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1. BRAZIL - There are new norms for family reunion and for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
2. CANADA - New intake rules have been announced for Québec investor applications.
3. FRANCE - The government has finalized its draft of the Law on the Rights of Foreigners in France.  Also, France has adopted a law to combat fraud in the framework of posted workers.
4. ITALY - Several developments have been announced.
5. SCHENGEN VISAS - New developments have been announced.
6. UNITED KINGDOM - Various developments have been announced.
7. New Publications and Items of Interest - New Publications and Items of Interest
8. Member News - Member News
 

 
 
1. BRAZIL
 

There are new norms for family reunion and for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

New Norms for Family Reunion

As of September 1, 2014, immigration procedures have been simplified for (1) a request for permanent residence in Brazil for a family reunion based on Brazilian children, marriage to a Brazilian citizen, or a common-law partnership; (2) a change from temporary to permanent residence based on the Mercosul Agreement; and (3) the issuance of an identification card by the Federal Police Department.

The new rules under Ordinances 1351, 1371, and 1507 guarantee foreigners the right to permanent residence and the issuance of the identification card for foreigners, provided that all the required documents are submitted with the application.  These rules are also valid for the permanent visa process for applications already filed and currently under analysis by the Ministry of Justice.

The list of documents and procedures may vary depending on the state in Brazil where the application is filed.

New Norms for Visas for Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games

On August 29, 2014, Normative Resolution No. 112 was published, amending Article 4 of Normative Resolution No. 98 of November 14, 2012.

Normative Resolution 112/2014 provides that the temporary visa "item V" can be granted to foreign nationals who will enter Brazil to work exclusively in the preparation, organization, planning, and execution of the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games and who do not have a Brazilian sponsoring company or any employment relationship with a Brazilian company.

A temporary visa may be granted to professionals:

  • with broadcasting companies that have transmission rights for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games;
  • with contracts entered into with Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committees or international sports federations;
  • with sponsoring companies of the events;
  • who are crewmembers of ships chartered by the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee who do not hold an International Crew Card;
  • involved in the planning and execution of ceremonies related to the Rio 2016 Games; or
  • who, at the Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee's discretion, will execute activities related to the Games.

Individuals can apply for this visa directly at Brazilian consulates abroad.  There is no requirement of prior approval of a work permit by the Brazilian immigration authorities.  The applicant need only submit an official letter from the Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee explaining how the candidate is involved with the Games and an international medical and hospital certificate in the applicant's name, along with a valid passport, the Visa Application Form duly filled out on the website of the Brazilian consulate, the signed delivery receipt, and a recent photograph.  The temporary visa will be valid for two years, expiring no later than December 31, 2016, and will allow multiple entrances.

The new rule introduced by Normative Resolution 112/2014 entered into force on the day of its publication, August 29, 2014.

 
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2. CANADA
 

New intake rules have been announced for Québec investor applications.

On August 27, 2014, the Québec Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) announced new intake rules for the Québec Investor Program, which will reopen for a limited time from January 5–30, 2015, with a limit (quota) of 1,750 applications.  The 1,750 quota will include a sub-quota of 1,200 applications from candidates from the People's Republic of China, including Hong Kong and Macao.

Per the previous intake rules, the 1,750 quota will not apply to candidates who possess advanced intermediate knowledge of French, who will be able to apply at any time.  To demonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of French, candidates must submit a standardized French test recognized by the MIDI and score at an advanced intermediate level in at least one of the four language competencies of speaking, listening, writing, and reading.

The eligibility criteria for the Québec Investor Program are expected to remain the same.  The candidate must possess net assets of at least $1.6 million CAN legally acquired and must have at least two years of management experience in the past five years.  In addition, the candidate must intend to settle in Québec and sign an agreement to invest $800,000 CAN at a zero interest rate for a period of five years with a government-approved financial intermediary; financing possibilities exist.  The Québec government guarantees the repayment of the $800,000 CAN at the end of the five years.

Applications must be submitted by private courier or regular mail.  Once the 1,750 quota is reached within the January 2015 window to apply, applications will be returned.  Applications of candidates with an advanced intermediate knowledge of French will continue to be accepted until March 31, 2015, and will receive priority treatment.

A candidate who qualifies for the Québec Investor Program is issued a Québec Selection Certificate, which in turn leads to Canadian permanent resident status if Canada determines that there are no medical, criminal, or security problems.

