Practice Areas & Industries: Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

The global movement of people, goods and technology is critical to the success of today’s companies. In fact, both small and large enterprises are likely to engage in exports on a routine basis – whether by exporting products, releasing know-how to foreign partners or subcontractors, or providing technical data to foreign national employees.

As global business has expanded, export control regulations have grown in importance to ensure the protection of critical dual-use and military technologies. A breakdown in complying with these laws can lead to delays in product launch, manufacturing, shipment of goods and even the utilization of a foreign national workforce, not to mention significant government fines and penalties.

The Export Controls Practice Group advises companies and academic institutions on all aspects of U.S. export control regulations, including those related to the transfer of technical data or know-how to foreign persons in the United States ("deemed exports"). Click to review a list of our representative experience. As part of the world’s leading immigration law firm, we understand the complexities with evaluating deemed export issues.

As part and parcel to our practice, we regularly advise clients on the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) and U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) sanction regulations. We provide guidance on foreign export control regulations as well.

Our approach is to provide practical advice and guidance that our clients can use to make sound business decisions. We partner with clients to design export compliance systems that not only ensure adherence to the law, but facilitate the efficient movement of people, goods and technology to meet business demands without unnecessary delays due to unexpected export control consequences.

We also help our clients improve their systems by conducting audits, establishing corrective actions when needed, conducting investigations, and providing representation in enforcement actions.


 

Services Available

We provide a wide range of export control services, including:

  • Development and implementation of global export control management systems.
  • Deemed export licensing and compliance counseling, including top-to-bottom programs for the hiring and deployment of foreign persons.
  • Guidance regarding the export controls certification requirements found in Form I-129 nonimmigrant visa petition.
  • Evaluation and classification of products, technology and technical data to determine applicable controls, including the preparation of commodity classifications and Commodity Jurisdiction requests when appropriate.
  • Compliance audits and internal reviews.
  • Training and education programs for executive management, employees and trade compliance professionals.
  • Export control mergers & acquisitions due diligence.
  • Representation in government investigations and enforcement actions.
  • Preparation of voluntary self-disclosures and related mitigation plans.
  • Preparation of EAR, ITAR and OFAC export license applications.

EXPORT CONTROLS: REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Performed DDTC- mandated ITAR audit of $15 billion electronics company, reviewing over 25 key manufacturing locations in five countries.
  • Served as outsourced export compliance managers for a variety of clients, performing day-to-day export licensing, classification and compliance program development and implementation.
  • Designed recruitment materials, employment applications and foreign national questionnaires for Fortune 500, mid-size and start-up companies to address deemed exports in the recruitment, employment and deployment of foreign nationals.
  • Developed global export compliance programs for companies ranging from start ups to Fortune 500 companies. Served as strategic advisors to executive teams to advise on export control considerations in corporate restructuring of global supply chains.
  • Worked with numerous client HR, Export Control, and Legal teams and developed processes and workflows to address the export control certification in the I-129 Petition for H, L or O visa.
  • Served as lead counsel for the successful resolution of a major ITAR jurisdiction dispute impacting the global aircraft and automobile industries.
  • Successfully represented a Fortune 100 company in a BIS audit of the company’s deemed export compliance program.
  • Led export classification efforts for major semiconductor, electronics and telecommunications companies covering thousands of commodities and technologies, including the development of comprehensive export control classification matrices.
  • Advised on encryption related export control requirements covering U.S., Singapore, French, and other foreign laws for global software, electronics and semiconductor companies.
  • Prepared export licenses and agreements for a variety of ITAR clients and, in turn, improved the clients’ processes for preparing and submitting licenses and agreements to DTCL.
  • Conducted internal investigation and assisted in preparation of voluntary disclosure involving over 1000 violations of the ITAR, resulting in issuance of a warning letter in lieu of fines and penalties.
  • Served as lead counsel for large computer company in investigation and favorable resolution of U.S. government enforcement action covering exports to sanctioned countries.
  • Prepared voluntary disclosures for numerous companies and academic institutions regarding the unlawful transfer of controlled technology to foreign nationals.
  • Represented major research university in obtaining landmark advisory opinion from U.S. Department of State on the application of “fundamental research” exemption in an academic setting.
  • Developed “de minimis” evaluation tool and assisted leading foreign companies in “de minimis” calculations.

