The Forum for Expatriate Management http://totallyexpat.com Global Mobility Dedicated Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:02:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 United States: USCIS Director Says H-4 EAD Rule is Near Completion http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-uscis-director-h4-ead-rule-completion/ http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-uscis-director-h4-ead-rule-completion/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:02:30 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16951 Continue reading ]]> United States: USCIS Director Says H-4 EAD Rule is Near CompletionIn a conference call with stakeholders today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Leon Rodriguez said that his agency is completing work on a regulation that allows certain H-4 nonimmigrants to apply for employment authorization, with implementation “close at hand.” Director Rodriguez offered no concrete details or timelines, but he reassured stakeholders that no policy issues remain unresolved. Rather, the agency is finalizing administrative matters concerning issuance of employment authorization documents (EADs) to eligible H-4 nonimmigrants. The regulation was originally slated for publication in December 2014.

As originally proposed, the rule would allow an H-4 nonimmigrant to apply for employment authorization if his or her H-1B spouse (1) is the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 immigrant worker petition; or (2) is the beneficiary of a labor certification application or an I-140 petition that was filed on his or her behalf 365 days or more in the past and is seeking or has obtained an extension of H-1B status beyond the sixth year on the basis of the pending permanent residence case.

What’s Next for the H-4 EAD Rule

USCIS must submit a final version of the regulation to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance. After OMB gives its approval, the rule will be published in the Federal Register and an implementation date announced. USCIS is expected to begin accepting H-4 EAD applications soon after the rule is published.

Details of the final rule — including information about EAD eligibility and application requirements — are confidential and will not be released until the rule is slated for publication.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Once the rule is implemented, eligible H-4 nonimmigrants will need to file a Form I-765 application for employment authorization, along with documentation of their H-1B spouse’s permanent residence case. USCIS is expected to announce specific application procedures and requirements when the regulation is finally released.

Fragomen is closely monitoring the progress of the rule. We will notify employers and foreign nationals as soon as the H-4 EAD program is formally announced.

Source: Fragomen

Manhattan3 amk” by user:AngMoKioOwn work (Original text: selfmade photo). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

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MALAYSIA (Jan. 22, 2015) – Malaysia enforcing ‘transfer of endorsement’ rule for foreigners holding new passports http://totallyexpat.com/malaysia-jan-22-2015-malaysia-enforcing-transfer-endorsement-rule-foreigners-holding-passports/ http://totallyexpat.com/malaysia-jan-22-2015-malaysia-enforcing-transfer-endorsement-rule-foreigners-holding-passports/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:43:57 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16949 Continue reading ]]> MALAYSIA (Jan. 22, 2015) – Malaysia enforcing ‘transfer of endorsement’ rule for foreigners holding new passportsIMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Malaysia has recently begun enforcing an existing rule that foreigners holding new passports take steps to transfer their employment passes and other passes to their new passports.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals who obtain a new passport should observe “transfer of endorsement” rules to avoid delays while entering or exiting.

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All types of passes.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who have acquired a new passport.
  • Impact on processing times: Enforcement of the rules does not impact processing times, but noncompliance may cause foreign nationals to face delays at immigration exit or entry points.
  • Business impact: This will have minimal business impact beyond possible travel complications.

Background: Foreigners who obtain a new passport typically travel with both their new passport and their old passport containing their employment pass, dependent pass or other type of pass. However, holders of these passes are required to complete the transfer endorsement of them to the new passport based on immigration guidelines. Malaysian authorities are enforcing these rules because once an old passport is canceled, the pass in the old passport is assumed to be invalid. Authorities are requiring holders of employment passes and dependent passes to process the transfer of endorsement as soon as a new passport is issued.

Foreigners returning to Malaysia with old and new passports can expect immigration authorities at checkpoints to stamp their new passport with a “Report to Immigration” stamp instructing them to complete the transfer of endorsement process by a given deadline. If they fail to complete the process, they are likely to be held up at exit or entry points and stopped from traveling into or out of the country.

BAL Analysis: Foreigners should be aware of the recent enforcement measures of this rule and be sure to transfer their employment passes and dependent passes to a new passport as soon as it is issued.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Malaysia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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RUSSIA (Jan. 22, 2015) – Deadline nears for quarterly income reporting of highly qualified foreign specialists http://totallyexpat.com/russia-jan-22-2015-deadline-nears-quarterly-income-reporting-highly-qualified-foreign-specialists/ http://totallyexpat.com/russia-jan-22-2015-deadline-nears-quarterly-income-reporting-highly-qualified-foreign-specialists/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:40:02 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16947 Continue reading ]]> RUSSIA (Jan. 22, 2015) – Deadline nears for quarterly income reporting of highly qualified foreign specialistsIMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Employers must report the income of highly qualified foreign specialists on a quarterly basis.

What does the change mean? Reporting for the fourth quarter of 2014 is due no later than Jan. 31.

  • Implementation timeframe: Now through Jan. 31.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work visas.
  • Who is affected: Companies with foreign highly qualified specialists.
  • Business impact: The quarterly report is mandatory for employers who hire foreign highly qualified specialists, and employers who fail to report face heavy fines.
  • Next steps: Employers should work with their BAL representative to meet the reporting deadline.

Background: The reports are required quarterly. The deadline is Jan. 31 for reporting the salaries of highly qualified specialist foreign employees for the period Oct. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014.

Companies that fail to comply face administrative fines ranging from 400,000 to 1 million rubles (about US $6,000 to $15,000). Company officials may also be fined 35,000 to 70,000 rubles (about US $530 to $1,060).

BAL Analysis: Employers are encouraged to track salaries regularly to make it easier to collect and report the data by the quarterly deadlines. Employers should work with their BAL attorney to prepare reports by the deadline.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Russia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Kremlevskaya Naberezhnaja Moscow.hires” by Attribution is to be given to Dmitry Azovtsev. When using on the Web, a link to http://www.daphoto.info is appreciated.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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UNITED STATES (Jan. 22, 2015) – Administration moves to re-establish relations with Cuba, ease travel restrictions http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-jan-22-2015-administration-moves-reestablish-relations-cuba-ease-travel-restrictions/ http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-jan-22-2015-administration-moves-reestablish-relations-cuba-ease-travel-restrictions/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:36:03 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16945 Continue reading ]]> UNITED STATES (Jan. 22, 2015) – Administration moves to re-establish relations with Cuba, ease travel restrictionsThe Obama administration has taken steps in recent days to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and to ease travel restrictions for Americans wishing to travel to the island nation.

The actions follow the Dec. 17 announcement that the U.S. would work to normalize relations with Cuba, open an embassy in Havana and take steps toward easing travel and business restrictions on Americans..

“In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date,” Obama said in his State of the Union address Jan. 20. “When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new.”

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson is currently in Cuba to discuss next steps, including embassy operations, staffing, and visa processing.

Travelers should be aware that most forms of trade with Cuba are still illegal, and general tourism is also off limits.

However, several changes took effect last week, making it easier for travelers in 12 categories to visit Cuba. The 12 categories are: family visits; government business; journalistic endeavors; professional meetings or research; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, exhibitions or competitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations and research or educational institutions; exportation or importation of information; and certain authorized export transactions. These changes were implemented Jan. 16 in published guidelines by the U.S. Treasury Department and Commerce Department.

Travel that was previously authorized only by “specific license” is now authorized by “general license,” meaning people can travel to Cuba provided they meet conditions specified in government regulations covering their type of travel. If travelers meet these conditions, they do not need to request permission to travel ahead of time.

Commercial airlines will be able to establish regular flights to Cuba. Travelers will be allowed to use credit or debit cards in Cuba and they will be permitted to import up to $400 worth of goods (including $100 of alcohol or tobacco) for personal use.

The changes announced last week also touch on business transactions with Cuban nationals, financial services and small business development, among other areas.

U.S. companies, including banks, can now provide goods and services to Cuban nationals located outside of Cuba, so long as their transactions do not involve exportation of goods or services from Cuba. In order to process authorized transactions, U.S. banks and other depositories will be able to open “correspondent accounts” with Cuban banks and other financial institutions. The regulations also allow for certain types of micro-financing projects and entrepreneurial and business training.

BAL Analysis: The Obama administration’s move toward normalizing relations with Cuba is a historic development. However, the Cuban trade embargo has not been lifted and many forms of trade and general tourism are still prohibited. Talks are underway to reestablish diplomatic relations, and new Treasury and Commerce regulations make it easier to travel to Cuba for those who fall into any of the 12 categories listed above. The regulations also expand banking and financial service opportunities and small-business development. However, people considering traveling to Cuba or doing business there should be extremely careful that their activity is legal. Contact a BAL attorney if you have any questions about what activity is – or is not – permissible.

– Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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UNITED STATES (Jan. 22, 2015) – DHS spending bill clears the House – what’s next? http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-jan-22-2015-dhs-spending-bill-clears-house-whats/ http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-jan-22-2015-dhs-spending-bill-clears-house-whats/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:30:19 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16943 Continue reading ]]> UNITED STATES (Jan. 22, 2015) – DHS spending bill clears the House – what’s next?Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Homeland Security spending bill (H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015) that would continue to fund the department while rolling back executive actions that President Barack Obama has taken. This legislation, which passed by 236-191, is necessary because the “cromnibus” bill that passed in the last session of Congress to fund the rest of the U.S. government only funded the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 27, 2015 in reaction to immigration executive action.

What is included in the DHS spending bill?

The bill provides $39.7 billion in funding for DHS for fiscal year 2015, which runs through Sept. 30, 2015.

The House also passed five amendments that attack parts of Obama’s executive actions. The Aderholt amendment, sponsored by Rep. Robert Aderholt, R- Ala., defunds immigration executive action by blocking all funding to carry out Obama’s most recent executive actions or to enforce the “Morton Memos,” which give Immigration and Customs Enforcement greater discretion in prioritizing which cases to enforce and prosecute. The Blackburn amendment, sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R- Tenn., would eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by preventing funds from being used to consider any new DACA applications. The DeSantis amendment, sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., would prohibit ICE from prioritizing the deportation of certain criminals using prosecutorial discretion. The Salmon amendment, sponsored by Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., discourages DHS from granting deferred action to undocumented immigrants because their exclusion from the Affordable Care Act could prompt employers to hire them over American workers who are entitled to health benefits. Finally, the Schock amendment, sponsored by Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., urges U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to prioritize applications of immigrants who came to the U.S. within the existing legal framework over those who came here illegally.

What would this mean for my company if the bill becomes law?

As it stands, the bill would not have a substantial effect on the current visa processes for employers of high-skilled workers. However, the amendments could prove detrimental to current efforts on the agency’s regulatory agenda, including H-4 spousal work authorization and other proposed improvements for which the administration is seeking recommendations and input based on executive action.

If DHS is funded through Feb. 27, why did the House pass a bill for continued funding so many weeks in advance?

Funding for DHS as a whole is a major national security concern, especially in light of recent global terror threats. Congressional Republicans would like to express their displeasure at Obama’s executive actions, but they do not want departmental funding to lapse. Thus, they needed to start early in order to get some posturing out of the way and hammer out a deal with the Senate, which is unlikely to pass the measure in its current form.

What is going to happen with the bill now?

We may see a series of bills over the coming weeks that tie DHS funding to immigration executive action, much as we have seen in the House with efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Ultimately, the House will need to pass a bill that is palatable to the Senate and can garner the necessary 60 votes for a filibuster-proof majority. Once a bill has passed the Senate, it will go to Obama to be signed into law. Obama has indicated that he will veto any bill that defunds his executive actions on immigration.

Are there any other options for DHS funding?

Congress will need to pass a funding bill in order for DHS to continue operations, but the final form of the bill is unclear. Although everyone wants DHS to be funded, Republicans find themselves in a politically difficult situation because they do not want to appear to condone immigration executive action in any way. If it is exceptionally difficult to find compromise on a funding bill for an entire fiscal year, the GOP may continue to express its dissatisfaction by passing smaller “clean” spending bills to fund DHS for only a few months at a time and keep the conversation alive throughout the year.

What happens if DHS funding lapses?

As with the government shutdown in October 2013, many DHS operations would remain running.

Since USCIS is a fee-funded agency, processing of applications and petitions for immigration benefits would not be affected. E-Verify access would be discontinued until funding is resumed, meaning that companies could not enroll in E-Verify and users could not verify employment eligibility or take action on any case. The CIS Ombudsman’s Office would likely close in the event of a lapse in funding, meaning that they could not accept any inquiries through their online case intake system.

Most CBP personnel would remain on the job; however, funding constraints could limit staff and cause delays. ICE detention and enforcement operations would likely continue during any shutdown.

