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1. CANADA - Recent Canadian immigration changes are summarized.
2. CHINA - Chinese consulates in the United States have been tightening their enforcement of visa requirements.
3. FRANCE - The French government has participated since the summer in a consultation process with immigration professionals on nationality law. A general circular, expected in the coming weeks, is expected to encourage prefectures to be more flexible in considering applications for naturalization. The government has already published a new circular in this regard and is implementing the charter of rights and duties of new French citizens.
4. ITALY - Developments include a new requirement for filing intra-company transferee applications; new instructions on regularization of employment status; and a permit of stay granted to a same-sex partner.
5. MEXICO - Sixteen months after passage of the new Mexican Immigration Law, corresponding regulations were published in the Official Bulletin in Mexico on September 28, 2012. Implementation is expected soon. The new law involves significant changes to the current immigration regime.
6. RUSSIA - On September 9, 2012, a bilateral agreement between the governments of the Russian Federation and the United States came into force. The proposed agreement simplifies visa procedures for persons of both nationalities wishing to receive a business, private, humanitarian, or tourist visa. The full terms of the agreement have not been finalized.
7. UNITED KINGDOM - Various new developments have been announced.
8. Member News - Member News
 

 
 
1. CANADA
 

The following is a 10-point summary of recent Canadian immigration changes.

1. The Federal Entrepreneur Program is closed. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is designing a new program with the goal of implementation by the end of 2012.

2. The Investor Program has been suspended and the current program has backlogs with wait times of up to nine years. CIC is considering pilot programs to complement the existing program.

3. Provincial Nominee Programs now require minimum language standards for immigrants.

4. The Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship category was suspended in November 2011 and there is no substantive news on whether the new redesign will be as facilitative as the previous program. Online consultations for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship concluded on May 25, 2012, and policy options are being considered. Details will likely remain unknown until CIC pre-publishes the regulations in 2013. The redesign is to be implemented in November 2013.

5. The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program is under official review and CIC is working with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to examine the feasibility of a low-skilled pathway to permanent residence.

6. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) has been suspended. CIC is redesigning the program for the third time in the same number of years and is pre-publishing new regulations within the next few months.

Changes will likely include:

  • minimum language standards for all applicants;
  • education credential assessments by third parties;
  • changes to the points grid to emphasize language ability, employment in Canada, and age; and
  • inclusion of skill trades.

7. The Canada Experience Class categories (Student and Worker) will also be amended and regulations will be pre-published within the next few months. The federal goal is to have the new design in place by the end of 2012.

8. The Canadian consulate in Buffalo, New York, is closed. Canadian consulates in the United States that issue visas to Canada include:

a) United States of America - East of the Mississippi

  • New York
  • for visitor visas only: Detroit and Seattle
  • for Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs), Rehabilitation and Authority to Return to Canada (ARC) only: Washington, DC

b) United States of America - West of the Mississippi

  • Los Angeles
  • for visitor visas only: Detroit and Seattle

9. CIC has opened a new processing center for temporary residents currently in Canada with valid student or temporary foreign worker status. All such in-Canada students or workers must submit their application for a new temporary resident visa to the Case Processing Pilot Office in Ottawa, or at the visa office that serves their country of nationality.

10. The government intends to close the Arranged Employment Skilled Worker Category, which is conditional on obtaining an Arranged Employment Opinion from Service Canada. This anticipated change will prevent access to Canada by many potential immigrants.

 
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2. CHINA
 

Chinese consulates in the United States have been tightening their enforcement of visa requirements.

A recent announcement from the Chinese consulate in Hong Kong stated that as a policy matter, applicants who are not residents of Hong Kong should apply for a Chinese visa from their home countries. Foreign national applicants at the Hong Kong consulate must provide their Hong Kong permanent residence card or work permit. This policy change is in line with the Chinese government's ongoing effort to crack down on unlawful employment of foreign nationals in China. In particular, this new policy will make it more difficult for foreign nationals who work in mainland China on an F business visitor visa to travel to Hong Kong every few months to satisfy the length-of-stay requirement of their visas, or to renew their F visas and re-enter mainland China.

