EIG Dispatch
Malaysia | Increase in Immigration Fees
April 23, 2019

The Immigration Department of Malaysia has announced new fees and service charges for Employment Pass, Professional Visit Pass, Dependent pass and Long-Term Social Visit Pass applications effective June 1, 2019. Applications fees for Employment Passes will increase from 318 RM to 1060 RM. DP/Long Term Visit Pass will ...

EIG Dispatch
Ireland | Abolition of Re-Entry Visa Requirements
April 23, 2019

The Irish government recently announced the abolition of re-entry visa requirements effective May 13, 2019.  Visa-required nationals who currently have a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card (or its precursor, the GNIB card) will no longer need a visa to exit and return to Ireland. IRP holders will ...

EIG Dispatch
Japan | Golden Week
April 23, 2019

Japan is preparing for Golden Week, a collection of four national holidays beginning April 29, 2-19 with festivities continuing through May 6, 2019. Government offices will be closed and immigration delays are expected during this period.

EIG Dispatch
Supreme Court to Consider Whether Green Card Holders may be Rendered Inadmissible
April 23, 2019

On April 22, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed to hear the case of a permanent resident in the U.S. currently under removal proceedings following criminal convictions. In deciding this case, SCOTUS will determine whether U.S. Federal Immigration Laws allow for a permanent resident to ...

EIG Dispatch
Some U.S. Border Agents Refusing to Process Extensions for Canadians Employed in the U.S.
April 23, 2019

Department of Homeland Security Border Agents at some U.S. Ports of Entry along the Canadian border have begun directing Canadians seeking L-1 Visa renewals to instead submit to the lengthy process of filing an extension petition with USCIS. Under previous practice, highly skilled Canadian Citizens applying for ...

EIG Dispatch
Effective May 1, Israeli Nationals Eligible for E-2 Treaty Investor Visas
April 23, 2019

The U.S. Embassy in Israel has announced that a treaty investor agreement has been signed between the United States and Israel, granting Israeli citizens the ability to apply for an E-2 visa at the U.S. Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv. Additionally, certain Israeli nationals who are ...

EIG Dispatch
United Kingdom | Brexit Updates
April 10, 2019

EU leaders will vote on April 10 to extend the date of Brexit to June 30, 2019, following a formal request from Prime Minister Theresa May to the EU today. UPDATED: On Wednesday, April 10, the European Union agreed to a second delay to Brexit ...

EIG Dispatch
Singapore | Ministry of Manpower Plans Changes to Quota Rules
April 10, 2019

To be effective July 1st, 2019 for all companies hiring foreign workers, the Local Qualifying Salary (LQS)* will increase by 100 SGD per month. Additionally, the calculating ratio will be amended as such: LQS salary Number of local employees between S$650 to S$1,300 1 >S$1,300 0.5 Also, The Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) will decrease ...

EIG Dispatch
Australia | Government Announces Two New Visa Categories to be Effective November 2019
April 10, 2019

The Australian Government has announced two new provisional visa categories, a Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional visa requiring regional sponsorship by an employer, and a Skilled Work Regional Visa requiring State or Territory nomination, or eligible family sponsorship within the same region. The program is to target skilled migrants ...

EIG Dispatch
U.S. Economic Reliance on H-1B Visa Program
April 10, 2019

The United States accounts for approximately 26% of the global volume of science and engineering research. Given the current record low unemployment rate below 4% in the US, research suggests that the US needs foreign highly-skilled workers to maintain our position as the world leading STEM ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Releases Data Regarding U.S. Employers Petitioning for H-1B Visas Since Fiscal Year 2009
April 10, 2019

USCIS launched the “H-1B Employer Data Hub” on April 1, 2019, which allows the public to search and view data on the H-1B program, including which U.S. employers are using the H-1B program and approval/denial rates on such petitions. The program was created by USCIS ...

EIG Dispatch
Philippines | Philippines Considering Requiring Foreign Workers to Obtain Visa Before Entry
March 26, 2019

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine government is considering implementing a requirement that foreign workers obtain a visa before they enter the country. If enacted, the foreign worker must obtain a visa from the Philippines consular office in their country ...

EIG Dispatch
Brazil | Brazil Waives Visa Requirement for U.S. Nationals
March 26, 2019

Following Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Washington, D.C. this week, Brazil has waived visa requirements for business travelers and tourists from Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States. This measure will take effect on June 17, 2019, and is aimed at boosting tourism to Brazil.

EIG Dispatch
Increase in Immigration and Customs Enforcement Arrests of Undocumented Immigrants with No Criminal Record
March 26, 2019

Reports indicate an increase in the number of ICE arrests of undocumented immigrants without a criminal record. In recent months, less than 70% of undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE have a criminal record, compared to more than 80% arrested during the previous administration. Experts are concerned that ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS to Close its Overseas Offices
March 26, 2019

The Trump Administration is reportedly planning to close all 23 international USCIS offices, which currently handle family visa requests, international adoptions, and other tasks. The Director of USCIS announced in an internal email sent to USCIS staff that the agency is currently working to transfer these tasks ...

