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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

What Does the President’s Executive Order on Immigration Mean for Your Company?

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced the signing of an executive order that will have significant implications for the country’s immigration system. As a result, employers need to begin to consider how changes in employment eligibility verification and worksite enforcement, immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, and employment-based immigration provisions will impact their businesses. Squire Patton … Continue Reading

US and China Extend Visa Validity for Short-Term Travelers; Changes to ESTA

The United States and the People’s Republic of China agreed to increase the validity of short-term business and tourist visas and student and exchange visas issued to citizens of each country. Effective November 12, 2014, Chinese nationals can now obtain B-1 (business) and B-2 (tourist) nonimmigrant multiple-entry visas for up to 10 years. Previously, these … Continue Reading

Update: US Nonimmigrant Visa Applications Experiencing Worldwide Delays

To follow our previous posting here, the US Department of State announced that its visa system is up and running but visa issuance is currently at half-speed as they work through the backlog.  Please see the updates posted at travel.state.gov as well as the FAQs for more information. For assistance with urgent situations, please contact your … Continue Reading

Paddington Bear, the UK’s most loveable immigrant: once welcomed, now ostracised? And at what cost to us all?

As Paddington Bear prepares to make his Hollywood feature-film debut this December, the Employment Law Worldview Blog takes a ‘paws’ to ponder on the polite, accident-prone bear from Peru, dubbed “the UK’s most lovable immigrant”. Had Paddington Bear arrived at our shores today, would he still be taken in and welcomed as warmly as he … Continue Reading

US Nonimmigrant Visa Applications Experiencing Worldwide Delays

This past week the US Department of State announced, through its Bureau of Consular Affairs, that Embassies and Consulates are experiencing technical problems with the passport and visa system. While the system is supposedly operational, the Bureau reports that posts are issuing documents at a reduced capacity. This issue is worldwide and is not specific … Continue Reading

UK Business Immigration Update on the Prevention of Illegal Working – Part 2

Following our update last week regarding the Home Office’s Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working and the Civil Penalty Scheme for Employers, updated Guidance explaining the changes to employer right to work checks has now been published. On 16 May 2014, as previously advised, the Home Office’s Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working … Continue Reading

Dyson exposes vacuum in Home Office’s position on visas for non-EU graduates

Sir James Dyson has told Sky News that Britain’s immigration rules are “sheer madness” and counter-productive to the country’s economic ambitions.  In his view, the UK is not doing enough to make non-EU undergraduates studying science and engineering feel welcome and they should be allowed to stay in Britain on qualification rather than have to … Continue Reading

UK Business Immigration Update on the Prevention of Illegal Working

May 2014   The Home Office has issued a draft Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working and the Civil Penalty Scheme for Employers which introduces a number of key changes relating to employee right to work checks.   As most employers will be aware, the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 imposes a responsibility on employers … Continue Reading
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