Global immigration news
19 July 2022
This week, the SSW Global Immigration team would like to highlight the following recent updates from France, Kazakhstan and the United States.
France: New French language proposal
The French government has proposed a new requirement for applicants for a multi-year carte de séjour residence permit to pass a French language test.
This would not apply to current carte de séjour holders or to British nationals living in France under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Multi-year cartes de séjour pluriannuelles, lasting up to four years, are only issued after a first year spent in France on either a visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour (VLS-TS) or a one-year carte de séjour temporaire.
In order to obtain a carte de séjour pluriannuelle, applicants must currently agree to fulfil certain conditions regarding integration into French society, involving lessons on French values and civic duties and language classes if required.
Language lessons are only required if the applicant’s level of French is below A1 level (the lowest level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)).
There is currently no requirement to take a French language test.
Kazakhstan: Visa-free regime extended
Kazakhstan has extended its unilateral visa-free regime to citizens of China, India and Iran, and abolished the special 72-hour visa-free regime for China and India.
Under the new regulation, citizens of China, India and Iran are permitted to enter and stay in Kazakhstan visa-free for up to 14 calendar days.
The total period of stay in Kazakhstan under the visa-free regime is 42 calendar days in any 180-day period. For longer stays, a visa is required.
The visa-free regime does not permit work or permanent residence in Kazakhstan.
United States: Second Phase of Premium Processing for Certain Previously Filed EB-1 and EB-2 Form I-140 Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is implementing the second phase of the premium processing expansion for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.
Similar to the first phase of the expansion, this phase 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.
Beginning 1 August 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for:
- E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before 1 July 2021; and
- E21 NIW petitions received on or before 1 August 2021.
USCIS will reject premium processing requests for these Form I-140 classifications if the receipt date is after the dates listed above. USCIS has 45 days to take an adjudicative action on cases that request premium processing for these newly included Form I-140 classifications. USCIS will not accept new (initial) Forms I-140 with a premium processing request at this time.
On 24 May 2022, USCIS published a new version of Form I-907, dated 31/05/22. As of 1 July, USCIS no longer accept the older 30/09/20 edition of form I-907.
As previously announced, USCIS are expanding premium processing to additional form types as part of their efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system. As the expansion of premium processing is being implemented in a phased approach, USCIS will continue working toward premium processing availability of additional Form I-140 petitions, Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, in fiscal year 2022. USCIS will also adhere to the legislative requirement that the expansion of premium processing must not cause an increase in processing times for regular immigration benefit requests.
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