Worldwide: Global Directions: Mobility Trends In August 2019


Intra-Company Transfer Rules Updated

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently provided guidance to its field officers on eligibility criteria for Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permits. The guidance pertains to the legal bases for ICT applications, recapturing time to extend status, startup enterprises, and using an ICT to work on short-term projects. The updates are as follows:

  • Regulatory-Based vs. FTA Intra-Company Transfer Applications: ICT applications can be processed under general immigration regulations, and some are processed under applicable Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) including NAFTA, the Canada-European Union Free Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Free Trade Agreement (CPTPP). The terms of an ICT work permit issued pursuant to a particular free trade agreement may not necessarily align with the general provisions of the ICT work permit category. For example, ICT work permits issued pursuant to the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement allows for ICTs after only six months of employment with a foreign affiliate, and it also allows for consideration of Peruvian permanent residents (rather than on the basis of Peruvian citizenship).
  • Recapture of Time: ICTs are issued for a maximum of five years for specialized workers and seven years for managerial workers. Time beyond the statutory limit may be recaptured if evidence is presented that part of the time was spent not working. IRCC's new guidance now states that recapture will not be considered for any time period of less than 30 consecutive days.
  • Startups: ICTs are typically granted for companies that have an established business in Canada. ICTs can be granted for startup enterprises, provided adequate documentation and information are submitted. Where the transferee will be working in a specialized position, the business must already have a physical premises in Canada. However, allowance is made for managerial-level employees who may be coming to Canada to start a business operation and therefore may be tasked with finding premises. In addition, the transfer of executives/managers must be supported by evidence that the business is large enough to support such functions. Individuals who meet the criteria for a specialized knowledge worker must be directed by management at the Canadian operation. Initial work permits for startups are granted for one year. To be eligible for an extension, the company must demonstrate that it has engaged in the continuous provision of goods or services for the prior year and that the new office has been staffed.
  • Multiple Short-Term Projects/"Parachuting": IRCC has indicated that a foreign company with a project or projects in Canada may be issued an ICT work permit (using the Canadian operation) for up to one year. Previously, IRCC indicated that foreign companies with Canadian clients could not use their Canadian affiliate companies (that are otherwise uninvolved in the situation) as vehicles simply to allow the foreign companies' workers to "parachute" into Canada to carry out their duties.


Visa Applicants Required to Disclose Social Media Identifiers

The Department of State ("DOS" or "Department") recently updated its visa application forms to require persons seeking US visas to disclose their social media identifiers. The DOS defines "identifier" to include any name used on a social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The Department's FAQs state that the information will be used to strengthen the process for vetting applicants and confirming their identity. Furthermore, the FAQs state that applicants' social media information will be protected by the same confidentiality guarantees and safeguards that protect other personal information disclosed in the visa application process, and the Department has stated that social media information will not be used to profile individuals by race or religion.

Agreement Reached on Proposed Immigration Legislation in the Senate

On June 17, 2019, amendments were proposed to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (S. 386) to address longstanding concerns with the H-1B visa program. The amendments would increase the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7 percent of the total number of such visas available that year to 15 percent, eliminating the 7 percent cap for employment-based immigrant visas altogether. The bill would also remove an offset that has reduced the number of visas for individuals from China. The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022 by reserving a percentage of EB-2 and EB-3 visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of these visas, namely India and China. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85 percent shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

The bill also proposed new H-1B measures:

