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EIG Dispatch | August 12, 2016

August 12, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Key Leaders Announced for Brexit Negotiations
  • Ireland Introduces Changes to Student Work Privileges for non-EEA Stamp 2 Holders
  • High Commission of India in the United Kingdom Imposes Biometrics Procedures for 7 Visa Categories
  • Brazil to Begin Accepting Apostilled Documentation Conforming to Hague Apostille Convention Standards

Key Leaders Announced for Brexit Negotiations

Mr. Michel Barnier, the former French Foreign Minister and European Union (EU) Commissioner, has been appointed by the European Commission as Chief EU negotiator to oversee negotiations with the United Kingdom as the country prepares to exit the EU. Mr. Barnier is considered an experienced politician and negotiator and has had a five year tenure with the commission. He has played a critical role in the passage of over 40 pieces of financial legislation and is a critical figure in balancing negotiation efforts as British officials continue to maintain key positions in European institutions. Additional key figures in the negotiations include, Belgian diplomat Didier Seeuws who has been appointed by the European Council to head a Brexit task force, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Once more concrete measures have been announced by the Home Office, EIG will advise companies and employees of appropriate next steps. For the time being, EIG can assist companies and employees with individual cases, if they are eligible to apply for EEA Registration Certificates, pursuing permanent residency, or British citizenship. EIG will continue to monitor policy changes as they develop, and will keep you informed of any immigration developments as they become available.


Ireland Introduces Changes to Student Work Privileges for non-EEA Stamp 2 Holders

The Irish Nationalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) announced adjustments to work privileges for non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals holding Stamp 2 visas, effective September 1, 2016.  The changes apply to the summer holiday months, from June 1 to September 30, in which Stamp 2 students will now be permitted to work full time (40 hours per week maximum). Prior to the change, Stamp 2 visa holders were allowed to engage in full-time employment from May 1st to August 31st.

There have been no changes to the winter holiday schedule for full-time work. Therefore, Stamp 2 visa holders will continue to be allowed to work on a full-time basis from December 15 to January 15. At all other times of the year, non-EEA nationals on a Stamp 2 visa are limited to part-time work (20 hours per week maximum). Stamp 1G holders are exempted from these restrictions and are allowed to work on a full-time basis throughout the year by virtue of the Third Level Graduate Scheme. Some Stamp 2 holders may also be exempted. The Stamp 1G category, implemented in February 2016, grants a one-year extension to non-EEA students who graduate with an Irish degree and who wish to remain in Ireland in order to look for employment.

Prior to the implementation of these changes, non-EEA students were eligible to extend their status under the Third Level Graduate Scheme while retaining their Stamp 2 visa. This caused a great amount of confusion as employers sought to determine which Stamp 2 visa holders were exempted from the full-time work restrictions and which were not. The Stamp 1G category was designed to address and alleviate this issue.  However, as INIS transitions into implementing the Stamp 1 G category, employers should note that there may still be Stamp 2 holders who graduated before February 2012, and who may have been granted a one-year extension under the Third Level Graduate Scheme without changing over to the Stamp 1G system. These students should be permitted to work on a full-time basis throughout the year. Therefore, employers must continue to exercise due diligence by verifying that these Stamp 2 visa holders have graduated and are indeed exempted from the full-time work restrictions.


High Commission of India in the United Kingdom Imposes Biometrics Procedures for 7 Visa Categories

The High Commission of India in the United Kingdom announced the implementation of mandatory biometrics capture for applicants seeking certain visa benefits in London. The changes will take effect on August 19, 2016, and will apply to the following visa categories: employment, journalist, research, student, visitor (biometrics requirement applicable to nationals of Pakistan only), project, and missionary visas.  Biometric enrollment will occur at the time of visa application submission at the appropriate Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC). Thus, applicants for the above mentioned visas may not waive personal appearance, or submit documents via courier. Applicants younger than 12 years old, as well as those older than 70 years of age, will be exempted from the biometrics requirement altogether. For individuals with poor or no fingerprints, the biometrics process will only involve capturing facial traits.


Brazil to Begin Accepting Apostilled Documentation Conforming to Hague Apostille Convention Standards

The Hague Apostille Convention will be in full force in Brazil starting August 14, 2016. Adoption of the Convention means that Brazilian government agencies will begin accepting public documents issued by other Convention signatories bearing the apostille certification.

In practice, individuals submitting vital documents for immigration purposes in Brazil should experience a more streamlined document authentication procedure. Under the current document legalization process, public documents must undergo a series of validation steps before they can be officially legalized by the appropriate Brazilian Consulate.  The existing consular document legalization process will continue to apply for authentication of documents issued by countries that are not members of The Hague Apostille Convention.