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EIG Week in Review (Nov 8, 2013)

November 8, 2013

Highlights

  • UK Abandons Security Bond Proposal Aimed to Deter Visa Overstays
  • Belgium Implements New Requirements for Highly Skilled and Executive-Level Foreign Workers
  • Telephone Scams Targeting Foreign Nationals in the U.S.

UK Abandons Security Bond Proposal Aimed to Deter Visa Overstays

A proposal set to go into effect this month has since been abandoned by the UK Home Office.  The proposed regulation, aimed to deter visa overstays, would have imposed a £3,000 security bond on temporary migrants from countries whose nationals are deemed to be at high risk of overstaying their visas.  This is not the first time the UK has considered enforcing bond requirements; the idea has been tossed around for over a decade.  However, to date, the UK has never imposed such a measure.


Belgium Implements New Requirements for Highly Skilled and Executive-Level Foreign Workers

Belgium will ring in the New Year with increased salary requirements for highly skilled foreign workers as well as senior management and executive-level foreign nationals.  Effective January 1, 2014, the minimum base salary for highly skilled foreign workers applying for Type “B” work permits will increase from €38,665 to €39,422 annually and from €64,508 to €65,771 for senior management and foreign nationals in executive-level positions.  Foreign nationals applying for work permits as trainees are exempt from these minimum salary requirements.


Telephone Scams Targeting Foreign Nationals in the U.S.

Earlier this week, we reported on two telephone scams targeting foreign nationals in the U.S., particularly foreign nationals of Indian decent.  Below is a recap of important points to consider regarding this issue:

Scammers Posing as Agents of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

There have been several reports of scammers posing as USCIS agents and calling visa applicants to demand money or personal information. Scammers threaten victims with revocation of status, arrest, or deportation unless they make immediate payments. In addition to demanding money, scammers may also ask for personal information from victims (such as passport numbers).

Scammers Posing as Agents of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

There have also been reports of scammers posing as IRS agents and targeting foreign nationals of Indian decent in California, New Jersey, and Missouri. Scammers are calling foreign nationals claiming that they owe money to the IRS, and that they must make immediate payments through pre-loaded debit cards or wire transfers. Scammers are threatening victims with deportation and arrest if they refuse to cooperate.

If You Receive a Suspicious Call from USCIS or the IRS

If you receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from USCIS or the IRS, the best strategy is to immediately discontinue the conversation and hang up the phone.

Do not wire money: USCIS and the IRS will never call to ask for any form of payment over the phone. Authentic communication from either USCIS or the IRS will likely be made through regular mail, on official agency letterhead.

Do not provide personal information: Do not provide information such as your passport number, date of birth, or address to a suspicious caller.

For additional information on the above telephone scams, please visit http://www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams/common-scams and http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam.