As 2022 draws to a close, the New Zealand government has announced a variety of immigration updates that affect foreign nationals’ work authorization and employers’ accreditation status. These updates include a new online application process for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), simplifications in the variation process for holders of Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWVs) and Essential Skills Work Visas (ESWVs), automatic extensions for certain employer accreditations, and streamlined processes to enable Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders to obtain Specific Purpose visas while staying in their current role.

Continue Reading New Zealand Implements Notable Immigration Updates

The Australian government is in the early stages of examining major changes to the country’s immigration system. According to statements by Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, the government has engaged a team of experts to conduct a comprehensive review designed to ensure the country’s immigration system “serves Australia’s national interests and complements the skills and capabilities of Australian workers.” While details on the scope of the report are still forthcoming, it is expected to focus on strategies for ensuring skilled labor for businesses, enhancing worker productivity, and navigating issues associated with an aging workforce. The experts’ report is expected to be delivered to the government by the end of February 2023.  

Continue Reading Australia Considers Major Immigration Updates

The Indonesian government has announced a mandatory annual reporting deadline for employers of foreign workers. According to the announcement, employers must provide Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower with an annual manpower report no later than January 10, 2023. Submission of the annual report has been required since 2018, but the precise due date is announced each year. Failure to submit the report by the stated deadline may result in fines or other sanctions against the employer.

Continue Reading Indonesia Announces Mandatory Reporting Deadline for Foreign Nationals

On December 2, 2022, the Canadian government announced a two-year expansion of work authorization to spouses and working-age children of temporary foreign workers at all skill levels. According to the announcement, the short-term measure is designed to address gaps in Canada’s labor market amid the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the announcement, the only family members eligible for work authorization were spouses of temporary workers in high-skill occupations. The government’s move is expected to extend work authorization to as many as 200,000 noncitizens beginning in January 2023.

Continue Reading Canada Extends Work Authorization to Families of Temporary Foreign Workers

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has introduced a new work-authorized visa category for foreign nationals. Known as the Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass, the visa is designed for individuals considered to be top talent in business, arts, culture, sports, science, technology, academia, and research. Although details on the application process are still forthcoming, eligible candidates are expected to be able to begin applying effective January 1, 2023.

Continue Reading Singapore Creates New High Talent Visa Category

By the end of August, there were reports indicating that some Indian consulates and the local registration authorities in India started requiring foreign nationals seeking or holding Employment (E) visas to provide proof that their salaries were being paid or were paid in India. Most recently, it seems like the Indian government reversed this requirement. Although no formal announcement was made either as to the payroll localization requirement or the most recent reversal, the move is a welcome change for global employers, many of which choose to maintain foreign assignees on their home country’s payroll.

Continue Reading India Reverses Payroll Localization Requirement for Employment Visa Holders

Effective October 1, 2022, Singapore will only require certain applicants for work pass renewals to be fully vaccinated. Specifically, only Work Permit and S Pass holders employed in the construction, marine shipyard, or process sectors, or those staying in dormitories, will be required to be fully vaccinated to apply for renewal passes. All applicants for new passes must continue to be fully vaccinated. The announcement from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is expected to ease the renewal process for many MOM pass holders.

Continue Reading Singapore Updates COVID Vaccination Requirements for Work Passes

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, to take effect on September 26, 2022.

Snapshot Summary

These amendments impact the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, and the International Mobility Program, placing greater responsibility on employers to protect the rights of foreign workers.

The regulatory amendments aim to protect foreign workers’ rights and to improve employer compliance by addressing gaps in worker protections, workplace conditions for foreign workers, and ensuring access to information on employment rights, as well as focusing on providing improved access to healthcare services for foreign workers.

Continue Reading Foreign Workers’ Rights Enhanced in Canada Through New Regulatory Amendments

In advance of hosting the FIFA World Cup in late 2022, Qatar has announced new restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals. Specifically, all foreign nationals seeking to enter Qatar as visitors will need to carry a “Hayya” Card as of November 1, 2022. Visitors must hold match tickets in order to qualify for the Hayya, which can be applied for online. Qatari citizens and foreign nationals holding a residence permit may continue to enter Qatar as usual. Qatar’s move to require foreign visitors to hold match tickets in order to enter the country has been anticipated since a draft decision of the Ministry of Interior earlier this year.

Continue Reading Qatar Restricts Visitor Entry During World Cup

Note: Updated to reflect the Department of Homeland Security’s notice on 9/15/2022 regarding the next phase of premium processing for petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expanding the availability of premium processing for certain pending, employment-based (EB) immigrant petitions, according to its recent alert. The changes specifically affect:

  • EB-1 multinational executives and managers; and
  • EB-2 professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (NIW).

This is the third phase of the previously announced plan to expand premium processing. The agency aims to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the immigration system.

Continue Reading Need a Decision Faster? DHS Expands Premium Processing for Certain Employment-Based Petitions