 
 
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Government Holiday Closures May Delay Work Permit, Visa Application Processing
, December 13, 2013
During the holiday season, many government offices worldwide will close or have reduced staff and hours of operation, likely resulting in processing delays for work permits, residence permits and visas over the coming weeks and into the new year.

January 2014 Visa Bulletin: EB-3 Cut-Off Dates Advance Significantly for Most Countries; No Forward Movement for EB-2 and EB-3 India
, December 13, 2013
According to the State Department’s January Visa Bulletin, the EB-3 subcategory for professionals and skilled workers will advance by six months, to April 1, 2012, for China and most countries. EB-3 India will remain at September 1, 2003.

Government Restricts Entry of Short-Term Interns and Trainees
, December 09, 2013
According to recent reports, foreign nationals intending to enter China as trainees or interns for less than three months are experiencing increased difficulty in obtaining business visas, though there has been no official announcement of a change in policy from the Chinese government.

Immigration Agency Simplifies International Travel Authorization for Minors
, December 09, 2013
The Mexican immigration authority announced that minors traveling outside of Mexico without their parents or legal guardians will soon be able to present a standardized, simplified form upon exiting the country. The form is not yet available, but the National Immigration Institute (INM) is expected...

Immigration Fraud Scam Targets Foreign Nationals
, December 09, 2013
Foreign nationals in France should be on guard against an ongoing immigration fraud scheme.

Political Demonstrations May Slow Immigration Processing
, December 09, 2013
Government offices responsible for immigration processing have temporarily relocated or are reducing their hours due to ongoing political demonstrations in parts of Bangkok. This is likely to cause processing delays for the next several weeks at least.

TSA Is Accepting Applications for PreCheck Expedited Security Screening Program
, December 09, 2013
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is expanding the availability of PreCheck - its expedited security screening program for select travelers at designated airports. On December 4, 2013, TSA began accepting applications from U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents seeking to...

The Upcoming H-1B Cap Season: Planning Ahead Is Key
, December 09, 2013
The FY 2015 cap season will begin on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Though the opening day of the filing period is still several months away, it is not too early for employers to begin assessing their H-1B needs and filing labor condition applications (LCAs) with the Labor Department.

November EB-2 India Numbers Exhausted Faster Than Anticipated
, December 05, 2013
Due to the unprecedented demand for EB-2 India immigrant visa (IV) numbers, foreign nationals with priority dates between November 2004 and June 2008 may not have had their cases processed to completion last month. November's available numbers were exhausted earlier than expected, according to the...

New E-Verify Security Enhancement Deters Fraudulent Use of SSNs
, November 28, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an enhancement to the E-Verify program that is intended to combat identity fraud by detecting and preventing potential fraudulent use of Social Security numbers (SSNs) to gain work authorization. Specifically, this new enhancement enables...

New Employer Compliance Obligations Take Effect in Virginia and California
, November 28, 2013
In California and Virginia, employers are subject to new immigration-related obligations that take effect in the near future.

Home Office Expands Expedited Processing and Customer Service Options
, November 26, 2013
The UK Home Office recently announced several initiatives aimed at improving customer service for visa applicants.

Nine Countries to Remove Work Restrictions for Bulgarians, Romanians on January 1
, November 26, 2013
Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will soon be able to work freely throughout the European Union (EU) after work restrictions for these nationals expire in nine countries on January 1, 2014. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom will allow...

Subclass 457 Labor Market Testing Requirement Takes Effect November 23
, November 21, 2013
The labor market testing requirement for the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa program, which was approved earlier this year, will take effect on November 23, 2013, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) recently confirmed.