BAL continues to pay close attention to this and other developments in Congress and will provide updates as additional information becomes available. For more frequent updates and news, follow us on our BAL Government Affairs Twitter page.

For additional information or questions:

Lynden Melmed, Partner
Washington, D.C.
Direct: 202.842.5830
lmelmed@balglobal.com

Christiana Kern, Legislative Analyst
Direct: 202.842.5831
ckern@balglobal.com

– Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

USCapitol” by Picasa 2.0. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

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India: Updated Eligibility Guidelines for Merger of PIO and OCI Cards http://totallyexpat.com/india-updated-eligibility-guidelines-merger-pio-oci-cards/ http://totallyexpat.com/india-updated-eligibility-guidelines-merger-pio-oci-cards/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:01:05 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16930 Continue reading ]]> India: Updated Eligibility Guidelines for Merger of PIO and OCI CardsAfter last week’s merger of the Person of India Origin (PIO) card and the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, the Indian government has released updated guidelines related to the eligibility criteria for the OCI category. Key PIO guidelines have been merged with OCI guidelines.

Guidelines for Children Born Abroad

Children born abroad whose parents are both Indian nationals have been granted eligibility for an OCI card. Previously, they were only eligible if one of their parents was eligible for an OCI card.

Guidelines for Foreign Spouses

Foreign nationals married to a person of Indian origin or to an OCI card holder will qualify for an OCI card after two years of marriage. Previous eligibility rules allowed one year of marriage for card issuance.

OCI cards issued to foreign nationals based on their spouse’s Indian origin will be cancelled if the marriage has been dissolved by a competent court of law or if either spouse has married again prior to legal dissolution.

Nationality-Specific Eligibility

Foreign nationals of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Iran, Nepal and Sri Lanka, who were previously not allowed to apply for PIO cards, can now apply for OCI cards if they meet all eligibility criteria.

Pakistan and Bangladesh nationals are still not eligible for OCI cards.

Further updates will be shared when the Indian Government releases notifications based on specific nationalities.

OCI Card Holders with New Passports

As per existing OCI guidelines, OCI card holders between the ages of 21 and 50 can travel to India with their old and new passports and their OCI card. OCI card holders below the age of 20 will need to update their OCI card with each new passport issued. Those over the age of 50 will be only required to update their OCI card once when they are issued a new passport.

This will apply to all existing PIO card holders who are now deemed OCI card holders.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals should note that they may need to apply for an OCI card if they have a pending PIO application, as PIO applications are being returned by the Indian immigration authorities with a request that the applicant apply for an OCI card. This policy is currently in effect in the United States, and it is expected to apply across other Indian missions and registration offices soon.

The eligibility criteria for the PIO card have been added to the existing eligibility criteria and benefits for the OCI category.

We worked closely with Fragomen Immigration Services India (Pvt.) Limited (“Fragomen-India”) to prepare this alert. It is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Worldwide or send an email to IndiaQueries_NewPolicy@fragomen.com.

Source: Fragomen

Bangla sahib New Delhi” by PranaysrivastavaOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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KENYA (Jan. 20, 2015) – Foreign employees cannot enter Kenya until work authorization is approved http://totallyexpat.com/kenya-jan-20-2015-foreign-employees-enter-kenya-work-authorization-approved/ http://totallyexpat.com/kenya-jan-20-2015-foreign-employees-enter-kenya-work-authorization-approved/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:47:32 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16920 Continue reading ]]> KENYA (Jan. 20, 2015) – Foreign employees cannot enter Kenya until work authorization is approvedIMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Kenya has passed a security law that bars foreign employees from entering the country without an approved work permit.

What does the change mean? Foreign employees are now required to apply for a work permit and await approval by the Department of Immigration Services before entering Kenya. All foreign nationals staying for more than three months must also comply with new registration requirements.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: The law covers work permits, and, by extension, all other passes.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals entering Kenya for work permits or other types of passes.
  • Impact on processing times: The law does not directly impact processing times, but it impacts the timing of applications.
  • Business impact: The changes will require some additional planning when posting foreign employees in Kenya.
  • Next steps: Employers are encouraged to work with their BAL attorney to submit their work permit applications approximately three months before an employee’s start date. This will ensure that the work permit is approved a few weeks before the employee’s travel date, so that the employee may enter Kenya with some lead time to get settled before starting work.