 
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3. FRANCE
 

The French government has participated since the summer in a consultation process with immigration professionals on nationality law. A general circular, expected in the coming weeks, is expected to encourage prefectures to be more flexible in considering applications for naturalization. The government has already published a new circular in this regard and is implementing the charter of rights and duties of new French citizens.

Circular of October 16, 2012: Adhesion to the Charter of Rights and Duties of French Citizens (Law of June 16, 2011, Articles 21 and 24 of the Civil Code)

The law of June 16, 2011, on immigration, integration, and nationality requires that those seeking French nationality through naturalization or reinstatement sign the charter of rights and duties of the French citizen. Refusal to sign results in the dismissal of the application for naturalization for lack of assimilation into the French community. Written in part by the High Council for Integration, the charter sets forth the principles, values, and essential symbols of the French Republic. It is presented during the welcome ceremony to all new French citizens.

Relaxation of Criteria for French Nationality

In a second circular dated October 16, 2012, the Ministry of the Interior stated that some criteria for French nationality are flexible. Four main criteria are examined.

Assessment of Employability

Prefectures are invited to assess an applicant's employability throughout his or her career and not solely on employability at the time of the request. A temporary or short-term employment contract should not be a barrier if the applicant shows adequate resources. The circular, however, notes that frequent periods of inactivity and recurrent use of welfare schemes may lead to the conclusion that the applicant does not meet the conditions of assimilation into the French community.

Students

The government notes that the student residence permit category should not automatically lead to an unfavorable decision. An applicant who holds a student residence permit may be naturalized if he or she proves employability.

Young graduates with a job, even if they do not have several years of experience, may demonstrate the promising nature of their career. Similarly, the government notes that applications from students of Grandes Ecoles and those with a Ph.D. showing a high potential for contributions to France should receive a comprehensive review and not be rejected based only on the residence category or the type of employment contract. For holders of a foreign medical degree, the requirement to obtain a license to practice medicine is abandoned.

For holders of a foreign medical degree, the requirement to obtain a license to practice medicine is abandoned.

Young persons under the age of 25 who have lived in France for at least 10 years and have attended school for at least five continuous years continue to be subject to a comprehensive review and must show a strong presumption of having assimilated into the French community.

Effect of Unauthorized Stay

Periods spent in France without authorization should not lead to a systematic rejection of a request for French nationality, the government states. Only lawful residence within five years (or two for certain categories of applicants) before the application is mandatory.

Evaluation of Knowledge of French History, Culture, and Society and Adherence to Core Principles and Values of the French Republic

The government will forward a new list of questions to the prefectures. An incorrect answer to one or more questions may not necessarily lead to rejection or postponement of the request for French nationality. The government's goal is to guide the prefectures to apply transparent and fair naturalization criteria as set by Articles 21 to 26 and following of the Civil Code, and to ensure that naturalization applicants demonstrate a strong commitment to be French.

 
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4. ITALY
 

Developments include a new requirement for filing intra-company transferee applications; new instructions on regularization of employment status; and a permit of stay granted to a same-sex partner.

New Requirement for Filing Intra-Company Applications

Some Immigration Offices (including Milan and Rome) now require a foreign worker to have a minimum of six months' seniority with the sending company, even though the law only requires the worker to have six months of experience in the same field. The duration of seniority with the foreign employer must be certified in the support letters that are provided to the Immigration Office for the work permit's approval.

Regularization of Employment Status: New Instructions From the National Social Security Institute

With a circular letter (28/09/2012 n. 118), the National Social Security Institute (INPS) has radically changed the regularization procedure that must be followed by employers of foreign nationals who are working in Italy without authorization. Employers are now asked to prove compliance and to have paid the required social security contributions for the individuals for whom the regularization is requested. Originally, the employers were required to prove compliance with social security contributions for all other workers employed.

