By Farhad Sethna, Attorney © 2016
Reporting live again from the American Bar Association International Law Section’s conference on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Tokyo, Japan, here is Farhad Sethna:
In a panel I attended at the conference, the participants seemed to come to the following conclusions: in terms of the entry of skilled qualified professionals into Southeast Asian jurisdictions, South Korea was by far the most hospitable. Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand were to be avoided, if at all possible. Somewhere in the middle came jurisdictions like Singapore and Malaysia. Japan, despite an avowed interest in importing foreign labor to supplement its aging population and negative birth rate, has a long way to go in actually making this policy a reality.
One of the panelists actually said that South Korea is doing its best to attact as many highly skilled engineers as possible. So it’s no surprise that South Korean companies (Think: Samsung, Hyundai, LG) are making such a big splash on the global market.
Interestingly, none of the countries had a specific visa for entrepreneurs, nor did they have a specific visa classification that is comparable to the US’ “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” or “Aliens of Exceptional Ability”.
Those nations did have work-related visa options equivalent to the H-1b in the USA, or the L-1A and L-1B in the USA. As in the case of the L-1 in the USA, the minimum period of time of employment with the transferred multinational affiliate abroad was at least one year.
In general, even though it appears that the immigration regimes of these countries may be less hospitable than the US, the fact remains that for many of these countries there is no visa quota – unlike the H-1b “cap” which is restricting the US high-tech and manufacturing sectors.
Consequently, it would appear that for companies that wish to send foreign employees to one of these East Asian jurisdictions, the answer, while complicated, may be a more tenable option than work-related immigration to the USA.
About the author: Attorney Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 20 years. Since 1996, he has been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio. He is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and New Philadelphia, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.
This is only general legal information. Please consult a qualified immigration attorney for advice on your specific case.