Latest updates in global
1 October 2020
Global immigration rules and procedures are changing by the day, as governments around the world begin to ease lockdown measures and certain overseas visa centres begin a phased reopening. However, certain restrictions and exemptions are still in place in most countries, therefore travelers should be aware of the current rules in their destination country before travelling.
With this in mind, Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following key updates in global immigration this week.
USA: Injunction blocks immigration fee increases
A federal district court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing a regulation that was set to increase U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fees as of 2 October 2020.
The fee rule would subject employment-based petitioners and applicants to significantly higher fees and new forms for H-1B, L-1 and other non-immigrant petition types, as well as for forms associated with adjustment of status applications.
The impact of this rule would increase premium processing times to nearly three weeks. Though the new rule was set to take effect tomorrow, the final versions of the required new forms have not yet been released to the public.
Canada: Temporary policy for reusing biometrics
Due to public health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of biometrics sites in and outside of Canada remain closed, or have reopened with only limited services. The sites include some visa application centres (VACs), United States application support centres (ASCs) and designated Services Canada Centres. The closures and limited service offerings mean applicants are not always able to provide their biometric information at a centre.
Recognising the impact of the ongoing service disruption on applicants in and outside of Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented a temporary policy to help speed up the processing of some applications.
Until further notice, foreign nationals who have previously given their biometrics in support of an immigration application within the last ten years will not need to provide their biometrics in support of their pending or new application for permanent residence.
While this temporary public policy is in place, the biometrics these applicants have previously given will be reused for screening purposes to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians as these applications move forward in processing.
Ireland: Automatic renewals for residence permissions
Due to ongoing issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish government has granted automatic renewals for residence permissions until 20 January 2021.
The extensions cover those whose permission expires between 20 September and 20 January 2021, and also applies to people with permissions extended under previous notices.
The extension is based on the individual’s current residence permission. This blanket permission is very welcomed, especially due to long delays in renewal permissions nationwide. The permission covers those residents both inside and outside Ireland, who hold an Irish Residence Permission, valid from 20 March until the 20 January 2021.
SSW Global Immigration
At Smith Stone Walters, moving people across borders is our business.
Our team of immigration experts manage and support immigration moves throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. We have spent years refining our global immigration capability, with a carefully selected choice of local partners to meet every client need.
If you need advice or support in reaching your business’s global immigration goals, Smith Stone Walters would be delighted to help. Contact us today to discuss your requirements – we are immigration experts.