July Global Immigration Update

Jul 12, 2023 | Global, Immigration Updates

This month’s Global Immigration Update includes more immigrant-friendly developments from Canada, the European Union, Germany, and more!

Canada: Expanded Work Permits, Digital Nomad Visas, and Fast-Tracked Applications

As discussed in the June Global Immigration Update, Canada announced it is creating a new category of open work permit for US H-1B visa holders. However, despite the fact that the program is set to go live on July 16, full details of the program and application process have yet to be released. Key details include:

  • Work permits will be issued valid for 3 years, allowing the H-1B holder to work for any employer in Canada.
  • The program will be open for one year or until 10,000 applications are received.
  • Accompanying dependents will be eligible for open work permits or study permits.  

Canada has also announced several other positive immigration developments, including:

  • Launching a new Innovation Stream of the International Mobility Program to allow longer duration work permits (5 years) for innovative companies and open work permits for certain highly skilled workers in in-demand occupations.
  • Promoting Canada as a destination for digital nomads, allowing foreign nationals to stay in Canada for up to six months while working remotely for their employer outside Canada.
  • Reinstituting expedited two week processing time targets for work permit and labor market impact assessment applications that fall under the Global Skills Strategy program (select occupational classifications).

Back to Top

China: Travel Advisory

The US State Department has recently issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory for China, urging US citizens to reconsider travel due to the Chinese government’s arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions. Chinese Embassies continue to process visa applications, and previously issued visas remain valid, but we do encourage travelers to take the advisory as well as other relevant information about the state of international relations into account when planning travel. More information on the alert is available at China Travel Advisory.

Back to Top

European Union: EU Blue Card Directive

As the November 18th deadline for member states to implement the new EU Blue Card Directive into national law approaches, more states are making the necessary changes to do so. Key features of the new directive include: 

  • Reduces duration of employment contract required to qualify for the Blue Card from 12 months to 6 months. 
  • Reduces the minimum annual salary requirement to be equal to the average gross annual salary.  
  • Reduces processing time for adjudication of applications to 30 days. 
  • Provides easier access to long term resident status.

Back to Top

Germany: Revisions to Immigration Laws

Germany has revised its immigration laws to address the skilled labor shortages and make the immigration process easier for foreign nationals. Key features of the new law include:  

  • Reduction of the salary threshold for EU Blue Card for highly skilled workers to €43,800 yearly.  
  • Allowance for IT specialists to qualify for an EU Blue Card on the basis of work experience in lieu of a university degree. 
  • Elimination of requirement to have qualifications recognized in Germany for skilled migrants above a salary threshold who can prove that they have at least two years’ work experience and a degree that is recognized in their country of origin.  
  • Introduction of a new “opportunity card” points-based system that will allow select foreign nationals to come to Germany and given one year to find work. A prerequisite is a vocational qualification or a university degree. Points will be awarded for German and/or English language skills, existing ties to Germany and the potential of accompanying partners to enter the labor market.  

Back to Top

India: New U.S. Consulate

Following a meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi of India, India has announced that it will open an additional consulate in the US in Seattle. This will make it easier for those living in the surrounding area to obtain visas without the need to apply through the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. 

Back to Top

Italy: Reduced Work Wait-Times

The Italian authorities have revised the immigration regulations to allow foreign nationals to begin work immediately upon arrival in Italy with a work permit and visa, rather than requiring them to wait until after they have signed their Contract of Stay at the immigration office. This will reduce wait time and alleviate the stress of scheduling various in country formalities prior to beginning work. 

Back to Top

UK: Record Immigration Numbers

Following reports of record numbers for immigration, the UK government is facing pressure to reduce immigration. International students will no longer be allowed to bring dependents to the UK with them from January 2024, and further reductions are being considered, including limits on student post graduate work permissions. 

The Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) rules have now been published and the system will be launched on a limited basis beginning in November 2023. Travelers who have previously been able to enter the UK on a visa waiver basis will be required to apply for an ETA in advance of travel. Travelers from Qatar will be the first to be required to use the system, followed by those from other Gulf States in February 2024. The system will go live for rest of the world on a rolling basis throughout 2024. The main impact will be that most travelers with criminal convictions will not be able to travel on an ETA and will instead have to seek a visa to enter. 

Back to Top

Related Posts:

Immigration Update

In this edition, find the latest news on the termination of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy, expanded eligibility for Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians, the CBP announcing the end of using expired passports for U.S. Citizens, and more. Supreme Court Allows Biden Administration to Terminate ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy On June 30, 2022, the Supreme […]

MACAU, CHINA: Travel Restrictions

Summary The Macau government has introduced temperature screening at all border checkpoints, including the airport, land crossings, and ferry terminals. All inbound travelers must complete a health declaration form upon arrival. Ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau are suspended. More Information On February 20, 2020, the Macau government began enforcing medical checks for tourists […]