China. China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) recently instituted new regulations for representative offices of foreign companies (ROs) in Shanghai , limiting head count as well as the validity period of the RO’s registration. ROs are now only able to sponsor a maximum of four foreign representatives. In addition, the registration certificates for ROs must be renewed annually. Though these restrictions are only being implemented in Shanghai currently, they will be implemented throughout China in 2010. These new restrictions do not apply to representative offices of foreign law firms. For additional information, see the recent Seyfarth One Minute Memo on this topic.

Australia. The Australian government has announced it is reforming the permanent skilled migration program to ensure that it is more responsive to the needs of industry and employers and better addresses the nation’s future skill needs. The reforms will deliver a demand—rather than supply—driven skilled migration program that meets the needs of the economy in sectors and regions where there are shortages of highly skilled workers, such as healthcare, engineering, and mining. For additional information, see the recent Seyfarth One Minute Memo on this topic.

Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), in cooperation with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), has proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. Among the proposed regulations are four main regulatory changes that, if enacted, would dramatically alter the existing Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). For additional information, see the recent Seyfarth Management Alert on this topic.