Mayer Brown’s Global Directions is a summary of recent immigration and mobility trends arising in key jurisdictions around the globe. This high-level overview alerts recipients to select changes in law and practice that may affect their global mobility programs.
Canada: Newly Launched Employer Portal Mandatory for Certain Work Permit Applications
- Effective October 26, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will launch the Employer Portal, a new electronic system. All employers must use the new portal to submit offers of employment in cases exempt from Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). LMIA-exempt cases include work permit applications for intra-company transfers and for professionals under the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- Form IMM 5802, Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from Labor Market Impact Assessment, will no longer be accepted. If an employer has already provided the completed Form IMM 5802 to a foreign worker before October 26, the foreign worker has until November 21, 2015, to submit the work permit application. In the event the foreign worker does not submit the application by November 21, the employer must resubmit the offer of employment using the Employer Portal.
Peru: Work Visa Changes Under New Aliens Act
- In October, Peru enacted a new Aliens Act affecting several work visa categories. The new law is expected to take effect 90 days from the date implementing regulations are published. The affected work visa categories include the following:
- Designated Worker Visas will be issued for 30 days only, and cannot be extended.
- Worker Visas may be issued for a temporary period of up to one year, on a provisional basis for up to two years, or on a permanent basis.
- Short Stay Worker Visas may be granted to intra-company transfer employees for a period up to two years, but that period cannot be extended.
- Employers and foreign workers who violate the terms of the new law will be subject to as-yet unspecified sanctions.
United States: Expiration of the 50/50 Fee for Nonimmigrant Visas
- On September 30, 2015, Public Law 111-230, more commonly known as the 50/50 rule, expired. As a result, companies with more than 50 employees in the United States and with more than 50 percent of their workforce employed on a nonimmigrant visa, do not have to the pay the additional filing fee for H-1B and L-1 petitions submitted to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- All H-1B and L-1 petitions continue to require the base filing fee, the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee, and the American Competitive and Workforce Improvement Act fee.
- Experts anticipate that Congress will ultimately reinstate the 50/50 fee of $2,000 and $2,500 for H-1B and L-1 petitions, respectively.
Ireland: Implementation of Measures by Garda National Immigration Bureau to Address Backlogs
- Effective September 28, 2015, Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dublin (GNIB) implemented new measures addressing the backlog of applications from foreign nationals. The new measures include:
- Foreign nationals registering for the first time with GNIB will be processed on Mondays and Tuesdays, while foreign nationals needing to renew their registration will be processed Wednesday through Friday. Registration is required of all non-nationals who are not citizens of a Member State of the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland.
- The office’s hours of operation have been extended to include weekends.
- An online booking system for re-entry visas is currently being finalized and is due to be implemented shortly.
- Foreign students attending college in Ireland and needing to register or re-register need not do so at the GNIB office. Special arrangements will be made for student registration later in the autumn.
Italy: Elimination of Certain Requirements for Transferring Italian Workers Abroad
- On September 4, 2015, the Italian Council of Ministers approved several executive decrees related to the Italian Jobs Act. These decrees will eliminate certain requirements that have to be met before an employer can send an Italian citizen worker abroad. The eliminated requirements include:
- Registering workers on a specific list that is held by the regional employment office in the worker’s place of residence;
- Obtaining prior authorization from the Ministry of Labor to transfer the Italian worker abroad; and
- Imposing penalties in cases where the above two rules were breached.
- Once the executive decrees are finalized, it will be sufficient for an employer to execute an employment agreement before transferring an Italian national abroad for work.