 
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3. FRANCE
 

The government has finalized its draft of the Law on the Rights of Foreigners in France.  Also, France has adopted a law to combat fraud in the framework of posted workers.

Draft Law on Rights of Foreigners

The government has finalized and published its draft of the Law on the Rights of Foreigners in France, which is a significant overhaul of the Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and of Asylum (CESEDA).  The new law would increase the use of multi-annual permits to stay, create new immigration categories, and eliminate the work permit requirement for assignments of less than three months.

Below are highlights of the major changes of interest to human resource and mobility managers.  The draft law is not yet scheduled for parliamentary debate, which is expected to occur in upcoming months.

Purpose of the Draft Law

The government aims to reduce the workload for civil servants and the compliance burden on business, and to attract qualified foreign nationals and investments to France.  The draft law achieves these three goals by: (1) increasing the use of multi-annual permits to stay, thus reducing the renewals of the current one-year permit to stay (Carte de Séjour Temporaire); (2) creating a new multi-annual "supra" category, the Talent Passport, which overhauls many existing categories and creates some new ones that will be of interest to business; and (3) eliminating the temporary work permit (APT) requirement for foreigners assigned to France for less than three months.

Increased Use of Multi-Annual Permits

Currently, most third-country nationals are issued a one-year renewable permit to stay.  The renewal process requires multiple personal appearances and issuance of temporary documents (récépissés).

The draft law provides for the issuance of multi-annual permits with a maximum validity of four years, after the expiration of the initial one-year permit, to the extent the third-country national has demonstrated his or her willingness to adhere to French cultural and republican values.

The draft law provides that trainees, self-employed professionals, and visitors will not benefit from the multi-annual permit.

Talent Passport

Currently, there are several categories to attract talent and investment.  The draft law merges the existing categories into the Talent Passport.  This "supra" category includes a total of nine categories with a maximum validity of four years:

  1. Young Qualified Graduate (jeune diplômé qualifié): Requires: (i) a master's or doctorate-level degree earned in France or sponsorship by an employer qualified as an Innovating Start-Up (jeune entreprise innovante) by the Fiscal Code; (ii) a French employment contract; and (iii) a threshold salary determined by decree.  This is a new category.
  2. Highly Qualified Worker (travailleur hautement qualifié): Requires: (i) a three-year university degree or five years of experience; (ii) a French employment contract of at least 12 months; and (iii) a threshold salary determined by decree.  This category absorbs the previous European Blue Card without substantial change.
  3. Inter-Company Transferee (ICT) (salarié en mission): Requires: (i) an intra-group transfer; (ii) a three-month prior employment; and (iii) a threshold salary determined by decree.  Under the existing scheme, the three-month prior employment is not required when the ICT becomes a French employee.  This category absorbs the previous ICT category without any other substantial change.
  4. Scientist (chercheur): Requires: (i) a master's level or higher degree; (ii) tasks of research or teaching at the university level; and (iii) an agreement with a government-approved body.  This category absorbs the previous Scientist category, with no significant change.
  5. Entrepreneur (créateur d’entreprise): Requires: (i) a master's-level degree or five years of experience; and (ii) creation of an enterprise in accordance with criteria to be determined by government decree.  This is a new category.
  6. Investor (investisseur): Requires a direct investment in infrastructure, as determined by government decree.  This category absorbs the previous Exceptional Economic Contribution.  The amount of investment is expected to be lowered from €10,000,000 to €500,000 and the number of jobs to be created from 50 to 10.
  7. Executive Officer (mandataire social): Requires: (i) nomination of a legal representative or executive officer of an entity registered in France; and (ii) a threshold income to be defined by decree.  This category was previously covered under Competence and Talent and does not change substantially.
  8. Artist (artiste): Requires: (i) a contract approved by the cultural (DRAC) or labor (SMOE) authorities for an artistic or cultural activity; and (ii) threshold compensation to be defined by decree.  This preexisting category is being merged here without substantial change.
  9. Foreigner Renowned Internationally in a scientific, literary, intellectual, educational, or sports domain (étranger ayant une renommée internationale dans un domaine scientifique, littéraire, intellectuel, éducatif, ou sportif): Requires: (i) international fame; and (ii) an activity in France in one of the stated areas.  This pre-existing category is being merged here with changes to be determined by implementing regulations.

