Canada: New Employer Compliance Framework
- Effective December 1, 2015, changes to Canada’s employer compliance framework for employers of temporary foreign workers, specifically with respect to penalties, will be implemented. Employment and Social Development Canada will implement a new points system for determining appropriate fines and bans based on the severity and frequency of violations. Employers may be banned from utilizing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for one, two, five, or 10 years, or may be banned permanently.
United States: Global Entry Expanded to Citizens of the United Kingdom
- US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that Global Entry, a CBP Trusted Traveler Program, has been expanded to include citizens of the United Kingdom. A pilot program for UK citizens to participate in Global Entry was launched in 2011.
- Beginning December 3, 2015, UK citizens may register for Global Entry through the United Kingdom Home Office website. Following an interview with a CBP officer, approved applicants will be granted a five-year membership.
- The Global Entry program expedites the screening process for travelers when entering the United States. The program currently has more than 2.5 million members.
France: Schengen Visas Will Continue to be Issued; Border Security Heightened
- In response to the November 13 attacks, France has implemented tighter security measures at its borders, resulting in entry and exit delays.
- There was a report on the Schengen visa website stating that France would suspend the issuance of Schengen visas. However, multiple French embassies have confirmed this report to be incorrect and advised that Schengen visas are still being issued. Schengen visa holders, however, can expect to be stopped and inspected at the French border due to the new security measures. Under normal circumstances, Schengen visa holders are free to move anywhere within the Schengen area without inspection.
Italy: Citizenship Reform Passes House, Moves to Senate
- A citizenship reform bill that addresses the citizenship eligibility of immigrant children has passed the House and now goes before the Senate for a vote. The bill contains the following eligibility criteria for immigrant children:
- Children born in Italy to foreign parents are considered Italian citizens at birth if at least one of parent has obtained permanent residency, or is entitled to citizenship upon attending and completing five years of school.
- Children under the age of 12 when they arrive in Italy will be eligible to receive citizenship status upon attending and completing five years of school. For such children, their parents must apply on the child’s behalf before the child’s 18th birthday. Alternatively, such children may apply themselves prior to their 20th birthday.
- Children who arrive in Italy prior to the age of 18 can apply for citizenship if they have resided regularly in Italy for at least six years and have successfully completed a certain level of education.
Switzerland: Quotas for 2016 Work Permits Announced
- Nationwide quotas for 2016 B and L permits have been announced. B permits are long-term residence permits, which are valid for up to five years and are renewable. L permits are valid for up to 12 months and may be converted into B permits after two years.
- The limit for people who are not European Union/European Free Trade Association (EU/EFTA) nationals in 2016 is 4,000 L permits and 2,500 B permits. L and B permits for EU/EFTA nationals are limited to 2,000 and 250 respectively.