Mayer Brown’s Global Directions is a summary of recent immigration and mobility trends arising in key jurisdictions around the globe. This high-level overview alerts recipients to select changes in law and practice that may affect their global mobility programs.

Americas

United States

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing of Certain H-1B Petitions

On July 24, 2017, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would resume premium processing of certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. Specifically, premium processing is again available to cap-exempt petitions filed by institutions of higher education, nonprofits related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education, and nonprofit research or governmental research organizations. USCIS plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit.

Europe

Belgium

Foreign Nationals Can Work Short-Term with EU ICT Permits

Belgian authorities have confirmed that the short-term intra-EU provisions of the European Union Intracompany Transferee (EU ICT) Directive are now applicable to foreign national workers. The EU ICT Directive was implemented in 2014 to streamline ICT transfers to the European Union with the exception of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The deadline to fully implement the directive was November 2016, which Belgium failed to meet. Nevertheless, workers with EU ICT permits issued by another EU member state are authorized to work in Belgium for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. While companies seeking to hire a foreign national pursuant to this directive are not required to obtain a new work permit, they must notify Belgian authorities prior to the start of the assignment.

Netherlands

International Commercial Trade Regulations Take Effect

Effective July 1, 2017, the Dutch government implemented the International Commercial Trade Regulations, following the expiration of its Knowledge-Based Industry Pilot Project. The new regulations provide an avenue for companies to hire foreign workers to perform certain duties that that could not be performed by the Dutch or EU workforce, such as providing training in the Netherlands to a Dutch company’s employees or its client’s employees. To be eligible, a company must submit a request with the Employment Insurance Schemes Implementing Body. If the request is approved, the employer is not required to apply for a work permit. Instead, the employer merely needs to notify the Employment Insurance Schemes Implementing Body that the foreign national will be employed in the Netherlands pursuant to the regulation. Employees who will work in the Netherlands for longer than three months must apply for a residence permit. The residence permit may be issued for a maximum period of one year.

Norway

Minimum Salary Increased in Norway

Starting July 1, 2017, companies employing foreign nationals with a residency permit for work purposes will be required to increase the minimum salary for those employees. For positions requiring a bachelor’s degree, the new minimum salary is 386,700 Norwegian kroner per year. For positions requiring a master’s degree or higher, the new minimum salary is 416,600 Norwegian kroner per year. In addition, foreign nationals must have the same working conditions as Norwegian workers.

Middle East

Israel

Israel Introduces New Visa for Innovators

The Israel Innovation Authority has created a new visa scheme for innovators and entrepreneurs. The Innovation Visa, part of the B-2 visa scheme, is part of a three-year pilot program to attract new talent to Israel. The visa will allow an individual to develop a technologically innovative project with the aim of establishing an Israeli company. As an incentive, the individual will receive support from the Innovation Authority’s Tnufa Incentive Program, including access to technology infrastructure and work space and other logistical support. The visa will be approved for an initial period of 24 months. Individuals who wish to extend their stay can apply for a long-term expert visa.