EIG Dispatch
Consulting and Outsourcing Firms Suing USCIS Over H-1B Program
March 26, 2019

Consulting and Outsourcing Businesses relying on H-1B Visa workers havefiled over 40 lawsuits against the federal government claiming that USCIS has been too aggressive with the rate at which they are issuing RFEs and denying H-1B visa applications. By filing such a high number of suits ...

EIG Dispatch
DOL Releases Guidance Levying New Employer Requirements for LCA Posting Practices
March 26, 2019

The Department of Labor released a Guidance on March 15, 2019 which may require H-1B employers to reevaluate posting practices to ensure compliance with the posting notice rule. The guidance specifically stresses the importance of ensuring that any affected employees, including those working through third-parties, have adequate ...

EIG Dispatch
UK | Brexit Deal Fails Again
March 12, 2019

Parliament again voted to reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit Deal with the EU. The UK now has 17 days to go before crashing out of the EU without a deal. Lawmakers will vote again on Wednesday to decide if the UK will exit ...

EIG Dispatch
Ireland | New Policies for Spousal Work Permits
March 12, 2019

Spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) holders no longer need a separate employment permit. Effective March 6th, eligible applicants can attend their local GNIB immigration office with their spouse/de-facto partner who is the holder of a CSEP to obtain a permission to ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Revises Terms of Introduction for Updated I-539 and New I-539A
March 12, 2019

USCIS has responded to stakeholder requests following the announcement of a revised I-539 and New I-539A application forms for Nonimmigrant dependents by revising the terms of the new forms’ introduction. Initially, USCIS announced that the Service would release the new forms on March 11 and ...

EIG Dispatch
EU Introduces Visa Requirement for Americans Along with Waiver Program Starting 2021
March 12, 2019

On March 9, the EU announced a new visa program called ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) which will be required for all Americans traveling to the European Schengen-area starting 2021. Applications can be made online, and applicants will need a passport valid for ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Data Reveals Higher Rates of RFE and Denial in Recent H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions
March 12, 2019

USCIS released a report indicating that the first quarter of the 2019 Fiscal Year contained an increased number of Requests for Evidence (RFEs) issued for H-1B Visa Petitions. The data shows that USCIS issued RFEs for a record high of approximately 60% of all H-1B ...

EIG Dispatch
India | India Expected to Announce Changes to Improve E-Visa Program
February 26, 2019

In coming weeks India is expected to announce changes to improve the e-visa program, making it even more attractive to business visitors. Changes are expected to include: Stays of up to 180 days for e-Business visa holders (an increase from the current 60-day limit); Multiple entries (an ...

EIG Dispatch
Ireland | Irish Government Improves Processing Times
February 26, 2019

Irish CSEP and GEP processing times have reduced greatly in recent weeks, with current processing times at approximately 4 weeks for applications filed by Trusted Partners. This is a significant improvement over recent months when processing times were extended due to a combination of lack of staffing at ...

EIG Dispatch
Research Indicates Immigrants Innovate at a High Rate
February 26, 2019

Researchers at George Mason University have found that tech companies owned by immigrants have “higher rates of innovation” compared to companies owned by U.S. nationals. Fifteen of the sixteen measures used in the study indicated greater rates of innovation among immigrant-founded firms. Pro-business groups note that despite ...

EIG Dispatch
DHS Has Submitted a Proposed Rule to Remove Employment Eligibility for H-4 Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders
February 26, 2019

Four years after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule extending employment eligibility to H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B Visa Holders who are applying for employer-sponsored Green Cards, DHS has submitted a proposed rule to the Executive Office of the President which would rescind the previous ...

EIG Dispatch
AILA Requests Delay to Mandatory Effective Date of Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A
February 26, 2019

As a follow up to our article published February 13, 2019 regarding the revised version of form I-539, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has sent a letter to L. Francis Cissna, the director or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting that effective date of ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Issues New Guidance Regarding Spousal Petitions Involving Minors
February 26, 2019

USCIS has announced new guidance for officers adjudicating I-130 Petitions for Alien Relatives. Between FY 2007 and FY 2017, USCIS approved approximately 8,500 spousal petitions involving minors between the ages of 13 and 17. In an effort disincentivize child marriage in US immigration, USCIS has emphasized the need for ...

EIG Dispatch
Bill Aims to End Decades-Long Waits for Highly-Skilled Immigrants
February 26, 2019

A new bill, The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, has been introduced to address the wait time for immigrants to the United States. Under the current system, the number of immigrant visas that are granted to nationals of any one country cannot exceed 7% of ...

EIG Dispatch
MEXICO | Immigration Office Delays Anticipated
February 13, 2019

With the installation of the new federal administration in Mexico, staff changes are underway at the National Immigration Institute (INM) which is impacting processing times for applications. The INM’s administrative restructuring intends to focus on human rights initiatives and asylum application requests given the influx of Central American migrants ...