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EIG Dispatch | June 3, 2016

June 3, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • UPDATE: USCIS Provides New Web Page to Assist with Fee Increases
  • Shanghai Issues New Work and Business Visa Restrictions
  • Nebraska Service Center Now Accepting H-1B and H-1B1 Extension Petitions
  • Brazil Announces Amendments to Work Visa Rules and Procedures
  • Malaysia Announces Additional Fees for Application Processing

UPDATE: USCIS Provides New Web Page to Assist with Fee Increases

As an update to the reported fee increase for H-1B and L-1 petitions, USCIS recently provided a new web page to assist petitioners subject to the fee increase. The fee increase is in accordance with Public Law 114 113 that was signed into law on December 18, 2015. The law requires certain petitioners to pay an additional fee of $4,000 and $4,500 for H-1B and L-1 petitions, respectively.  These fees will remain in effect until September 30, 2025. The new web page assists petitioners with determining whether they are subject to the new fee. The web page also provides petitioners with guidance regarding completion of the fee subjectivity portion of Form I-129 and how to pay the new fee. For further assistance please contact EIG or visit the USCIS web page.


Shanghai Issues New Work and Business Visa Restrictions

Effective immediately, Shanghai’s Ministry of Public Security will require proof of Hong Kong residency, established through a Hong Kong ID Card, before the Ministry will issue invitation letters to foreign nationals applying for a Chinese Z work visa from Hong Kong.

In addition, very recently the Ministry has increasingly rejected business visitors holding an M Visa at the border. The Ministry is implementing a higher degree of scrutiny to ensure that M visa holders are not engaging in work, as the M visa is not work authorization. Compensated and day-to-day work activities are impermissible under the M visa.  Specifically, the Ministry is paying closer attention to the frequency and length of stay issued to M Visa holders. These new restrictions do not necessarily apply to other Chinese cities.  EIG recommends that, prior to travel, business traveler’s consult with our office regarding proposed business activities and length of stay.


Nebraska Service Center Now Accepting H-1B and H-1B1 Extension Petitions

Effective immediately, the Nebraska Service Center will accept Form I-129 for H-1B and H-1B1 petitions that are strictly only extension petitions; no change of employer or amendment requests to the previously granted petition will be accepted. Any application to Extend/Change nonimmigrant status for dependents and Employment Authorization applications filed with the work authorization petition will be accepted. All other petitions related to form I-129 must continue to be filed with the California or Vermont Service Centers as directed on the I-129 Direct Filing Addresses page provided via the USCIS website. The California and Vermont Service Centers will continue to accept extension petitions until August 31, 2016.


Brazil Announces Amendments to Work Visa Rules and Procedures

Effective immediately, Brazil amended the rules and procedures for foreign nationals attempting to obtain work visas. Major changes include the following:

  • Renewal application submissions and change of employer notifications are now accepted electronically by the Ministry of Labor.
  • Foreign nationals, including those with business and student visas, can now change status to a work visa post arrival.

Dependents, age 16 and older, of foreign nationals on a Brazilian work visa can now obtain legal employment.


Malaysia Announces Additional Fees for Application Processing

The MYXpats Centre of the Immigration Department of Malaysia announced the imposition of fees for online processing of new and renewal Employment Pass (EP), Dependent Pass (DP), and Social Visit Pass (SVP) applications.
The new charges include:

  1. Employment Pass: RM 318;
  2. Dependent Pass: RM 74.20; and
  3. Social Visit Pass: RM 74.20.

These application charges can be paid online via credit card or internet banking and do not include the immigration fees required for endorsement of the relevant pass. For additional information, please visit the Expatriate Services Division website.