SSW Global immigration

Whether you are a frequent traveller taking regular business trips overseas, or you are planning a more permanent international relocation, understanding the local immigration rules in your destination country is a critical stage of the planning process.

To help business travellers and employers remain up to date with the latest travel and visa developments worldwide, Smith Stone Walters collates a weekly round-up of global immigration news. This week, we would like to highlight the following updates.

Delays in visa processing during Eid

During Eid-al-Fitr, foreign nationals and their employers should expect immigration processing delays in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, and parts of Asia in the coming weeks.

Most of the following countries will not operate during the festive period from 12-17 May:

  • Algeria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Lebanon
  • Morocco
  • Malaysia
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Turkey
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates

Please note that the above is not an exhaustive list. For more information, please contact a SSW advisor.

New advertising rules in the Philippines

All foreign nationals who intend to work in the Philippines are required to obtain an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). An AEP authorises a foreign national to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines as long as no domestic manpower is available.

According to the DOLE, employers in the Philippines will be subject to new advertisement standards as part of a labour market test for AEP applications beginning on 5 May 2021.

Workers and employers will also be subject to additional new regulations for the AEP permit process. Foreign nationals renewing their AEPs, as well as those who will be holding designated and elective positions, will be exempt from this provision.

The new requirements mean employers must advertise work openings in a general circulation newspaper in the Philippines for at least 15 days before submitting an application for an AEP. This new advertising provision is in addition to the current requirement that, upon submitting an application for an AEP, the applicant’s position be published with the Regional Labour Office.

Foreign nationals with valid AEPs who wish to change positions or employers must surrender their AEPs and apply for a new one under the new role or employer from 5 May.

Suspension of biometric requirement for US EAD applicants

US employers are required to check that all employees, regardless of citizenship or nationality, are permitted to work in the United States. Individuals who are not US citizens or lawful permanent residents may need to prove they can work in the United States by presenting an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

For H-4, L-2, and E spousal non-immigrants seeking these work authorisation papers, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to suspend the in-person biometrics requirement shortly, following a lawsuit challenging lengthy processing delays affecting these types of EAD applicants.

USCIS’s limited suspension of the biometrics provision is expected to apply to H-4, L-2, and E spousal EAD applications that are pending on 17 May 2021 and have not yet obtained a biometric service appointment notice in connection with the filing, as well as applications filed on or after 17 May 2021, through 23 May 2022.

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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