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 ...

EIG Dispatch
Canada | Processing Delays for the Canadian Labor Market Impact Assessment Applications
May 8, 2019

The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) announced delays in processing times for some streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program due to a high number of Labour Market Impact Assessment applications (LMIA).  The ESDC recommends the following to reduce further delay: (1) ensure the ...

EIG Dispatch
Second Anniversary of the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order
May 8, 2019

 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) highlights changes that have impacted business immigration since the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order was signed in April 2017. In the last two years, USCIS has issued four Policy Memorandums related to various business immigration processes and requirements including: ...

EIG Dispatch
Customs and Border Protection Makes Changes to I-94 Record
May 8, 2019

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced they will be issuing I-94 records with both numbers and letters. Currently, I-94 records consist of 11 numbers. Starting May 2019, I-94 records will be 11 digits, with 9 numbers, followed by a letter, and ending in a number. Unexpired ...

EIG Dispatch
Immigration Restrictions on Visa Overstays Relying on Questionable DHS Data
May 8, 2019

In response to the final policy memorandum issued by President Trump on April 22 regarding visa overstays, stakeholders question the reliability of the data relied on by the administration regarding “High Nonimmigrant Overstay Rates.” Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security’s FY 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report assumes an overstay in circumstances where ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS and CBP Extend Pilot Program for Canadian L-1 Nonimmigrants
May 8, 2019

USCIS announced on April 29th that a pilot program for Canadian L-1 Nonimmigrants arriving at the Blaine Port of Entry would be extended. The program allows the L-1 Nonimmigrants to file their petition ahead of their arrival in an effort to measure the time required by ...

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 ...