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EIG Dispatch | November 18, 2016

November 21, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • U.S. Publishes Revised Version of Form I-9
  • Australia to Change Definition of “Member of the Family Unit”
  • New Frequent Traveler Visitor Visa in Australia
  • Indonesia Introduces New Temporary Interim Residence Permit
  • Indonesia Prohibits Third-Party Agents at Immigration Offices

U.S. Publishes Revised Version of Form I-9

Effective January 22, 2017, employers must use the latest version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, dated 11/14/2016. The new version contains a number of changes including Section 1, which now asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used.” In addition, the form includes a designation for multiple preparers and translators, and a supplemental page for the preparer/translator. The new version is designed to be more computer friendly with drop-down lists, calendars for filing in dates, and on-screen instructions for each distinct field.

EIG will be hosting a webinar regarding the I-9 update on Wednesday, December 7 at 3 pm EST. Register here.


Australia to Change Definition of “Member of the Family Unit”

On November 19, 2016, Australia will institute a new definition of “Member of the Family Unit” that will exclude children and step-children aged 23 years and older and members outside of the nuclear family, with regards to permanent resident visa applications.  There is an exception to the age requirement, where a child or step-child 23 years or older can apply for permanent residency, provided there is proof of incapacitation for work. Prior to this change, children over the age of 23 and relatives were able to encompass the definition of “Member of the Family Unit” as long as they were able to show substantial financial dependency on the primary applicant/family head. As a result of the new regulation, family members outside of the nuclear family, which includes siblings and parents of the primary applicant, will no longer qualify as dependents for permanent visa applications.


New Frequent Traveler Visitor Visa in Australia

Beginning November 19, 2016, Australia is launching a new Frequent Traveler Stream of the Visitor Visa (Subclass 600). This new visa will be valid for a period of up to 10 years and will allow for multiple entries for a duration of 3 months or less per entry. Only tourism or business activities are authorized under the new visa stream. Initially it will be available only to Chinese nationals. However, it is anticipated that nationals of other countries will be able to apply in the future. The application fee for the new visa will be AUD 1,000. Visitors entering Australia on the new visa stream may not stay for more than 12 months cumulatively in any 24-month period. The applicant may engage in business visitor activities such as making general business or employment inquiries, as well as negotiating and entering business contracts, but may not undertake any paid work.


Indonesia Introduces New Temporary Interim Residence Permit

Indonesia’s Immigration Office has introduced new provisions permitting foreign workers to obtain a temporary 3-month residence permit while their work permit renewal applications are pending. By way of background, foreign workers in Indonesia cannot obtain a full 12-month renewal residence permit (KITAS) until the renewal work permit (IMTA) has been issued. As a result, foreign workers previously faced overstay penalties or even deportation while waiting for the renewal IMTA to be issued. Under the new provisions, foreign workers who have applied to renew their work permits can now apply for a temporary 3-month KITAS by visiting the immigration office to submit their biometrics along with proof that they have applied to renew their IMTA.

The new 3-month temporary KITAS will allow the foreign worker to remain in Indonesia even if their IMTA renewal is delayed. However, the foreign worker will not be authorized to work until the renewal IMTA has been issued. Upon receiving the renewal IMTA, the foreign worker must then apply for a 12-month renewal KITAS and attend a second biometrics interview. Moving forward, the 3-month temporary renewal KITAS will count toward the 12-month validity period of the permanent renewal KITAS, meaning that the permanent renewal KITAS will be issued for an additional 9 months (for a cumulative renewal period of 12 months). Applicants wishing to benefit from these new provisions must apply for the 3-month temporary KITAS before their current KITAS expires. Foreign nationals who wait to apply for the renewal even one day after the previous KITAS has expired will not be allowed to stay in Indonesia.


Indonesia Prohibits Third-Party Agents at Immigration Offices

Indonesia’s Ministry of Justice announced that third-party agents can no longer represent companies or assignees at immigration offices in Indonesia to obtain visas and permits. Under the new regulation, only company staff, holding a company ID card, can arrange immigration permits at immigration offices. As a result, all applications for visas and permits must be submitted independently by the sponsor, its staff or by the expat.