Permit of Stay Granted in Milan to an Italian's Same-Sex Partner

The Immigration Police in Milan have issued a permit of stay for a same-sex Serbian spouse of an Italian national. The couple married in Canada. This follows a decision of the Reggio Emilia Court, which allowed the issuance last February of the permit of stay to a same-sex partner who had previously married an Italian national in Spain. The court stated that the issuance of the permit was to be done in accordance with the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. This does not constitute a binding precedent for other offices but shows that in Italy there seems to be a more flexible approach to the recognition of some rights for same-sex couples.

 
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5. MEXICO
 

Sixteen months after passage of the new Mexican Immigration Law, regulations were published in the Official Bulletin in Mexico on September 28, 2012. Implementation is expected soon. The new law involves significant changes to the current immigration regime.

Main Points of the New Immigration Law

- Provides three main groups of conditions of stay -- Visitor, Temporary Resident, and Permanent Resident -- which will replace more than 30 migratory status and characteristics included in the General Population Law. The new groups will focus on the status of nonimmigrant, immigrant, and permanent resident.

- Immigrants will be granted access to education and health services regardless of their immigration status.

- Immigration officials will include the Ministry of the Interior, the National Immigration Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National System for Integral Family Development.

- Auxiliary authorities on immigration affairs will include the Attorney General's Office, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Tourism.

- The judges or officials of the Civil Registry must not deny to immigrants, regardless of their immigration status, the authorization of acts of civil status or the issuance of certificates related to birth, recognition of children, marriage, divorce, and death.

- Foreigners must personally submit a visa application to the appropriate offices.

- A visa application can be made through the National Immigration Institute's offices when the application stems from the right of preservation of the family unit, a job offer, or humanitarian reasons. In these cases, the National Immigration Institute and Mexico's consular offices abroad can authorize the visa. The consular office may ask the Institute to review its approval if it considers that the applicant may not meet the requirements of this law, regulations, and other applicable legal provisions. The Institute ultimately can resolve the case without liability to the consular office.

- Conditions of stay as a visitor, temporary resident, and permanent resident include:

  • Visitor without permission to engage in lucrative activities. Authorizes a foreigner to travel or stay in national territory for 180 consecutive days, without obtaining permission to perform activities subject to remuneration in Mexico. 
  • Visitor with permission to engage in lucrative activities. Authorizes a foreigner who has a job offer with an invitation by any authority or academic, artistic, sporting, or cultural institution that provides remuneration in the country, and a foreigner who comes to Mexico to engage in a remunerated activity for a seasonal period under an interagency agreement signed with a foreign entities, to stay in national territory for a continuous period up to 180 days.
  • Regional visitor. Authorizes a foreign national or resident of a neighboring country to enter border areas with the right to enter and leave Mexico as many times as he or she wishes as long as the visit does not exceed three days, and without permission to receive remuneration in the country.
  • Visitor border worker. Authorizes a foreigner national of a country with which the United Mexican States share territorial boundaries to stay up to one year in such a state as determined by the Ministry. The visitor border worker may engage in activities within Mexico related to the job offer and may enter and leave Mexico as many times as he or she wishes.
  • Visitor for humanitarian reasons. Foreign nationals in any of the following circumstances may receive authorization if he or she:
  • a) is the victim or witness of a crime committed on national territory;
  • b) is an unaccompanied immigrant child or adolescent under Article 74 of the law;
  • c) has made a request for asylum, refugee status, or complementary protection of the Mexican State until his or her migratory status is resolved; or
  • d) needs to enter Mexico for humanitarian or public interest reasons, in which case he or she will receive permission to work in exchange for payment.
  • Visitor for adoption purposes. Authorizes a foreign national linked to a process of adoption in the United Mexican States to stay in the country until a court decision is dictated. If it is a positive order, the foreigner may stay in Mexico to register the new birth act of the adopted child or adolescent in the civil registry and to remain until the passport is issued, as well as to follow procedures to guarantee the departure of the child or adolescent from the country.
  • Temporary resident. Authorizes a foreign national to remain in Mexico for no longer than four years with the possibility of obtaining a lucrative work permit in the country, subject to a job offer, with the right to enter and leave the country as many times as he or she desires and also the right to preserve the family unit.
  • Temporary resident student. Authorizes a foreign national to remain in Mexico for the duration of courses, studies, research, or training projects that will take place in educational institutions belonging to the national educational system; to obtain the corresponding certificate, record, certificate, diploma, or degree; with the right to enter and leave the country as often as desired; and with permission to engage in lucrative activities in the case of persons engaged in college-level, graduate, and research work.
  • Permanent resident. Authorizes a foreign national to remain in Mexico indefinitely, with permission to work. Permanent residents are entitled to the preservation of the family unit, so they can enter with, or subsequently request the entry of, spouses, parents, brothers and sisters, and partners.

