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Week in Review (Apr 18, 2014)

April 18, 2014

Highlights

  • USCIS Issuing H-1B Cap Receipt Notices
  • Turkey Implements New Immigration Law
  • Canada Establishes New Process for Permanent Residence Program

USCIS Issuing H-1B Cap Receipt Notices

As previously reported, USCIS conducted the FY2015 H-1B lottery process on April 10, 2014 to select the petitions to meet the 65,000 Regular cap and 20,000 U.S. Master’s cap, pursuant to the advanced degree exemption.  Petitions filed under the U.S. Master’s cap were selected first, and all remaining, unselected petitions were then included in the lottery process for the 65,000 Regular cap limit.

Late last week, USCIS began the process of issuing receipt notices for petitions that were selected under the FY2015 lottery.  EIG has started to receive receipt notices for cap cases that were selected under the lottery and expects to receive all remaining receipt notices for cases that were selected within 2 to 3 weeks.  USCIS will return all petitions and filing fees for those petitions that were not selected under this year’s lottery.

EIG will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates as they become available.

Turkey Implements New Immigration Law

Turkey has implemented a new immigration law that will gradually change procedures and requirements for business travel as well as residence permits. Although the government has not yet released clear guidance regarding these changes, it is expected that some of the major changes will include:

  • Resident permits will only be required for foreign nationals who intend to stay in Turkey for 90 days or more.
  • Foreign nationals’ passports must be valid for at least 60 days beyond their intended stay.
  • Applicants not entering on a work visa will be required to show proof of health insurance and may be asked to prove they have sufficient funds for their intended visit.
  • New resident permit categories will be created for foreign nationals who intend to open a business or buy real estate in Turkey, certain long-term tourists, and dependent adult family members.
  • Work permits will authorize both employment and residency, eliminating the need for foreign nationals working in Turkey to apply for a separate residence permit.
  • Most first-time residence permits will need to be filed outside of Turkey at a Turkish Consulate.
  • For a Dependent Resident Permit, the principal resident permit applicant must show he or she has not been convicted of a domestic violence offense within the past five years. The principal applicant will also have to prove he or she can provide adequate housing for all dependent family members.

Some of these changes have yet to be implemented. Until the Turkish government finalizes the new procedures and requirements, employers and foreign nationals should be prepared for the possibility of additional documentary requirements, lack of notice for changes in procedures, and delays in the application process.

Canada Establishes New Process for Permanent Residence Program

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) announced that, starting in January 2015, it will be utilizing an Express Entry program that matches skilled foreign workers with employers seeking workers.  Under this program, foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to Canada can file an online application detailing their credentials; employers can then select candidates who can potentially fill their job needs.  CIC hopes that this new process will eliminate backlogs and will aim to process applications in six months or less.  The process will also allow those foreign nationals selected for work to transition more quickly to permanent residency.