EEA and international migrant workers in the UK labour market

EEA and international migrant workers in the UK labour market

In July 2017, the Government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the European Union and also on how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy.

The areas outlined below provide a general indication of the information the MAC is reviewing:

Part 1 - EEA Migration Trends

Part 2 - Recruitment Practices, Training & Skills

Part 3 - Economic, Social and Fiscal Impacts

Canada: Mexican business visitors and tourists to be eligible for visa-free travel in December

On or after December 1, 2016, Mexican nationals will be able to travel to Canada without a visa for business and tourism, likely for up to 90 days, as per an announcement made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. This agreement is subject to the level of Mexican asylum seekers in Canada remaining at a steady level.

Australia: New criteria for subclass 457 visa sponsors and streamlined processing program forthcoming

On July 1, 2016, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection will implement new qualifying criteria for Accredited Sponsors and will reduce the requisite volume of applications that a sponsor must file to qualify for Accredited Sponsor status.  Additionally, a streamlined processing program for eligible subclass 457 Accredited Sponsors will become available on that date.

United States: July visa bulletin update: USCIS to honor employment-based final action dates only next month

USCIS has determined that, next month, it will only accept employment-based adjustment of status applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is current for final action according to the State Department’s July Visa Bulletin. 

South Africa/India: Additional documentation required for visa applications submitted to VFS in India

Following the announcement that foreign nationals in India must file South African visa applications at a VFS centre, VFS is now requiring additional supporting documents for Intra-company Transfer Work Visa Permit applications.

Panama: Employers of multinational visa holders must now return identification cards

Host employers must now return SEM (Multinational) visa holders’ identification cards when notifying the immigration authorities of the end of the assignment so that the National Migration Service can cancel the foreign worker’s visa.  The deadline for notification is 20 business days from the end of the assignment.

United States: July 2016 visa bulletin: Modest advancement in EB-2 and EB-3 India while China largely holds steady to June dates

According to the State Department’s July Visa Bulletin, there will be modest advancement in the cutoff dates for final issuance of an immigrant visa for EB-2 and EB-3 India next month, while these cutoff dates for China will remain largely unchanged, as projected last month.

United Arab Emirates: Consular process to be required for some employment visa applicants

Employment visa (entry permit) applicants from certain countries will soon have to process their immigration applications through designated UAE consular service centres in their home country before entering the UAE, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

Mongolia: Change to entry requirements

Until 31 December 2015 you can visit Mongolia for tourist and business purposes for 30 days without a visa. This is applicable to visits beginning before 31 December and extending into January.

From 1 January 2016 you ’ll need a visa to enter Mongolia. A Mongolian visit visa is usually valid for a stay of up to 30 days within six months from the date of issue. You can extend your visa up to 30 days once within six months. Full details can be found at Immigration of Mongolia.

Israel: New visa category introduced for pre-approved technology companies

A new visa category called the Entrepreneur High-Tech visa will be available to certain foreign workers that arrive in Israel to work at one of twelve established and pre-approved technology companies, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Economics.  The main benefit of the visa is that it will most likely will not require company sponsorship and there will be no minimum salary.

According to the announcement, fifty Entrepreneur High-Tech visas will be available. The Entrepreneur High-Tech visa will be valid up to two years, with the possibility of renewals for those who will start a company.

USA 2017 Diversity Visa lottery registration opens October 1

The State Department will begin accepting online registrations for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery starting Thursday, October 1, 2015 at noon EDT. Foreign nationals who wish to enter the lottery have until Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at noon EST to file online. 

The DV lottery program makes 50,000 green card numbers available each year through random selection. FY 2017 lottery results will be announced in May 2016. Foreign nationals selected in the FY 2017 lottery can submit their green card applications starting on October 1, 2016. 

Who Is Eligible to Enter the Lottery? 

The DV lottery is open to natives of countries that have historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Entrants must have a high school education (or equivalent) or at least two years of qualifying work experience. 

Individuals from countries with high rates of U.S. immigration are not eligible to register.

This year, those born in the following countries are ineligible: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.  

People born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan can participate. 

There are no changes in the list of countries whose natives are eligible to register.

Those people who cannot register because their country of birth is excluded may be able to qualify through a spouse who was born in an eligible country or, in certain circumstances, through a parent’s country of birth. 

Registering for the Lottery

To register, entrants must submit an online form and a digital photo through the official DV lottery website. DV lottery applicants may include a spouse (same-sex or opposite-sex) and children in their initial entries or add a spouse and children after their initial registration.

Only one entry is permitted per person. If there are multiple registrations on behalf of one person, all of them are disqualified. 

