Global Newsletter

Apr 12, 2023 | Global, Immigration Updates

In this look around the globe, find the latest immigration news regarding Brazil’s re-introduction of visa requirements, Canada’s announcement of new post-graduation work permit measures and the UK’s upcoming electronic travel authorization scheme.

But first, we start with this month’s WReview and WR Updates.

WReview: Working as a Tourist? Challenges and Risks of Short-Term Assignments and Business Travel

With the complexities and time involved in obtaining a work visa many clients ask us why their employees can’t simply travel for work on a tourist visa or visa waiver basis. While this may seem like an easy and expedient option, it is unfortunately fraught with risks for both the traveler and the company involved. Depending on the rules of the country the employee is traveling to, even short-term business travel to perform activities such as giving training, conducting an audit, or installing or troubleshooting a system or product, may require a work visa.

If the employee is detected traveling without the appropriate work visa, the best-case scenario is that they will simply be denied entry, detained briefly at the airport, and sent back to their home country on the next available flight. Note that even in such a scenario, they may have to disclose their deportation on visa applications for other countries in the future, so it can have a lasting impact on their ability to travel freely.

In a worst-case scenario where there is a workplace inspection while the employee is on site without the necessary work visa, they could be detained for an extended period and subjected to fines. The company could similarly be fined and subjected to additional penalties, including bans on sponsoring future foreign workers, publication of their name on a list of immigration violators and, in particularly egregious cases of repeat violations, subject to jail time.

Some of the more stringent penalties for unauthorized work without a work visa include:

  • Australia – employees can be deported and fined AUD 1322; companies can be fined AUD 6,600, have their name published in the online list of sanctioned companies, be barred from sponsoring foreign workers in the future, and have civil penalties of up to AUD 66,000 imposed.
  • Canada – employees can be deported and flagged in the system to make future entries difficult; companies can be fined up to CAD $100,000, have their name published in an online list of violators, and be subject to a temporary or permanent ban on sponsoring foreign workers in the future.
  • Germany – employees can be fined and/or imprisoned for up to one year, may be banned from travel to the Schengen area for 1 to 5 years; companies can have culpable parties imprisoned for up to 3 years and be fined up to EUR 500,000.
  • UK – employees can be deported, imprisoned for up to 6 months, and fined a discretionary amount; companies can be fined up to GBP 20,000, be banned from sponsoring foreign workers in the future, and responsible parties could be imprisoned for up to 5 years and face personal fines.

If you have questions about what is and is not allowed when your employees travel for work please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for a consultation.

Back to Top

WR Updates

Did you know that WRapid allows Single Sign On? This new feature streamlines login and enhances security for our clients by allowing them to access WRapid™ using their existing corporate identity provider credentials. With support for major identity providers, our clients can benefit from the convenience and security of SSO.

If you are not yet using WRapid™ for global and would like a demonstration of the features, please get in touch with us.

Back to Top

Brazil: Reintroduction of Visa Requirements for Citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan and the US

Brazil has announced that beginning October 1, 2023, it will be reintroducing the requirement that nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, and the US obtain visas prior to traveling to Brazil for tourism or business. Citizens of these countries have enjoyed visa-free travel to Brazil since 2019, although prior to that visas were required. Further details regarding the reinstatement of the visa requirement are pending.

Back to Top

Canada: Announcement of New Post-Graduation Work Permit Measures

Canada is implementing special measures that will allow eligible former international students who hold a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to apply for an extension or renewal of their permit of up to 18 months.

Former international students whose PGWP expired or is expiring in 2023 can apply for an extension to their PGWP of up to 18 months. Former international students who applied for an extension to their PGWP under the 2022 special measures can apply for an additional PGWP extension of up to 18 months under the new 2023 measures. In addition, eligible former international students whose PGWPs already expired and who need restoration of status can apply to restore their status even if they are beyond the 90-day restoration period and can apply for a new work permit and receive interim work authorization during the processing of their new PGWP application.

Back to Top

UK: Upcoming Electronic Travel Authorization Scheme

The UK is implementing a U.S.-style electronic pre-travel authorization system of its own. The ETA will require visa waiver nationals (those who do not require a visa before traveling to the UK as a visitor, and therefore are not on the visa national list) to apply for electronic pre-travel authorization. If the authorization is refused, the traveler will instead need to apply for a visitor’s visa. Reasons for refusal may include prior immigration violations or criminal convictions. The ETA is slated to start in November 2023 for Qatari nationals before extending to nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in February 2024 and thereafter will be extended to all other non-visa nationals, including US, Australian, and Canadian nationals.

Back to Top

Related Posts:

Canada Restricts Air and Land Travel in Response to COVID-19

  Summary Until June 30, 2020, travel to Canada will be restricted for all foreign nationals coming from any country other than the United States (U.S.). Other restrictions apply to those travelling from the U.S. These new restrictions prohibit any foreign national, including U.S. nationals, from entering Canada for optional or discretionary purposes (non-essential travel). […]

Immigration Update

In this edition, read about the cap being reached for remaining H-2B visas for FY 2021, USCIS extending flexibilities through October for certain OPT applicants, and a federal court ordering the State Department to adjudicate more than 9,000 DV-2020 visas. Cap Reached for Remaining H-2B Visas for Returning Workers for FY 2021 As of August […]