Bangalore FRRO Relocation Causes Processing Delays
, November 19, 2013
The Bangalore Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) moved to a new location on November 12, 2013.

Holiday Travel Planning for Foreign Nationals
, November 19, 2013
As the holidays approach, many foreign nationals are planning international travel. Now is the right time to make sure you are prepared, from an immigration perspective, to depart and reenter the United States. Understanding your immigration obligations can help minimize the possibility of delays.

All Work Permit Processing in Ho Chi Minh City Suspended Pending Release of Government Guidance
, November 13, 2013
Without prior notice, Vietnam’s Labor Department in Ho Chi Minh City has announced that as of November 4, it will not accept new or renewal work permit applications or adjudicate pending applications until the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) publishes a circular with...

Caps Introduced for the Canadian Experience Class Permanent Residence Program
, November 13, 2013
Canada is introducing a new cap on the number of permanent residence applications it will accept under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept only 12,000 CEC applications between November 9, 2013 and October 31, 2014.

December 2013 Visa Bulletin: EB-3 Cut-Off Dates Advance Significantly for Most Countries; Significant Retrogression for EB-2 India
, November 13, 2013
December 2013 Visa Bulletin: EB-3 Cut-Off Dates Advance Significantly for Most Countries; Significant Retrogression for EB-2 India

IRS Warns of Fraud Scheme Targeting Foreign Nationals and Others
, November 13, 2013
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning about a sophisticated telephone scam that has been targeting recent immigrants and taxpayers throughout the country. In the scam, individuals purporting to be from the IRS tell victims they owe IRS money and pressure them to pay by providing a...

Heightened Scrutiny and Processing Delays Expected After Government Officials Dismissed
, November 08, 2013
Employers should anticipate immediate stricter scrutiny and delays in the processing of immigration applications in the short term, following the dismissal of two division heads at the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) this week.

State Department Projects EB-2 India Retrogression in December
, November 06, 2013
The immigrant visa priority date cut-off for EB-2 India is expected to retrogress to late 2005 or early 2005 in December, a senior State Department official has indicated. Charles Oppenheim, the DOS official responsible for visa control, recently shared these and other predictions for the December...

Minimum Salary to Increase for Type “B” Work Permits on January 1
, October 28, 2013
Effective January 1, 2014, the minimum base salary for highly skilled foreign workers applying for Type “B” work permits will increase by approximately two percent for highly skilled workers to €39,422 annually, from €38,665. The minimum base salary for senior management and...

Cancellation Notices No Longer Accepted
, October 25, 2013
Effective immediately, the National Immigration Institute (INM) in Mexico will no longer accept formal notification of a foreign national’s end of employment.

Reminder: FY 2015 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Ends Saturday, November 2
, October 24, 2013
Registration for the FY 2015 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery ends on Saturday, November 2 at noon EDT. Foreign nationals who wish to register for the FY 2015 lottery must submit their online registration forms and accompanying photographs by that time. Applicants must carefully follow the State...

E-Verify Resumes Operations
, October 22, 2013
In the wake of the federal shutdown, the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system is back online. Participating employers have until November 5, 2013 to initiate E-Verify cases for employees hired during the shutdown, according to new guidance from USCIS. With the system back online,...

Expanded Work Rights for Foreign Students
, October 22, 2013
In January 2014, New Zealand will expand work rights for foreign students in an effort to make the country more attractive for international study.

Immigration Operations After the Federal Shutdown
, October 22, 2013
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is expected to reopen soon, as government agencies return to work in the wake of last night’s passage of a federal budget and debt ceiling bill. It may be several days, however, before OFLC’s PERM, labor...

Online Visa Application System to be Implemented in Stages
, October 17, 2013
Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency (NIA) is phasing in an online application system for certain mainland Chinese nationals entering Taiwan for business travel or work assignments.

Visa Applications to be Simplified for Chinese Visitors
, October 16, 2013
The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a three-step plan to streamline the visa application process for Chinese visitors.

