Global Immigration Updates | Week beginning 8 March 2021

March 12, 2021

BAHRAIN: New Dependent Sponsorship Rules

Effective immediately, employers of foreign national workers earning at least BHD 400 per month via LMRA (Expat Management System) are entitled to sponsor dependent children aged 23 years or under (previously 17 years or under).

Moreover, employers of foreign national workers earning at least BHD 1000 per month, and who hold health insurance in Bahrain, are now entitled to sponsor parents or dependent children aged 24 years or above.

SAUDI ARABIA: New Professional Verification Program for Skilled Workers

On 7 March 2021, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) launched the Professional Verification programme, aiming to verify that all skilled workers in Saudi Arabia have the required skills to perform the occupation for they were recruited.

The programme has two separate tracks. One aims to examine all skilled workers in their countries, in cooperation with selected international examination centres, ahead of their arrival in Saudi Arabia. The work visa will eventually be linked to the applicant passing the examination in their country, and this will be enforced gradually in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The other track aims to examine existing skilled workers in Saudi Arabia in cooperation with certified local examination centres. The Ministry urges all companies to begin the verification process for all their current skilled worker in Saudi Arabia, as the verification program will become gradually enforced, based on the size of the establishment, starting in July 2021.

Effective 8 March 2021, employers in Saudi Arabia and examination centres can register via the programme’s website.

UNITED STATES: August 2019 Public Charge Rule Rescinded

Effective immediately, information required solely by the 14 August 2019 Public Charge Rule will no longer be required on certain immigration filings.

  • Adjustment of Status applicants will no longer need to submit a Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, with applicable supporting evidence.
  • Applicants and petitioners will no longer be required to answer questions regarding the receipt of public benefits on certain immigration filings.
  • If such information has already been supplied in connection with pending immigration filings, USCIS will not factor such information when adjudicating a particular matter.
  • Applicants and petitioners will not have to respond to USCIS requests due after 9 March 2021 for additional evidence in connection with previously submitted public benefits information for any pending matters.
  • Responses will still be required for all other elements of such USCIS requests.
  • USCIS may still make a public charge inadmissibility determination for certain immigration benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act and USCIS’s 1999 Interim Final Guidance on this issue.

Our Advice

Employers who may be affected by any of these immigration changes are encouraged to contact Newland Chase for case-specific advice.