What's new in global

With global immigration rules and guidance changing by the day, it is important for businesses and individuals to keep on top of the latest developments to identify any changes that may impact your immigration goals.

With this in mind, Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following key updates in global immigration.

USA: Form I-9 physical presence deferral continues

In the United States, all employers are required to complete a Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorisation of all individuals they hire, whether they are US citizens or overseas citizens.

Under normal circumstances, employers must review original documentation, confirming the identity and work permission of their employees as part of Form I-9. However, this requirement had been deferred by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until the end of March 2021 as a result of the pandemic.

The deferral will now continue to no earlier than 31 May 2021, with qualifying employers permitted to review virtual documents or photocopies. The allowance does not apply where employees are physically present at a work location.

Employers should note ‘normal practices’ and ensure they remain compliant on any given case. For further clarification as the rules change, please contact the SSW team.

Ireland: Immigration permissions automatically extended

In line with many jurisdictions across the globe, Ireland is providing some security for visa holders by granting automatic extensions during COVID-19. Those with permission due to expire between 21 April 2021 and 20 September 2021 will be included.

The offering includes those who previously had their permissions extended under similar provisions and extends to Residence Permit Cards as well as Passport Stamps.

For employers in particular, it is important to note that these measures do not extend to employment permits such as General Employment Permit, Intra-company Transfer and Critical Skills.

India: OCI card rules relaxed

An Overseas Citzenship of India (OCI) Card is a multiple entry life-long visa which enables the holder to have unlimited travel and stay in India.

OCI Card holders under the age of 20 are expected to obtain a new card each time they obtain a new passport. For those holders over the age of 50, the card must be re-issued at least once, following a new passport.

In practice, card holders were able to enter India without an updated OCI card as long as they carried their new and old passports with them.

However under current provisions, valid until 31 December 2021, card holders will not need to carry their old passport with them. Travel will be permitted with the OCI card and new passport, which will not have matching passport numbers.

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.

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