EIG Dispatch
China | New Immigration Policies Encourage Highly-Skilled Foreign Nationals
August 14, 2019

On August 1, 2019, The Ministry of Public Security implemented new immigration policies aimed to attract highly-skilled foreign talent and outstanding youth to study and work in China.  These new policies will facilitate the process for foreigners to apply for permanent residency, long-term visas, and residence permits ...

EIG Dispatch
UPDATE: USCIS to Close its Overseas Offices
August 14, 2019

In March 2019, USCIS announced its plan to close all of its overseas offices.However, on August 9, 2019, USCIS updated its plans and announced thatseven of the international offices will remain open. The field offices in Monterrey, Mexico and Seoul, South Korea will be the first ...

EIG Dispatch
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Clarifies H-1B Degree Requirement
August 14, 2019

On August 6, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that USCIS acted arbitrarily, capriciously, and abused its discretion in denying an H-1B work visa to a Data Analyst on the grounds that Data Analysts do not require a bachelor’s degree in ...

EIG Dispatch
Russia | Changes to Expand the E-Visa Program Announced
July 17, 2019

Under a draft plan reportedly approved by President Vladimir Putin, Russia plans to expand its e-visa program starting on January 1, 2021. The list of countries whose citizens will be eligible to apply for the e-visa will be confirmed by the government separately. The list most likely will include ...

EIG Dispatch
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Issues Opinion that IT Job Ineligible for H-1B
July 17, 2019

On July 15, the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia issued an opinion in the case of Sagarwala vs. Cissna.  Usha Sagarwala, beneficiary of an H-1B petition filed by HSK Technologies, Inc., sued the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) after  USCIS denied the ...

EIG Dispatch
Trump Administration Moves to Limit Asylum Protections
July 17, 2019

On July 15, the Trump Administration published a new rule, Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications, requiring individuals who pass through a third party country seeking to apply for asylum in the U.S. to apply for asylum in that third party country first. Under the new rules, ...

EIG Dispatch
H.R. 1044 Update: Bill Aims to End Decades-Long Waits for Highly-Skilled Immigrants
July 17, 2019

On July 10th, the House of Representatives passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which intends to eliminate the per-country cap for employment-based green cards. The bill will now be considered by the Senate. If the bill is approved, the first-come, first-served system would give every immigrant ...

EIG Dispatch
UK | New Immigration and Borders System
July 2, 2019

The Home Office published details on the new immigration and border system it will likely implement at the beginning of 2021. Some of the proposals include eliminating the annual cap of visas issued for skilled workers and the Resident Labor Market Test for high-skilled workers.  This new ...

EIG Dispatch
Decrease in Processing Times for Naturalization and Green Card
July 2, 2019

On June 17, 2019, USCIS announced that it plans on decreasing processing times for Naturalization and Green Card processing. USCIS plans to distribute Naturalization and Green Card adjudication more evenly among the field offices to address issues caused by the disparate adjudication burden on different field offices ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Introduces First Digital FOIA System
July 2, 2019

On June 25, 2019, USCIS announced that it will expand its digital Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records System (FIRST) allowing FOIA requesters who have a USCIS online account to submit online requests for their own records. USCIS has indicated that “the FIRST system is the only system ...

EIG Dispatch
House Approves $4.5 Billion in Border Aid
July 2, 2019

The U.S.  House of Representatives passed a bill that will send 4.5 billion dollars in humanitarian aid to crisis-stricken migrants at the border. The aid will fund overcrowded shelter facilities to improve living conditions for women and children who are detained. It will also go toward U.S. ...

EIG Dispatch
Philippines | Tax Identification Number (TIN) is Now Required for All Foreign Nationals Applying for a Work Permit
June 18, 2019

On May 31, 2019, the Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) released Memorandum Order No. 28-2019, which prescribes the policies and guidelines relevant to the registration requirements of foreign nationals. All foreign nationals working in the Philippines are now required to obtain a tax identification number (TIN) with ...

EIG Dispatch
Mitt Romney Introduces Bill to Make E-Verify Permanent, Still Optional
June 18, 2019

On Wednesday, June 12, Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) introduced a bill in the Senate that would make the E-Verify program permanent. E-Verify, the online tool that allows employers to input a new hire’s driver’s license and Social Security information to verify whether the person is eligible to ...

EIG Dispatch
Cyber-attack Hacks Thousands of Travelers’ Images at the Border
June 18, 2019

On May 31, the Customs and Border Protection agency was made aware that up to 100,000 images of travelers and license plates were hacked in a cyber attack. For security purposes, the agency collects and stores personal data of all travelers who cross the US border. Federal ...

EIG Dispatch
Taiwan | Same-Sex Dependents Status Approved
June 5, 2019

Taiwan has legalized same-sex marriage. This came after Taiwan’s constitutional court held that same-sex marriage should be legalized back in 2017. The court’s decision caused a cascading effect amongst the public as many people pressured the government to hold referendums on the issue. The effect of ...