Home Office Introduces Immigration Reform Bill to Parliament
, October 15, 2013
The UK Home Office has introduced to Parliament a bill that seeks to curb unauthorized immigration by broadening the enforcement authority of immigration officers and by making it easier for the UK government to deport those lacking valid immigration status. The bill would also impose new limits on...

November 2013 Visa Bulletin: EB-3 Cut-Off Dates Move Ahead for Most Countries; Modest Advancement for EB-2 China
, October 14, 2013
According to the State Department’s November Visa Bulletin, the EB-3 subcategory for professionals and skilled workers will advance by three months for most countries, to October 1, 2010, but EB-3 India will remain at September 22, 2003.

Fast-Track Residence Permits Expand to Cover Additional Categories
, October 11, 2013
The Spanish Congress has enacted a law that creates fast-track residence permits for managers and highly skilled workers, intracompany transferees, scientific researchers, university lecturers, entrepreneurs and investors, and establishes eligibility criteria and processing times for these...

Minimum Salary Increase for Certain Non-EU Workers
, October 11, 2013
Non-EU nationals sponsored for Luxembourg work permits as intracompany transferees or as locally hired temporary employees must be paid at least €2,305.23 per month. The increased salary requirement applies to new and renewal work permit applications submitted on or after October 1, 2013.

Immigration Fraud Schemes Continue to Target Foreign Nationals
, October 09, 2013
Foreign nationals must continue to be on guard against a widespread fraud scheme currently being perpetrated in the United States.

Home Office Launches Registered Traveler Pilot Program
, October 07, 2013
The UK Home Office has announced it is piloting a registered traveler program that provides expedited entry for eligible nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States who are entering in visitor categories. Registered travelers are permitted to use the border inspection...

Temporary Resident Permit Introduced for Foreign Investors
, October 07, 2013
Third-country nationals who make a significant investment in the Dutch economy can qualify for a new investor residence permit category, effective on October 1, 2013. The new permit is valid for one year initially and can be renewed if the holder continues to meet eligibility requirements. The...

USCIS and the SEC Combat Immigrant Investor Fraud
, October 07, 2013
USCIS and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy have jointly issued an alert to warn of fraudulent investment scams targeting foreign nationals who seek to become permanent lawful U.S. residents through the EB-5 program.

2015 Diversity Visa Lottery Is Open for Registrations
, October 03, 2013
The State Department has begun accepting registrations for the FY 2015 Diversity Visa Lottery. Foreign nationals have until Saturday, November 2, 2013 at noon EDT to submit their online registration forms and accompanying photographs.

Cancellation Before Departure Now Mandatory for Professional Visit Passes
, October 03, 2013
Effective immediately, the Immigration Department in Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) requires that a Professional Visit Pass (PVP) be cancelled upon completion of the holder’s assignment and before departure. The Department has indicated that failure to comply with the tightened...

Electronic Submission of Supporting Documents Now Required for All In-Country Applications
, October 03, 2013
Foreign nationals must electronically submit supporting documents to schedule an appointment online for all in-country immigration process at Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) and Foreign Registration Offices (FROs) throughout India. The requirement was recently announced on...

Federal Shutdown Has Immediate Impact at DOL, E-Verify
, October 03, 2013
Employers are already feeling the immigration impact of the federal shutdown that took effect at 12:01am EDT today. The following is the latest information on immigration operations at affected agencies.

How a Federal Shutdown Will Affect Immigration Operations
, October 03, 2013
As Congress continues to debate the federal budget, administrative agencies are preparing for a government shutdown at 12:01am EDT on October 1 in the event that a budget agreement or stop-gap measure is not reached. The following is the latest information on the effect of a shutdown on immigration...

Significant Increase in Worksite Inspections and Deportations
, October 03, 2013
Local authorities in Israel continue to ramp up their immigration enforcement efforts, with recent unannounced worksite visits made to several multinational corporations involved in government and other types of projects. A key focus of the worksite visits is whether business visitors may be...

