In immigration news this week:
United States: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will implement its long-anticipated H-1B cap registration for the upcoming cap season. The initial registration period will run from March 1 through March 20, 2020, and selected cases may be submitted starting April 1. Norway: Locally-hired, non-EU foreign workers should now secure a local residence address before travelling to Norway in order to comply with a new requirement for obtaining a permanent social security number or personal identification number. India: A new rule requires foreign nationals of Indian origin applying for an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Card to have lived in India or any third country for six months prior to submitting their application, where previously, foreign nationals could apply immediately after arrival in India. United Arab Emirates: A new employment law meant to make the immigration and employment process more flexible for employers in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) free zone is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2020. Austria / Czech Republic / Netherlands: Effective January 1, 2020, minimum monthly salary levels will increase for key employees and university graduates in Austria, foreign workers in the Czech Republic and certain highly-skilled migrants and EU Blue Card holders in the Netherlands. Saudi Arabia: On January 26, 2020, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) will eliminate the yellow band of the Nitaqat program. Yellow-rated companies will automatically be moved to the red band and will be considered noncompliant with Saudization levels until their rating improves. Worldwide: During the holiday season and into the new year, many government offices worldwide will experience processing delays for work permits, residence permits and visas. These items and other news from Colombia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, the European Union, India, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.
Important Updates in Immigration This Week
United Arab Emirates, December 12, 2019
Employment Regulations Forthcoming in Abu Dhabi Global Market
An employment law for the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) free zone is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2020. The law is meant to make the immigration and employment process more flexible for employers in the ADGM, covering topics such as the provision of employment contracts, employment termination and an expanded definition of "employee". Employers should ensure that their internal policies comply with the new law. To view entire article, click here.
Czech Republic, December 12, 2019
New Delhi Embassy Implements New Lottery System
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in New Delhi announced that the e-mail appointment scheduling system for Employee Card applicants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka has been cancelled and a new lottery system has been introduced. Fragomen therefore advises affected applicants to submit Employee Card applications based on one of the special government programs (including Key and Scientific personnel or Highly-Qualified Workers programs) that allow submission without registration through the lottery system. To view entire article, click here.
Austria, December 11, 2019
Minimum Salary Levels for Red-White-Red Card Applicants to Increase in 2020
The monthly minimum salary for the Red-White-Red Card (for key employees and university graduates) will increase starting January 1, 2020 as follows:
Key employee applicants over 30: EUR 3,222 gross per month. Key employee applicants under 30: EUR 2,685 gross per month. Graduates from an Austrian university: EUR 2,416.50 gross per month Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew a Red-White-Red Card on or after January 1, 2020 must increase foreign nationals' salaries to comply with the new rule.
To view entire article, click here.
United States, December 10, 2019
White House and Congressional Democrats Reach Agreement on USMCA
The White House and Congressional Democrats have reached agreement on revisions to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), moving the trade pact closer to ratification in Congress. The labor mobility provisions of the USMCA - which closely track those of NAFTA - are not affected by the revisions. Until the USMCA is ratified by the three signatory countries, the provisions of NAFTA will remain in effect. To view entire article...