- Visitors, except those who entered for humanitarian reasons or have links with Mexicans or foreigners with regular residence in Mexico, cannot change their condition of stay and must leave the country once they conclude their authorized term.

- Mexicans have the right to the preservation of the family unit, so they may enter with, or eventually request the entry of, foreign spouses, parents, brothers and sisters, and partners.

- The Ministry may establish a point system for foreigners to acquire permanent residence without complying with the four-year residence requirement through general administrative rules to be published in the Official Journal of the Federation.

- With the exception of those applying for asylum or the recognition of refugee status determinations or stateless persons, foreigners must process their resident credentials within 30 calendar days after entering the national territory.

- Foreign nationals, regardless of their condition of stay and without permission from the Institute, may acquire personally or by proxy fixed or variable assets and may make bank deposits. They also may acquire urban real estate and real rights over property, with the restrictions set out in Article 27 of the Constitution and other applicable provisions.

- No foreign national may hold two conditions of stay simultaneously.

- The Foreigners National Registry houses information on all foreigners who acquire temporary resident or permanent resident status.

- Foreigners must inform the National Immigration Institute of any change in marital status, nationality, address, or workplace within 90 days after such change occurs.

- Foreigners must accredit their regular immigration status in the country in legal acts which require the intervention of public notaries, those who substitute them or their equivalents, with regard to real estate issues.

- The Institute may conduct verification visits to confirm the accuracy of data provided in immigration procedures.

- The immigration authority must issue a resolution on immigration procedures within 20 working days from the date the applicant meets all formal requirements provided by the law, regulations, and other applicable administrative provisions. If a decision is not made within 20 days, it will be deemed negative.

- Visa applications filed at consular offices must be resolved within 10 working days.

- If the applicant does not meet the requirements, the immigration authorities will indicate them in accordance with the Federal Administrative Procedure Law and will provide a period of 10 working days after being notified to address any missing requirements.

- Foreigners may apply for regularization of their immigration status in cases established by law.

- The Institute has 30 calendar days to decide an application for regularization of immigration status.

 

 
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6. RUSSIA
 

On September 9, 2012, a bilateral agreement between the governments of the Russian Federation and the United States came into force. The proposed agreement simplifies visa procedures for persons of both nationalities wishing to receive a business, private, humanitarian, or tourist visa. The full terms of the agreement have not been finalized.

The main points of the agreement include:

  • Visas should be issued within 15 calendar days. In urgent cases, visas may be issued within 3 business days
  • Visas are valid for up to 3 years and allow a stay of up to 6 months at a time (as opposed to the current limit of 90 days)
  • No official invitation issued by an authority is required. However, the consulate may require documents confirming the purpose of travel and the availability of sufficient funds
  • If a passport is lost, persons of either nationality may leave the other country without an exit visa, provided an identification document is issued by the appropriate consulate or diplomatic post
  • Visa applications may be filed at consulates and diplomatic posts of Russia or the United States located in a country different from that of the person's citizenship or permanent residence.
It is unclear when these provisions will come into effect, but this agreement is expected to greatly simplify visa processes between Russia and the United States.
 
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7. UNITED KINGDOM
 

Various new developments have been announced.