What to Expect During the Federal Shutdown: Information for Foreign Nationals
, October 03, 2013
The U.S. Congress was not able to come to consensus on the federal budget by the October 1 deadline. As a result, many U.S. government operations - including some key immigration functions - will be suspended until an agreement is reached.

Employers Should Expect Immigration Audits and Worksite Visits
, September 30, 2013
Employers in Mozambique should be prepared for immigration audits and worksite inspections. The General Work Inspectorate has launched an immigration compliance campaign in an effort to end work authorization certificate fraud. The campaign is starting in the capital, Maputo, and will expand into...

Stricter Requirements for Employment Passes Take Effect in Early 2014
, September 27, 2013
As part of an initiative to provide more employment opportunities to Singapore nationals, the new Fair Consideration Framework will be implemented next year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced.

Electronic Submission of Supporting Documents Now Required for All In-Country Applications
, September 26, 2013
Foreign nationals must electronically submit supporting documents to schedule an appointment online for all in-country immigration process at Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) and Foreign Registration Offices (FROs) throughout India. The requirement was recently announced on...

Threat of Government Shutdown Looms; Immigration Services Could Be Affected
, September 26, 2013
U.S. immigration operations could be suspended or delayed if the House and Senate are unable to pass a spending bill to avert a federal shutdown after September 30. The Departments of Homeland Security, Labor and State have not yet announced how their immigration operations would be affected by a...

Dependent Status Now Grants Automatic Work Authorization
, September 25, 2013
Dependents of third-country nationals with German work or residence permits are now entitled to work under their dependent status. Each dependent’s entry visa and electronic work permit card will be issued with an annotation that states the individual has permission to work. Dependents with...

Multiple Immigration Changes To Take Effect on November 1
, September 25, 2013
Decree 102 from the Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, taking effect on November 1, 2013, will extend work permit eligibility to technical workers and will reform work permit exemption and reporting policies and procedures.

The Thai Urgent Work Permit: When is “Urgent” Not so Urgent?
, September 25, 2013
If there is one aspect of Thai immigration law that confuses employers the most, it is the Urgent Work Permit. In Thailand, individuals visiting for most business activities (including those that would normally be regarded as business visa activities in other countries, such as business meetings)...

DOS Issues 2015 Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions
, September 18, 2013
Each fiscal year, the State Department awards 50,000 green card numbers through a random lottery. Foreign nationals may register for the lottery between October 1, 2013 and November 2, 2013. The winners will be informed on May 1, 2014; and those winners can then submit their green card applications...

New M Visa is Now Used for All Business Visitors
, September 12, 2013
Business visitors to China who require a visa and intend to conduct business or trade must now use the newly created M visa category, the Chinese government has indicated.

In-Person Applications Now Required for Short-Term Work Permits
, September 10, 2013
Effective immediately, applicants for short-term work permits must apply in person with an appointment made in advance with the Argentine immigration agency. Immigration and visa services providers are no longer able to submit these applications on behalf of clients, though they can still assist...

October 2013 Visa Bulletin: EB-2 China Advances Modestly; September 2013 Cut-Off for F2A
, September 10, 2013
According to the State Department’s October Visa Bulletin, the priority date cut-off for EB-2 China will advance by five weeks to September 15, 2008 next month, but EB-2 India will remain unchanged at June 15, 2008. In the EB-3 subcategory for professionals and skilled workers, priority dates...

Permissible Activities for Business Visitors Broadened
, September 10, 2013
The UK is expanding the permissible activities for business and general visitors and making a number of changes to the Points-Based System, under a statement of changes taking effect in October 2013.

Immigration Department Resumes Application Processing
, September 09, 2013
Kenya’s Department of Immigration Services is once again accepting and processing applications for all entry permits and passes, after suspending processing several weeks ago. The Department also clarified that it will regularize the immigration status of any foreign national whose status was...

More Changes Implemented As New Regulations Take Effect
, September 09, 2013
Since the regulations implementing the new Exit and Entry Administrative Law took effect on September 1, more changes to immigration processes and requirements have been implemented in various cities across China. The changes reported below are effective immediately.

