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EIG Week in Review (Dec 20, 2013)

December 31, 2013

Highlights

  • U.S. Senate Confirms New DHS Secretary
  • Beijing Mandates New Submission Timeline for Resident Permit Renewal Applications
  • Belgian Federal Government Planning to Transfer Legislative Power for Work Permits to Regional Level

U.S. Senate Confirms New DHS Secretary

In a 78-16 vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed Pentagon attorney Jeh C. Johnson as the new Secretary of Homeland Security.  Secretary Johnson has worked in both the private and public sector, most recently as General Counsel for the Department of Defense.  He replaces former Secretary Janet Napolitano and will be joined by Alejandro Mayorkas, who was also recently confirmed as DHS’s second-ranking official.  EIG looks forward to an exciting new year under the new DHS leadership!


Beijing Mandates New Submission Timeline for Resident Permit Renewal Applications

The Beijing Public Security Bureau has announced a new rule with respect to submission of Resident Permit renewal applications.  Applicants must now submit their renewal applications at least 30 calendar days prior to the expiration date, as opposed to the current rule, which requires submission 60 days prior to the expiration date.

With the new rule, the Residence Permit renewal application can be filed any time at the Public Security Bureau after issuance of the Work Permit but must be filed at least 30 days before the expiry date.  Applicants who fail to timely submit renewals may be subject to penalties, fines, or denials, all of which are at the sole discretion of the Public Security Bureau.  This new timeline is tentatively scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2014.

EIG will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.


Belgian Federal Government Planning to Transfer Legislative Power for Work Permits to Regional Level

The Belgian federal government has made tentative plans to transfer legislative power regarding work permits adjudications to the regions (Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia).  Currently, the Belgian immigration legislation and jurisdiction to issue residence permits and professional cards is federal.  In contrast, the authority to issue work permits is regional.

The regions will now be responsible for inspection, application, and compliance of work permits. This will allow the regions to establish rules regarding how work permits can be obtained, as well as determine the exemptions for work permits and professional cards.  The current federal government had previously agreed on the principle of transferring legislative authority regarding economic migration to the regions, and the bill implementing this transfer was approved by the Senate on November 28, 2013.  On December 16, 2013, a Commission within the Chamber of Representatives also approved the current text of the bill.

EIG is closely monitoring the potential impact this new legislation could have on work permit applications and will provide updates as further information becomes available.