Accession of Croatia to the European Union

The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) has announced that Croatia is expected to join the European Union (EU) on July 1, 2013. UKBA has stated its commitment to applying transitional restrictions on labor market access to nationals of any future EU Member States as a matter of course, and therefore restrictions will be applied to nationals of Croatia. On October 18, 2012, UKBA published a Statement of Intent on the proposed transitional arrangements governing Croatian nationals' access to the UK labor market. In summary:

  • Work sponsorship will be governed by the Points-Based System for those wishing to take on skilled occupations in the UK. This requirement will end after a period of 12 months of employment in the UK
  • Family members will not be subject to the work authorization requirement
  • The requirement to meet the skills test will be based on the Immigration Rules in place as of December 2011 and the skill level under Tier 2 therefore will be NQF 4+
  • A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) will count against the annual Tier 2 General limit, but Croatians will be given priority over third-country nationals if the limit is oversubscribed.
  • There will be no requirement to obtain entry clearance before arrival but an application for an Accession Worker registration certificate (AWRC) will be required (this can take up to 6 months to be issued based on prevailing service standards but this is currently being reviewed)
  • The cooling-off period will not apply and therefore upon the expiration of the AWRC, if the Croatian national leaves the UK, there is no requirement to spend 12 months outside the UK
  • No permission will be given to take up low-skilled work under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme or the Sectors-Based Scheme, but the UKBA has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to undertake an impact assessment on the relevant sectors

Exceptions

The 12-month rule will apply so that work restrictions end after continuous employment of 12 months. Croatians who are legally working in the UK on the date of accession and have done so for a continuous period of at least 12 months will no longer be subject to work restrictions. The same will apply to those who work legally for an uninterrupted period of 12 months falling partly or wholly after the date of accession.

Furthermore, workers posted to the UK from a business established in another Member State will not be subject to restrictions, nor will those Croatians wishing to establish a business in the UK.

Finally, graduates will be able to obtain a registration certificate confirming unrestricted access to the labor market provided they meet the criteria for a grant of leave under the previous Tier 1 (Post-Study) category.

Migration Advisory Committee Publishes Recommendations on the Revised Tier 2 Codes of Practice

On October 17, 2012, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published recommendations in relation to the revised Tier 2 Codes of Practice, appropriate salary levels, and advertising requirements.

To sponsor a migrant under Tier 2 of the Points-Based System, employers must map their migrant roles to job titles listed in the codes of practice. The current codes were updated in June of this year and a link to these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. The relevant codes for Tier 2 are those that are classified as graduate-level roles (NQF 6+). The MAC has reviewed these codes, along with the commensurate salary levels and advertising requirements.

The MAC has produced a revised list of 97 occupations skilled to NQF 6+ and has published this new list in its latest report at Table 8.1 on pages 126-134. Some job titles have changed and some new occupations have been added. Furthermore, it has recommended a two-tier salary banding for each job code, either New Entrant or Experienced Worker. The MAC is proposing that the New Entrant salaries stipulated are appropriate for those migrants who left full-time education less than 3 years ago and for any migrant undertaking a graduate training program. If the government accepts this recommendation, this will significantly assist many employers who have thus far struggled to meet the high salary levels stipulated in the current codes for some of their graduate migrants and those undertaking training programs.

One potential issue is that when the time comes to extend the visa, employers may need to meet the experienced worker salary level, which could require a significant pay increase.

With regard to advertising, the MAC has made some pragmatic recommendations by stating that the advertising codes of practice should not be unduly prescriptive in terms of where the employer should advertise the role, and is recommending that employers be permitted to insert "competitive salary" in their advertisements where it is normal practice within a given sector. This would leave the decision on where to advertise to employers, subject to retaining the current stipulations, which include ensuring that the advertisement reaches a nationwide audience and is placed for 28 days. The MAC also recommends that the government review the current requirement for employers to advertise on Job Centre Plus, based on feedback received from employers that it is not much used for matching skilled workers with graduate vacancies.

A modernization of the codes of practice was long overdue. It is hoped that the government will follow these recommendations.

Tier 2 Priority Postal Processing Pilot

The UK Border Agency has launched the long-awaited priority postal processing pilot for Tier 2 extension applications where the applicant has previously been issued a Biometric Residence Permit or leave (permission) to remain in the UK.