Activities 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9 may be exercised without a separate work permit.  In case of involuntary loss of employment, the permit will be extended for one year.  Beyond that, the validity will be limited to the remaining period of unemployment benefits.

The accompanying spouse and minor children reaching majority will be issued a multi-annual permit for the duration of the validity of the principal holder of the Talent Passport.  Such derivative permit will allow work.

Elimination of the Temporary Work Permit (APT)

The draft law proposes the elimination of the temporary work permit currently required for assignments of less than three months.  The impact study accompanying the draft law states that short assignments need to be declared under existing regulations, which are adequate tools to verify a posteriori the legality of such assignments.  The elimination of the temporary work permit is a controversial proposition and will be debated in the months to come.

New Law to Combat Fraud in Framework of Posted Workers

A posted worker is one sent by a company in one EU member state to provide short-term services for a company (client or affiliate) in the host EU member state.  France's Act of July 10, 2014 (Act) against unfair social competition translates into French law a directive of the European Union (EU) of May 15, 2014, laying down a set of mechanisms to prevent and punish any violation or circumvention of posting procedures in the EU.

Most of these provisions are incorporated into the code of labor with immediate application.

Declaration of Posting

The Act strengthens the compulsory nature of the posting declaration, which was already required by Articles R. 1263-3 and the Labor Code.  The employer sends a statement of detachment to the labor inspectorate having jurisdiction over the work site.  The user or the client who contracts with the foreign service provider must ensure that a compliant declaration has been made.  In the absence of a compliant declaration, the end user and contracting parties may be jointly and severally liable for payment of an administrative fine of up to €2,000 per posted employee.  This penalty may be increased to €4,000 in case of repeated violations.  The total amount of the fine may not exceed €10,000.  The Act provides that the declaration of posting must be recorded in the statutory register of personnel of the company that hosts posted workers.

Due Diligence and Financial Responsibility of the Payer

The Act strengthens due diligence and accountability of the user or client.  The user or client has an obligation of "vigilance" with respect to the collective housing conditions of employees of the provider.  In case of failure, the user or client may be required to defray the costs of the collective accommodations of employees.

The required diligence of the user or client also applies to compliance by all contractual parties with labor laws.  In case of noncompliance, the user or client must order the other party to comply and, if the noncompliance persists, inform the public authorities.  If the user or client breaches these obligations, it is subject to a penalty prescribed by decree of the Conseil d'Etat.  In case of noncompliance with payment of minimum wages or if the user or client has failed to fulfill its obligations to order compliance and inform the authorities of noncompliance if it persists, it may be held jointly and severally liable for payment of salaries, allowances, and charges.

Online Publication of Sentences

The Act provides for the publication of court penalty sentences for a period of up to two years on a dedicated website.

Unions' Right to Sue

The Act creates the right of union representatives to defend before the courts the rights of a posted employee without having to show a power of attorney from that employee.  It is sufficient that the employee be informed and not object within 15 days.  The employee can always intervene in the proceedings initiated by the union and stop them at any time.

Consequences for Foreign Employers of Posted Employees

These new control mechanisms and sanctions apply to all foreign employers of employees posted to France.  The foreign employer posting employees as part of a service to a client in France should therefore ensure its compliance with labor laws applicable in France, including regulations on collective accommodations.  In the event of noncompliance, the foreign employer may receive an order from the user or French client to stop the offense.  Moreover, if the user or client does not issue a compliance order when appropriate or inform the authorities of persistent noncompliance, such user or client company may itself be penalized in France and be held severally liable for the cost of collective accommodations or payment of salaries, allowances, and expenses payable as compensation to the posted worker.

 
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4. ITALY
 

Several developments have been announced.

Intra-Company Work Permits May Be Obtained in Presence of a Joint Venture Agreement

Italy's Ministry of Labor has confirmed that the procedure set forth for intra-company work permits (article 27a, Immigration Law) can be followed not only when the sending and host companies are part of the same "Group" but also when the companies have executed a joint-venture agreement and do not have any corporate affiliation.

New Guidelines for Internships for Non-EU Nationals

The Italian government has released new guidelines for the activation of internship programs for foreign nationals.  The guidelines provide Immigration Offices and the Italian Regions with instructions clarifying the criteria to be met by non-European Union nationals coming to Italy for internships.

This is not expected to have a major impact on immigration in Italy but should simplify the evaluation of applications for internship visas, which have always represented a gray area within the Italian immigration system.

 
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5. SCHENGEN VISAS
 

New developments have been announced.

On July 9, 2014, the European Commission amended the Handbook for the Processing of Visa Applications and the Modification of Issued Visas.  The guidelines interpret the rules of the Schengen Visa Code, which sets forth the procedures and conditions for issuing visas for transit through or intended stays in the territory of the Schengen Member States not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.

The Schengen Member States include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

One of the most controversial topics concerns the grounds for obtaining an extension of an issued visa.  Article 33 of the Schengen Visa Code sets forth:

  1. The period of validity and/or the duration of stay of an issued visa shall be extended where the competent authority of a Member State considers that a visa holder has provided proof of force majeure or humanitarian reasons preventing him from leaving the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the period of validity of or the duration of stay authorized by the visa.  Such an extension shall be granted free of charge. 
  2. The period of validity and/or the duration of stay of an issued visa may be extended if the visa holder provides proof of serious personal reasons justifying the extension of the period of validity or the duration of stay.  A fee of EUR 30 shall be charged for such an extension.
  3. Unless otherwise decided by the authority extending the visa, the territorial validity of the extended visa shall remain the same as that of the original visa.
  4. The authority competent to extend the visa shall be that of the Member State on whose territory the third-country national is present at the moment of applying for an extension.
  5. Member States shall notify to the Commission the authorities competent for extending visas.
  6. Extension of visas shall take the form of a visa sticker.
  7. Information on an extended visa shall be entered into the VIS in accordance with Article 14 of the VIS Regulation.

In cases where a visa holder who is already present in the territory of the Member States is unable to leave before the expiration of his or her visa, the Visa Code and the Guidelines provide the following rules:

Grounds for requesting an extension: The individual must have reasons of force majeure, humanitarian reasons, or serious personal reasons.

To whom the request must be made: The request for extension of the visa must be addressed  to the competent authorities of the Member State where he or she is present, even if that is not the Member State whose consulate issued the visa.

Circumstances when extensions are mandatory:

  • Example of reason of force majeure: last-minute change of flight schedule by airline (e.g. due to weather conditions, strike) 
  • Example of humanitarian reason: sudden serious illness of the person concerned (rendering the person unable to travel) or sudden serious illness or death of a close relative living in a Member State.

According to the Visa Facilitation Agreements (VFAs), extensions are mandatory only for reasons of force majeure and not for humanitarian reasons.  Nevertheless, third-country nationals covered by these VFAs also benefit from the more generous provisions of the Visa Code.

Circumstances when extensions are discretionary:

Examples of serious personal reasons:

  • A Namibian national has traveled to Cologne, Germany, to collect a family member who has undergone an operation.  The day before the scheduled departure, the patient has a relapse and is only allowed to leave the hospital two weeks later.
  • An Angolan businessperson has traveled to Italy to negotiate a contract with an Italian company and to visit several production sites.  Negotiations take longer than expected and the Angolan national has to stay one week longer than intended.

Example of a personal reason not justifying the extension of a visa:

  • A Colombian national has traveled to Sweden to participate in a family event.  At this event, he meets an old friend and would like to prolong his stay for another two weeks.

Territorial validity of an extended visa:

Generally, the extension should allow the holder to travel to the same territory as that covered by the initial visa.  However, the authorities of the Member State responsible for the extension may limit the territorial validity of the extended visa.  The reverse can never be the case; i.e., a visa that originally had a limited territorial validity cannot be extended to allow a stay in the entire territory of the Member States.

Period of stay under an extended visa:

Generally, the extension of a visa should not result in a total stay of more than 90 days in a 180-day period.

Verifications when assessing a request for extension of a visa:

If the competent authority believes the reasons provided for extending a visa are sufficient, he or she may verify whether:

  • The applicant's travel document will still be valid three months beyond the intended date of departure
  • The applicant possesses sufficient means of subsistence for the additional period of stay
  • The applicant has presented proof of travel medical insurance for the additional period of stay
If the visa is extended for reasons of force majeure, the competent authority may disregard these verifications.
 
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6. UNITED KINGDOM
 

Various developments have been announced.

Further Details of NHS Health Surcharge Announced

Following publication of the United Kingdom Department of Health's response to the 2013 public consultation on migrant access and financial contribution to National Health Service (NHS) provision in England, the Department of Health has now published an implementation plan to cover the phased roll-out of an NHS cost recovery scheme for some migrants, including European Union (EU) nationals.  This follows the introduction of the Immigration Act 2014 in May this year, which contains provisions for NHS cost recovery.  Secondary legislation is expected to be passed later this year to pave the way for the anticipated roll-out beginning in April 2015 of the "immigration health surcharge."  With the exception of Tier 2 intra-company transfer applicants, all other migrants applying for a visa of more than six months' duration will be required to pay the surcharge with their visa application fee.

How Much Will Migrants Need To Pay?

The surcharge is expected to be £200 per year for all affected migrants except students, who will be subject to a lesser annual charge of £150.  What is new and very significant is the proposal for the surcharge to be fully payable upfront at the visa application stage to cover the duration of the visa.  This will be a hefty sum for many migrants.  For example, a Tier 2 General migrant applying for the maximum five-year visa will need to pay £1,000 for the surcharge.  Following the consultation, the fee was widely expected to be payable annually rather than in one upfront lump sum for the duration of the visa.  For migrants with a number of dependents, this will represent a substantial financial outlay, in addition to all the visa fees.  There are plans for lobbying to have this requirement removed.

There will be NHS pre-registration arrangements for migrants who have paid the surcharge, which will be aligned with those the Home Office is putting in place for the issue of entry documents and distribution of Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) to migrants at their local Post Office.  When accessing NHS treatment, migrants who have paid the surcharge will be required to produce their BRP but no further charges will be levied, other than prescription charges and other charges payable by those ordinarily resident in the UK.

Exemptions

As stated above, Tier 2 intra-company transfer migrants will be exempt from the surcharge and will continue to enjoy free NHS care.  Other exempt categories include those seeking asylum, refugees, and victims of human trafficking.  Furthermore, GP services will remain free of charge for all.

EU Migrants

All EU migrants and visitors will be required to produce their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to avoid being charged.

Migrant Visitors and Other Non-EU Migrants

All visitors and non-EU migrants who have not paid the surcharge will be expected to pay upfront to access NHS services.  However, emergency or urgent treatment will be provided without an upfront payment, subject to the proviso that the costs will be payable.  Since 2011, NHS providers are able to share with the Home Office non-clinical information on individuals subject to immigration controls who hold £1,000 or more of debt to the NHS.  Those who owe a substantial debt to the NHS could be refused permission to re-enter or remain in the UK until they clear that debt, subject to human rights obligations.

Overseas Visitors Records Office Has Moved

For those migrants who must register with the police within seven days of arrival in the UK, the Overseas Visitors Records Office is now based at:

Overseas Visitors Records Office
323 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1JL

Further Improvements to the Visa Process For Chinese Migrants

The UK government is continuing to roll out improvements to the visa process for Chinese migrants and business visitors applying for a visa in China and has recently announced the introduction of two further improvements to the service.

The first is an extension to the mobile biometric service that allows applicants to give their fingerprints and details to visa staff who visit their office, to avoid the migrant or visitor having to go to a Visa Application Center.  This will be rolled out at all 12 of the regions served by visa application centers in China.

Further improvements include the roll-out of 24-hour visa processing for most visitor and worker visa categories.  The 24-hour Super Priority Visa service will be available to applicants in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou for a fee of £600.  Where the 24-hour service is not available, applicants can use the three- to five-day priority visa service.

UK Universities To Be Forced To Improve Admissions Procedures

UK universities are set to come under increasing pressure to outsource the compliance elements of enrolling foreign students when changes to the Immigration Rules come into effect in November this year.  The Home Office has announced that it will reduce the percentage of student visa refusals, which can lead to the removal of a university's Highly Trusted Sponsor status.  Currently, universities risk losing this status and with it their ability to enroll foreign students, if 20% or more of its foreign student applicants subsequently have their visas refused.  This will be reduced to 10% in November, giving universities just three months to put in place improvements to their admissions procedures.

Most applicants apply to universities online and do not attend an interview.  It is difficult to fathom how universities will be able to eliminate the risk of a student failing to make a successful visa application, unless they have staff located abroad to meet the prospective students and shepherd them through the visa process.  Alternatively, this measure may well force universities to outsource the compliance and visa assistance for students to third-party providers to safeguard their Highly Trusted Sponsor status.