Foreign Registration Is Delayed Following Implementation of Program for Foreign Doctors
, September 02, 2013
Foreign nationals seeking to complete mandatory registration with the Federal Police are facing both long appointment wait times and scheduling delays throughout Brazil following the implementation of the More Doctors (Mais Médicos) program, designed to bring up to 4,000 foreign doctors to...

Issuance of Local ID Cards, Police Records Suspended Due to Strike
, September 02, 2013
Issuance of local ID cards and Chilean criminal record certifications is temporarily suspended due to a strike at the Civil Registry. Foreign nationals with approved work visas will not be able to apply for local ID cards until the strike ends but can continue using their provisional ID card (RUT)...

Labor Actions Mean Delays at Canadian Diplomatic Posts and Vancouver Airport
, August 30, 2013
Processing of Canadian visa applications continues to be delayed by a labor dispute at Canadian diplomatic posts, while the threat of a separate job action may significantly impede travel through the Vancouver airport this weekend.

Tightened Rules for Validity of Renewed Visas, Visa Transfers to New Passports
, August 30, 2013
The Thai Immigration Bureau has implemented stricter requirements for Long Stay Visa holders who obtain a new passport or have a passport that expires in less than one year. Effective immediately, these new requirements also apply to the foreign employee’s dependents, regardless of their...

Member States to Implement Combined Work and Residence Permits for Local Hires
, August 26, 2013
European Union member states are required by an EU directive to adopt a single combined work and residence permit system for locally hired third-country national workers by December 25, 2013. Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom are not required to implement the directive. Affected countries...

Delays Continue for Invitation Letters; New Penalties for Immigration Noncompliance
, August 22, 2013
Invitation letters for business visas, Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) work permits and standard work permits continue to be delayed by five to ten business days when processed by the Federal Migration Service (FMS) in Moscow. Invitation letter applications for HQS permits have been delayed since...

Digital Photographs Now Required for All In-Country Applications
, August 22, 2013
Foreign nationals must submit a digital photograph to schedule an appointment online for any in-country immigration process at Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) and Foreign Registration Offices (FROs) throughout India. Foreign nationals should provide the photograph to their...

Entry and Exit Requirements Tightened for Visitors and Residence Permit Holders
, August 22, 2013
Senegal has suspended issuance of its multiple-entry visa, and nationals of most countries will now require a biometric visa to enter Senegal for business or tourism purposes for up to 90 days. Residence permit holders who are not Schengen nationals will have to obtain a visa for travel outside of...

Immigration Department Resumes Limited Processing
, August 19, 2013
The Department of Immigration Services is once again accepting and processing applications for certain entry permits and passes, after suspending processing three weeks ago to focus its attention on anti-corruption measures and the implementation of an accreditation program for local companies and...

Minimum Salaries Decrease for Fast-Track Work Permits and EU Blue Cards
, August 16, 2013
Effective immediately, the minimum salary for fast-track intracompany transfer and local hire work permits filed at the Large Business Unit and EU Blue Card applications will be subject to industry salary rates established by the National Statistics Institute (INE). Minimum salary levels have...

September 2013 Visa Bulletin: Significant Priority Date Advancements for Most Backlogged EB Categories; F-2A Will Remain Current
, August 15, 2013
According to the State Department’s September Visa Bulletin, priority date cut-offs will advance dramatically for most backlogged employment-based immigrant visa categories next month. The family-based F-2A for spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents will remain current.

State Department Reopens 18 Diplomatic Posts in the Middle East and North Africa
, August 13, 2013
The State Department has reopened the following U.S. embassies and consulates, which were temporarily closed last week due to threat of terrorist activity in the region:

Employers Begin to See Impact of Subclass 457 Changes
, August 12, 2013
On July 1, 2013, Australia implemented several changes to its Temporary Work (Skilled)(Subclass 457) visa program, including tougher visa criteria and increased compliance monitoring for the program. Since July 1, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has issued additional guidance...

