Worldwide: Mobility Trends In October 2018

Mayer Brown's Global Directions is a summary of recent immigration and mobility trends arising in key jurisdictions around the globe. This high-level overview alerts recipients to select changes in law and practice that may affect their global mobility programs.


United States

USCIS Goes Live to Reveal Implementation Plans of New DHS Deportation Policy

On September 27, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") Office of Public Engagement hosted a live teleconference to inform the public how the agency will implement its new policy, or policy memorandum ("PM"), issued on June 28, 2018, "Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens." The policy aligns USCIS operations with Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.

The new NTA policy will be implemented incrementally.

Key takeaways of the teleconference include:

  • USCIS will apply the policy in cases of fraud or willful misrepresentation, the abuse of the receipt of public benefits, a criminal offense, and unlawful presence, among other categories.
  • "At this time," USCIS will not apply the policy in cases of employment-based petitions, such as I-140 and I-129 petitions. Thus, employment-based petitions are excluded from the policy, however this does not preclude the agency from later expanding the new NTA policy to include employment-based petitions.
  • USCIS will not apply the policy in instances of Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") recipients or requestors, Temporary Protected Status, or humanitarian cases. USCIS will implement the new policy beginning October 1, 2018, in cases where the agency denies status-impacting applications such as Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status)  or Form I-539 (Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status).
  • USCIS may still refer immigration cases to Immigration Customs Enforcement ("ICE") without issuing an NTA.
  • USCIS will not issue an NTA immediately upon the denial of a benefit request but will wait for the expiration of an appeal or motion period before issuing an NTA. This interim period is usually 33 days from the date of the decision but may be less depending upon the case type and could be as brief as 18 days.
  • USCIS will issue NTAs either by mail or in person by service of process, implying the importance of applicants maintaining accurate addresses on file with USCIS.

US, Canada, Mexico Reach Trade Deal

After more than a year of negotiations, the United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed to a US$1.2 trillion trade agreement on September 30, 2018—the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or "USMCA." The new agreement, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), will be signed by President Trump in November before being delivered to Congress. Key details from the USMCA deal include greater market access for US dairy farmers to export to Canada and increased auto manufacturing in North America at higher wages, which will shift labor from Mexico. Canada and Mexico will also obtain greater trade protections by facing tariffs only for exports exceeding 2.6 million vehicles to the United States. The USMCA additionally contains stringent protections for patents and trademarks, improves labor rights, and will not amend NAFTA's Chapter 19 dispute resolution provision.


South Africa

South Africa Implements Immigration Changes to Boost Business and Tourism

In an effort to bolster tourism and business opportunities in South Africa, the government recently announced a series of amendments to its tourist and business visa schemes. The key revisions include:

  • Expansion of List of Visa Waiver Countries: The South African government is negotiating with officials from Algeria, Bahrain, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Ghana, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Sao Tome & Principe, the Saharawi-Arab Democratic Republic, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates to waive visa requirements for ordinary passport holders.
  • Introduction of Biometric Movement Control Systems, E-Visa, and E-Gates Pilot Programs: These programs are designed to automate and otherwise make more efficient the process for foreign nationals seeking entry into South Africa. They will be piloted at a number of airports in the coming months.
  • Availability of Long-Term Multiple Entry Visas: To facilitate the entry of tourists, business visitors, and academics, African travelers to South Africa may be eligible for a multiple entry visa valid for 10 years for business visits or academics. Three-year multiple entry visas are also available to trusted travelers.         
  • Simplified Processing and 10-Year Multiple Entry Visas for Nationals of China and India: Visitors from China and India can now use a courier to submit visa applications rather than having to appear in person at a South African consulate. In addition, biometrics can now be completed upon arrival rather than prior to traveling. Once the visa application is approved, a 10-year multiple entry visa will be issued.

Additional changes are expected in the coming months, including the potential expansion of the critical skills list. With new positions being added, more foreign workers will be eligible to permanently reside in South Africa.


Hong Kong

Hong Kong Immigration Policy Now Offers Same-Sex Dependent Visas

On September 18, 2018, the Hong Kong government announced a revision to the immigration policy for entry of foreign national dependents to recognize overseas same-sex partnerships when considering eligibility for dependent visas/entry permits. The revision took effect on September 19, 2018.

A person who has entered into one of the following relationships outside of Hong Kong with an eligible sponsor in accordance with local laws and with such status being legally and officially recognized by the local authorities of the place of celebration is now eligible to apply for a dependent visa/entry permit to enter into Hong Kong:

  • Same-sex civil partnership;
  • Same-sex civil union;
  • Same-sex marriage;
  • Opposite-sex civil partnership; or 
  • Opposite-sex civil union 

The original eligibility criteria of the policy will also continue to apply unchanged and cover cases such as those in which:

(i) There is reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the applicant and the sponsor; 
(ii) There is no known record to the detriment of the applicant; and 
(iii) The sponsor is able to support the dependent's cost of living at a standard well above the subsistence level and provide him/her with suitable accommodation in Hong Kong. 

The change in policy follows the highly publicized Court of Final Appeal decision in QT v. Director of Immigration [2018] HKCFA 28, which overturned the Immigration Department's former policy of restricting dependent visas to a spouse in a heterosexual couple. The change in policy is a major shift in the Immigration Department's policy and is good news for employers, helping their efforts to attract talent to and retain talent in Hong Kong.


India Modifies Immigration Policies and Systems

The Indian government recently introduced a series of changes.
Effective September 24, 2018, in-country registrations, visa extensions, and other visa services normally completed at the local Foreigners Regional Registration Offices ("FRRO") in Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Gautam Buddha Nagar must now be completed online, thereby eliminating the need for foreign nationals to visit these FRROs in person. These FRROs are just a few of the numerous FRROs that started offering e-services earlier this year.

In addition, the government recently announced that a foreign national seeking to change employers within subsidiaries/group companies within India will now no longer need prior Ministry of Home Affairs approval. Instead, change of employer applications are to be filed locally with the FRRO or the FRO (Foreigners Registration Office) in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Electronic visas, including e-tourist, e-business, or e-medical visas, can now be used up to three times in a single calendar year (January to December). Previously, e-visas could only be used twice in a calendar year. In addition, e-visa applications can be filed a minimum of four days and a maximum of 120 days prior to arrival in India. The validity of an e-visa is 60 days from the date of arrival in India.



Spain Targets Large Companies in Increased Enforcement Efforts

Spanish authorities are giving greater scrutiny to EU Intracompany Transferee ("ICT") Permit and national ICT Permit applications in an effort to ensure that foreign workers receive employment conditions and salaries comparable to those of local workers. Specifically, the government's Large Companies Unit is more closely reviewing EU and national ICT Permit applications to verify that each applicant's salary aligns with local standards. While the Spanish government previously reviewed the total compensation package as a whole, it is now individually reviewing the foreign worker's home base salary, salary while on assignment, allowances (both in money and in kind), and benefits stated in the home employment contract and assignment letter. In order to clearly demonstrate that a foreign worker receives salary packages and work conditions comparable to those of local workers, employers should carefully document each element of the employee's salary package in their ICT Permit applications.

Visit us at

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2018. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions