US temporarily halts Green Card for nurses
The United States has temporarily paused Green Card for nurses stating that it will not accept any more EB-3 visa petitions for international nurses this year as a result of an administrative backlog.
Only those applicants who submitted their requests by June 1, 2022, would be eligible for visa interviews.
The EB-3 (Third Priority Worker) visa permits three types of foreign workers to travel to the US permanently and work there: Skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers who have less than two years of work experience or training.
The EB-3 visas are limited in number comprising 28.6 per cent (40,040) of the total annual 140,000 immigrant visas issued for the employment category.
USCIS launches online rescheduling of biometrics appointments
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched a new self-service tool allowing benefit requestors to reschedule most biometric services appointments before the date of the appointment.
Previously, benefit requestors and accredited representatives could only request to reschedule a biometric services appointment by calling the USCIS Contact Centre.
With this new tool, those individuals who have or create a USCIS online account can reschedule most requests for biometric services appointments without having to call the Contact Centre.
The sufficient reasons for rescheduling may include, but are not limited to:
· illness, medical appointment, or hospitalisation;
· previously planned travel;
· significant life events such as a wedding, funeral, or graduation ceremony;
· inability to obtain transportation to the appointment location;
· inability to obtain leave from employment or caregiver responsibilities; and
· late delivered or undelivered biometric services appointment notice.
The new tool, however, cannot be used to reschedule an appointment that already has been rescheduled two or more times, is within 12 hours, or that has already passed.
Canada unfolds new Digital Nomad strategy
Canada has proposed a digital nomad strategy that will allow workers with a foreign employer to stay and work in Canada for up to six months. If they get a job offer while in the country, they can remain in Canada even longer.
The Digital Nomad visa permits internationals to come to Canada and live and work remotely for companies or clients located outside the country.
The Canadian Immigration minister has announced that by the end of 2023, the federal government will be developing an immigration stream for “some of the world’s most talented people that will be able to come to Canada to work for tech companies, whether they have a job offer or not.”
Though the government has not issued details about exactly who will qualify or how many people will be admitted through this strategy but according to a news release, the government will create an ‘innovation stream’ under its international mobility program for skilled workers who are in select in-demand occupations or are destined for work with companies the government selects as contributing to their innovation goals.
New Zealand to reimburse costs to 2021 Resident visa applicants
Immigration New Zealand will offer reimbursements to 2021 Resident Visa applicants for the costs of new health screenings – including medical checks and chest X-rays – that they requested but were not required.
The 1,049 affected Resident visa applicants can submit a request for reimbursement by September 30, 2023, and must provide evidence of payment such as either a:
· receipt from their medical practice
· letter or email of confirmation from the medical practice, or
· copy of the bank statement showing the relevant transactions.
South Korea to issue record number of visas to skilled workers
South Korea has announced a 15-fold increase to a total annual quota of 30,000 skilled worker’s visa to overcome severe labour shortages in the country. In 2022, the annual quota for this visa category was only 2,000.
Known as E-7-4, the skilled worker visa allows South Korean company to hire workers from other countries.
Earlier this year, the government had announced plans to bring nearly 110,000 migrant workers to the country to meet the labour demands in farms and factories.
Vietnam extends duration of tourist e-visa
Effective August 15, 2023, the duration of tourist e-visa has been extended from the current 30 days to 90 days. An e-visa holder will now be allowed multiple entry/exits during the 90-day period.
Under the revised immigration rules, the permitted visa-free stay for citizens of the 25 countries has also been extended from 15 days to 45 days for most countries.
Czech Digital Nomad Visa
The Czech Republic has approved a new digital nomad program for highly skilled workers from other countries. However, Indians are not eligible to apply for this visa.
For now, the program will be limited to only citizens of Australia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the United States, and Taiwan.