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Inside Business Immigration: Weekly News Round Up, Sept. 29 - Oct. 3, 2014

Weekly News Impacting Global Employers Covered by Greenberg Traurig’s Business Immigration & Compliance Practice

In This Issue

Update on Immigration Compliance in Ghana for Oil and Gas Sector
Ian Macdonald
As an update to our recent blog post on Ghana and increased immigration compliance in Africa in general, employers in the oil and gas sector are starting to give feedback from the field on Ghana’s new immigration rules. The new labor market testing rules for companies in the oil and gas industry, effective September 1, … Continue Reading

Canada Encourages Business and Tourist Travel from Mexico, India and Brazil
Rebecca Schechter
Seeking to increase business and tourist traffic from economically booming countries, Canada is expediting its visa process for certain visitors from Mexico, India and Brazil. Canada has implemented the CAN+ expedited visa processing program this year in Mexico, India and Brazil for applicants who have visited Canada or the U.S. in the past 10 years. … Continue Reading

Chinese Authorities Tighten Enforcement Under New Immigration Law; Companies Urged to be Proactive
Ian Macdonald
As update to our recent blog on China, clients are inquiring into why immigration enforcement and compliance in China is on the increase, yet favorable work authorization measures for foreign workers are being implemented by authorities at the same time. We don’t see these two initiatives at odds with each other; rather China is improving … Continue Reading

Taiwan May No Longer Require Foreign Workers to Leave Every Three Years
Ian Macdonald
The Ministry of Labor in Taiwan is seeking an amendment to the Employment Service Act, which currently restricts foreign laborers, marine workers, among others to a maximum stay of 12 years as long as they leave the country every three years.  The initiative is being welcomed by business and labor leaders in Taiwan who claim … Continue Reading

NEW Document Requests in PERM Audits
Scott Decker
The PERM process is first step in the employment-based green card process for many foreign nationals. In this process the sponsoring employer conducts an advertisement campaign as a test of the local labor market to determine if minimally-qualified U.S. workers are available to fill the position. The sponsoring employer can only file the PERM application … Continue Reading

Staying in Compliance with the Colorado Division of Labor Requirements
Ali Brodie
Pursuant to the Colorado Employment Verification Law (C.R.S. §  8-2-122), all public and private employers in Colorado must adhere to additional employer compliance requirements, separate and in addition to those mandated by the Federal Form I-9 requirements.  All Colorado employers are required to complete the Colorado Affirmation Form (Affirmation of Legal Work Status) for all … Continue Reading

Japan Initiates Simpler Visa Process for Filipino, Indonesian and Vietnamese Nationals
Shaun Staller*
The Japanese Embassy in the Philippines stated that the “substantial relaxation of multiple visas” for the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam began on September 30, 2014. The decision is a tactical one designed to enhance Japan’s image as a tourism-oriented country. The Embassy even said that the country has the long-term goal of attracting 20 million … Continue Reading

Effective Immediately: India Decentralizes its Visa and Immigration Services
Shaun Staller*
India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on September 30, 2014 that it is delegating nearly all of its visa services to Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRROs). Services such as extensions, conversions from one type of visa to another, and exit procedures will now be decided by local FRROs rather than by MHA. The transition … Continue Reading

OSC Guidance on I-9 Self-Audits
Scott Decker
Employers as a best practice should conduct regular self-audits of their I-9s to ensure the forms are completed properly. When, if ever, can an employer, during a self-audit, request to see the documents that were presented by the employee at the time the I-9 was initially completed?  The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special … Continue Reading

Vietnam Changes its Local Hiring Rules, Reporting Requirements
Rebecca Schechter
Pursuant to a decree that went into effect last month, foreign organizations in Vietnam may no longer directly recruit Vietnamese employees. Foreign organizations include representative offices of foreign companies, non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations. Representative offices must now utilize government employment service centers to recruit local employees. The representative offices must submit a written request … Continue Reading

OSC Settles Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination Claim Against Major Airline
Scott Decker
For a second time in a week, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) announced it had reached a settlement with a company for immigration discrimination involving I-9 document abuse.  The second of its settlements stemmed from wrongdoing by a major airline. OSC’s investigation was initiated based … Continue Reading

Employers in CNMI Facing H-Visa Numerical Cap Issues Should Explore the CW Visa Program
Shaun Staller*
Greenberg Traurig recently reported on the looming expiration of the H-1B and H-2B annual numerical cap exemption in Guam and CNMI, while urging local employers to consider filing extensions for any employee whose H-1B or H-2B authorization expires before December 31, 2014—the date the expiration takes effect. With pervasive Congressional deadlock on the immigration front … Continue Reading

France Lessens Work Authorization Application Burden for Master II Level Applicants
Matthew Galati
Master’s Degree students in France who are reaching the end of their programs no longer need to apply for A.P.S. (“Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour”) at least four months in advance, a major relaxation of administrative burdens on foreign students and employers alike. According to Decree N°2014-921,  such students seeking employment authorization may now file their … Continue Reading

Global Employers Take Note: Changes to Malaysia Visitor Pass Program
Rebecca Schechter
Beginning October 1, Malaysia will require e-filing for its Professional Visit Pass (PVP) applications. PVP holders may work in Malaysia for up to 12 months while remaining on foreign payroll, but they must be sponsored by a registered Malaysian company. This filing change also applies to companies under Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) that have … Continue Reading

USCIS Automatically Extends EADs for Qualified Liberian Nationals
Ian Macdonald
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that certain Liberian nationals who hold Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) with an expiration date of September 30, 2014, pursuant to the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), will receive an automatic extension of work authorization through to March 30, 2015. For I-9 purposes, employers should except EADs for affected Liberians that are … Continue Reading

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*Not admitted to the practice of law.