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.


United States

Texas and Six States Sue to Abolish DACA

Texas, joined by six other states, filed suit against the federal government on May 1, 2018, to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on the basis that DACA derives from an executive overreach by President Obama in 2012. The Texas attorney general filed the suit in the US district court in Brownsville, Texas, where a November 2015 decision overruled President Obama’s plans to protect more than 4 million individuals from deportation.

The lawsuit further complicates the fate of DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” as other district court rulings remain active. Most recently, a Washington DC district judge ordered that the DACA program will be reinstated unless the federal government, within 90 days, can justify why DACA should cease altogether.

There are currently more than 700,000 DACA recipients in the United States, most of whom entered the United States as children. Under DACA, these recipients are temporarily protected from deportation.

This past September, the Trump administration gave Congress a six-month deadline to legislatively propose a DACA solution, while announcing its intent to phase out the program. That six-month timeframe expired on March 5.

As the legal battle surrounding DACA continues, it seems more likely that the fate of DACA will ultimately be determined by the US Supreme Court.



Skilling Australians Fund Bill Passed in Australian Senate

On May 8, 2018, the Australian Senate debated on and passed two amendments to the Skilling Australians Fund Bill 2017 (the “Bill”). The amendments pertain to labor market testing and an independent review of the new immigration program. Specifically, the Senate agreed that:

  1. Labor marketing testing must be completed not more than four months before the nomination is approved;
  2. Advertising must be for four weeks and must be directly targeted to suitably qualified and experienced Australian workers so that they are made aware of the job opportunity; and 
  3. The required skills and experience must be appropriate to the position.

The Senate also agreed that an independent review of the Bill must be begun within 18 months after the Royal Assent date and then be completed within six months . 

The government anticipates that AU$1.5 billion will be generated by the Skilling Australians Fund (the “Fund”) in the first three years and that 300,000 apprenticeships and traineeships will result from the Fund.

Once the Bill is approved by the governor general, new regulations will be released. At that time, sponsoring employers must begin contributing to the Fund each time they nominate an employee for a TSS visa. The training levy will be payable in full at the time the worker is nominated and will apply as follows:

  • AU$1,200 per year or part of a year for small businesses (with annual income of less than AU$10 million); or
  • AU$1,800 per year or part of a year for larger businesses.

The levy for permanent residents will be a one-time fee of AU$5,000.

Hong Kong

New Efforts Implemented to Attract Foreign Talent Working in the Technology Sector

The Innovation and Technology Bureau recently implemented a pilot program to attract tech workers from mainland China and overseas to work in Hong Kong. The program will give priority to up to 1,000 workers who will work in the fields of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, financial technologies, material science and robotics for certain employers. Foreign nationals seeking approval under the program must have relevant college degrees in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics discipline from a well-reputed university and at least one year of relevant work experience. 

To qualify, companies must demonstrate that the skills they seek are not readily available within the local workforce. Companies are eligible to hire up to 100 visa holders in a one-year period. To address the local labor shortage, companies will need to hire one fulltime local national and two local interns for every three foreign-nationals hired. 

The program will be reviewed by the government after its first nine months; if proven successful, it may be expanded.


New Rules Added for Short-Term Residence Permits

The Turkish Migration Directorate recently made several changes to the processing and issuance of short-term resident permits. Effective immediately:

  • The short-term residence permit does not provide employment authorization .  
  • All applicants for a short-term residence permit must provide:
    • A legalized police clearance from their country of nationality issued no more than six months before the application date.
    • Proof of sufficient funds. Proof of ownership of assets in Turkey or evidence of reoccurring funds into a bank account will serve as acceptable forms of evidence. The Migration Directorate, in general, will not accept evidence of a one-time lump sum deposit as evidence of sufficient funds.
  • Residence permits will initially be issued for a maximum period of one year and can only be renewed once for up to five months. (Before, residence permits were issued for two years and could be renewed indefinitely.) 
  • Foreign nationals seeking an initial residence permit must use a new online system to request an appointment. Appointments will be scheduled on a fixed date (applicants cannot chose the day of their appointment) and within a 14-day period. Applicants will provide their application documents at the appointment. 
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