EU Nationals Beware! Time Away From the U.K. Can Jeopardize Your Pre-Settled Status

For most people, the EU Settlement Scheme has largely lived up to the government’s promise of being generous and straightforward, but confusion over permitted absences is likely to cause some trouble. In particular, EU nationals who hold Pre-settled Status should be aware of the absence rules, particularly if they want to remain in the U.K. and plan to apply for Settled Status after five years.

Under current rules, if an EU national with Pre-settled Status is outside the U.K. for more than six months in any 12-month period during the five years it takes to qualify for Settled Status, they will generally have to start the five years all over again. And if they return after 31 December 2020, they may lose the right to upgrade to settled status entirely. Which means that these individuals will need to apply for a visa after 1 January 2021 under the new immigration rules.

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Employment-Based Immigration Updates: The October Visa Bulletin and Public Charge Rule

On September 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued the highly anticipated October Visa Bulletin. October 1, 2020, marks the beginning of the U.S. government’s new fiscal year. Each year, there is a fixed number of immigrant visas available for employment-based and family-based categories. When the new fiscal year starts on October 1, a new supply of immigrant visas becomes available. Any unused family-based numbers from the prior fiscal year can be added to the employment-based visa allocations (and vice versa). This past year, family-based numbers were exceptionally low. The pandemic constrained consular operations and Presidential Proclamation 10014 suspended the issuance of immigrant visas, with limited exceptions. The DOS announced that it anticipates the FY 2021 employment-based visa numbers will hit an all-time high of 261,500.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Immigration Updates: Visa Processing, Travel Bans and the New USCIS Fee Schedule

Read on for an overview of updates on immigration and global mobility issues, including those involving visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates, restrictions on travel and the new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee schedule.

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Employment Immigration: Continued Changes From USCIS and the State Department With COVID-19, Travel Bans and Processing

Business immigration in the United States continues the roller coaster ride of the last six months. With the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. immigration has been subjected to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office and consulate closures, travel bans, a three-month suspension of premium processing, and rumors of USCIS furloughs. This short article will address some of the most recent updates.

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U.K. Government Releases Details on Post-Brexit Immigration System

On 13 July, the U.K. government released further details about the U.K.’s future immigration system, which will apply to EU and non-EU nationals from January 2021. Under normal circumstances, such a significant change would be top of mind for companies operating in the U.K., but it has slipped off the business world’s radar as leaders grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic challenges.

But the immigration system in the U.K is going to change, regardless of how prepared the business world is for the new system. The U.K. government has made clear that it is still committed to roll out this new system first thing next year.

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New Executive Order Requires Federal Agencies to Ensure That Contractors Do Not Use Foreign Labor to Displace American Workers

On August 3, 2020, President Donald Trump signed an executive order and released a related fact sheet in furtherance of the White House’s continued efforts to ensure that federal agencies focus on using United States labor in their federal contracts. This new executive order, which is arguably in furtherance of the previous Buy American Hire American executive orders, requires federal agencies to review their contracts and subcontracts from fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to assess whether their contractors used temporary foreign labor to perform the contracts in the United States or performed such contracts in foreign countries when the work had previously been performed in the United States. Federal agencies are then required to determine whether these temporary foreign labor hiring practices and/or offshoring practices negatively affected opportunities for United States workers. Within the next six months, agencies are required to submit reports to the Office of Management and Budget with their findings and to recommend, if necessary, any proposed corrective actions and the timelines to implement such actions.

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