Archives: Business Immigration

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Brexit Immigration Update

Immigration continues to dominate the Brexit debate – here is a round-up of where we currently stand: Can they stay or must they go? EEA nationals currently in the UK According to Telegraph reports, Home Office research has concluded that when the UK leaves the EU, just over 80 per cent of EU citizens already … Continue Reading

Entrepreneurial Parole: A Presidential Baby-Step Forward

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released a proposed rule to allow foreign entrepreneurs to enter the United States and work at qualifying “start-up” companies under the President’s “parole” authority. Parole allows the President, through DHS, to permit certain individuals to temporarily enter the United States as parolees under fixed conditions.  It is often used … Continue Reading

Civil Penalties Nearly Double for Form I-9 Violations and Significantly Increase for Other Immigration-Related Violations

Due to the implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Sec. 701 of Public Law 114-74) (“Inflation Adjustment Act”), higher fines and civil penalties have now gone into effect for assessments that occur on or after August 1, 2016. These higher penalties can be applied to violations that occurred … Continue Reading

New legislation on the posting of workers to Poland

New legislation to protect employees sent from outside the country to work for a limited time in Poland came into effect on 18 June. The legislation implements just in time the EU Posted Workers Directive, which Member States were required to bring into force within two years of June 2014. The new legislation is intended … Continue Reading

Civil penalties for illegal working – how to protect your business

Home Office scrutiny of illegal working has increased significantly over recent months – businesses with large, diverse multi-sited workforces appear to be particularly at risk, but civil penalties are no longer something which only happens to other people. The civil penalty regime has the very laudable aim of deterring UK employers from hiring staff without … Continue Reading

A Deep Dive into the New STEM OPT Extension Rule: What Employers, Big and Small, Need to Know

On March 11, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final rule for international students with U.S. degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) seeking extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) (the “Final Rule”) employment authorization. The Final Rule creates a new 24-month STEM OPT extension period along with additional government oversight … Continue Reading

UK Business Immigration Update – Changes to Tier 2 of the Points Based System

Following the Migration Advisory Committee’s January recommendations regarding the Government’s proposals to restrict Tier 2 of the Points Based System, the Home Office has now announced the changes that will be implemented across Tier 2. Compared to the initial radical proposals put forward by the Government to restrict Tier 2 last summer, the Home Office’s … Continue Reading

Update Regarding Major Changes to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program

Following our post last month, Year End Brings Major Changes to the US Visa Waiver Program, we notify our readers of further travel restrictions recently announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (Act), the DHS is now limiting … Continue Reading

Recent DHS Rule Makes Life Easier for E-3, H-1B1, CW-1 Visa Holders and Employers Sponsoring Outstanding Professors and Researchers for Green Cards

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published a Final Rule [pdf] in the Federal Register revising its regulations affecting highly‑skilled workers in the nonimmigrant classifications for specialty occupation from Chile, Singapore (H–1B1), and Australia (E–3) and the immigrant classification for employment-based first preference (EB–1) outstanding professors and researchers.  The Rule will also make changes … Continue Reading

Executive Action: Obama’s Legacy and 2016 Predictions (Part 1 of 2)

Federal legislation in 2015 was plagued by the same congressional gridlock that President Obama has faced throughout most of his presidency. The President has therefore turned to executive action to achieve many of his goals over the past seven years and we expect this trend to continue with gusto in 2016.  Below is a summary … Continue Reading

Year End Brings Major Changes to the US Visa Waiver Program

Included in the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (HR 2029), signed into law on December 18, 2015, were significant changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). These changes will require “e-passports” of all VWP travelers and additional security standards. This follows “enhancements” to the program announced by the Obama Administration at the end of November. The … Continue Reading

Happy New Year: What Happened To My E-Verify Records?

As 2015 comes to close, Employers should heed recent notifications from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that it will begin purging employer E‑Verify records.  USCIS informed that in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) records retention and disposal schedule (N 1‑566‑08‑7), it will dispose of E‑Verify records … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Asked to Review Fifth Circuit Decision Shutting Down President Obama’s Immigration Plan

On November 20, 2015, attorneys for the Obama administration appealed a November 9, 2015 decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld an injunction against the implementation of President Obama’s executive immigration policy known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, or DAPA.  The injunction, sought by … Continue Reading

UK industry’s response to Government proposals to limit skilled immigration

The Government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee to review Tier 2 of the UK’s immigration system “with a view to significantly reducing net migration to the UK”.   On 25 September we submitted our response to the MAC’s call for evidence.  It took into account opinions canvassed from a number of international clients and contacts … Continue Reading

Rich investors set to boost innovation capital in Australia

The Government recently announced a new three-part complying investment framework for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Premium Investor Visa (PIV) programme. These visas offer pathways to permanent residency, subject to significant, complying investments being made in Australia by the applicants. From 1 July 2015, new SIV applicants will be required to invest at least … Continue Reading

Worldwide Visa and Passport Delays Affect Thousands of Applicants

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is experiencing widespread technical issues with its overseas passport and visa issuance systems.  The problems have caused significant processing delays across the globe, spreading to various countries and affecting U.S. passport and visa applicants across all categories. While officials work to correct the problem and restore … Continue Reading

Sponsors Beware! Big Brother is Watching

In April 2015, Mr and Mrs Choong’s wallets took a whopping $175,400 hit after the Federal Court ordered their company to pay the largest-ever civil penalty for breaching sponsorship obligations under the subclass 457 visa program.  Just five weeks later, the Choongs were ordered to pay a further $125,956 to reimburse the Filipino workers their … Continue Reading

Australian federal government implement changes to the Temporary Skilled (subclass 457) visa

Following publication of the independent review into the Temporary Skilled (Subclass 457) visa program, the federal government announced on 18 March 2015 its intention to implement a number of the proposed changes to ‘increase flexibility and reduce restrictions on 457 programme users while maintaining integrity in the programme’. Despite growing suspicions that this would be … Continue Reading

Australian federal government implements changes to the 457 visa

Following the publication of the independent review into the Temporary Skilled (Subclass 457) visa program, the federal government announced on 18 March 2015 its intention to implement a number of the proposed changes to ‘increase flexibility and reduce restrictions on 457 programme users while maintaining integrity in the programme’. Despite growing suspicions that this would … Continue Reading

H-1B Visas Prove Elusive, Once Again

In a series of press releases over the past week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received enough H‑1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS also indicated it received more than the limit of 20,000 H‑1B petitions filed under the US advanced … Continue Reading

Spouses of Certain H-1B Visa Holders Soon to Join the Ranks of the Lawfully Employable

After a four year delay, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has finally published a final rule extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. This benefit will not pass down to children of H-1B holders and will be … Continue Reading