Immigration relief available for Louisiana flood victims

19 Aug 16

UNITED STATES

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that certain immigration-related benefits are available to foreign nationals who can show that they have been affected by the recent storms and flooding in Louisiana.

Some of the available measures include:

  • Change of status or extensions of stay, even for individuals who have fallen out of status.
  • Expedited processing of applications for employment authorization documents.
  • Assistance for individuals who were unable to respond to a request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.
  • Replacement of lost or damaged USCIS-issued immigration or travel documents.

Background: USCIS extends certain immigration-related benefits to foreign nationals in the U.S. when unforeseen disasters occur. Massive flooding in southern Louisiana in the past week has killed 13, stranded tens of thousands and damaged 40,000 homes. The Red Cross has called it the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy.

A full list of benefits and instructions for submitting a request are available on the USCIS webpage for special humanitarian assistance.

BAL Analysis: Affected foreign nationals should be aware of the temporary relief measures and filing requirements to avail themselves of the benefits.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact BerryApplemanLeiden@balglobal.com.

 

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@balglobal.com.

SINGAPORE (Aug. 19, 2016) – Manpower minister issues statement on employment pass abuse

Minister of Manpower Lim Swee Say responded Tuesday to a question from Parliament asking how a well-known restaurant chain was able to secure 20 employment passes based on false salary declarations and what safeguards are in place against employment pass abuse.

In a written response, Say explained the tools the agency uses when it suspects false statements on applications, including seeking independent verification of an employee’s qualifications, requesting additional proof that the employer is able to pay the salaries, and/or auditing the employer.

“Strong action is taken against those who make false declarations in work pass applications,” including fines of up to $20,000, two years of jail and a ban on hiring or renewing work passes, Say added.

Regarding the specific case, Say said that the 20 passes were approved because they initially met all criteria. Later, when the salary declarations were found to have been inflated, the employee who made the declarations was convicted and fined $40,000.

Companies that exhibit signs of unfair employment practices will be more closely scrutinized when applying for employment passes, and if they do not take corrective action, the government may suspend work pass privileges, Say said.

BAL Analysis: The Ministry of Manpower has been actively prosecuting false work pass declarations, having convicted 58 employers since 2014. The question to Say indicates that Parliament is also interested in the issue of employment pass abuse. Employers should review their policies to ensure they are in compliance with all immigration rules and regulations.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact singapore@balglobal.com.

 

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@balglobal.com.