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Week in Review (Jan 17, 2014)

February 7, 2014

Highlights

  • Mumbai Foreigners Regional Registration Office Requires New Document for Foreign Nationals Residing in Indian Hotels 
  • Limits on Dutch Business Travelers Suspended While New Legislation is Pending 
  • Foreign Nationals Submitting Immigration Annual Reports in the Philippines Must Appear in Person 
  • USCIS Implements New E-Verify Rules

Mumbai Foreigners Regional Registration Office Requires New Document for Foreign Nationals Residing in Indian Hotels

Foreign nationals residing in hotels or service apartments are now required to submit Form C, Arrival Report of Foreigner in Hotel, at their registration and visa extension appointments.  There are no changes to documentation requirements in Mumbai for foreign nationals residing in leased or rented apartments.

The Mumbai FRRO has adopted this requirement in congruence with several other cities in India where the requirement is already in effect, including Chennai, Navi, Pune, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.

Foreign nationals can obtain Form C from hotels and service apartments directly and should request Form C immediately upon arrival to secure a timely registration appointment.  Employers should also make sure that foreign nationals request and submit Form C to avoid delays in the registration process.


Limits on Dutch Business Travelers Suspended While New Legislation is Pending

The Netherlands suspended a rule limiting the duration of stay for business travelers attending meetings in the country.  While the government drafts new legislation, the temporary rule allows business travelers to visit the Netherlands for business meetings multiple times per year, with each stay limited up to four (4) weeks within a thirteen (13) week period.  The suspension of the limitation does not hamper business travelers from receiving training on the use of goods manufactured or services performed in the Netherlands.

The suspension of the limitation on stay for business travelers should come as a relief to the business community, which had expressed concern that the limitation would impede business development in the Netherlands.


Foreign Nationals Submitting Immigration Annual Reports in the Philippines Must Appear in Person

The Philippines now requires that foreign nationals appear at a designated Bureau of Immigration office to complete their immigration annual reports.   Prior to the new requirement, foreign nationals could complete the requirement in person, or through an immigration professional, travel agent, or other representative.  The Bureau has expressly prohibited representatives from assisting in the completion of the application forms or payment of the annual report fees.

The requirement applies to foreign nationals issued Alien Certificate of Registration identity cards (ACR I-Cards) – including, but not limited to, holders of 9(g) Pre-arranged Employment and 9(d) Treaty Trader work and dependent visas, and Section 13 immigrant visas – who must complete the immigration annual report within the first 60 days of each year. Individuals must file a notarized application form, present their original ACR I-Card, and pay a fee of PHP310 per foreign national.

Foreigners must file the annual report by March 1, 2014 in order to maintain valid immigrant status.  Foreign nationals who are unable to report because they are out of the country must do so within 30 days of their return.  Foreigners who fail to file the annual report by March 1st will be subject to a PHP200 fine for each month of delay.  The consequences of failure to report may be severe, resulting in the cancellation of the visa and deportation.  Accordingly, employers must ensure that sponsored employees and families submit an immigration annual report in person by the March 1, 2014 deadline.

Employers should also be advised that Waiver of Personal Appearance is granted in very limited circumstances, including (1) foreign nationals who are under age 14 or age 65 or older; (2) those with a medical or legal impediment as evidenced by a certificate issued by the relevant medical or penal institution; and, (3) by waiver of the Commissioner of Immigration, or his authorized representative.


USCIS Implements New E-Verify Rules

USCIS has updated its Memorandums of Understanding (“MOUs”) with regard to E-Verify users. The new MOUs address the new reporting requirements for E-Verify data security breaches to the Department of Homeland Security, the reporting requirements for changes to an employer’s E-Verify representative, the controls in the language USCIS uses to indicate E-Verify participation, as well as providing a bilingual notice of Tentative Non-Confirmation to non-English speaking employees.

These new MOUs were revised on June 1, 2013, and they created separate MOUs for each type of user. Companies using E-Verify should familiarize themselves with the new policies as employers do not need to execute a new MOU for these revisions to apply to their E-Verify use—the new rules were automatically implemented on January 8, 2014. It is recommended that employers establish or update their current policies with respect to E-Verify use to ensure compliance with the new reporting requirements.

Employers should also be advised that Waiver of Personal Appearance is granted in very limited circumstances, including (1) foreign nationals who are under age 14 or age 65 or older; (2) those with a medical or legal impediment as evidenced by a certificate issued by the relevant medical or penal institution; and, (3) by waiver of the Commissioner of Immigration, or his authorized representative.