By Mark Woefel, GMS, Vice President, Global Client Services
The CapRelo Insider provides a glimpse at news, trends and happenings in the global mobility industry and those affecting the industry. Our experienced and tenured client services team provides updates and analysis direct to our clients, along with policy and program recommendations that are best for your company and employees. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.
What you need to know now...
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) leadership has announced its intent to delay the temporarily layoff of 70 percent of the agency’s staff until the beginning of September 30, citing budget issues. There is anticipated to be a significant delay to key immigration processes and steps should be taken to plan accordingly.
- The remote I-9 document inspection policy has been extended by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for an additional 30 days, through to September 19, 2020. This concession is expected to remain in place until the announced extension or until 3 days after the national emergency is over, whichever comes first.
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), without any official announcement, has recently begun selecting additional, previously unselected H-1B registrations that were submitted in March 2020 for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B lottery.
United Kingdom: A concession has been announced, that will enable foreign nationals to submit applications and biometric data (as applicable) at any Visa Application Centre (VAC) worldwide or online if, due to COVID-19 considerations, the VAC they would regularly apply is still closed. Restrictions apply and the concession is due to be reviewed by November 30, 2020.
Ireland: In addition to the re-closing of the registration offices around Dublin, the government has announced an automatic one-month renewal of all immigration permissions due to expire between August 20 and September 20.
Belgium: Positive news has been announced for workers from all countries as travel restrictions have been lifted for those who have applied for a highly skilled permit and have received an Annex 46. Consular posts have been instructed to issue visas D to such workers and their dependents. Travelers continue to be subject to a mandatory 14-day residential quarantine.
Housing Stock and Evictions: Government support to prevent evictions during the pandemic has kept global housing inventory supressed. While some locations are extending assistance, there has been an expiration of support for renters and homeowners in the US. The federal eviction moratorium in the CARES Act expired at the end of July and evictions are expected to rise imminently.
Ireland: Where mandated by local government, some Destination Service Providers (DSPs) are unable to deliver in-person services, these locations include the Philippines, India and Indonesia. In other locations, services are being delivered face to face with slight modifications to conform with guidance.
What you should keep in mind...
Worldwide Shipping Update: As capacity continues to fluctuate, both air and ocean freight remains impacted with pricing and transit times frustrated by regular cancellations or skipping of calls to ports. In Canada, the ongoing port strike in Montreal is also creating delays. In the U.S., severe weather has hindered service, however, most of the East Coast ports are fully operational after experiencing service interruptions due to Tropical Storm Isaias. Domestic U.S. trucking remains volatile with some pricing spikes as well as increased transit times.
Housing and Tax: Governments globally are looking to provide stimulation to the economy with low interest rates and tax incentives, for example the Stamp Duty Land Tax temporary concession in the UK. While assignees may look to take advantage and purchase investment properties, ensure that they consider the personal and company tax consequences from both a residency and future capital gains tax perspective.
Remote Working and Virtual Assignment Logistics: As more companies look at the complexities of implementing a ‘work anywhere’ or ‘virtual assignment policy’, the general consensus is that, if you want to support the employee to work from anywhere, a Global Employment Company (GEC) may provide the simplest and most cost-efficient solutions where a corporate entity does not already exist. Starting this process early will help to remain compliant, especially where COVID-19 related tax and immigration concessions are expiring.
For help with the above information and ways to implement and update your programs for compliance, safety and effectiveness, contact CapRelo client services, who can help immediately.