• Initial Board of Investments Work Permit Applicants Subject to Longer Long-Term Visa Process
  • March 1, 2017
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Effective immediately, employees of companies registered with the Board of Investments (BOI) filing their initial Work Permit applications to the One Stop Service Center (OSSC) must first obtain their Work Permit booklet from the Employment Department Section before obtaining an in-person queue number to file their long-term visa application at the Immigration Section, which will delay the current process. Previously, foreign workers applying for a Work Permit under the BOI process could obtain a Work Permit booklet and long-term visa simultaneously.

    Personal Appearance Details for Initial Work Permit Applicants

    Obtaining a new Work Permit under the BOI and a long-term visa in the same process will therefore now require two appearances, either in one day (which can take up to seven hours) or on separate days (which can take can up to four hours per day). The long-term visa application must be made within 15 calendar days of the issuance of the Final Candidate Nomination Approval Letter from the BOI.

    Personal Appearance Details for Work Permit Holders

    A representative can still appear on behalf of a Work Permit holder to renew a Work Permit, but the foreign worker must still appear in person for the long-term visa application, which can take up to four hours.

    Background

    The reason for this change is that initial BOI Work Permit applicants were obtaining their long- term visas before or without properly obtaining first their Work Permit booklet. As a result, the OSSC now requires strict verification that a Work Permit booklet is issued before a long-term visa can be granted.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Employers should expect delays for Work Permit and long-term visa applications.

    Foreign nationals seeking an initial Work Permit and a long-term visa will be subject to a new administrative hurdle since they must first obtain a Work Permit booklet before they can proceed with the long-term visa application.