Colombia -- New Immigration Developments Immigration Reform The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a new resolution changing all visas and related requirements and proceedings. The resolution will take effect on November 2, 2017. The main changes provided under this resolution are:
- Consolidated visa categories - There will only be three types of visa, which will consolidate the existing visa assumptions and newly incorporated ones. These types of visas will be: Visitor visa (V visa), Migrant visa (M visa) and Resident visa (R visa).
- Broadened discretional powers - The discretional powers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were broadened to the extent that they can grant visas even in special cases where the scope of the activities to be performed is not defined as a visa assumption.
- Listed authorized activities - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided a list of activities authorized by the visa holder under each visa assumption.
- Shortened visa application process - The review period for visa applications was shortened from 10 to five business days.
- Cross permits - In addition to the authorized activities provided under V visas, its holders will be authorized to perform business-related activities, market research, foreign investment plans and processes, and incorporation of legal entities.
- Professional suitability- For the development of independent professions in Colombia, the visa applicant must obtain a professional permit granted by the Ministry of Education and Professional Councils in advance of the visa application process.
- The Venezuelan national was in Colombia when the resolution was issued;
- The Venezuelan national entered to Colombia by regular means (immigration control post);
- The Venezuelan national does not have aa criminal record in Colombia or abroad; and
- The Venezuelan national does not have a deportation order in force.
Evelyn Romero | Bogota Alexandra Silveira | Bogota
+57 1 634 1566 +57 1 634 1539
Germany -- New Residence Permits for Intra-Company Transfers
Starting August 1, 2017, foreign companies have a new option to send their Non-EU employees to Germany. The EU Directive on Intra-Company Transfer ordered member states to implement new residence permits into their national law. Germany was one of the last countries to implement such permits. General Overview of Intra-Company Transfer/ Work Permit Options Citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino and the Unites States of America do not need visas to enter Germany. For airport transit or tourist trips up to a maximum duration of 90 days within a 180-day period (considering all days of stay in the Schengen Area including Germany), a residence permit is not required and a valid passport is sufficient for travel. Business trips are allowed for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period in Germany without obtaining a specific work permit. However, a corresponding residence permit may be required if the 90 days within the 180-day period in the Schengen Area have already been used. Persons who wish to seek gainful employment in Germany are required to obtain a visa prior to their entry into Germany at a German Embassy or Consulate General which will be converted by the local immigration office into a national residence permit, including a corresponding work permit, after entry. Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States may apply for their residence permits for work purposes after entering Germany at the local Immigration Office without obtaining an entry visa beforehand. A separate application at the German Embassy or Consulate General abroad is therefore not required for citizens of these countries. Most immigration offices accept applications directly in Germany via an attorney even before the applicant enters Germany. The New ICT Permits Effective August 1, 2017, non-EU nationals can apply for an Intra Corporate Transfer Permit (ICT Permit) and a "Mobile ICT Permit." These permits are meant for non-EU nationals who are bound (and remain bound during their secondment) by a work contract with a non-EU entity belonging to the same group of companies which is established in the EU Member State to which they are seconded. Further non-exhaustive terms and conditions are as follows:
- The individual must qualify as a "manager," "specialist" or "trainee" as defined in the Residence Act;
- The individual must have been employed within the company group for at least six months (immediately prior to the start of the intra-company transfer) and for the period of the transfer;
- The secondment must be longer than 90 days;
- The Federal Labor Agency must give its consent;
- The individual must present an employment contract or offer letter for the secondment;
- The individual must prove his or her work qualifications.
Agnes Herwig | Frankfurt
- Invest at least EUR 2 million in government bonds (to be held for at least two years);
- Invest at least EUR 1 million in the share capital of an Italian company or at least EUR 500,000 in the share capital of an innovative start-up (also such investment needs to be held for at least two years); or
- Donate EUR 1 million to philanthropic projects of public interest (such as culture, education, migration management, scientific research and recovery of artistic assets).
Sergio Antonelli | Milan Uberto Percivalle | Milan
+39 02 76231 329 +39 02 76321 330
Giulio Allevato | Milan Cristina Brevi | Milan
+39 02 76231 457 +39 02 76321 490
- The scope, nature and duration of the project. The project should be of a temporary nature related to international trade. It can consist of collaboration, a partnership or an agreement for the delivery of goods or services in/from the Netherlands. It may also include attending or providing training, education and/or guidance to operate specific new machinery/equipment.
- The scope and nature of the work activities to be performed by the non-EU nationals. Activities must be performed in the capacity of director-shareholder, contractor or employee of the foreign company. The knowledge/expertise of the non-EU national(s) should be specifically required.
- The value of the goods and/or services that will be provided in (or received from) the Netherlands.
- The number of non-EU nationals involved.
- The value of the project.
- Whether the admission will — or could potentially — impair or lead to unfair competition in the Dutch/European labor market. Primary assessment in this respect relates to whether suitable candidates (with a European nationality) can be found to perform the project without the need to engage non-EU nationals.
Ilya Hoekerd | Amsterdam
+31 20 551 7887
Summary August 3, 2017 marked the start of an enhanced EntrePass scheme meant to facilitate the entry of promising foreign startup talent who wish to establish innovative businesses in Singapore. This enhancement introduces new evaluation criteria for prospective applicants, such as entrepreneurial and investment track records, business network and key achievements in their respective areas of expertise. Other key elements include the removal of the S$50,000 paid-up capital requirement and extension of pass validity after the first renewal. The improved scheme aims to attract a larger pool of skilled global startup talent at an early stage of idea exploration, who will complement local startups and create jobs for Singaporeans. The Broadened Criteria Under the existing innovation criteria, an applicant must:
- Have funding/investment from a Government-recognized venture capitalist or business angel;
- Hold intellectual property
- Have a research collaboration with an Institute of Higher Learning or research institution in Singapore; or
- Be an incubatee at a Government-recognized incubator/accelerator.
