Lockdown in the UK is easing at last.  We can meet up with friends, family and work colleagues who we have only seen virtually over the last few months.  Perhaps go for a meal……but will our favourite restaurants be able to re-open?

The UK hospitality industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. Since March 2020, these businesses have been forced to close during the various periods of lockdown, often leading them to letting staff go unless they could retain them under the furlough scheme. According to the Office for National Statistics, 335,000 jobs were lost in the catering industry in the year to March 2021 alone. A number of these positions had previously been filled by overseas nationals, many of whom have left the UK.  It has now been reported that a number of restaurant owners are now having issues recruiting staff.

However, help is potentially at hand due to the changes made to the UK immigration system on 1 December 2020.Continue Reading Empty Chairs At Empty Tables

In line with many countries around the world, in order to combat the spread of Covid-19, the EU placed restrictions on travelers entering from non-EU countries.  With increasing numbers of people now being vaccinated, some countries are slowly coming out of lockdown with restrictions on non-emergency travel easing.

Earlier this week, EU Member States came to an agreement regarding entry of visitors from outside of the EU.  The agreement is still pending final approval but it is anticipated that EU countries will soon allow entry to visitors who either have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved vaccine or are from a “safe list” of third countries that have met certain criteria.Continue Reading EU Getting Ready to Re-Open Borders to Travellers

In order to comply with illegal working rules, all employers must check that their employees have the legal right to work for them in the UK.  If it later transpires the employee does not possess the requisite immigration permission, failure to have carried out a right to work (“RTW”) check, may lead to an employer being charged with a civil or criminal penalty depending on the circumstances.

On 21 April, the Home Office announced that the Covid-19 adjustment to the RTW would come to an end on 17 May 2021.  The end of the adjustment means that employers would once again have to see an individual’s original documents to comply with the RTW requirements.  We discussed this change in our article:  UK Right to Work Checks: Sunset of the Covid-19 Concession and Brexit Impact | The Mobile Workforce

The Home Office have announced today that the Covid-19 adjustment will now continue to 20 June.  This will assist a number of employers with employees who are continuing to work from home in line with current government guidance.Continue Reading Ending of Covid-19 Adjustment to UK Right to Work Checks Postponed

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (“MoM”) recently announced additional revisions to the dependent pass legal framework.  Starting May 1, 2021, dependent pass (“DP”) holders will no longer be able to rely on a Letter of Consent (“LOC”)  to seek work authorization, and will instead be required to obtain their own work passes.

Currently, dependents of Employment

The new rules serve to implement Directive (EU) 2018/957 of 28 June 2018 (“Amending Directive”) amending Directive 96/71/EC (“Posted Workers Directive”) concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services.  The aim of Directive (EU) 2018/957 is to balance the relationship between the freedom to provide services

On August 3, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (“EO” or the “Order”) directing the heads of all agencies that enter into contracts to review the impact of contractors and their subcontractors employing H-1B visa holders on the wages and employment opportunities of US workers. Specifically, the EO directs all federal agencies to review

USCIS announced last week the implementation of adjustments that will slow the processing of Premium Processing Service cases, as well as increase filing fees for the majority of requests as part of a published Final Rule.

As covered in our previous blog post, a proposed Final Rule was reopened in January and the comment period extended to February 10.  On May 27, 2020, the USCIS Fee Rule went to the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).  OIRA completed its review on July 22, 2020, and the Final Rule was published on July 31, 2020.

In addition to lengthening processing for the Premium Processing Service and adjusting fees for petitions filed with USCIS, the Final Rule removes certain fee exemptions, changes fee waiver requirements, modifies intercountry adoption processing, and makes certain adjustments to filing requirements for nonimmigrant workers.

The Final Rule, including the adjusted fee amounts, is effective October 2, 2020.  Any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after that date must include the new fees under the Final Rule.

Adjustment to Premium Processing Timelines

As part of the Final Rule, USCIS has adjusted the processing time for its Premium Processing Service, which provides accelerated processing of some visa submissions for an additional filing fee ($1,440).  The Final Rule will increase the processing time from fifteen (15) calendar days to fifteen (15) business days.  This change will increase processing times associated with the Premium Processing Service, which will provide less flexibility to employers and lengthen the time required to secure approvals of work authorization.

Changes to Filing Fees for Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Petitions

The Final Rule adjusts the USCIS fee schedule to “provide for recovery of the estimated full cost of immigration adjudication and naturalization services,” according to the language in the published Final Rule.  DHS is adjusting USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 20 percent, adding new fees for certain immigration benefit requests, establishing multiple fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions, and limiting the number of beneficiaries for certain forms.

Of particular note, USCIS has implemented varying filing fees for Form I-129, petitions with USCIS for H, L, O, E, and TN visas.  Under the Final Rule, each non-immigrant category will be subject to a separate fee rather than the current fee of $460.Continue Reading USCIS Lengthens Premium Processing Timeline and Implements Fee Increases, Among Other Adjustments

The Government of India has not yet eased its ban on international flights or consular processing services.  The latest announcement from the Government confirms:

  • All scheduled international commercial passenger services will remain closed until July 15, 2020, with exceptions for select routes for which international flights may be permitted made on a case-by-case basis.
  • All

The UK government has implemented a new form of compliance audit for Tier 2 sponsors conducted by UKVI as a telephone interview.   The new process will supplement but not replace the established activity of full compliance audits that are carried out by the Sponsor Compliance Network at sponsor premises.

Starting on June 15, the

On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States for 60 days.  As reported on this blog, although the