US

Jun 27 2019

Weekly Immigration Update: June 21-27, 2019

Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

In immigration news this week:

  • Chile: Venezuelan nationals will need to obtain a consular tourist visa prior to entry; they can no longer enter Chile under visa-exempt status. 
  • Brazil: Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States no longer require a visa to enter Brazil for tourism, business, transit through Brazilian airports, sports activities, performances or artistic performances. 
  • France: Some employers posting foreign nationals in France may be exempt from the posted worker notification requirement.
  • Saudi Arabia: The country launched its first permanent residence program, which allows eligible self-sponsored foreign nationals to obtain residence permits.
  • United Kingdom: The Home Secretary has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on future immigration salary thresholds.
  • United Arab Emirates: The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs has clarified that the Golden Residency refers to the 10-year residence permit introduced in February 2019, it is not a separate program and does not introduce a permanent residence scheme.
  • Finland: Since June 1, labor market test requirements no longer apply to foreign nationals employed for at least one year and those transferring to another sector.



These items and other news from Bahrain, Chile, Croatia, the European Union, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Oman, Venezuela, and the United Arab Emirates follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.

 

Important Updates in Immigration This Week

Venezuela, June 27, 2019

Apostille and Legalization Process Temporarily Suspended

  • Apostille and legalization services have been suspended for maintenance on the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s website.
  • Immigration processes in other countries that require apostilled or legalized Venezuelan documents may be delayed until the suspension is over. Individuals with an urgent need for apostilled or legalized documents that were issued in Venezuela should contact their immigration provider for specific advice. It is unknown when services will resume.



To view entire article, click here.

 

United Arab Emirates, June 27, 2019

Clarifications on Long-Term Residence Program

  • Following conflicting media reports about the UAE government’s long-term residence program, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs has clarified in a press conference that the Golden Residency is actually a reference to the 10-year residence permit introduced in February 2019.
  • The Golden Residency is therefore not a separate program and does not introduce a permanent residence scheme at this time.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Finland, June 27, 2019

Labor Market Test Exemption Implemented for Applicants Transferring Sectors

  • Since June 1, 2019, labor market test requirements no longer apply to foreign nationals who have worked in Finland for at least one year and are transferring to another sector.
  • This is expected to improve the labor mobility of foreign nationals already in the labor market. Employers are also expected to benefit from an increased supply of labor although the overall number of employees impacted by the change is expected to be low.



To view entire article, click here.

 

United Kingdom, June 25, 2019

Home Secretary Asks Migration Advisory Committee to Advise on Future Salary Thresholds

On June 24, 2019, the Home Secretary asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to consider:

  • The appropriate levels for immigration salary thresholds;
  • How future salary thresholds should be calculated;
  • Whether salary thresholds should be region-specific for different parts of the United Kingdom; and
  • Whether there should be exceptions to salary thresholds.



The MAC is expected to respond to this submission by January 2020. 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Germany, June 25, 2019

A1 Certificate of Social Security Coverage No Longer Required for Short Notice or Short-Term Business Travel to Germany

  • According to recent guidance published by the German Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, employers sending employees to Germany on short notice or for business travel up to one week no longer need to request an A1 certificate of coverage prior to the employee’s travel. Instead, such employers can obtain the A1 certificate retrospectively in such cases, i.e. after the employee has started their activities in Germany.
  • In the guidance, the German authorities acknowledge that some other European countries still require the A1 certificate before employees start working, in which case employers should meet the requirements of the respective countries.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Chile, June 25, 2019

Venezuelan Nationals Now Require a Visa to Enter Chile

  • Effective immediately, Venezuelan nationals seeking to enter Chile for tourist purposes, or to apply in country for work authorization, will need to obtain a consular Tourist Visa prior to entry, and can no longer enter Chile under visa-exempt status.
  • Importantly, the requirement adds a cumbersome step and increases lead time for Venezuelan nationals seeking to obtain a Special Work Permit for Tourists in Chile as they will first need to obtain a consular Tourist Visa to then be able to apply for the permit upon arrival.



To view entire article, click here.

 

Saudi Arabia, June 25, 2019

First Permanent Residence Program Launched

  • The Saudi Arabian government has implemented the country’s first permanent residence program for foreign nationals by launching the Premium Residency Card online application platform.
  • The Premium Residency Card, which was first announced three years ago, will allow eligible self-sponsored foreign nationals to obtain a residence permit for up to one year (renewable) or for an unlimited period of time.



To view entire article, click here.

 

France, June 25, 2019

New Order Sets Exemptions for Posted Worker Notifications

An Order implements new exemptions from the requirement for employers to submit posted worker notifications for short-term provision of services/assignments or temporary events in France. The order targets the below main occupations: 

  • artists;
  • athletes;
  • apprentices on temporary assignment in a company in France; and
  • professionals attending seminars, conferences, scientific events or professors/researchers conducting occasional lectures.



