The Forum for Expatriate Management http://totallyexpat.com Dedicated Exculsively to Global Mobility and International Assignee Management Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:34:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SCHENGEN AREA/US: European countries tightening enforcement on expiring passports http://totallyexpat.com/schengen-areaus-european-countries-tightening-enforcement-expiring-passports/ http://totallyexpat.com/schengen-areaus-european-countries-tightening-enforcement-expiring-passports/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:43:51 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15732 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? A number of European nations in the 26-country Schengen Area are growing increasingly strict about a requirement that foreign passports be valid at least 90 days past a traveler’s intended date of departure.

What does the change mean? Tourists and business travelers with less than six months remaining on their passports beyond intended travel dates should consider renewing their passports as soon as possible.united states

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Passports.
  • Who is affected: United States and other non-European nationals.
  • Impact on processing times: Seasonal demand for new passports during peak holiday times could cause delays.
  • Business impact: Visa-free business travelers should make sure they have at least six months on their passports upon their date of arrival in Schengen Area countries.
  • Next steps: The U.S. State Department recommends that travelers in need of new passports renew them immediately in order to avoid delays associated with increased demand around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Background: Non-European nationals (third-country nationals) are permitted to visit Schengen Area countries for 90 days within a 180-day period. Because of a rule requiring that passports be valid at least 90 days past a traveler’s intended date of departure, travelers must have at least six months of validity remaining on their passports on their date of arrival. The U.S. State Department reported Sept. 5 that the requirement “has been more strictly enforced” recently, sometimes resulting in travelers being denied airline boarding or entry upon arrival.

BAL Analysis: The tighter enforcement is not the result of any new rule or regulation, and enforcement levels vary from country to country within the Schengen Area. Non-European nationals planning visa-free travel for either tourist or business purposes within the Schengen Area should make sure they will have at least six months remaining on their passport upon arrival. Some Schengen countries also apply the rule to travelers transiting through an airport for several hours to a non-Schengen destination. Travelers who require a new passport should apply immediately to avoid delays.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. 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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ISRAEL: Holiday closures to delay processing http://totallyexpat.com/israel-holiday-closures-delay-processing/ http://totallyexpat.com/israel-holiday-closures-delay-processing/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:31:42 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15729 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Government agencies will be closed during the observances of Rosh Hashana and Sukkot.

What does the change mean? No work permits or visa applications will be processed.israel

  • Implementation timeframe: Rosh Hashana is Sept. 24-25 and Sukkot is Oct. 8-18.
  • Visas/permits affected: All permits and visas.
  • Who is affected: Applicants for permits and visas.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing will be halted for the holidays and temporary backlogs may result for a time.

Background: All government offices in Israel will close for the holidays. Consular posts will have the option of closing or staying open on a part-time schedule.

BAL Analysis: Employers should be mindful of these holidays and submit planned applications as soon as possible so that they are processed immediately. Applicants for visas and permits should check with their local consulates for holiday schedules.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Israel. 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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UNITED STATES: Fragomen Pitches In to Assist Unaccompanied Immigrant Children http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-fragomen-pitches-assist-unaccompanied-immigrant-children/ http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-fragomen-pitches-assist-unaccompanied-immigrant-children/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:22:53 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15726 Continue reading ]]> In response to an unprecedented refugee crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, where tens of thousands of children fleeing abuse and violence in Central America have shown up alone to seek refuge in the United States, Fragomen is pitching in by dedicating significant pro bono resources to represent immigrant children in need.united states

The United States is facing an unprecedented refugee crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, with the arrival of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing abuse and violence in Central America. Many of these children may be eligible for asylum or other lawful immigration status in the United States, but with no right to court-appointed counsel in immigration proceedings, and with a severe shortage of non-profit legal services organizations available to provide representation, the future is bleak for these children unless pro bono attorneys step in. 

Last month, Austin Fragomen, Partner and Chairman of the Firm’s Executive Committee, participated in a meeting at the White House, along with leaders of other major law firms, to discuss what the private sector can do to help. In response, the firm has rolled out a national pro bono initiative to provide representation to unaccompanied immigrant children who have been released to family members or into foster care in cities around the country. 

Nationally, the firm will be partnering with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) to take on cases in seven of the eight cities where KIND has offices: Baltimore, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New York, and Washington, DC. Regionally, each U.S. Fragomen office will also work with a trusted local non-profit. For example, the firm’s New York office is partnering with New York Law School’s Safe Passage Project to screen children who appear in Immigration Court and to represent individual children, and with the City Bar Justice Center to mentor two new Immigrant Justice Fellows who will be taking on a number of new cases. In Phoenix, the firm is working with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. In San Diego, the firm is working with the Casa Cornelia Law Center

Already, Fragomen attorneys around the country are screening children at juvenile dockets in Immigration Court; holding “Know Your Rights” presentations—in both Spanish and English—for young immigrants held in juvenile detention facilities; staffing pro bono legal clinics; and taking on the direct representation of young people who appear eligible for asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or other means of immigration relief. 