Global Entry Expands to Certain Citizens of Germany, Korea, Qatar and the UK
, August 12, 2013
Beginning today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will accept applications for membership in the Global Entry trusted traveler program from qualified citizens of Korea, and a limited number of citizens from Germany, Qatar and the UK.

Home Office Launches Public Consultation on Employer Sanction Proposals
, August 12, 2013
A number of measures have been proposed to strengthen and simplify the UK’s civil penalty system to better prevent unauthorized work. The measures include increased fines for noncompliant businesses and a reduction in the number of documents that serve as proof of work authorization. The Home...

Home Office Suspends Some Family-Based Cases After High Court Questions Requirements
, August 12, 2013
The UK Home Office has suspended the adjudication of some applications for family-based immigration benefits while it reconsiders the minimum salary thresholds for British citizens and permanent residents sponsoring family members. This action follows a recent High Court judgment criticizing last...

New Visa Application Fees Take Effect September 1
, August 12, 2013
Australia is increasing its visa application charges by 15% across all visa subclasses except student and tourist visa categories, effective September 1, 2013. This will be the second significant fee increase this year. The government is seeking to increase fee-based revenue by approximately 25% by...

Postal Strike Delays Delivery of Immigration Applications
, August 12, 2013
A postal strike in Chile is expected to cause significant delays in the processing of long-term work visas (Temporary Residence and Work Contract Visas), permanent residence and renewal applications filed in-country.

More Stringent Permanent Residence Rules for EU Citizens and Families; Antwerp Proposes Fast-Track Registration Program
, August 09, 2013
EU nationals and family members of Belgian or EU nationals must now reside in Belgium for five uninterrupted years before they can qualify for unconditional permanent residence, in the form of an E+ or F+ Card. Previously, three uninterrupted years of residence was required.

Reduced Processing Times for Resident ID Cards
, August 09, 2013
Fast-track processing of Resident ID cards is now available in Mexico City, as immigration offices throughout the country take steps to reduce card processing times, which became significantly delayed following the implementation of new immigration regulations in November 2012.

Immigration Offices Across the Middle East Will Close for Eid-al-Fitr
, August 08, 2013
Government offices throughout the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia will be closed in observance of Eid-al-Fitr. In most of the world, Eid-al-Fitr is expected to be observed between August 8 and 11, though the exact dates will vary by country depending on lunar sightings.

Regulation Changes How Short-Term Stay Limits Are Calculated
, August 08, 2013
A European regulation taking effect October 18, 2013 will change how the maximum cumulative stay period is calculated for short-term non-EEA visitors to the Schengen Area - an issue that had been subject to varying interpretations and inconsistent application across Schengen countries and ports of...

Requirements Established for Permanent Residence Based on Multinational Companies Visa
, August 08, 2013
Multinational Companies visa holders can qualify for permanent residence after having worked for multiple employers but will have to prove that they made qualifying investments, according to new regulations published this week.

State Department Temporarily Closes 19 Diplomatic Posts Due to Potential Terrorist Activity
, August 07, 2013
The State Department has temporarily closed 19 U.S. consulates and embassies in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa because of the threat of imminent terrorist activity in the region. The posts are to remain closed until Saturday, August 10, though the closures could be extended beyond this date...

Fraud Scheme Targets Foreign Nationals
, August 05, 2013
Foreign nationals should be on their guard against a fraud scheme currently being perpetrated in the United States.

U.S. Consulates Begin Accepting Visa Applications for Same-Sex Spouses
, August 05, 2013
U.S. embassies and consulates will immediately begin to adjudicate visa applications based on same-sex marriages, the State Department has announced. Visa applications based on same-sex marriages will be adjudicated in the same way that opposite-sex spousal applications are treated.

Short-Term Work Authorization to be Introduced September 2
, August 02, 2013
A new short-term work authorization program becomes available for non-EEA nationals on September 2, 2013, now that the Irish government has drafted the legislation and policy needed to implement the program. It will allow non-EEA nationals to work in Ireland in specified situations for a duration...

