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EIG Week in Review (Apr 4, 2014)

April 4, 2014

Highlights

  • Canada Proposes Fines for Temporary Foreign Worker Program Violators
  • Chile Waives Visa Reciprocity Fee for U.S. Citizens
  • French Immigration Reform Expected from New Prime Minister
  • China Implements Updated Immigration Procedures in Qingdao

Canada Proposes Fines for Temporary Foreign Worker Program Violators

The Canadian government recently proposed fines for those employers violating the regulations laid out by the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).  The fines would be imposed against employers that either replace Canadian workers with foreign employees or that make false statements regarding the circumstances of employment of their foreign workers.

Currently, the Canadian system does not have monetary penalties in place for violators of the TFWP program.  Employers guilty of breaching the program’s rules are instead subject to sanctions such as bans from hiring foreign workers for two years and being listed as a “non-compliant” company.  The proposed fines would be an additional penalization for companies that violate the rules, but specific amounts have not yet been established.


Chile Waives Visa Reciprocity Fee for U.S. Citizens

We previously reported that Chile had been added to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.  As a result, Chile agreed to waive its visa reciprocity fee for U.S. citizens traveling to Chile.  Consequently, U.S. travelers are no longer required to pay the $160 fee for tourism or business trips of 90 days or less.  These changes will make travel for U.S. and Chilean nationals easier and more efficient between the respective countries.


French Immigration Reform Expected from New Prime Minister

Given the results of the municipal elections, and by virtue of the March 31, 2014 Decree, the President of the French Republic appointed Manuel Valls as Prime Minister for France.  Valls previously served as the French Minister of the Interior.

It is expected that Prime Minister Valls will make French immigration reform a priority.  In April 2013, during a debate without a vote on student and professional immigration at the French Senate, Valls endorsed the introduction of a law for several key immigration areas, including generalization of multi-year resident permits, improvement of welcoming conditions in French Prefectures, harmonization of the different resident permits, and strengthening the fight against illegal immigration.

It is therefore expected that these guidelines will be maintained, although the priorities of new Minister of Interior Bernard Cazeneuve (former Minister for the Budget) are not yet known.


China Implements Updated Immigration Procedures in Qingdao

Degree Legalization Requirements

Effective immediately, the Qingdao Labor Bureau will require foreign employees to legalize their original degree certificate at the Chinese Embassy/Consulate in their home country for initial Employment License applications as well as Work Permit transfers from one city to another within China.

The foreign employees are required to have the legalized original degree certificate prepared for submission during the application process. The legalization process is an additional preparatory step; thus, it is recommended that employers begin the immigration process at least 3 months before the assignee’s official start date.

Acknowledgement Receipts Authorize Domestic Travel

Effective immediately, the Qingdao Public Security Bureau (PSB) will now issue an acknowledgement receipt as proof of submission for Residence License applicants.  This receipt will allow the foreign national to travel domestically within Mainland China while the Resident License application is pending.

The acknowledgement receipt will contain the applicant’s photograph and will serve as travel authorization while the applicant’s original passport is held by the local PSB during the application process.  The applicant must carry this receipt at all times while the application is pending and will be required to collect the original passport upon completion of the application process.

Travelers should be advised that the receipt cannot be used in lieu of a passport in order to leave Mainland China for travel to other countries.