United States

US Department of Homeland Security Seeks to End the International Entrepreneur Parole Program

The Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") has proposed to remove the International Entrepreneur Rule ("IE Final Rule"), which allows certain foreign-national entrepreneurs the ability to be paroled into the United States to develop and grow start-up businesses. 

The government attempted to delay the effective date of the IE Final Rule, set to be implemented in July 2017, in order to draft a rescission of it. A federal court vacated the delay in December 2017 and ordered DHS to begin accepting applications consistent with the IE Final Rule. 

The government is seeking public comments on the proposed rule to end the program. The final decision on the proposal will be published in the Federal Register. 


Hong Kong

Hong Kong Begins Issuing Visas to Same-Sex Spouses

The Immigration Department has started issuing visas to same-sex dependent spouses. The change comes after a British national was refused a dependent visa for her same-sex spouse. She then sued and an appeals court panel reversed the decision in a 3-0 ruling. The Supreme Court will hear the case on June 4. 

Until the matter is settled by the Supreme Court, applicants will need to provide a marriage certificate as evidence of their marital status. In instances where a marriage certificate is not available, applicants must provide compelling evidence as proof of a civil partnership. Although same-sex dependents spouses will not receive dependent visas, successful applicants will be issued a visa providing the same immigration benefits as those who obtain dependent visas. 



Greece Implements EU Intracompany Transferee Directive

On May 22, 2018, Greece became the latest EU-member state to implement the EU Intracompany Transferee ("ICT") Directive. Under the provisions of the ICT Directive, managers and specialists can be granted a combined work and residence permit valid for up to three years and, for trainees, up to one year. 

To qualify, the foreign national must have been employed outside of Greece by the same corporate group of companies for at least one year for managers or specialists or at least six months for trainees and have relevant university degrees and experience. The foreign national must also receive a salary comparable to that of a similarly situated Greek national. 

Although the government has agreed to implement the law, it requires the issuance of a presidential decree in order to be effective. A quota for specialists and trainees will likely be introduced.  


Italian Labor Inspectors Take Extra Efforts to Ensure Compliance with EU Posted Workers Directive

The Labor Inspectorate will begin to implement stricter rules and increase investigations to ensure compliance with the EU Posted Workers Directive, which was implemented in late 2016. The EU Posted Workers Directive regulates the posting of workers entering Italy for the purpose of the provision of services for a specific organization in Italy. A "posted worker" is an individual who normally works in one EU member state and is sent to work in another member state for a limited and predetermined period of time. While posted on assignment, the worker remains an employee of the sending company while temporarily providing a service to the receiving company.

Companies seeking to sponsor anyone as a posted worker are required to register with the Labour and Social Policy's online portal and must, one day prior to the start of a posting, submit an electronic notification with complete details of the worker and assignment. Companies must also have an appointed representative domiciled in Italy who is authorized to receive and send official documents and deal with social parties involved in labor negotiations. During the posting and up to two years after its termination, the posting company is obliged to keep on file the documentation related to the assignment.  

Companies should take care to ensure that the required notifications are made on time and that all documentation is maintained accurately for the required timeframe.


Dutch Government Provides Guidance to UK Citizens Residing in the Netherlands Post-Brexit

As Europe prepares for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service recently published on its website guidance to UK nationals who wish to continue residing in the Netherlands after Brexit. Although negotiations are still underway and a withdrawal agreement has yet to be finalized, a provisional agreement has been put into place. The provisional agreement puts in place the following:

  • British nationals and their dependent family members who have resided in the Netherlands for five or more years may continue to reside in the Netherlands until the date the withdrawal is finalized. Individuals falling in this category may also apply now for a permanent residence permit for the Netherlands. Alternatively, individuals in this category can apply for a permanent residence permit provided they have passed, or are exempt from, the mandatory civil integration examination. Dependent family members can only apply for permanent residence if the principal applicant is a permanent resident.

  • British nationals who possess a permanent residence permit for the European Union may continue to reside in the Netherlands until the date the withdrawal is finalized. After this date, they can request to replace their residence document  with a new one. 

  • British nationals who possess a permanent residence permit for the Netherlands may continue to reside in the Netherlands post-Brexit. 

  • British nationals and their dependent family members who have resided in the Netherlands for less than five years may continue to reside in the Netherlands until the date the withdrawal is finalized. Individuals falling in this category can also apply now for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands. 
  • British nationals who are already permanent residents of the Netherlands can also apply for Dutch citizenship, which has additional eligibility requirements. 

Until the negotiations are concluded, these options may be subject to change. 

Middle East

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates Offers 10-Year Residence Visa for Top Talent

In an effort to maintain its competitive standing and serve as a "global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors," the United Arab Emirates ("UAE") will begin offering residence visas valid for up to 10 years for foreign investors, doctors, and specialists, along with dependent family members. In addition, foreign students are eligible for residence visas valid for up to five years and, for exceptional students, up to 10 years. 

The new rule will take effect before the end of 2018, once the Ministry of Economy, in concert with interested parties, drafts a resolution and submits a detailed study to the Cabinet in the third quarter of this year. 

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