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EIG Dispatch | August 26, 2016

August 29, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • BREAKING: USCIS Releases Proposed Rule for International Entrepreneurs
  • USCIS Warns Applicants of Payment Scams
  • USCIS Announces Twitter Town Halls
  • Malaysia Implements New Employment Pass Regulations
  • Switzerland Announces Exhausted L Permit Quotas

BREAKING: USCIS Releases Proposed Rule for International Entrepreneurs

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released details of a proposed rule that would provide eligible international entrepreneurs temporary permission to remain in the United States to start or grow their businesses in the U.S.

The rule proposes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) use its discretionary statutory parole authority for certain entrepreneurs of startup entities whose stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the creation of jobs and the generation of revenue in the country.

Pursuant to the rule, entrepreneurs may be granted permission to remain in the United States for up to two years in order to oversee and scale their startup entities. A subsequent request for re-parole may be issued for up to three additional years only if the entrepreneurs and startup entities continue to provide a significant public benefit as evidenced by substantial increases in capital investment, revenue or job creation.

The notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register encourages public comment for 45 days, after which USCIS will review the comments received. The full text of the proposed rule is available here.


USCIS Warns Applicants of Payment Scams

This week the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) warned applicants to be cautious of immigration fraud by scammers pretending to be government officials. In order to deceive applicants and gain personal and private information, scammers, acting as government officials have called or emailed applicants, falsely reporting a problem with an application or requesting additional information to continue the immigration process. The scammers have then demanded payment to fix the alleged problem in the applicant’s case.

Please be advised that USCIS does not ask for payment over the phone or through email. USCIS will mail a letter on official stationery requesting payment.

If you believe that you have received a scam email or phone call, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at http://1.usa.gov/1suOHSS or forward the suspicious email to USCIS Webmaster at uscis.webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov.


USCIS Announces Twitter Town Halls

Starting August 23, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) customer service staff will be available on Twitter (@USCIS) to answer questions regarding processes and procedures, location of immigration forms, fee information, how to check case status, and other questions that can be answered by the National Customer Service Center.

To join the conversation simply follow USCIS on Twitter and converse with #AskUSCIS. USCIS will be available for an hour at the times specified on Twitter and will answer as many questions as possible. Case specific questions will not be answered and it is not recommended to post any personal information or case specific information on any social media site. USCIS will not provide information regarding pending or proposed policies and rules. Please see here for examples of questions that may be answered.


Malaysia Implements New Employment Pass Regulations

Effective September 1, 2016, new Employment Pass (EP) regulations will affect foreign national employees of companies with Multimedia Super Corridor Malaysia (MSC Malaysia) or Information Communication Technology (ICT) status.

Under the new regulations, applicants will be required to maintain a passport that is valid for a minimum 12 months after the date endorsement. Applicants seeking EPs in categories I, II, or III and their dependents must possess an approval letter before entering Malaysia. The approval letter is issued by the respective Malaysian Embassy/Consulate General/High Commission abroad.  Certain foreign workers who decided to change employers must first exit Malaysia and then collect a Reference Visa (VDR) while observing a 3 month cooling off period. These include workers currently under EP category III seeking new employment within the EP III category, and includes dependent and student visa holders seeking to convert to an EP III category. In addition, newborn children of foreign workers will be required to obtain a Special Pass from the Enforcement Unit of Immigration Putrajaya before a Dependent Pass may be endorsed.


Switzerland Announces Exhausted L Permit Quotas

Switzerland’s L permit quota for European Union nationals for the third quarter of 2016 has been exhausted. As a result, EU/EFTA nationals who are assigned to Switzerland will not be issued L permits until new quotas are available on October 1, 2016.  Each canton in Switzerland has its own procedures in place to address the issue of exhausted quotas. While authorities in Zurich will allow applicants to seek temporary permit approvals for 1 month, authorities in Basel and Geneva will issue preliminary decisions on a case-by-case basis and authorities in Ticino will require applicants to wait until the new quota in available. EIG recommends that employers obtain information from each local canton in which they anticipate filing an L permit application well before the start of the next quota to understand the specific requirements and application procedures.