The firm will also be working with The Safe Passage Project to produce a training manual on the representation of immigrant children, to be co-authored by attorneys from Fragomen and The Safe Passage Project. This book will be made available to pro bono attorneys, law school clinics, non-profit organizations and other interested stakeholders around the country, with the proceeds donated to The Safe Passage Project. 

Source: Fragomen

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Dubai conducting unannounced workplace audits http://totallyexpat.com/united-arab-emirates-dubai-conducting-unannounced-workplace-audits/ http://totallyexpat.com/united-arab-emirates-dubai-conducting-unannounced-workplace-audits/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:12:37 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15723 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? The Immigration and Labor Ministries have begun making unscheduled on-site visits to companies in Dubai.

What does the change mean? Companies located in Dubai mainland and the free zones should prepare for unannounced visits by authorities and make documents available for inspection.united arab emirates

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits, labor cards, Emirates IDs, Free Zone IDs.
  • Who is affected: Companies operating in Dubai mainland and in the free zones.
  • Business impact: Employers should review internal procedures to make sure their documents are in order.
  • Next steps: Foreign employees and assignees should carry their Emirates ID and Free Zone ID or labor cards with them at all times.

Background: Companies that are visited by immigration or labor officers will be asked that their employees show their Emirates ID and Free Zone ID cards or labor cards, depending on whether they are operating in a free zone or the mainland.

Earlier this year, authorities signaled that they would conduct stronger monitoring, including on-site inspections. Dubai’s TECOM free zone began collecting data of all foreign employees in May, and UAE authorities, particularly in Dubai, increased audits in June.

BAL Analysis: The on-site visits are part of a move toward greater scrutiny and enforcement of labor and immigration regulations.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the United Arab Emirates. 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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VIETNAM: PIT Can Be Calculated from Day of Arrival in Vietnam http://totallyexpat.com/vietnam-pit-calculated-day-arrival-vietnam/ http://totallyexpat.com/vietnam-pit-calculated-day-arrival-vietnam/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:58:38 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15718 Continue reading ]]> Following the Vietnamese government’s instructions to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness, on 25 August 2014, the Ministry of Finance issued Circular 119/2014/TT-BTC amending a number of regulations in order to reform and simplify tax administration procedures.uncategorized

Individuals from a country with which Vietnam has a double taxation treaty who are Vietnam tax residents, will be able to have their Personal Income Tax (“PIT”) obligations calculated as from the first month of arriving in Vietnam instead of from January of that year, as had been stipulated in the previous rules.

Why This Matters

The calculation of the PIT obligation from 1 January of the year of arrival seemed inequitable and arbitrary, albeit simple. Also, the old rule led to sometimes administratively awkward foreign tax credit claims in order to mitigate an individual’s exposure to double taxation. The new rule should be a welcome step that will simplify the cross-border compliance obligations of assignees to Vietnam.

Please note, there is still an outstanding matter concerning “the effective date” of applying the new rule, which awaits clarification.

Circular 119 is effective from 1 September 2014. During the transition period (until 31 August 2014), the General Department of Taxation had been expected to provide a clarification as to whether the above change could be applied retrospectively or at least forthe whole of year 2014.

KPMG Note

Should any clients have concerns about the applicability of the rules post- or pre-1 September, including the period of application for the new rules versus the old rules for calculating a taxpayer’s PIT obligations, they should contact a tax professional for assistance.

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Americas EMMAs 2014 Winners Announced http://totallyexpat.com/americas-emmas-2014-winners-announced/ http://totallyexpat.com/americas-emmas-2014-winners-announced/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:30:35 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=14709 homepage emmas

The Forum for Expatriate Management is delighted to announce the winners for the Americas EMMA awards. The results were announced at the EMMAs Awards Gala Dinner at The Hyatt Regency, Orlando.

 

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ITALY: Joint ventures qualify for intracompany transfer work permits http://totallyexpat.com/italy-joint-ventures-qualify-intracompany-transfer-work-permits/ http://totallyexpat.com/italy-joint-ventures-qualify-intracompany-transfer-work-permits/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:43:16 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15706 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Italy’s Ministry of Labor has clarified that it will issue intracompany work permits for joint venture arrangements.

What does the change mean? Non-EU workers may obtain work permits for joint-venture agreements executed by a foreign company and an Italian host company.italy

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Intracompany transfer (ICT) work permits.
  • Who is affected: Non-EU foreign nationals sent to Italy by a company which has entered a joint-venture agreement with a host company.
  • Business impact: The inclusion of joint ventures in issuances of work permits gives businesses more flexibility than if the companies were required to be in the same corporate ownership structure.

Background: The Ministry of Labor has confirmed in a private letter issued in response to a query that it will treat joint ventures as corporate affiliates for purposes of issuing intracompany transfer (ICT) work permits. Previously, a sending company that did not have an affiliate in Italy could not apply for an ICT work permit and instead was required to apply for a Service Agreement work permit that involves stricter requirements and longer processing times.