 
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7. New Publications and Items of Interest
 

The 2014 edition of the Global Business Immigration Practice Guide has been released by LexisNexis.  Dozens of members of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers co-authored and edited the guide, which is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in immigration hotspots around the world. 

The 2014 edition adds a chapter on Singapore.  Other chapters cover Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Latchi Delchev, a global mobility and immigration specialist for Boeing, called the guide "first-rate" and said the key strong point of the book is its "outstanding usability."  She said she highly recommends the book and notes that it "is helpful even to seasoned professionals, as it provides a level of detail which is not easily gained from daily case management."

Mireya Serra-Janer, head of European immigration for a multinational IT company, says she particularly likes "the fact that the [guide] focuses not just on each country's immigration law itself but also addresses related matters such as tax and social security issues."  She noted that the India chapter "is particularly good.  The immigration regulations in India have always been hard to understand. Having a clear explanation of the rules there helps us sort out many mobility challenges."

Charles Gould, Director-General of the International Co-operative Alliance, said the guide is "an invaluable resource for both legal practitioners and business professionals.  The country-specific chapters are comprehensive and answer the vast majority of questions that arise in immigration practice.  Its clear and easy-to-follow structure and format make it the one volume to keep close at hand."

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 issues.

The list price is $299, but discounts are available.  Contact your Lexis/Nexis sales representative; call 1-800-833-9844 (United States), 1-518-487-3385 (international); fax 1-518-487-3584; or go to the Lexis/Nexis website.

ABIL on Twitter. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers is now available on Twitter: @ABILImmigration. RECENT ABIL MEMBER BLOGS

 
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8. Member News
 

Laura Devine Solicitors has won "UK Immigration Advisory Firm of the Year 2014" at the High-Value Immigration Awards.  The award is presented to the United Kingdom immigration firm that has consistently delivered the most outstanding results for clients and while doing so has contributed to the development and improvement of UK immigration policy.  LAURA DEVINE'S BIOGRAPHY

Avi Gomberg and Kenneth Ing are listed in Who’s Who Legal Canada 2014.

H. Ronald Klasko recently participated as a panelist at the 2014 Southern California EB-5 Conference, sponsored by EB5 Investors Magazine and eb5investors.com.  Mr. Klasko discussed open issues in EB-5 law and policy, and options and strategies for litigating EB-5 issues.

Robert F. Loughran organized the ILW EB-5 Conference held in Chicago and moderated a number of panels regarding forming and operating an EB-5 regional center.  Focusing on the perspective of developers and business innovators, Mr. Loughran's presentation focused on learning from recent USCIS terminations of regional centers when developing the I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation as well as EB-5 filings generally.

Mr. Loughran's chapter on "Terminations of EB-5 Centers" was published in August 2014 in AILA's third edition of Immigration Options for Investors & Entrepreneurs.

Cyrus Mehta recently authored or co-authored several new blog entries.  "Impact of EB-5 Retrogression On The Regional Center Loan Model" and "The Family That Is Counted Together Stays Together: How To Eliminate Immigrant Visa Backlogs"

Stephen Yale-Loehr was quoted in the Washington Post in an article about EB-5 immigrant investor visas.  Among other things, Mr. Yale-Loehr noted that the EB-5 investor program is "a four-way win.  It's a win for U.S. taxpayers because it brings in foreign money to help develop projects at no expense to the taxpayer.  It's a win for U.S. workers because it creates jobs.  It's a win for U.S. project developers because it allows them to get money for projects that [they] might not be able to get otherwise.  It's also a win for the foreign investors because they get a green card from their investment in United States."

Mr. Yale-Loehr was interviewed for a SinoVision TV segment on EB-5 immigrant investor green cards.  His quotes are at 2:30-3:30 and 11:20-13:00 minutes of the segment.

The following ABIL members were recognized in Best Lawyers:

U.S. members:
Francis Chin
Laura Danielson
Steve Garfinkel
Mark Ivener
H. Ronald Klasko
Charles Kuck
Vincent Lau 
Robert Loughran
Sharon Mehlman
John Nahajzer
Julie Pearl
William Reich
Bernard Wolfsdorf
Stephen Yale-Loehr 

Global members:
Avi Gomberg
Kenneth Ing

 

 

 
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