Applicants must carefully follow the State Department’s official lottery instructions. Lottery entries and digital photos that do not precisely conform to the instructions will be disqualified. 

Once the application is accepted, applicants will receive a confirmation number, which can be used to check the status of their application. 

How Lottery Winners Are Chosen and Notified

The State Department chooses lottery winners by random computer selection. Results will be published starting May 3, 2016 through at least September 30, 2017, on the official DV lottery entry status website

Foreign nationals can learn whether they were selected only by visiting the official website and entering their confirmation number. The State Department does not notify entrants by letter, e-mail, fax or telephone. The official website is the only legitimate source of lottery results.

Guarding Against DV Lottery Fraud

DV lottery fraud is very common, but foreign nationals can and should take a few precautions to protect themselves. 

  • Look out for deceptive lottery websites. The only authorized DV lottery website is located on the State Department website. The State Department does not use or authorize any outside individual or company to accept lottery applications or operate the lottery. But websites posing as official government sites or claiming to have State Department authorization abound. They should be avoided. 
  • The State Department does not charge a fee for lottery registrations. A website, individual or company claiming there is a government fee to enter the lottery is fraudulent. 
  • If lottery assistance is needed, seek competent advice. Applicants may use a lawyer or other representative to prepare a lottery registration, but they should be wary of commercial websites that claim to register applicants outside of the registration period or purport to be authorized by the State Department to accept registrations for a fee. 
  • Beware of lottery e-mails, letters or faxes that claim to be from the State Department. The State Department does not send e-mails, letters or faxes about the DV lottery. The official website is the only legitimate source of information about lottery results and the only place to submit a lottery registration. 
  • Be skeptical of any communication claiming a foreign national has won the DV lottery when he or she did not register or registered in a previous year. 
  • Avoid sending money or personal information to questionable individuals or companies.

US State Department announces cut-off dates for immigrant visa availability and filing eligibility

The State Department today issued the October Visa Bulletin in a revised format that will affect the procedures under which certain employer-sponsored foreign nationals and their eligible dependents may submit an application for adjustment of status to permanent residence, as well as applications for interim work and travel authorization.

The revised Visa Bulletin, implementing a facet of the administrative action on immigration announced by the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security last November, is intended to alleviate some of the hardships of lengthy immigrant visa backlogs. It is also intended to improve the process for determining immigrant visa demand, minimize visa retrogression, and help to ensure that all available immigrant visas are issued each year.

Under the prior format of the Visa Bulletin, an employer-sponsored foreign national could file an application to adjust status (or an application for an immigrant visa abroad) once his or her priority date was “current” in the Visa Bulletin for his or her native country and preference category. A foreign national’s priority date – i.e., the date on which a labor certification (if required) or a Form I-140 immigrant worker petition was filed on his or her behalf – is current if it falls before the cut-off date listed in the Visa Bulletin.

The reformed Bulletin now lists two cut-off dates for each backlogged employment-based preference category and country: (1) an “application final action” date, as has always been reported in the Bulletin; and (2) a new “date for filing visa applications,” the cut-off for eligibility to submit an application for adjustment of status or an application for an immigrant visa.


An employer-sponsored foreign national whose priority date is earlier than the application final action date for his or her country and employment-based preference category will be eligible for final agency action to issue an immigrant visa, subject to government processing times. Those with a pending or approved Form I-140 immigrant worker petition can submit an application for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa. Others with a current priority date can file an I-140 and adjustment application concurrently.

In October 2015, final action dates will advance by six years for EB-2 China, but will retrogress by eight months for EB-2 India. EB-3 final action dates will advance by nearly seven years for China and just over two years for the Philippines, but will retrogress by more than nine months for India. For all other countries, EB-3 will remain unchanged from the September Visa Bulletin. EB-5 will advance by six weeks for China, but for the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program, immigrant visas will be unavailable unless Congress reauthorizes the program, which expires on September 30, 2015.


A foreign national whose priority date is earlier than the application filing date for his or her country and employment-based preference category may submit an application for adjustment of status or an application for an immigrant visa in October 2015, along with his or her eligible dependents. Foreign nationals in this category will still be subject to backlogs before they can attain permanent residence, but may file applications for an employment authorization document (EAD) and travel authorization (advance parole) while they await a green card.


The following are answers to frequently asked questions for foreign nationals eligible to file an application for adjustment of status under the reformatted Visa Bulletin. This FAQ will be updated as the State Department and USCIS issue information about application filing under the revised Bulletin.

How long will foreign nationals be able to rely on the application filing window remaining open?

The application filing opportunity is expected to be available only in the early part of the fiscal year. A foreign national whose priority date is current for application filing in October must be sure to file a complete Form I-485 adjustment of status application package with USCIS by October 30, 2015 to benefit. Though the application filing window may remain open after October 2015, this is not at all guaranteed.