Background: The Security Laws (Amendment) Act took effect Dec. 22, 2014.

The main change for corporate expatriate employees is that they must apply and obtain approved work authorization before entering Kenya. Once an application is approved in-country, a foreign employee may get a visitor or business visa at the airport upon entry. While the law explicitly covers work permits, it is expected to also apply to other types of passes such as special passes, student passes, intern passes, dependent passes and researcher passes.

The law also imposes new registration and tracking of foreign nationals. All foreign nationals over 18 staying in Kenya for a continuous period of at least three months must register for a foreigner’s certificate with the Department of Immigration Services and notify authorities of travel or address changes. Businesses that provide accommodations to foreign nationals must keep track of their guests or tenants and submit written reports weekly to the Department of Immigration.

Another provision restructures the committee that approves work permits. This is a very positive development that should reduce chronic processing delays. The law gives the Cabinet Secretary sole power to appoint the work permit committee, providing stability to its composition. Previously, committee members were selected by the director of the Department of Immigration, and the reshuffling that occurred with each change of director often suspended processing for several weeks.

BAL Analysis: The law prevents foreign nationals from entering on a business or visitor visa and working before their work authorization is approved or remaining idle while an application is pending.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Kenya. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

 

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

 

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Kenya countryside“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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CANADA (Jan. 20, 2015) – New investor visa program to be launched this month http://totallyexpat.com/canada-jan-20-2015-investor-visa-program-launched-month/ http://totallyexpat.com/canada-jan-20-2015-investor-visa-program-launched-month/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:44:49 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16916 Continue reading ]]> CANADA (Jan. 20, 2015) – New investor visa program to be launched this monthIMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Citizenship and Immigration Canada is planning to launch an Immigrant Investor Venture Capital pilot program this month in an effort designed to attract a small number of wealthy investors and their families to Canada.

What does the change mean? The program will allow up to 50 foreign investors to qualify for permanent residence in Canada. To be eligible, each applicant must be able to invest 2 million Canadian dollars (about US$1.65 million) for 15 years and demonstrate a net worth of at least CA$10 million.

  • Implementation timeframe: The pilot program will be launched by the end of the month, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residence.
  • Who is affected: Eligible foreign investors.
  • Impact on processing times: Citizenship and Immigration Canada will accept no more than 500 applications for 50 spots, and hopes to keep processing times for the permanent residence stage of the application at around six months.
  • Business impact: While the Canadian government says the program will attract investors who will contribute to Canada’s “economic growth and long-term prosperity,” the relatively modest scope of the pilot program makes it difficult to determine how much of an impact it will have on the broader business community.
  • Next steps: Officials are expected to begin accepting applications later this month, although no exact date has been set. BAL will continue monitoring the program.

Background: Canada terminated its Immigrant Investor Program and Entrepreneur Program in June 2014. Officials are hoping that the pilot program will lure wealthy investors to Canada without experiencing the same backlogs that plagued the past investor programs.

Investors will be required to make CA$2million of nonguaranteed investments for 15 years in order to qualify. That money will be used to invest in Canadian start-up companies deemed to have high-growth potential. Other eligibility factors for investor applicants include demonstrated proficiency in either English or French, a Canadian post-secondary degree or the foreign equivalent, and a legally obtained net worth of at least CA$10 million.

After it begins accepting applications, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will review a maximum of 500 applications within a set timeframe. Applications will then be selected at random until 50 applications are approved and finalized. Those 50 applicants will be eligible for permanent residence in Canada.

BAL Analysis: The pilot program will provide up to 50 investors and their families with permanent residence in Canada and could boost the prospects of Canadian start-up companies. It remains to be seen, however, whether the pilot program will be able to avoid backlogs that plagued past foreign investment programs and how broadly the economic impact of the new program will be felt. BAL will continue to monitor the program as it is unveiled.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

 

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

 

English Bay Vancouver“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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BRAZIL (Jan. 20, 2015) – More documents acceptable to prove professional experience for Work Visas http://totallyexpat.com/brazil-jan-20-2015-documents-acceptable-prove-professional-experience-work-visas/ http://totallyexpat.com/brazil-jan-20-2015-documents-acceptable-prove-professional-experience-work-visas/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:41:32 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16914 Continue reading ]]> BRAZIL (Jan. 20, 2015) – More documents acceptable to prove professional experience for Work VisasIMPACT – HIGH 

What is the change? The Brazilian Ministry of Labor will accept a broader range of documents as proof of work experience from foreigners applying for Work Visas. The Ministry will now accept any documents that provide proof of work experience. In addition, for intracompany transfers, the ministry will accept signed letters from Brazilian company directors confirming visa applicants’ minimum years of experience in lieu of reference letters from foreign employers.