Fast-Track Visa and Work Permit Program Is Expanded
, August 01, 2013
A pilot program that fast-tracks visa and work permit applications has been expanded to include visa-exempt nationals on local payroll, including intracompany transferees and local hires operating in a management or specialist capacity.

Government Introduces Further Changes to Visa Regime
, August 01, 2013
The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a new law that has introduced further changes following the restructuring of the country’s visa regime in June. Highlights of the new law include electronic filings for all visas and additional requirements for work visas, change of status...

Government Issues Finalized Regulations to Implement New Immigration Law
, August 01, 2013
The Chinese government has released finalized regulations implementing the new Exit and Entry Administrative Law that will take effect September 1, 2013. The regulations differ in a number of ways from the proposed regulations that were released in May. The new regulations do not answer all of the...

Initial Visa-free Stays Extended to 30 Days for Most Foreign Nationals
, August 01, 2013
From August 1, nationals of 151 countries can enter the Philippines and be granted an initial stay of 30 days, up from 21 days currently, following a joint announcement by the Bureau of Immigration, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and several other agencies.

New Changes to the Labor Market Opinion Process Take Effect Today
, August 01, 2013
The Canadian government today announced that effective immediately, Labor Market Opinion (LMO) applications within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) are subject to additional recruitment requirements and restrictions on using foreign language skills as a job requirement. There is also a...

Authorization To Be Required for Offshore Work
, July 31, 2013
Australia recently enacted legislation that will require all foreign offshore workers to hold a visa granting work authorization. A new offshore worker visa will be created to accommodate the new requirement. The legislation is expected to take effect in early 2014.

Foreign Service Officers’ Strike Delays Visa Processing
, July 31, 2013
Foreign service workers at 15 of Canada’s busiest visa application centers walked off the job yesterday in an ongoing labor dispute with the Canadian government. Though visa offices remain open with temporary staff, visa applicants and employers should expect significant processing delays.

TSA Will Soon Allow U.S. Citizens to Enroll in the PreCheck Trusted Traveler Program
, July 30, 2013
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it will begin to allow U.S. citizens to enroll in the TSA PreCheckTravel Program later this year. The new enrollment process will expand the availability of PreCheck to a larger portion of traveling U.S. citizens.

Widespread Processing Delays for Immigration Cases, Document Legalizations
, July 30, 2013
Widespread case processing delays are expected following the dismissal of 620 immigration officials at the Mexican National Immigration Institute (INM) amid allegations of corruption. Delays are expected for work authorization applications and local resident ID cards.

Immigration Processing Temporarily Suspended
, July 29, 2013
The Kenyan Department of Immigration Services provided informal notification yesterday that no new applications for work permits, citizenship, permanent residence, short-term work permits (Special Pass) and work permit renewals will be accepted. Dependent and student (pupil) pass applications are...

New Regulation Creates Significant Changes to Immigration System
, July 29, 2013
A new regulation has resulted in changes to immigration processing in Ukraine. The regulation features streamlined document requirements, a longer validity period for intracompany transfer work permits, new compliance requirements for employers and greater authority for the government agency...

USCIS Clarifies Immigration Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses
, July 29, 2013
Same-sex marital partners are eligible to accompany or join their employment-based immigrant, nonimmigrant, asylee and refugee spouses, a new USCIS FAQ clarifies. The agency will treat a same-sex marriage “exactly the same as an opposite-sex marriage,” for these and other immigration...

Diploma Equivalencies for Architects and Engineers Are Delayed Following Arrest of Officials
, July 24, 2013
The processing of foreign diploma equivalencies needed for foreign engineers, architects and urban planners to extend their interim work permits is likely to be delayed in the wake of the arrest of several officers of the Turkish Chamber of Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), the agency responsible...

Holiday Closures in September Will Further Delay Immigration Processing
, July 24, 2013
Israeli government agencies, including those responsible for work permit processing and visa issuance, will be open for only twelve business days in September during observance of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Israeli consular posts will have the option of closing or operating on a...