Immigration weekly update, February 28, 2018

 

 

  1. Australia
  2. China
  3. Slovakia
  4. Taiwan
  5. United States

 

 

Australia

Further update on the new temporary skill visa.

Sydney opera house, australia waterside.
The Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has published further clarification on the changes to the skilled visa regulations planned for March 2018. This includes more detail on the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) Visa which will replace the subclass 457. 
 

TSS updates

 
  • Additional changes will be made to the skilled occupation lists. This includes some additional skilled occupations made available to employers in regional areas for certain visa programs. Pending applications are not affected. 
     
  • Applications lodged before the implementation date for standard business sponsorship (SBS), 457 nomination and 457 visa will be processed under the current rules.
     
  • Any subclass 457 nominations lodged without a related visa application will be cancelled with the nominee fee refunded.
     
  • On completion of an online renewal form, renewal of sponsorship will be approved automatically for an additional five years. If there are integrity concerns or the sponsor criteria is no longer met it will not be approved automatically. 
     
  • The applicant must have at least two years of work experience during the last five years in the nominated occupation for TSS applications.
     
  • The employer must select the length of the employment period. Possible options being one, two, three or four years depending on whether the occupation qualifies for the short-term or the long-term stream when completing the nomination form. 
     
  • There will be a new condition (8607) where TSS visa holders who wish to change occupation, rather than employer, must have a new nomination and visa approved.
     
  • Labour Market Testing (LMT) will be mandatory to all TSS visa applications, unless international trade obligations apply. At least two advertisements must be placed, in English, for at least 21 calendar days, no longer than six months before submitting the visa application. Adverts must contain the position title, job description and salary (if this is below the high-income threshold).
 

Key considerations

 
Employers and individuals should become familiar with the regulations around the new TSS (subclass 482) visa to ensure all criteria is met.
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Australian 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.
 
 

China

Five-year visa and residence permit introduced for overseas individuals of Chinese origin.

china skyline with water and mountain in the background
The Ministry of Public Security in China has introduced a new five-year multiple entry visa and residence permit for individuals of Chinese descent who currently reside overseas. Overseas citizens of Chinese origin could previously obtain a visa valid for a maximum of 12 months only. 
 

Key considerations

 
To qualify, candidates must have at least one parent, grandparent or unspecified ancestor who is or was a Chinese citizen. Proof of the relationship must be in the form of Chinese ID cards or passports. 
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Chinese State Council.
 
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.

 

Slovakia

Foreign police to operate in a new location and change office hours.

 
March 19, 2018, the foreign police in Bratislava, who are responsible for processing various immigration applications, will be in their new location at Regrutska 4, Bratislava. They will have new hours of operation from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Fridays.
 

Key considerations

 
The operating hours of the foreign police office during the transition will be limited. The current office will be open from 07:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14 and is expected to be closed to the public on March 15 and 16. Individuals processing applications should expect temporary delays during the first week at the new location.
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from a notification posted at the premises of the Foreign Police in Bratislava and the Ministry of Interior online.
 
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.
 
 

Taiwan

New foreign recruitment law.

 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will now issue an employment seeking visa under a new act governing the recruitment and employment of foreign professionals. The visa will be valid for three months and will allow a six-month period of stay with multiple entries. The qualifying criteria is as follows:
 
  • Previous employment experience with an average monthly salary of at least TWD 47,971 over the past six months or graduation from one of the world’s top 500 universities within the past year.
     
  • Proof of sufficient funds of at least TWD 100,000 (approximately USD 3,400).
     
  • Health insurance, a certificate of good conduct and a plan for seeking employment. 
 

Employment Gold Card

 
The national Immigration Agency has launched a bilingual online platform
 
Foreign special professionals are now able to apply for a four-in-one Employment Gold Card. It is valid for one to three years, in accordance with the validity of the work permit issued by the Ministry Of Labour (MOL). The card incorporates a work visa that allows: transition between jobs without restriction, a resident visa, an Alien Resident Certificate and a re-entry permit. Qualifying foreigners can make a personal application for the card without the need to seek approval from an employer. 
 
The foreign special professional must possess special expertise required in one of seven fields (science and technology, economics, education, culture, sports, finance, legal and architectural design). Supporting documentation required for the application includes: 
 
  1. Passport
     
  2. Visa (as announced by MFA)
     
  3. Proof of the foreign special professionals (announced by each central competent authority)
     
  4. Work permit (announced by MOL)
     
  5. Alien Resident Certificate (as per the list announced by National Immigration Agency for the application for Alien Resident Certificate)
 
Qualifying family members of a Gold Card holder may obtain a multiple entry visitor visa valid for one year for stays of up to six months. This visa is extendable once for an additional six months. 
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Taiwan National Development Council.
 
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.
 
 

United States

H-1B filing season approaching.

Denver colorado city skyline bright summer day
April 2, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will be accepting H-1B applications.
 
The H-1B Visa is in place for U.S. companies to hire foreign workers in occupations requiring specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent), intended for fields such as science, engineering and information technology.
 
The H-1B “cap” for new applications received per fiscal year is 65,000. If more than 65,000 applications are received during the first five business days of the filing season, the USCIS will use a computer-generated “lottery” approach to select cases for processing. Last year 236,000 H-1B applications were received by the USCIS.
 
A further 20,000 slots are available each fiscal year for individuals holding advanced U.S. degrees.
 

Key considerations

 
Employers should plan their H-1B filings in advance to ensure they are accepted as part of the “lottery.”
 
Employers should also bear in mind the strict criteria of the H-1B application, particularly around salary and benefits as well as recordkeeping requirements.
When a H-1B application has been approved, the earliest a foreign national may begin work is October 1, 2018.
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management and the USCIS.
 
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.

 

  1. Australia
  2. China
  3. Slovakia
  4. Taiwan
  5. United States