  • Department of Labor (DOL) website posting requirement: requires that employers post information about jobs being offered to H-1B nonimmigrants on the DOL website for no less than 30 calendar days before a company may file an LCA for an H-1B worker.
  • New application requirement: prohibits employers from stating a preference for H-1B workers in job advertisements.
  • W-2 reporting to DOL: provides DOL with the authority to obtain an H-1B employer's W-2 wage and tax statements for the H-1B nonimmigrants it employs.
  • LCA fees: authorizes DOL to collect a fee for filing an LCA to cover "the average paperwork processing costs and other administrative costs."
  • Elimination of B-1 in lieu of H-1B: eliminates the State Department practice of issuing B-1 in lieu of H-1B visas to employees of overseas companies to work in the United States on short-term projects. The practice has long been criticized by Senator Charles Grassley as a way to avoid H-1B numerical caps and the H-1B LCA obligations.
  • Whistleblower protections: strengthens whistleblower protections for employees who raise concerns about their employer's actions regarding LCA compliance.
  • Information sharing between US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and DOL: Allows for the free flow of information regarding employer noncompliance.
  • LCA review: expands DOL authority for review of LCAs beyond ensuring completeness and no obvious inaccuracies to include scrutiny of clear indicators of fraud or misrepresentation of material facts.
  • Clarification on prevailing wage requirements: clarifies employers' existing obligation to pay H-1B workers the greater of the actual wages of employees with substantially the same duties and responsibilities or the prevailing wage, calculated with reference to the geographic area of employment.
  • LCA audits and surveys: permits annual compliance audits of H-1B employers and mandates same for H-1B-dependent employers if they committed a willful violation of LCA requirements in the prior year.
  • LCA investigations: expands DOL's investigative authority for LCA violations by allowing investigations to be based on anonymous complaints; eliminating the arbitrary 60-day deadline on investigations; and permitting investigations for general compliance with LCA requirements, not limited to willful violations.

At present, it is not clear whether or when the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the bill.



Romanian and Bulgarian Citizens Granted Full Freedom of Movement

The Swiss Federal Council recently approved an amendment to the ordinance on the introduction of the Free Movement of Persons (VEP) to end permit quotas for nationals from Romania and Bulgaria effective June 1, 2019. Nationals from Romania and Bulgaria will enjoy full freedom of movement for immigration to Switzerland. This enables them to enter the country and register with the purpose of pursuing local employment (either as a job-seeker showing financial means to sustain livelihood during the search or  as an employee of a company based in Switzerland).

The protocol on the extension of the Free Movement of Persons with regards to nationals from Romania and Bulgaria has been in force since June 1, 2009. A transition period of 10 years was part of this agreement. The Swiss Federal Council in 2017 and 2018 made use of its ability to invoke a safeguard clause to partially limit the immigration of workers from Romania and Bulgaria in order to steady the immigration. The full freedom of movement for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens into Switzerland became effective June 1, 2019.


Saudi Arabia

Permanent Residency Introduced for Expats

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently launched its first permanent residency program for certain expatriates, allowing them to reside in the country with their families without a Saudi sponsor. Applications can be made through the Premium Residency Card (PRC) online application platform. This idea was first announced in 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman but was only approved by the Shura Council in May 2019, with services starting in June.

Expats are normally sponsored by a Saudi employer and require visas to enter and leave the country, making this a landmark decision, considering the country is home to over 10 million expats.

There are two types of residency offered: a permanent residency for a fee of SAR 800,000 ($213,000) and a renewable temporary residency for an annual fee of SAR 100,000 ($27,000). The program requires applicants to be at least 21 years old, submit a valid passport, prove financial stability, have a clean criminal record, and provide evidence of medical reports proving they are healthy. This program is expected to generate around SAR 37 billion ($10 billion) in annual revenue by 2020.

The rights and benefits enjoyed by PRC holders include traveling in and out of the Kingdom without restrictions and a separate visa, sponsoring residence and visitor visas for their families, recruiting domestic workers from abroad and sponsoring employment visas, owning real estate and private means of transportation, working in private sector companies, and changing jobs. However, they are not subject to free movement within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and are prohibited from working in positions that are limited to Saudi nationals.

The new residency program makes it clear that the Kingdom aims to attract long-term foreign investment to help diversify its economy in response to fluctuating oil prices. The Kingdom aims to increase domestic spending by attracting wealthy and high-skilled expats and entrepreneurs, who will play an active role in supporting the Kingdom's economy and strengthening state revenue.


First Permanent Residence Program Unveiled

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently introduced its new Golden Card permanent residence program to attract foreign investors and exceptional talent, including top doctors, engineers, scientists, and researchers and high-performing students. Permanent residence would also be offered to spouses and children of eligible applicants.

The Golden Card program is developed out of a program implemented last year to provide long-term visas to qualifying investors, specialists, and students. The initial grants of permanent residency will likely be for business people and students who are already in the UAE and who will be given the opportunity to change their status and obtain a Golden Card.

UAE officials have confirmed that the first group of 6,800 investors from over 70 countries have been offered permanent residency pursuant to the Golden Card program.

Visit us at

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2019. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions