Immigration global update

 

 
 
 
 
 

Austria: New police clearance requirement for residence applications 

 
As of January 2018, residence permit applicants in Vienna must submit a police clearance certificate. The certificate is required from each country the applicant has previously resided in for more than six months, at any time of their lives.
 
Currently, only Vienna has implemented this new guideline. In all other regions the police clearance certificate must cover the last two years of the applicant’s life only. 
 
Although this has been officially announced as a new guideline, in practice the Vienna immigration authorities may accept applications containing police clearance certificates from the applicant’s home country and current country of residence only.
 

Key considerations

 
Crown World Mobility advises applicants in Austria to carefully verify the latest requirements with the local immigration authority before submitting the application.
 
Be advised that all police clearance certificates that are submitted alongside a residence permit application in Austria must have been issued less than six months before the date the application itself is submitted, and may have to be legalized or apostilled, depending on the country of issuance. 
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management.  
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.
 
 

Hungary: Changes to minimum monthly salary requirements 

 

As of January 1 2018, Hungary has increased its minimum monthly salary to HUF 138,000. For skilled workers the minimum monthly salary has also increased to HUF 180,500.
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Website of the Hungarian Government.
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.
 
 

United Arab Emirates: Recent changes to immigration processes

 

Effective February 4 2018, a police clearance certificate must be included in all new employment applications. 
 
The following applies to this new guideline:
 
  • A police clearance certificate is not required for employees born and residing in the UAE, unless they have spent some time in another country.
     
  • If the applicant has been residing in any other countries for more than five years, a certificate must be issued from and attested in each of these countries, followed by a final attestation in the UAE.
     
  • If the applicant has been residing in the UAE for five or more years, the certificate will be issued from the UAE, and bear a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) attestation. 
     
  • Students, tourists, holders of medical or mission visas and dependent family members of foreign workers do not require a police clearance certificate.
     
Furthermore, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) and Ministry of Interior (MOI), and free zone authorities have all made some important changes that affect how applications are processed. 
 
  • E-Channels – The E-Channels system has replaced the FAWRI system in Abu Dhabi, serving as a portal for applications with the Ministry of Labour (MOL).
     
  • Dependent applications – The MOI now requires the sponsor’s original Emirates ID to create, cancel or modify any dependent applications. Renewal applications for dependents over the age of 18 also require the dependent’s original Emirates ID. 
     
  • Supporting documents – All supporting documents submitted to the MOI, MOL and free zone authorities must be in Arabic. In cases where these documents were issued in any other language, a sworn translation must be included.
     
  • TECOM update – There have been updates to the processing times and application requirements for any companies operating under the umbrella of TECOM (DIC/DCCA/DSP). The most important update is that the option for Internal Visa Transfer has been removed, and is now covered by the Government Transfer process, which requires a medical test and security check. 
     

Key considerations

 
Police clearance certificates must be in Arabic and attested by the UAE Embassy. Crown World Mobility advises to carefully verify this before submitting the application as it could otherwise be significantly delayed. 
 
Furthermore, companies in Abu Dhabi who haven’t yet registered with the E-Channels are advised to do so as soon as possible.  
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management.  
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Ayaz Shariff, Immigration Specialist, UAE. 
 

United States: Planning for the upcoming H-1B cap filing season

 

On April 2 2018, the FY (fiscal year) 2019 H-1B cap season will begin, meaning applications can be filed from that day until April 6 2018. Companies must therefore start preparing any cap petitions now.
 
For FY 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 199,000 filings which was far exceeding the quote of 85,000. The demand for new H-1Bs is expected to be high again in the FY 2019 filing season due to economic growth, as well as unemployment rates. 
 
The quota is expected to be reached quickly owing to high demand, hence it is crucial for companies to prepare in good time for submission, in order to be able to take part in the lottery for the limited number of H-1B cap slots. 
 

LCA

 
Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) are required for every H-1B petition. An increase in LCA filings is therefore expected the week before April 2 2018, which could potentially cause delays in the application process.  
 
It is possible to apply for a single LCA that can cover multiple employees in certain occupations and worksites.
 
LCA processing can also be delayed by a federal government shutdown. We recommend companies obtain their LCAs now in order to minimize the impact of these delays. 
 

Key considerations

 
Since there are less than three months before the beginning of the H-1B cap season (available only once a year), Crown World Mobility advises companies to identify current and prospective employees who will require H-1B sponsorship for the next year. Companies should also start filing for the LCAs now and collecting the necessary paperwork, such as company documents, transcripts, etc. which may take some time. 
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Roberta Carnaccini, Global Operations Director - Immigration.
 
 

Australia: Update on the introduction of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa Australia city bridge

 

On January 11 2018, the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) published a clarification of the recent and planned changes to skilled visa regulations. This includes the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa which is due to replace the Subclass 457 visa in March 2018.
 

Skilled occupation lists

 
An updated occupation list for temporary and permanent skilled visas has been introduced as of January 17 2018. The new list will not apply to applications currently under consideration. Details of the revised list can be found here.
 
The next occupation list will be published in March 2018 and apply to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186, the Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 and the TSS visa, in line with the legislative changes being introduced at that time.
 

TSS Visa

 
The TSS visa will include three options: 
 
Short Term Stream – For employers to source genuine temporary skilled workers from overseas in occupations listed on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). Visas will be valid for a period of two years, or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies. 
 
Medium Term Stream – For employers to source highly skilled workers from overseas to fill medium term critical skills in occupations listed on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills list (MLTSSL). Visas will be valid for four years with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years if the relevant qualifications are met. 
 
Labour Agreement Stream – For employers to source overseas skilled workers in accordance with a labour agreement with the Commonwealth. Applications will be considered on the basis of a demonstrated need that cannot be met from the local labour market. This is applicable where standard visa programs are not available, with the capacity to negotiate a permanent residence option. 
 

Streamlining

 
The DHA plan to introduce a number of measures to streamline the processing of Temporary Skilled work visas including the TSS visa as follows: 
 
  • A new standard five-year sponsorship period for employers.
     
  • Auto approval of complete streamlined low-risk applications submitted by accredited sponsors.
     
  • A new streamlined renewal process for existing sponsors.
 

Labour Market Testing

 
Labour Market testing (LMT) exemptions based on occupation will be unavailable under TSS. The DHA has advised that more information will be provided in February 2018. 
 

Transition arrangements

 
  • Employers already approved as standard business sponsors for Subclass 457 will be able to sponsor skilled overseas workers under the TSS program. 
     
  • If a Subclass 457 nomination and a visa application are both submitted prior to the introduction of the TSS program, they will be considered under the current framework.
     
  • If a Subclass 457 nomination application is lodged without an associated 457 visa application before the introduction of TSS, it will be considered terminated as Subclass 457 nominations cannot be linked to TSS visa applications. 
     
  • Subclass 457 visa holders who wish to change occupation or need a new visa must lodge a new TSS visa application with reference to a new TSS nomination application. 
 

Incomplete Subclass 457 visa applications

 
From January 15 2018 incomplete applications may be refused without a request for additional information being issued. The new rule does not include cases where health and character documentation, or a related nomination or sponsorship application are pending where a reasonable explanation for incompleteness has been provided. 
 

Additional information
 

Same Sex Marriage – Same-sex couples should now indicate “Spouse” instead of “De facto partner” on visa application forms.

Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement – An amended Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) came into force on January 1 2018. This new agreement exempts citizens, nationals and permanent residents of Singapore from the Subclass 457 Labour Market Testing.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Australian Government Department of Home Affairs
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.