Worldwide: Weekly Immigration Update: August 23-29, 2019

Last Updated: September 2 2019
Article by Fragomen  

In immigration news this week:

  • United States: Employers should continue using the current version of Form I-9 (07/17/17 edition) to verify work authorization until further notice, despite the form's August 31, 2019 expiration date, USCIS has announced.
  • China: The National Immigration Administration has issued 12 policies to attract skilled foreign nationals and ease requirements for foreign nationals already in China.
  • Thailand: Nationals of 47 African countries must now submit a police clearance certificate when filing their long-term visa applications.
  • Netherlands: Draft legislation has been introduced that, if enacted, would change the civic integration program required for applicants applying for permanent residence or Dutch nationality, dependents of Dutch nationals and asylum seekers starting July 2020.

These items and other news from Kuwait, Malaysia, and Portugal follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

United States, August 28, 2019

Current I-9 Form To Remain in Use After August 31 Expiration Date

  • Employers should continue using the current version of Form I-9 (07/17/17 edition) to verify work authorization, despite the form's August 31 expiration date, according to USCIS.
  • An extension of the current Form I-9 – with no expected substantive changes – is currently under formal review. The new form will not take effect until it clears the federal approval process and is released for public use.

To view entire article, click here.

Netherlands, August 27, 2019

Changes to Civic Integration System Forthcoming

  • Proposed legislation in the Netherlands that would become effective July 2020 would change the civic integration process which is mandatory for some foreign nationals, such as dependents of Dutch nationals, asylum seekers and foreign nationals who voluntarily choose to apply for Dutch nationality or long-term residence.
  • Under the proposed rules, foreign nationals would need to complete one of three new integration routes based on their existing language and educational abilities.
  • Fines would apply to foreign nationals who fail to meet the requirements where integration is mandatory, such as dependents of Dutch nationals or asylum seekers.
  • This would not impact foreign nationals who are applying for temporary residence permits, for example permits based on employment, as Dutch immigration law exempts them from the civil integration requirement.

To view entire article, click here.

China, August 23, 2019

Relaxed Immigration Policies Introduced

Foreign nationals seeking entry to China should benefit from the below new policies that are effective immediately:

  • Expanded eligibility for permanent residence;
  • Expanded eligibility for long-term visas and Residence Permits with longer validity periods;
  • Streamlined and expanded visa and Residence Permit options for recent graduates from top foreign or mainland Chinese universities and students who will undertake internships in mainland China; and
  • More immigration support service centers.

The policies are meant to attract skilled foreign nationals to China and to ease requirements for foreign nationals in China.

To view entire article, click here.

Thailand, August 23, 2019

Visa Applicants from Many African Countries Must Submit Police Clearance Certificates

  • The Immigration Bureau, One-Stop Service Center and Provincial Immigration Offices in Thailand now require nationals of 47 African countries to submit a police clearance certificate when filing their long-term visa applications.
  • The additional document requirement can lengthen the visa application process by approximately 10-15 business days and requires an appearance at the National Police Bureau in Bangkok or the provincial police office where the foreign national resides.
  • This change only affects the principal applicant (not dependents) and only impacts applicants from companies not registered with the Board of Investments.

To view entire article, click here.

Weekly News Briefs

Kuwait: Minimum Salary Raised for Sponsoring Dependents – Effective immediately, the Ministry of Interior has raised the minimum salary requirement for foreign nationals sponsoring their dependent family members to KWD 500 (USD 1,481) per month from KWD 450. Foreign nationals in certain professions, such as doctors, pharmacists, teachers and engineers continue to be exempt from the minimum salary requirements. The minimum salary requirement for dependents was previously raised in October 2016 to KWD 450 from KWD 250.

Malaysia: Additional Requirements for Employment Pass and Related Applications Filed with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation – The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has introduced the following additional requirements for Employment Pass (EP) and related applications:

  • Effective immediately, any child born in Malaysia to an EP holder is required to apply for a Special Pass (SP) while waiting for a Dependent Pass (DP) application to be completed. Depending on the age of the child, the SP application is filed either with the Immigration Unit in MDEC (for children one to six months old) or with the Enforcement Unit of the Immigration Department in Putrajaya (for children seven months and older).
  • Additionally, beginning September 1, 2019, Nigerian nationals applying for an EP and/or related applications will be required to submit original copies of relevant supporting documents, which must be legalized by the Malaysian High Commission in Nigeria—specifically, educational certificates, and marriage certificates, birth certificates and proof of relationships for accompanying dependent applications. MDEC will not return these original documents.

Portugal: New Residence Card Appointments Remain Suspended – As an update, in-country requests for initial/renewal residence cards and all in-person appointments remain suspended. Appointments are only available as a result of cancellations; appointments are likely to remain suspended until 2020. An ongoing investigation into the alleged sale of some appointments may also cause further delays. Foreign nationals with dependents are the most impacted as all family reunification cases require an in-person appointment. Impacted foreign nationals should continue to check for cancellations and should travel only during the validity of their work visa until they have received their residence card.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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