Countries Blog 2019-11-19T18:50:41+00:00

Immigration News from Around the World

SAUDI ARABIA: Ministry of Labor Cancels Yellow Nitaqat Band

Effective 26 January 2020, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) has announced it will cancel the yellow band in its Saudization program, Nitaqat. Companies currently in the yellow band will be moved into the red band and will become non-compliant unless they improve their Nitaqat rating Read more

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Employment Regulations Forthcoming in Abu Dhabi Global Market

AT A GLANCE An employment law for the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) free zone is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2020. The law is meant to make the immigration and employment process more flexible for employers in the ADGM, covering topics such as the provision of employment contracts, employment termination and an expanded definition of “employee”. Employers should ensure that their internal policies comply with the new law. Read more

AUSTRIA: Minimum Salary Levels for Red-White-Red Card Applicants to Increase in 2020

AT A GLANCE The monthly minimum salary for the Red-White-Red Card (for key employees and university graduates) will increase starting January 1, 2020 as follows: Key employee applicants over 30: EUR 3,222 gross per month Key employee applicants under 30: EUR 2,685 gross per month Graduates from an Austrian university: EUR 2,416.50 gross per month Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew a Red-White-Red Card on or after January 1, 2020 must increase foreign nationals’ salaries to comply with the new rule. Read more

INDIA: Overseas Citizenship of India Card Applicants Subject to New Travel Restriction

AT A GLANCE Foreign nationals of Indian origin seeking to apply for an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Card must now have lived in India or any third country for six months prior to submitting their application, where previously, foreign nationals could apply immediately after arrival. OCI Card applicants can no longer travel internationally until their OCI Card application is submitted. If they leave the country, the six-month period resets and they must again not travel for six months to apply for an OCI Card. Read more

ARGENTINA: Police Clearance Certificates Required for Certain Visas

Effective immediately, holders of 30-day Technical visas or Technical visas valid for 30 days who apply to renew the visa for a sixth time (i.e. beyond six months’ continuous stay in Argentina) must submit police clearance certificates (PCCs) from their country of origin and/or all countries where they have lived during the previous three years. Read more

NORWAY: Local Hires Must Now Arrange Residence Before Travel

At a Glance In a change of practice for in-country registrations, locally-hired foreign workers in Norway should now secure a local residence address before travelling to Norway, since a new rule requires a local address to obtain a long-term social security number or personal identification number. Obtaining the lease agreement prior to entry can save the applicant 8-11 weeks' processing time in Norway for the permanent identification number, which is mandatory to open a bank account and receive wages, among other services in Norway. Read more

SCHENGEN: Visa Explained for Business Travelers

The Schengen Agreement encompasses 26 Schengen-area countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Read more

CANADA: Biometrics Now Required for Certain In-Country Applications

CANADA: Biometrics Now Required for Certain In-Canada Applications Effective December 3, 2019, applicants within Canada for work permit, study permit and visa extensions, as well as for permanent residence, must give their biometrics (fingerprints and photo) at a designated Service Canada location. Read more

NETHERLANDS: New Minimum Salary Levels for 2020

Netherlands: New Minimum Salaries for 2020 The Dutch immigration authorities (IND) have announced new minimum salary levels for knowledge migrant workers (aka Highly Skilled Migrants), graduates and Blue Card applicants coming to the Netherlands. Read more

SOUTH KOREA: Visa Invitations and Extensions Limited for Companies with Unpaid Tax

SOUTH KOREA: Visa Invitations and Extensions Limited for Companies with Unpaid Tax Effective immediately, the Korean immigration authorities have introduced a new regulation rejecting applications for visa issuance confirmation numbers (VICN) and Alien Registration Card (ARC) extensions if the inviting company has any amount of arrears for any type of tax. Read more

MALAYSIA: Companies Must Submit 2020 Employment Pass and Professional Visit Pass Projections

Companies in Malaysia registered with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. should submit their EP projections as soon as the submission period opens, which is expected to happen soon. Due to holiday closures and the expected high volume of projection applications, companies in Malaysia registered with the Expatriate Services Division should submit their 2020 projections for Professional Visit Passes (PVP) and Employment Passes (EP) as soon as possible to avoid delays. Companies in Malaysia registered with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. should submit their EP projections as soon as the submission period opens, which is expected to happen soon. Although there is no deadline for submission, affected employers who do not have approved projections for 2020 cannot submit initial or renewal work pass applications until they obtain the required approval. Foreign nationals already in Malaysia may need to exit if their new work passes cannot be obtained prior to the expiry of the current one. Read more

BELGIUM: Flanders and Walloon Regions Announce 2020 Minimum Salary Level Increases

Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers in the Flanders region in Belgium will increase to EUR 42,696 for highly-skilled work permits, EUR 34,156.80 for those under 30/nurses, EUR 68,314 for executives, and EUR 51,235 for EU Blue Card applicants. In the Walloon region, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers will increase to EUR 42,869 for highly-skilled workers, EUR 71,521 for senior positions, EUR 55,431 and for EU Blue Card applicants. Employers must increase salaries for current and new staff and notify authorities of increases for pending applications. Read more

COLOMBIA: New Entry and Stay Regulations Established

Effective 1 December 2019, Resolution 3167 of 2019 establishes new guidelines for the entry into, stay in and departure from Colombia of both Colombian and foreign nationals. Entry and stay permits (PIPs), for short stays not intended for residence or profit, have been reorganised into three categories: a tourism permit (TP) for leisure and business, an integration and development permit (PID) and a permit to develop other activities (POA). In all of these categories, the duration of stay granted may vary, but will not exceed 180 calendar days in the same calendar year. Read more

AUSTRALIA: New Regional Visas Now Available (Subclass 494)

The new Subclass 494 Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa opened for applications on 16 November 2019 for employers with roles in regional Australia (defined by postcode), which is generally anywhere outside the Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne metropolitan areas. Read more

INDIA: UAE added to visa-on-arrival program

What is the change? India has opened visa-on-arrival facilities at six international airports to nationals of the United Arab Emirates. What does the change mean? UAE nationals who have previously obtained an Indian e-Visa or regular/paper visa will be able to use visa-on-arrival facilities at airports in Read more

CANADA: Prevailing wage updates

What is the change? Canada has updated prevailing wage rates for a number of occupations. What does the change mean? Employers sponsoring foreign workers in certain work permit and permanent resident categories are affected by the new rates. Read more

SCHENGEN: Where Can You Apply for A Visa to A Schengen Country?

This is a very common question, especially from frequent travelers. In many cases, having to return to the home country or country of residence to file a visa application can be a real problem. So, are there any exceptions to the general rule establishing that only applications from persons who reside legally in the jurisdiction of the competent consulate should be accepted? Read more

SAUDI ARABIA: Update on Suspension of Work Visit Visas

At A Glance Saudi Arabia is expected to introduce a new temporary work visa in the coming months, following the elimination of the country's only short-term work authorization option in October. Details of the new visa have not been released. Until the new visa becomes available, there will not be an immigration option for foreign nationals seeking to work short-term in Saudi Arabia. At this time, foreign nationals seeking to work in Saudi Arabia are advised to obtain a standard Work Visa, which requires a formal long-term employment relationship with a sponsoring company in Saudi Arabia, or to consider traveling with a Business Visa, which does not allow “hands-on” work. We are discussing the impact of the change and potential solutions for short-term work with Saudi consular authorities and relevant ministries and will issue an update if new information becomes available. Read more

LITHUANIA: EU Blue Card Minimum Salary Increased

AT A GLANCE Lithuanian authorities have increased the salary level for EU Blue Card applications to EUR 1,933.50 gross per month, up approximately three percent from the April 2019 increase. For salaries over EUR 3,867 gross per month, labor market testing and the Employment Agency Decision step are waived. Read more

BELGIUM: Annual Requirements for EU Blue Card

Since the implementation of the Single Permit in January 2019, authorizations have been granted for periods up to three years. New EU Blue Cards can be issued for up to four years. In order to track whether the conditions linked to work authorizations are Read more

CZECH REPUBLIC: New Posted Worker Notification Requirements

The Czech authorities have updated the notification requirements for workers posted to Czechia by companies based in the EU. Notification The notification form must now be signed, stamped and submitted by the sending company, (rather than the host company as previously) by the day the assignment starts at the latest. Read more

COLOMBIA: Changes to Degree Validation Process

The Ministry of National Education has issued a Resolution establishing or modifying the requirements and processing times of degree validation processes. Among the changes, the Resolution introduces an online procedure for the legalization of Colombian documents required for work or studies abroad. Read more

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