The introduction of new evaluation criteria adds:
- Business network and entrepreneurial track record;
- Extraordinary achievements in key areas of expertise; and
- Investment track record.
Applicants must meet at least one of the above criteria to be eligible for an EntrePass. Additional Changes Apart from broadening of evaluation criteria, foreign startup talent no longer must meet the S$50,000 paid-up capital requirement in order to be eligible for an EntrePass. Removing this requirement recognizes the non-monetary contributions of global startup talent such as expertise and relevance to industries. The validity period of each EntrePass will also be extended from one to two year, after the first renewal, which provides more certainty for global entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses. In addition to SPRING Singapore, the enhanced EntrePass scheme will see the inclusion of two new partner agencies: the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the National Research Foundation, supported by SGInnovate. Together, these agencies will work with the Ministry of Manpower to evaluate the applications in their respective sectors. Conclusion The enhanced EntrePass is part of Singapore's wider efforts in establishing innovative business startups. This will result in the creation of more job opportunities, knowledge and skillsets exchange, and understanding of foreign market opportunities.
Zhao Yang Ng | Singapore
+852 2846 2149
email@example.com United States -- DACA Phase-Out Leaves US Employers Asking "What's Next?"
Background Although not unexpected, the Trump Administration’s phase-out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program leaves employers in a quandary on logical next steps: Which employees will be affected? How many employees will we lose, and when? Is there anything we need to do? What position, if any, should the company take on this issue? In early September, the Trump Administration announced that it will end the DACA program. The 2012 Obama Administration policy initiative removed the threat of deportation, giving certain individuals who entered the US illegally as children or overstayed their valid visas temporary permission to stay in the US. Individuals who received deferred action through DACA were also eligible to receive a two-year period of work authorization. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted DACA to those individuals viewed as low enforcement priorities. Among other criteria, an applicant must have been enrolled in or graduated from high school, had no convictions for serious offenses and must not have posed a threat to national security or public safety. It is estimated that DACA benefited nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants. DHS will wind down DACA over the next six months. Specifically, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept any initial DACA applications. DACA renewal applications must be filed by October 5, 2017 for those with approvals that expire between now and March 5, 2018, effectively setting an expiration date for DACA based work authorization in 2020. Current DACA based employment authorization documents will remain valid until they expire. Absent legislative action or court intervention in the interim, DACA beneficiaries will no longer benefit from deferred action and will no longer possess work authorization after their current DACA approval and employment authorization document ends. What does this mean for employers? The rescission of DACA adds to a mounting list of concerns for US employers that rely on a foreign national workforce. Employers must manage the potential loss of employees amidst a rancorous national discourse on immigration. Employers may be caught in a balancing act between immigration compliance and compassion towards valued employees – a challenge not lost on our government. To be sure, any alternative immigration relief for DACA beneficiaries will be ultimately decided by Congress. Meanwhile, companies can use this time to take a proactive approach to ensure the employment eligibility of, and communicate a broader message of diversity and inclusion to, their entire employee population. Employers should consider the following action items:
- Have a mechanism in place to monitor and alert Human Resources of employment authorization expiration dates;
- Develop a standard communication to remind employees of employment reverification requirements at least 90 days before the date reverification is required;
- Foster an open dialogue to address employee concerns as they relate to the rescission of DACA or other immigration-related Executive Orders in a manner that does not violate company policy;
- Identify escalation protocols for anyone who has questions and concerns to speak with internal global mobility or immigration teams in conjunction with corporate immigration counsel; and
- Conduct an audit of Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (Form I-9) for the entire workforce to ensure compliance.
Employers must terminate an employee who cannot provide evidence of employment authorization at the time of reverification. Although managing staffing needs is a real concern, to not run afoul of the Immigration and Nationality Act or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers should not:
- Preemptively terminate an employee for having work authorization based on DACA;
- Ask DACA beneficiaries to identify themselves;
- Selectively choose to reverify employment eligibility for employees on the basis of immigration status; or
- Rely on employees to notify Human Resources of expiring employment authorization documents.
If employers choose to proactively review Forms I-9 and identify employees who hold employment authorization documents based on DACA to better understand the potential impact on the workforce, they should ensure that no decision-maker is part of that process to avoid any discrimination or retaliation issues. How will an employer know whether an employment authorization document has been issued based on DACA? An employment authorization document that references “C33” under the “Category” heading (that appears on both the front and back of the card) has been issued to a DACA recipient. Nothing on the Form I-9 itself would indicate that the employee possesses a DACA-based (Category “C33”) employment authorization document. An employer that does not maintain copies of documents presented for employment eligibility verification purposes should not go back to employees to ask for them. If desired, multinational employers may consider assigning DACA beneficiaries to work outside the United States for a related entity. However, companies should carefully review with counsel the employment, immigration and tax implications of doing so. For now, employers will have to wait to see if Congress takes action to preserve DACA and what impact it may have on DACA beneficiaries. In addition to following the guidance discussed above, employers should continue to monitor any developments.
Melissa Allchin | Chicago Emily Harbison | Houston
+1 312 861 8661 +1 713 427 5045