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EIG Dispatch – May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Japanese Residence Card Replaces Alien Registration Certificate
  • Part-Time Studies Permissible in South Africa for Work Visa and Business Visa Holders
  • Lawsuit Against USCIS for Unlawful Delays in Adjudicating Employment Authorization Applications
  • Prime Minister David Cameron Proposes Immigration Reform in the UK

Japanese Residence Card Replaces Alien Registration Certificate

The Alien Registration Act, requiring foreign nationals that are mid to long term residents and permanent residents of Japan to obtain an Alien Registration Certificate, has been repealed. Instead, the Japanese government now requires residents to obtain a Residence Card. Residents can change their registration certificates into Residence Cards at the nearest Regional Immigration Bureau.

The Immigration Bureau of Japan recommends that affected foreign nationals in Japan change their registration certificates as soon as possible as the offices are expected to be very crowded before the registration certificate expiration date of July 9, 2015.


Part-Time Studies Permissible in South Africa for Work Visa and Business Visa Holders

Effective retroactively since May 1, 2015, South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs allows holders of all Work Visas (Intra-Company, Critical Skills, and General) and holders of Business Visas (pursuing self-employment/individual business) to participate in part-time academic studies at appropriately established colleges and universities. Foreign nationals no longer need additional permission to study and may do so based on the validity of the foreign national’s existing visa. Please note that full-time studies are prohibited. In addition, the duration of the academic studies may not exceed the validity of the foreign national’s original Work or Business Visa.


Lawsuit Against USCIS for Unlawful Delays in Adjudicating Employment Authorization Applications

On May 22, 2015, a group of foreign nationals filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against USCIS claiming that USCIS does not adjudicate employment authorization within the time limits as required by law. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that employment authorization applications be adjudicated within 90 days, or that USCIS issue an interim employment authorization valid for 240 days where adjudication is not possible within 90 days. The plaintiffs argue that USCIS has delayed adjudication and failed to issue interim employment authorization as necessary.  The lack of employment authorization imposes financial burdens on the foreign nationals and their respective employers.

The complaint asks for the court to order USCIS to adjudicate employment authorization applications on time or issue appropriate interim employment authorization documents in case of delays.

EIG will continue to monitor the outcome of this pending litigation against USCIS and provide updates.


Prime Minister David Cameron Proposes Immigration Reform in the UK

Soon after his reelection, Prime Minister David Cameron proposed a detailed plan for immigration reform within the UK that will severely limit the number of migrants to the UK, both from within the European Union (EU) and outside it. The primary employment-related proposals are as follows:

  • Lower the quota on non-EU skilled migration
  • Require companies to transition foreign skills to British workers
  • Require employment agencies to test the UK labor market before recruiting overseas
  • Establish a new government enforcement agency to deal with abuse of employment visa categories
  • Renegotiate EU membership to allow fewer European migrants into the UK

If Prime Minister Cameron’s bill is passed into law, organizations employing foreign workers in the UK should prepare for stricter immigration processes and increased limits on the ability to hire foreign workers.