- U.S. Presidential Election
- Digital Identification Required in Argentina for Certain International Travel
- New Posted Worker Notification Requirements in Italy
- United Kingdom Introduces Labor Market Enforcement Provisions and Right to Rent Provisions
- Canada Announces Reopening of Parent and Grandparent Program
U.S. Presidential Election
President Elect Donald Trump released his transition plan website today. We understand that the outcome of the presidential election may have generated some fear and anxiety about the future, particularly with respect to foreign nationals’ ability to continue to live and work in the United States.
Although it is still too early to know the specific immigration policy agenda that Mr. Trump will implement upon taking office on January 20th, 2017, we do know that throughout Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, he has taken a hardline approach on many aspects of U.S. immigration law, including proposing to build a wall along the U.S. – Mexico border, terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs, increase security and background checks for foreign nationals from certain regions of the world, and enhance immigration enforcement. It is hard to predict at this stage which, if any, of these proposals would be adopted and implemented by the Trump administration upon taking office in 2017. We do know that despite the messages conveyed during the presidential campaign, a range of post-election reports indicate that the majority of Trump voters do not support proposals that would deport massive numbers of immigrants and they are more likely to favor productive immigration solutions.
While it is possible for Mr. Trump to exercise unilateral executive power on some aspects of immigration law, such as terminating the DACA and DAPA programs or expanding prosecutorial discretion to detain or deport immigrants with a criminal history, these types of unilateral executive actions would likely have little or no impact on employment-based visas. Please note that as a general matter, significant changes to U.S. immigration law, such as changes to the employment-based nonimmigrant visa categories (ex. H-1B, TN, L-1, O-1, etc.) and green card process would take time and would require the proper rulemaking procedures to be followed as mandated by U.S. law.
One possible change we do predict is that if you are from a country in the Middle East or South East Asia, you may encounter additional background and security checks when processing for a visa at the U.S. Consulate overseas, as well as more prolonged background and security checks during the green card application process. We will notify you if this change occurs.
Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments in the realm of immigration law and policy and notify you as soon as we have more information. Please monitor our immigration newsletter, EIG Dispatch, for the latest developments in immigration law.
We invite you to attend an upcoming webinar we are organizing this month on the impact of the election on U.S. immigration law and policy. We will be sending out more information about this event shortly.
Digital Identification Required in Argentina for Certain International Travel
Beginning November 1, 2016, citizens of Argentina and foreign nationals living in Argentina must have a digital Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI) or a valid passport for travel to the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Suriname (Mercosur members and associated countries). Those who have a non-digital DNI must obtain a digital one before traveling to the mentioned countries as hard copy DNI cards will no longer be accepted. For more information regarding the process, please visit https://www.argentina.gob.ar/renovar-el-dni..
New Posted Worker Notification Requirements in Italy
Effective December 26, 2016, foreign companies posting workers in Italy are required to follow new posted worker notifications. This regulation applies to European Union (“EU”) companies, EU placement agencies, and non-EU companies. Foreign employers must create an online account and file a compulsory electronic notification through the Labour and Social Policy Portal. The electronic notification must be submitted before midnight preceding the worker’s start date. Any changes to the start and end dates of posting, number of workers involved, work location, and host entity must be submitted within five days. Such information will be available to the Labour Inspectorate, the National Social Security Agency (INPS), and the National Workers Compensation Authority (INAIL). Further, foreign employers are required to retain documents related to the posting for two years. Such documentation includes paystubs, employment contract, notice of start date, duration of working time, certificate of coverage related to the applicable social security legislation, and evidence of salary payments. The posting company must also appoint a representative in Italy to manage the documents. If no representative is appointed, the posting company will act as the representative. If these regulations are violated, both posting and hosting companies are held liable.
United Kingdom Introduces Labor Market Enforcement Provisions and Right to Rent Provisions
As part of the United Kingdom’s Immigration Act 2016, the Labor Market Enforcement Provisions will be effective November 25, 2016, and the Right to Rent Provisions will be effective December 1, 2016.
Under the Labor Market Enforcement Provisions, the definition of illegal hiring is broadened, making it easier for employers and workers to be held liable. There is a lower standard for employer liability. Instead of having knowledge, employers are liable for illegal hiring if there is “reasonable cause to believe that the employee is disqualified from employment.” Further, the maximum imprisonment term for employers convicted of illegal hiring increased from two to five years. There are also unlimited fine and civil fines of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. Convicted illegal workers can be sentenced up to six months and pay monetary fines. Authorities can also seize earnings of illegal workers as proceeds of a crime.
Under the Right to Rent Provisions, illegal workers are explicitly precluded from renting residential property. It is also the landlord’s duty to determine a tenant’s immigration status first before allowing the tenant to occupy the premises. U.K. employers and foreign workers in the U.K. should be aware of the broader definition of illegal hiring and stricter enforcement measures in order to best comply with these regulations.
Canada Announces Reopening of Parent and Grandparent Program
Anticipated to take effect on January 3, 2017, the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) will allow eligible Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents for Permanent Residency in Canada. The cap on the program is 10,000 for new and completed applications, and is expected to be reached very soon after the program’s initiation. The program operates on a first- come- first -serve basis and thus EIG strongly recommends interested sponsors to prepare applications as soon as possible and to have the application submitted on the opening day if possible. For eligibility information, please visit the Canadian Immigration website.
As an alternative to the PGP program, Parents and Grandparents may apply for the Super Visa. Under the Super Visa, parents and grandparents may enter and remain in Canada as long-term visitors. Under this particular visa category, successful applicants are granted multiple entry visitors visas, valid for up to 10 years. Applicants must renew the Super Visa every two years. For eligibility requirements, please click here.