This will save time, costs and resources associated with the notification requirement during the work authorization process.

To view entire article, click here.

 

Brazil, June 25, 2019

Visa Waiver Implemented for Australian, Canadian, Japanese and U.S. Nationals

Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States no longer require a visa to enter Brazil for tourism, business, transit through Brazilian airports, sports activities, performances or artistic performances. 

To view entire article, click here.

 

Other Weekly News Briefs

Bahrain: More Nationals Eligible for Visas-on-Arrival and e-Visas – The Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs Authority has added Ukraine to the list of countries whose nationals can obtain a visitor visa-on-arrival. Additionally, nationals of Costa Rica, Honduras and Montenegro can now apply for a pre-approved visitor visa (e-visa) through an electronic portal before they arrive in Bahrain. Previously, nationals of these four countries had to apply for visitor visas at a Bahraini Embassy.

Chile: Humanitarian Visa Eligibility Update – Venezuelan nationals can now obtain a Humanitarian Visa (Visa de Responsabilidad Democrática) at any Chilean consulate in the world. Previously, Venezuelan nationals could only obtain this visa at Chilean consulates in Venezuela. This will save Venezuelan nationals from having to travel to Venezuela to obtain such a visa.

Croatia: Quotas Expanded for Some Purposes – Since setting the 2019 quota in February, the government has expanded the quota for workers in tourism and catering by 2,000 (from 10,611 to 12,611 permits) and for construction workers by 1,000 (from 17,800 to 18,800). Other permit amounts remain as indicated in February.

European Union: Emergency Travel Document Directive Approved; To Be Transposed Within Two Years – The Council of the European Union has approved the Emergency Uniform Travel Document Directive for EU nationals who have lost their passport or had their passport stolen. Travelers will be able to apply for the emergency document at a consular post. The document will be issued for a single trip, will be processed within five business days, and will be valid for 15 days (except in special circumstances). It will be in the format of a form and sticker. After publication of the Directive in the Official Journal of the European Union, EU Member States will have two years to transpose it into their national law.

Ireland: Chinese Nationals Eligible for Five-Year Multiple-Entry Tourist Visas – Starting July 1, 2019, Chinese nationals will become eligible for five-year multiple entry tourist visas, expanding the validity period from the current one, two or three-year multi-entry tourist visas that are currently available. Travelers under this visa can only perform tourist activities (not business). Chinese nationals are also already eligible for the British Irish Visa Scheme, Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme and the standard Irish short stay visa.

Netherlands: Upcoming Fee Increases for Immigration Servicer – IN Amsterdam (formerly Expatcenter Amsterdam), a joint project between the municipality of Amsterdam and the immigration authorities that provides residence and work permit servicing for foreign nationals in Amsterdam, will be changing its fee structure and will increase related fees in January 2020. The new rates are expected to be published within the coming months. Also starting July 1, 2019, new businesses applying through the program will no longer be excluded from paying service fees during their first year in Amsterdam, or for their first 10 employee applications (whichever occurs first). Companies currently using this exemption may continue to do so until the end of 2019 (or at least for their first 10 employee applications, if these applications fall within the remainder of the year). IN Amsterdam's services for clients with a start-up permit will still be free of charge.

Oman: Suspension Extended on Recruitment of Foreign Nationals in Certain Professions – The Ministry of Manpower has extended the suspension on the issuance of new work visas for sales representatives and procurement representatives from May 31, 2019 until November 30, 2019. It is not clear at this time if these two categories of workers will be able to renew their existing visas. This follows the Ministry of Manpower’s earlier extension on the suspension of the recruitment of foreign workers in 87 professions across various industries, which is in effect until August 1, 2019, and an extension on the suspension of workers in construction and cleaning services which is valid until October 24, 2019.

Oman: Processing Delays for Immigration Applications Due to Issues with Royal Oman Police Portal – Employers in Oman are experiencing processing delays for their immigration applications due to ongoing issues with the recently-upgraded Royal Oman Police (ROP) electronic portal. Currently, some employers are unable to file some applications through the portal and must instead submit them at ROP office counters. It is not clear how long the issues with the portal will continue. Employers should allow for additional time to file and process their immigration applications if they are unable to do so electronically.

United Arab Emirates: Two-Year Residence Permit for Male Dependents Implemented – The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship implemented a new rule, announced last June, that allows male dependents under their parents’ sponsorship to extend their residence for up to two years after completing university studies or high school education, or after reaching the age of 18. Eligible male dependents will be granted a one-year residence permit starting the day they complete their education or upon turning 18, with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. Previously, the sponsorship of sons above the age 18 was allowed only if the male dependent was attending a higher education program. Furthermore, applicants do not have to submit a security deposit of AED 5,000, which was previously required. Regulations for the sponsorship of daughters remains the same.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.