Does the Visa Bulletin format change mean that applicants will be issued green cards any earlier?

No, foreign nationals will not get through the permanent residence backlog any more quickly. The reformatted Visa Bulletin just affects the date by which people may file applications to adjust status.

Are dependents eligible to submit an adjustment application along with a principal employer-sponsored foreign national whose priority date is current for application filing?

Yes. The principal’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to file an adjustment application with the principal. Each family member must submit his or her own application.

Must applicants be physically present in the United States in order to file an adjustment of status application?

Yes. A foreign national must be physically present in the United States in order to file an applicant for adjustment of status. Overseas spouses of adjustment applicants should consult with a legal professional to determine whether it is appropriate to enter or reenter the United States in order to be included in the principal’s adjustment application.

What must be included in an application for adjustment of status?

Foreign nationals should contact their designated immigration team for instructions on the personal and family information and documents they will need to provide for each adjustment application.

Foreign investors & entrepreneurs into the UK must provide criminal clearance certificates

A new law will require Tier 1 investors, entrepreneurs and their dependents over the age of 18 submitting visa applications on or after September 1, 2015 to provide an overseas criminal clearance certificate from any country in which they have lived continuously for at least twelve months over the past ten years. This new requirement can prolong the visa application process because criminal clearance certificates can take months to obtain in some countries.

This requirement will be introduced in phases and is expected to eventually apply to applicants of other visa categories and their dependents.

Failure to provide the certificate, or a reasonable explanation for its absence, can lead to refusal of the application.  Providing false or fraudulently-obtained certificates may result in a ten-year ban for any future entry clearance applications.

Currently, applicants only have to declare criminal convictions on their applications.  The new requirement is not expected to apply to extensions or in-country change of status applications.


Rules Regarding Criminal Clearance Certificates

The certificate must be an original document issued by the overseas authority.  If the original is not in English, the applicant must submit a translated copy of the certificate which meets the Home Office’s requirements. 

If the applicant cannot provide a certificate for valid reasons, he or she must provide a letter which details the attempts to obtain a certificate and confirms why this has not been possible. The Home Office will consider whether to waive the requirement, or the applicant may still be asked to provide the certificate.


What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Tier 1 investors, entrepreneurs and their dependents will need to start their visa application process far in advance, as the criminal clearance requirement will likely cause delays in the document-gathering time.


Courtesy of Fragomen Worldwide

Eligible business visitors to Germany benefit from new rule

As of August 1, 2015, non-EEA national business visitors conducting certain business activities will be able to stay in Germany up to 90 days cumulatively within a 180-day period instead of 90 days in a twelve-month period.  This change is in line with the rule for business stays in Schengen countries.

The business visitor activities affected by the change are the following:

  • Attending meetings and negotiations, preparing contract offers, signing contracts and supervising the implementation of contracts for an employer outside Germany;
  • Attending internal business meetings or discussions; and
  • Establishing, auditing, or overseeing an entity in Germany for an employer outside Germany.

Business visitors conducting the following activities are limited to the previous 90 days within a twelve-month period rule:

  • Attending or holding internal seminars or training;
  • Participating in expositions to present and sell company products; and
  • Testing or receiving training for use of equipment and facilities purchased by the employer with a commercial entity outside Germany.

Non-EEA visa nationals must still obtain a visa to enter Germany.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Eligible business visitors to Germany should benefit from the new rule as it will allow a longer stay in Germany, and should consult with their immigration professional to determine whether their upcoming business travel is affected by the change.

Courtesy of Fragomen

No new UAE visas without health insurance

Dubai Health Authority has said any visa application, either new or a renewal, must have health insurance, under new measures being introduced.

The emirate's health authority has said the linking of the health insurance scheme to visa issuance and renewal will ensure all employers comply with the new directive.

The enforcement system will become live on August 1 this year, one day after the phase two (firms with 100 to 999 employees) implementation deadline. The linking of visa renewal or issuance to the mandatory health insurance will not be applicable for phase three companies (less than 100 employees) who have until June 2016 to comply with the regulations.

Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, chairman of the board of the DHA, said: "We are pleased to see that a lot of companies have already complied ahead of the timeline and we encourage all those who have not to do before the deadline. We anticipate that in phase two 600,000 people will be insured.

"At the time that the law was introduced in November 2013, the insured population in Dubai was 1.1 million. Since the phased introduction, until now, an additional 1.2 million people are insured, bringing the total insured population in Dubai to 2.3 million. This shows that employers are responding very well to the scheme."

Courtesy of Global Relocation Consultants.