What does the change mean? These changes eliminate a time-consuming and expensive procedure used to prove work experience. Previously, applicants were required to contact the foreign company to obtain proof of experience that had to be translated and legalized by a Brazilian consulate.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Work Visas that require proof of professional experience from applicants (Normative Resolutions # 61 and 99).
  • Who is affected: Foreign employees applying for Temporary Work Visas.
  • Impact on processing times: The changes will simplify the document requirements for the processing of Work Visa applications.
  • Next steps: When transferring an employee to a Brazilian affiliate or a foreign company, the Brazilian company can opt to use this benefit and avoid the lengthy process of obtaining a legalized and translated letter of experience issued by the foreign company.

Background: Previously, the Brazilian Ministry of Labor demanded that foreign Temporary Work Visa applicants obtain a letter of experience from the former employer, even if the applicant no longer worked for that employer. This requirement caused problems for some candidates who no longer were in contact with their former employer or did not feel comfortable seeking a reference from a former employer. This requirement is no longer necessary if the applicant is being transferred within affiliated companies of the same corporate group. Also, all applicants for Temporary Work Visas may now present other documents as proof of their tenure at a company, such as work contracts or pay slips. The ministry will accept these documents as proof of the minimum experience required to qualify for a Brazilian Work Visa.

BAL Analysis: These changes allow greater flexibility for Work Visa applicants and demonstrate that Brazil is reviewing and remodeling its laws and regulations to better respond to market demand.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Brazil. For additional information, please contact brazil@balglobal.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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Thailand: Certified Corporate Documents Required for One Stop Service Center Applications http://totallyexpat.com/thailand-certified-corporate-documents-required-stop-service-center-applications/ http://totallyexpat.com/thailand-certified-corporate-documents-required-stop-service-center-applications/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:52:04 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16908 Continue reading ]]> Thailand: Certified Corporate Documents Required for One Stop Service Center ApplicationsStarting January 19, 2015, foreign nationals submitting work permit, Long Stay Visa and/or extension applications at the One Stop Service Center (OSSC) must submit corporate documents that are certified by specific government agencies, according to a verbal announcement by the OSSC. Photocopies were acceptable prior to this rule change.

The announcement does not change the process of applying for work permits, visas and/or extensions at the OSSC, but increases the documentary burden on applicants.

A new set of certified documents will be required for each application.

Certified Documents

The following is the list of documents that will need to be officially certified by the relevant government agency prior to submission:

  1. Copy of Financial Statement (in Thai), containing the balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the previous year, audited and signed by a CPA (officially certified either by the Revenue Department or Ministry of Commerce)
  2. Copy of form and receipt of previous year’s corporate income tax return (P.N.D. 50) (officially certified by the Revenue Department)
  3. Copy of form and receipt of monthly salary withholding tax for the latest month of all Thai and foreign employees (P.N.D. 1) (officially certified by the Revenue Department)
  4. Copy of form and receipt of monthly Value Added Tax (VAT) return (Phor Por 30 form) for the latest month (officially certified by the Revenue Department)
  5. Copy of form and receipt of monthly social security contribution for the latest month of all Thai and foreign employees (officially certified by the Social Security Office)
  6. Copy of form for submission of audited financial statement for the previous accounting year, acknowledged by the Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce (Sor Bor Chor 3 form) (officially certified by the Ministry of Commerce)
  7. Copy of form and receipt of personal income tax return (P.N.D. 91) of the employee for the latest year (officially certified by the Revenue Department)

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Employers must take into account the additional three to ten working days it may take to obtain certified documents, depending on the government agency. Additionally, some government agencies may charge fees for certification.

It is recommended that employers apply for several sets of certified documents at a time rather than on an ad hoc basis to save time and resources.

Employers may be able to apply for work permits with photocopies, and then subsequently submit the certified documents once they are available. However, this would involve two trips to the OSSC instead of one.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Worldwide or send an email to APCCInitiations@fragomen.com.

Source: Fragomen

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