BAL Analysis: The new policy will ease intracompany transfers by allowing foreign companies to enter a joint venture with a host company and apply for ICT permits under procedures that are less onerous than Service Agreement work permits.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Italy. 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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GLOBAL: Muslim holiday will delay processing in many countries http://totallyexpat.com/global-muslim-holiday-delay-processing-countries/ http://totallyexpat.com/global-muslim-holiday-delay-processing-countries/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:41:15 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15703 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Around the beginning of October, countries with majority or large Muslim populations across the Middle East, Africa and Asia will shut down for periods ranging from two to nine days in observance of Eid al-Adha.

What does the change mean? Companies and foreign nationals seeking government services should submit applications now to avoid delays caused by the holiday break.global

  • Implementation timeframe: Approximately Oct. 5-9, dates to be confirmed.
  • Visas/permits affected: All work permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for work permits, renewals and other immigration and labor-related services.
  • Impact on processing times: The break will cause a delay of up to one week, depending on local holiday schedules.
  • Next steps: Companies and applicants should factor the holiday period into business timelines and file as early as possible before the first week of October.

Background: Holiday schedules will vary by region and country. The United Arab Emirates announced its public sector will close approximately Oct. 5-9, although precise dates have not been announced.

Several countries in Asia, including Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, where the holiday is also called Hari Raya Haji, have announced government closures on Oct. 6. India’s Foreigners Regional Registration Offices in Mumbai and Delhi will be closed Oct. 2-6.

Eid al-Adha, or “Feast of the Sacrifice,” is a Muslim holiday celebrating the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It also commemorates the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ismail in an act of obedience to God (Allah). Some countries do not confirm the exact dates until the lunar moon is sighted. The holiday, which falls on the 10th day of the lunar month, is expected to fall on Oct. 4 or 5. Other countries use astronomical calculations and fix the date in advance.

BAL Analysis: Companies and foreign employees and assignees should check with their BAL attorney for local schedules that could impact urgent filings. Note that the holiday will also close private sector offices, but for shorter periods.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. 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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SOUTH AFRICA: Government postpones strict parental travel provision again http://totallyexpat.com/south-africa-government-postpones-strict-parental-travel-provision/ http://totallyexpat.com/south-africa-government-postpones-strict-parental-travel-provision/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:39:17 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15700 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Implementation of a cumbersome provision requiring that parents carry unabridged birth certificates for any children traveling with them has again been postponed, Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba announced at a media briefing today.south africa

What does the change mean? The rule has been delayed until June 1, 2015.

  • Implementation timeframe: The provision was originally delayed until Oct. 1 and has been further postponed to June 1, 2015.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: All adults traveling with children under 18 years old. The rule also covers unaccompanied minors.
  • Business impact: The delay will give travelers more time to gather documents and authorities more time to properly implement the rules.
  • Next steps: The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is in talks with stakeholders over this provision and others in the recently implemented Immigration Regulations and timing of its implementation has been a key negotiating point. BAL will keep clients informed about developing news.

Background: Under the new regulations adopted earlier this year, parents traveling with children under the age of 18 are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate for each child. In cases where only one parent is traveling with the children, consent in the form of an affidavit from the other registered parent is required. Alternatively, either a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or a death certificate of the other parent must be produced. Unaccompanied minors must travel with letters of consent and contact details from both parents as well as letters and identity documents of the persons receiving the children in South Africa. In May, the DHA delayed the implementation date to Oct. 1 to allow families to travel during peak holiday season.

BAL Analysis: Industry and other stakeholders,who have lobbied for the past two months for a more organized rollout, welcome the additional eight-month delay of the burdensome documentary rules until the middle of next year.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in South Africa. 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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MOROCCO: Employment Processing Services Halted, Delays Ahead, Due to Restructuring http://totallyexpat.com/morocco-employment-processing-services-halted-delays-due-restructuring/ http://totallyexpat.com/morocco-employment-processing-services-halted-delays-due-restructuring/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:02:16 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=15697 Continue reading ]]> In Morocco, the processing of work permit applications and other employment services has been suspended until further notice, due to the restructuring of the Moroccan Ministry of Employment.morocco

Effective immediately, employers in Morocco will be temporarily unable to obtain work permits and will face delays in future applications, due to the restructuring of the Moroccan Ministry of Employment. 

Though further details on the restructuring have not yet been made public, it is expected that there may be several new procedural changes to the work authorization process, such as the introduction of new documentary requirements. The restructuring follows the recent replacement of the Ministry’s General Secretary. 

What This Means for Employers 

Employers will need to work around obtaining employment permits for foreign nationals in Morocco for the near future. Once processing resumes, employers should expect delays in processing work permit applications. Lastly, employers with foreign nationals in Morocco should expect possible changes to the work authorization process. 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your Fragomen immigration professional or send an email tomideast@fragomen.com

Source: Fragomen

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