put the express appointments system back into operation for temporary and permanent visa and residence applications and temporary work authorisations.
SLOVENIA: New Intra-Corporate Transfer Permit Available
Effective immediately, Slovenia has introduced new work and residence permit rules for intra-corporate transfer (ICT), transposing into national law European Union (EU) Directive 2014/66 “on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer”.
IRELAND: Signed Employment Contract Required for All Employment Permit Applications
Effective 26th March 2018, the Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2018 introduce several changes, including an important new documentary requirement and an expansion of the occupations qualifying for intra-company transfers.
UNITED STATES: USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions
PHILIPPINES: Additional Documents Required for Alien Employment Permit Applications
Effective 2nd April 2018, the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) has confirmed additional documentary requirements for Alien Employment Permit (AEP) applications.
AUSTRALIA: New Global Talent Scheme Announced
On 19th March 2018, the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) announced that a new visa scheme to attract highly-skilled talent to Australia will be piloted from 1st July 2018.
UNITED STATES: End of Golden Arrow Program for Expedited E Visas at US Embassy in Paris
Effective 12th March 2018, the United States embassy in Paris, France, has closed its “Golden Arrow” program for expedited E visas for critical employees of registered large multinational corporations. Delays should be anticipated as a result.
PERU: New Streamlined Change of Status Process
Effective 19th March 2018, a new, simplified process for applications for change of immigration status has been introduced, with in-person attendance at the immigration office, and an online application tracking system.
UNITED KINGDOM: New Immigration Fees From 6th April 2018
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published updated fees for 2018/19 for all immigration and nationality applications made outside and from within the UK, effective Friday 6th April 2018.