The initial pilot will include a maximum of 30 applicants per day plus their dependents, on a first-come, first-served basis. It is hoped that this will alleviate the existing strain on fast-track appointment slots, provided migrants are able to remain in the UK for two to three weeks while their extension applications are processed via this new priority postal route.

The good news is that it is cheaper and potentially less time-consuming for the migrant than the fast-track route, where the migrant is required to appear at one of the UKBA's Public Enquiry Offices. With this new priority postal option, the migrant and any dependents will need to go to one of three designated post offices within London to submit biometric data and deliver the application package. The post offices are in Action, Blackfriars, and Broadway. Employers should ensure that their eligible migrants have all their documents ready in support of the application before the application is submitted online, as the time frame for each stage of the process is tight.

As soon as a new Certificate of Sponsorship for the extension has been assigned to the migrant, a request must be e-mailed to the UKBA between 8.30 a.m. and midnight for each qualifying migrant. A reply is received within 24 hours as to whether the request has been accepted, and from this point the stringent timetable must be adhered to as follows:

  • Within 24 hours of receiving the go-ahead from the UKBA, a standard online extension application must be submitted and the standard postal fee paid online (currently £561 per applicant and £281 for each dependent); 
  • A Payment Notification Number (PNN) is generated, which should then be e-mailed to the UKBA so that they can link it to the applicant. A cover sheet is also generated that lists the documents to be submitted with the application; two copies of this should be printed;
  • A Biometric Notification Letter is then mailed to the applicant or his or her attorney (if the attorney has submitted the online application). Some are urging the UKBA to agree to e-mail these letters to avoid delay at this stage; and
  • Within 48 hours of receiving the letter from the UKBA, the applicant and any dependents must appear at one of the three designated post offices within London to submit biometric data and lodge (file) two copies of the cover sheet, along with the supporting documents, in a sealed envelope.

Within 48 hours of receiving the letter from the UKBA, the applicant and any dependents must appear at one of the three designated post offices within London to submit biometric data and lodge (file) two copies of the cover sheet, along with the supporting documents, in a sealed envelope.

Delays at Immigration Control When Travelling Without a Biometric Residence Card

Where migrants have recently obtained a visa or visa extension in the UK, the new visa will be endorsed on a Biometric Residence Card (BRP). This has been the case since BRPs were introduced in early 2010. It is not advisable for migrants to undertake travel following the visa approval until they have received their BRP, which usually follows within five days of confirmation of the visa approval. Unfortunately, systems used by immigration officials at the ports are not immediately synchronized with those in use by the BRP team. This has led to migrants being delayed at immigration control for up to two hours if they travel without the BRP, so that checks can be done.

Changes To Applications From Overstayers

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) issued a statement in early September to remind migrants that starting on October 1, they must submit extension applications within 28 days of the expiration date of their period of stay; otherwise the application will be refused.

In addition, for those applying to extend their student visa under Tier 4, the gap between the expiration of the period of stay and the start date of the next course of study must be no more than 28 days. Updated Tier 4 (Student) policy guidance will be issued to reflect this change.

Renewal of Sponsor Licence

Employers who obtained their Sponsor Licence in November 2008 can now submit their license renewal application via the Sponsor Management System. It is vital that the Sponsor summary details be fully updated, including any change to Sponsor address, Authorising Officer, Level 1 and 2 Users, before submitting. This will ensure that employers are fully complying with their sponsor obligations. The need to comply with Sponsor obligations has recently been highlighted in the news with the announcement of the withdrawal of the Sponsor Licence from the London Metropolitan University.

