What's new in global

This week, the SSW Global Immigration team would like to highlight the following updates from Sweden and the United States.

Sweden: Changes to work permit rules

The government of Sweden has published further guidance on the changes to the work permit rules which take effect on 1 June 2022.Key changes in the new rules include:

  • Those applying for a work permit will need to present an employment contract before they can receive a decision.
  • Those who have or are applying for a work permit must show that they can support accompanying family members the first time they apply for a residence permit as a co-applicant.
  • It will be possible to apply for an extended work permit several times. In this way, work permit holders can stay in Sweden for more than four years, even if they do not meet the requirements for obtaining a permanent residence permit.
  • Holders can apply for a visa if they need to travel abroad on a business trip while waiting for a decision on an extended work permit.
  • A new permit is introduced for people who are highly educated who want to come to Sweden to apply for work.
  • In some cases, the employer must notify the Swedish Migration Agency if the terms of employment change after the decision on a work permit.
  • The Swedish Migration Agency will also have greater possibilities to check that the employer complies with the terms of the employment contract. Not complying with the agreement, or not notifying the Swedish Migration Agency of changes, can have negative consequences for the employer.

The new rules apply to both new applications and to people who are already waiting for a decision. This means that applicants who have already submitted an application for a work permit may in some cases need to supplement their application by submitting a copy of their employment contract. The Swedish Migration Agency will contact these applicants or their employers if more information about the employment is required in order to make a decision.

The requirement to present an employment contract when applying for a work permit will apply to most workers, but some exceptions exist. The following are not affected by the changes, but should continue to present the same documents as before:

  • EU Blue Card
  • ICT permits
  • Researchers
  • Professional athletes
  • Seasonal workers
  • Au pairs
  • Trainees
  • Volunteers under the European Solidarity Corps
  • Summer jobs for young people (so-called Working Holiday visa).

United States: ESTA fee increase

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that the fee for travellers intending to travel to the United States with an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) has increased from $14 to $21.

CBP began collecting the new fee amount on 26 May 2022. Individuals with an approved ESTA do not have to re-apply at this time, as an ESTA is valid for up to two years.

The ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by air, land, or sea. The VWP enables eligible nationals of 40 countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa if they have an approved ESTA. CBP encourages travellers to obtain an approved ESTA by using the official website Official ESTA Application Website, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (dhs.gov).

United States: Premium processing for pending Form I-140 petitioners

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is implementing premium processing for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.

This expansion of premium processing only applies to certain previously filed Form I-140 petitions under an E13 multinational executive and manager classification or E21 classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (NIW).

Petitioners who wish to request a premium processing upgrade must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.

The expansion will occur in phases:

  • From 1 June 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before 1 January 2021.
  • From 1 July 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for E21 NIW petitions received on or before 1 June 2021, and E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before 1 March 2021.

USCIS will reject premium processing requests for these classifications that are filed before the relevant start date and will not accept new (initial) Forms I-140 with a premium processing request at this time.

On 23 May 2022, USCIS published a new version of Form I-907, dated 05/31/22.

  • For the month of June 2022, USCIS will accept both the 09/30/20 and the 05/31/22 editions of Form I-907.
  • Starting 1 July 2022, USCIS will reject the older 09/30/20 edition of Form I-907.

Expert advice on global immigration

If you need support with any aspect of worldwide immigration, Smith Stone Walters is here to help.

To speak to a member of our Global Immigration team, please contact us today.

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