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Immigration and Mobility

On July 24, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – the investigative agency within the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement responsible for Form I-9 Compliance – announced that it served I-9 audit notices to more than 5,200 employer since January as part of a two-phase nationwide worksite enforcement operation.

Last week, HSI served 2,738 Notices of Inspection and made 32 arrests. (In contrast, HSI initiated 1,360 I-9 audits in the government’s last fiscal year.)

HSI’s latest worksite investigation effort aligns with then Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan’s forecast in the fall of 2017 to potentially quadruple or quintuple worksite enforcement in 2018. Under prior administrations, ICE has utilized worksite enforcement tools to assess employers’ compliance with immigration laws and impose civil and, potentially, criminal penalties. Yet, with the number of NOIs and arrests showing no signs of stopping under the directive Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, Form I-9 compliance is once again a front and center issue for employers.

Click here to learn about actions employers should take now to prepare for a potential audit notice.

While immigration debates, policies and rules make the news seemingly every day, very few new laws or regulations have actually been implemented for employment-based immigration. Behind the scenes, however, strict new interpretations of existing laws and under-the-radar changes in enforcement have significantly impacted the ability of companies to transfer, hire and keep foreign employees in the United States. Several key changes have been buried in seemingly innocuous policy memorandums and government websites. The impact on companies can be both real and urgent.

While these changes have occurred in different areas, there is one central theme: there is little to no margin for error on the part of employers or employees. Click here to view the four tips employers should consider in this ever-changing environment where compliance is paramount.

On June 26, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s controversial Executive Order 9645, commonly referred to as the Travel Ban, in a 5-4 decision.

The Travel Ban restricts entry into the United States for citizens of seven countries: North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iran and Venezuela. The table below describes the impact of the ban for citizens of each country:

Country Impact
Iran All entry prohibited except by persons holding nonimmigrant student (F and M) and exchange-visitor (J) visas.
Libya Prohibited from entering the US as immigrants or on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. No other restrictions are expressly stated.
North Korea All entry into the US prohibited.
Somalia Prohibited from obtaining immigrant visas; nonimmigrant visas may be subject to heightened scrutiny.
Syria All entry into the US prohibited.
Venezuela Government officials and their family members are restricted from entry on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. Other visa holders may be subject to verification of traveler information.
Yemen Prohibited from entering the US as immigrants or on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. No other restrictions are expressly stated.

Click here to learn more about exceptions to the ban, and next steps for employers.

We are pleased to present The Global Employer Magazine 2018 Horizon Scanner. Our easy-to-digest overview of global and regional trends and developments in global employer and labor law is designed to help equip you for the year ahead.

In this issue, we feature:

  • A global overview of the key trends and developments impacting global employers including nationalism and mobility, the gender pay gap, the rise of the modern workforce
  • Regional checklists for the year ahead and data privacy compliance
  • Regional outlooks looking at how the trending global employment law issues are playing out across Asia Pacific, EMEA, Latin America and North America

Click here to download.

Baker McKenzie partner Susan Eandi introduces Rowan McKenzie to discuss  employment laws in Hong Kong and give an overview of what changed in 2017, as well as what we can expect in 2018.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Increase in minimum wage – came through in May 2017
  2. Be aware of what right to reinstatement may end up looking like
  3. Cognizant of potential changes in work hours and overtime for low wage earners
  4. Abolition of the Mandatory Provident Fund offset upon termination and any potential relief that may be provided to employers
  5. Staying ahead of potential changes to immigration policy

Download now on iTunes | Android | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Play.

[With thanks to Shannon Donnelly and Melissa Allchin in our Global Immigration and Mobility group for working with Emily on this post.]

If you’re an employer with calls coming in from concerned managers or an employee with the immigration message boards on constant refresh, you’re not alone.

As if the executive orders and policy shifts in the last year weren’t enough to disrupt the workforce, potential changes on the horizon for certain employment authorized spouses of H-1B visa holders (known as H-4 visa holders) are a cause for concern among employers and employees, alike.

Continue Reading H-4 Visa Employment Authorization: What’s Next?

Our firm’s Global Chair, Paul Rawlinson, is currently in Switzerland at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.

Paul believes that navigating multi-speed globalization will be the key challenge for business in 2018. We agree. For today’s employers, managing a global workforce requires complying with local labor and employment laws in multiple jurisdictions, staying abreast of rapidly changing regulations, handling the growing demands of labor unions and works councils, and moving talent quickly across borders. Accordingly, we work with multinational businesses to manage all of their employment needs, from day-to-day human resources requirements to critical global business change projects.

Read Paul’s post on the World Economic Forum’s website HERE.