Mayer Brown’s Global Mobility and Migration practice recently hosted the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in honoring Charles “Charlie” Oppenheim for his dedicated public service over the past 43 years at the Department of State. Charlie is a legend in the field: he served as Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division from 1998 to 2021, when he retired. In this role, Charlie was responsible for determining each month the number of people who could be granted U.S. legal permanent residence (green cards) in each family- and employment-based category. This meant calculating the maximum number of green cards that could be allocated to each country worldwide without exceeding the numerical limits based upon the statutory quotas and preference system set by Congress. To provide additional insights into the process and his predictions, Charlie broadcasted “Chats with Charlie” with the Consular Affairs Press Office every month. He also regularly provided analysis regarding reform proposals to White House and Congressional representatives.

Continue Reading Mayer Brown Honors Charlie Oppenheim

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

*This blog was originally posted on September 9, 2022. It has been updated with additional information on September 26, 2022.

Effective September 29, 2022, Taiwan will fully reinstate visa-exempt travel authorization for all previously eligible foreign nationals. The move represents one of Taiwan’s most significant steps toward normalizing international travel procedures and reflects a growing trend toward relaxing entry restrictions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID-related entry requirements remain relatively strict in East Asia compared to the rest of the world, countries including Singapore, Japan, and South Korea have begun rolling back obstacles to international travel.  

Continue Reading Taiwan to Fully Restore Visa-Free Entry

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

As countries around the world have begun to loosen or even eliminate entry requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan has maintained comparatively stringent restrictions on entry by foreign nationals. However, the Japanese government is increasingly easing these restrictions, allowing larger numbers of foreign nationals to enter the country through several different visa pathways. While major restrictions remain in place, foreign nationals seeking to enter Japan now have greater opportunity to do so than at any point in the last two years.

Continue Reading Japan Begins Easing COVID Entry Restrictions for Foreign Nationals

As of July 2022, Costa Rica officially opened the application process for the country’s new remote worker visa under the immigration category “Stay (Estancia) for Remote Workers and Service Providers.” Like many countries, Costa Rica suffered a hit to its tourism sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country created the digital nomad visa in an effort to attract long-term visitors and stimulate the local economy. The law enabling the new visa category was signed in August 2021, but administrative and logistical requirements have delayed implementation until now.

Continue Reading Costa Rica Launches New “Digital Nomad” Visa

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is experiencing longer-than-usual processing times for key employment-based visa categories, according to data released by the government. Specifically, expanded processing times have been recorded for the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa and the Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa. The expanded processing times come amid recent changes to Australia’s permanent residency pathways and the relaxation of COVID-related restrictions on entry by foreign nationals. 

Continue Reading Expanded Government Processing Times for Australian Visas

On April 27, 2022, the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – proposed the digitalization of the Schengen visa process. If implemented, the proposal would enable an online visa application platform and replace visa stickers in passports with a secure electronic status. Applicants may still need to visit consular posts to submit biometric data, such as fingerprints. Under the Commission’s proposal, Schengen Area member countries would have five years from the date of implementation to switch to the digitalized visa platform.

Continue Reading EU Moves Toward Digitalizing Schengen Visas

On April 22, 2022, the Irish government announced an expansion of the eligibility criteria for the country’s multiple entry short stay visas. The changes mean that foreign nationals from all visa-required countries will now be eligible to apply for a five-year, multiple entry short stay visa.  The government’s announcement is intended to ease administrative burdens and facilitate multiple short-stay trips by visa-required nationals as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading Ireland Expands Eligibility for Multiple Entry Short Stay Visas

With the regular changes to the UK Right to Work (“RTW”) checks over the last year or so, employers may be forgiven for having lost track of what the latest requirements are.

As mentioned in our last blog on RTW checks (You’re Joking – Not Another One! Further Changes to the Right to Work