EIG Dispatch
United Kingdom | Migration Advisory Committee Recommends Broadening Shortage
June 5, 2019

UK’s Migrant Advisory Committee (MAC) has reviewed the Shortage Occupation List and has recommended broadening the list to include roles related to Software Development, Programmers, Web Designers, Veterinarians, Health Workers, and Architects, among others. Foreign nationals in recognized shortage occupations can enter the UK more quickly compared to ...

EIG Dispatch
Department of Homeland Security Announces Increased Fees for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program
June 5, 2019

Effective June 24, 2019, there will be changes to the fees charged by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to international students, exchange visitors and SEVP-certified schools. The increased fees were calculated to match the estimated cost of funding SEVP operations, including the maintenance of technological ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Making Strides to Modernize and Digitize its Processes
June 5, 2019

In an effort to modernize and streamline USCIS processes, the agency announced on May 22, 2019, that it is rolling out a new eProcessing strategy. While most application processes will remain, for the time being, with physical petitions submitted by mail, USCIS is now accepting certain ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS 2018 Statistical Annual Report Shows Increase in the Number of Newly Naturalized U.S. Citizens, Decrease in H-1B Approval Rates
June 5, 2019

On May 31, 2019, USCIS released its 2018 Statistical Annual Report, the first annual report released by the agency in nearly 10 years. The report is limited to show data and statistics for the most widely-used immigrant and nonimmigrant programs from 2018, as compared to the previous ...

EIG Dispatch
U.S. Visa Applicants Required to Disclose Social Media Presence on Visa Application
June 5, 2019

As of Friday, May 31, 2019, individuals applying for U.S. Visas are now required to disclose all social media accounts they have managed in the last five years on the DS-160 form. The change has received heavy criticism as the U.S. government has released no guidance on ...

EIG Dispatch
New Zealand | Essential Skills Shortage List Reviewed
May 22, 2019

Effective May 27, 2019, the Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) lists will be changed. A new Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL) will be introduced to replace the current Immediate Skill Shortage List. The RSSL will be tailored to each of New Zealand's 15 regions. The Ministry of Business, ...

EIG Dispatch
Saudi Arabia | New Residency Scheme Approved
May 22, 2019

The Saudi Arabia government has approved a new special residence scheme, similar to the green card program, to attract affluent and highly-skilled foreign nationals. The new plan will allow holders to work, obtain visas for relatives, own property, and leave and re-enter the country without an ...

EIG Dispatch
UAE | 6-month Visas For Long-Term Residence Visa Seekers
May 22, 2019

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced a new six-month multiple entry visa for investors, entrepreneurs, and outstanding students. According to the director-general of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at ICA, the six-month visa is meant to facilitate residency visas to foreign nationals from different professional ...

EIG Dispatch
President Trump Considering Options for the Administration’s Immigration Policy Role
May 22, 2019

President Trump is reportedly planning to create a new role within his administration for an individual to oversee the administration’s immigration policies. The job title and scope of duties for this role have yet to be finalized, though officials have speculated that a formal appointment ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Extends H-1B Adjudication to the Texas Service Center
May 22, 2019

As of May 20, 2019, USCIS announced that the Texas Service Center would begin accepting certain H-1B petitions to decrease processing times and assist the California, Vermont, and Nebraska Service Centers. As a result of this change, USCIS has updated the direct filing addresses for H-1B petitions. USCIS may ...

EIG Dispatch
UPDATE: USCIS Changes Unlawful Presence Rules for F, J, and M Students
May 22, 2019

On May 3, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued an injunction to temporarily enjoin USCIS from applying the Department of Homeland Security policy memo titled “Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants,” issued in August 2018. ...

EIG Dispatch
Trump Administration’s FY 2020 Budget Proposal Seeks to Increase H-1B Filing Fees
May 22, 2019

The Trump administration has released an FY 2020 budget proposal which, if approved, would result in the doubling of H-1B filing fees. Companies with 25 or fewer U.S. workers would see fees increase from $750.00 to $1,500.00, and companies with more than 25 workers fees would increase ...

EIG Dispatch
House Democrats Propose New Legislation to Protect Dreamers
May 22, 2019

The House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a hearing to discuss the DREAM Act, which would create a substantial avenue toward citizenship for more than 2 million undocumented individuals who came to the U.S. as children. House Democrats have been working on the bill for weeks, hoping ...

EIG Dispatch
Philippines | Rules for Special and Provisional Work Permits Amended
May 8, 2019

The Philippines government released new joint immigration guidelines that will add additional requirements to the Special Work Permit (SWP), Provisional Work Permit (PWP), and Alien Employment Permits (AEP). The guidelines specify that SWP will only be issued to foreign nationals without a local employment contract. The PWP ...

EIG Dispatch
United Arab Emirates | Processing Delays During the Month of Ramadan
May 8, 2019

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has announced that during the month of Ramadan (May 6- June 4) the ministries and federal entities will operate from 9 am to 2 pm. The UAE government has also announced that the private sector will reduce their work hours by ...