Weekly Immigration Update: October 18-24, 2019

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In immigration news this week:

United States: In November, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services will accept employment-based adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Dates for Filing listed in the State Department's November Visa Bulletin. Costa Rica: Foreign nationals applying for a short-stay visa or an accredited-company temporary residence may now work in Costa Rica while their applications are being processed. Saudi Arabia: New regulations on the recruitment and employment of individuals in leadership positions in the financial sector have been issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). SAMA also issued a list of professions in the financial sector that are now restricted to Saudi nationals. Qatar: The Council of Ministers has endorsed draft legislation that seeks to improve the rights and mobility of foreign nationals by eliminating exit permits and introducing a higher minimum salary level, among other changes. Details on the new legislation are expected to be announced in the coming months. Germany: Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum annual salary for EU Blue Card applicants will increase by 2.9 percent from last year. United Kingdom: Eligible applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme can now verify their identity by using the EU Exit: ID Document Check App, available for use on Apple iPhone models 8 and above. In Brexit news this week:

United Kingdom: Following a UK Parliament vote on the amended Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, the United Kingdom requested another Brexit extension until January 31, 2020 to implement the amended Withdrawal Agreement. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to seek UK elections if an extension is granted, which would be subject to UK Parliament approval. Access Fragomen's guide on this week's Brexit happenings and impacts. These items and other news from Botswana, Canada, Chile, Croatia, the European Union, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Spain, and the United Kingdom follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

Germany, October 24, 2019

Minimum Salary Level to Increase

Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum annual salary for EU Blue Card applicants in Germany will increase to EUR 55,200, or EUR 43,056 for shortage occupations, up 2.9 percent from last year.

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Thailand, October 24, 2019

Medical Certificate Officially No Longer Required for Some Work Permit Applications

The Employment Department in Thailand has officially announced that Work Permit applications filed under the Board of Investment, Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand and the Petroleum Act no longer require a medical certificate. This action reverses a policy implemented in August 2019 and is based on feedback from the business community, which urged the government to review this requirement to streamline the Work Permit process. To view entire article, click here.

Saudi Arabia, October 24, 2019

New Rules in Financial Sector Focused on Increasing Local Worker Participation

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) issued regulations by which companies under its purview (including banks, insurance and financial technology firms) must abide when recruiting and employing individuals in leadership positions. The regulations aim to ensure that skilled individuals are employed in executive positions and to increase the employment of skilled Saudi nationals. SAMA also issued a list of professions in the financial sector that are now restricted to Saudi nationals. To view entire article, click here.

Mexico, October 21, 2019

Administrative Changes in Mexico City Causing Long Wait Times for In-Person Applications and Further Immigration Processing Delays

The National Immigration Institute is relocating part of its operation from its central office to the regional branch in Mexico City. In preparation, the INM is currently conducting remodeling work at the regional branch, resulting in reduced workspace and staff. As a result, foreign nationals attending appointments for in-person applications for renewal, change of status to permanent residence, resident card replacement and post-arrival registrations can expect up to four-hour wait times at the INM regional branch, instead of the previous 20 to 30 minutes. Additionally, foreign nationals and employers should expect processing delays for immigration applications filed at the regional branch in Mexico City over the next few months while cases are re-distributed and personnel are transferred. Previously reported delays have not subsided, including up to eight to twelve-week processing times for post-arrival registrations, which continue to delay foreign nationals' payroll start dates in Mexico. To view entire article, click here.

Qatar, October 21, 2019

Additional Relaxed Immigration and Labor Reforms Announced

The Council of Ministers endorsed draft legislation that would further reform the immigration and labor...

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