New Call for Evidence from the Migration Advisory Committee

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has just issued a call for evidence on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) in response to the following questions:

  1. Are there any occupations skilled to NQF 6+ that should be added to the SOL, due to the scarcity of suitably skilled resident workers?
  2. Should inclusion in the SOL be a temporary measure and if so, what would be an appropriate period? Should removal after a prescribed period of time be automatic or should there be exceptions? For those occupations that have been on the list for over two years, should there be transitional measures introduced to allow for removal if appropriate to do so?
  3. Should occupations in the creative sector, including artists, authors, actors, dancers and designers, continue to be included in the Tier 2 graduate occupation list, even though they are not skilled to NQF 6+? If so, on what terms?
  4. Should other occupations not skilled to NQF 6+ that currently appear on the SOL remain there and, if so, what is the justification for this?

It is strongly recommended that employers provide evidence relating to the SOL, particularly if the employer currently recruits migrants for positions on the shortage list. Evidence should be provided by November 30.

 
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8. Member News
 

Jacqueline Bart was appointed Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association's International Law Immigration Committee in October 2012.

Jacqueline Bart co-chaired a Joint Labour and Immigration Commission Program on Global Employees: Immigration Considerations For Employers, at the UIA 56th Annual Congress in Dresden, Germany, on November 1, 2012.

Pearl Law Group, of San Francisco, recently prevailed over several of the largest global immigration service providers to win the Forum for Expatriate Management's "EMMA" award in the category of "Immigration Provider of the Year – Americas." The EMMA awards recognize outstanding achievement and service quality in 24 categories and are judged by independent, senior global mobility professionals. The judges for this year's Americas awards included representatives from AECOM, Alliance Data, Apple, Autodesk, Bechtel, Black & Veatch, Cisco, Dell, Genworth, Gulfstream Aerospace, Kraft Foods, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Research in Motion, and Worley Parsons.

Several ABIL members co-authored and edited the new publication, Global Business Immigration Practice Guide, recently released by LexisNexis. The Practice Guide is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in immigration hotspots around the world.

This comprehensive guide is designed to be used by:

  • Human resources professionals and in-house attorneys who need to instruct, understand, and liaise with immigration lawyers licensed in other countries;
  • Business immigration attorneys who regularly work with multinational corporations and their employees and HR professionals; and
  • Attorneys interested in expanding their practice to include global business immigration services.

This publication provides:

  • An overview of the immigration law requirements and procedures for over 20 countries;
  • Practical information and tips for obtaining visas, work permits, resident status, naturalization, and other nonimmigrant and immigrant pathways to conducting business, investing, and working in those countries;
  • A general overview of the appropriate options for a particular employee; and
  • Information on how an employee can obtain and maintain authorization to work in a target country.

Each chapter follows a similar format, making it easy to compare practices and procedures from country to country. Useful links to additional resources and forms are included. Collected in this Practice Guide, the expertise of ABIL's attorney members across the globe will serve as an ideal starting point in your research into global business immigration issue.

ORDER HERE. International customers who do not want to order through the bookstore can order through Nicole Hahn at (518) 487-3004 or Nicole.hahn@lexisnexis.com.

Green Card Stories. The immigration debate is boiling over. Americans are losing the ability to understand and talk to one another about immigration. We must find a way to connect on a human level. Green Card Stories does just that. The book depicts 50 recent immigrants with permanent residence or citizenship in dramatic narratives, accompanied by artistic photos. If the book's profilees share a common trait, it's a mixture of talent and steely determination. Each of them overcame great challenges to come and stay in America. Green Card Stories reminds Americans of who we are: a nation of immigrants, from all walks of life and all corners of the earth, who have fueled America's success. It tells the true story of our nation: E pluribus unum--out of many, one.

Green Card Stories has won five national awards. It was named a Nautilus book award silver medal winner, and won a silver medal in the Independent Book Publishers Association's Benjamin Franklin Award in the multicultural category. The book also won a Bronze Medal in the Independent Publisher's "IPPY" Awards and an honorable mention for the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award. Ariana Lindquist, the photographer, won a first-place award in the National Press Photographers Association's Best of Photojournalism 2012. Green Card Stories is also featured on National Public Radio's photo blog.

For more information or to order, visit Green Card Stories.

ABIL on Twitter. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers is now available on Twitter: @ABILImmigration. Recent ABIL member blogs are available HERE.

 

 
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