Connecticut, US

Oct 15 2020

Weekly Immigration Update: October 9-15, 2020

Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam

In immigration news this week:

  • Worldwide: Jurisdictions around the world continue to adapt their coronavirus-related travel restrictions and quarantine measures, and many have implemented extension policies and other concessions. Visit Fragomen’s coronavirus-related news page for the latest immigration updates.

These items and other news from Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, India, Italy, Mainland China, the Netherlands, Russia, and Ukraine follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.


Other Weekly News Briefs

Colombia: New Special Stay Permit (PEP) for Venezuelans ReleasedMigración Colombia has introduced a new Special Stay Permit (PEP) that is valid for two years for Venezuelan nationals who legally entered Colombia, were in Colombia on August 31, 2020,  have a clean criminal record and do not have any open deportation or expulsion cases. Eligible Venezuelans can apply for the PEP (likely on Migración Colombia's website as for previous PEPs) from October 15, 2020 until February 15, 2021. Venezuelan nationals should be aware that their PEP permit will automatically be canceled if they remain outside Colombia for more than 90 days or obtain any other Colombian visa or permit. Employers hiring Venezuelan nationals holding a PEP must submit mandatory notifications  at the beginning and end of employment to Migración Colombia and the Ministry of Labor.

Costa Rica: Proposed Law Seeks Immigration and Other Benefits for Investors and Retirees - A proposed law pending with the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly seeks to introduce improvements to the Temporary Residence category for foreign retirees, investors and those who live off income from their investments to boost economic recovery in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Key elements of the proposed law include a reduction in the minimum investment amount required for the investor category, from USD 200,000 to USD 150,000 n tangible property, shares, negotiable instruments, productive projects or projects which are deemed of national interest in Costa Rica; and a streamlined application process that would wreduce processing times, which are currently 10 to 12 months from the date of filing of the application. Fragomen is monitoring developments and will provide updates as they become available.

Cyprus: Citizenship by Investment Scheme to Close – The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Scheme, allowing eligible applicants to obtain a Cyprus passport based on a significant real estate investment and residence, is scheduled to close November 1. Pending applications that were already on hold due to comprehensive review of the scheme will be processed despite the termination of the Scheme.

European Union: Council Advises to Coordinate Travel Restrictions – The Council of the European Union has recommended coordinating pandemic-related travel restrictions across the European Union by adopting a single traffic light system based on unified infection metrics and introducing a common passenger locator form, among other suggestions. The Council is advising EU countries to provide notifications of intra-EU travel restrictions 48 hours before the restrictions are implemented. Although this recommendation seeks to harmonize EU countries' travel restrictions to ensure more reliable and predictable travel planning across the European Union, Fragomen expects divergences to persist as these recommended measures are not mandatory.

India: Deadline to Obtain Overseas Citizen of India Cards Extended to December 31, 2021 – The deadline for all Person of India (PIO) cardholders (machine and non-machine-readable) to obtain Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards has been extended to December 31, 2021 from September 30, 2020. Subject to the discretion of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), an earlier deadline may be provided which would invalidate non-machine-readable PIO cards. All PIO cardholders (machine and non-machine-readable) are advised to convert their PIO cards to OCI cards by December 31, 2021.

Italy: 2020 Quota Published – Italy has set the 2020 work authorization quota at 30,850 spots. Quota figures are typically published in April but were delayed this year due to the pandemic. The quota distribution differs from 2019: 18,000 spots for seasonal workers (unchanged); 6,000 spots for subordinate work in transport of goods, construction, hospitality and tourism (up from 0 spots) for certain nationalities; 6,150 spots for change of status (down from 9,850 spots); 500 spots for self-employed work (down from 2,400 spots); 200 spots for various other categories (down from 600 spots). As before, key categories of applicants are quota-exempt, including intracompany transfers, highly-skilled and executive workers and EU Blue Card applicants. Applications for change of status under the quota can be filed between October 22 and December 31, 2020.

Mainland China: Replacement and Renewal of Home Return Cards for Hong Kong and Macau Residents – Effective October 10, 2020, Chinese nationals who are Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR residents can apply to replace or renew their Mainland Entry and Exit Pass ("Home Return Card") while in Mainland China, whereas previously this had to be done in their region of residence. Applicants can apply in person at the Exit and Entry Administration of the Public Security Bureau (county level or above). Standard processing time for the replacement or renewal application is seven business days from the filing of the application.

The Netherlands: Brexit-Related Citizenship Flexibility Forthcoming - New Dutch legislation may allow eligible Dutch nationals to retain their nationality when acquiring UK citizenship and former Dutch nationals to reobtain Dutch nationality under a simplified process if they lost their Dutch nationality due to obtaining UK nationality. Typically, Dutch legislation prohibits dual citizenship with limited exceptions. Nationality retention under the new legislation would be limited to a specific time frame, and specific provisions would apply to minors. The legislation will only enter into force if the forthcoming agreement on the EU-UK post-Brexit relationship insufficiently safeguards the rights of Dutch nationals residing in the United Kingdom, as determined by the Dutch government in December 2020.

The Netherlands: Applications Open for UK Cross-Border Workers – The Dutch Immigration Authority is inviting UK national cross-border workers who are covered by the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement residing in the United Kingdom or in an EU country to apply online for a 'frontier worker document'. This document, issued for a five-year period, confirms the right to continue working in the Netherlands as a cross-border commuter after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, 2020. Applicants require a Dutch registration number (BSN). Applicants seeking to start cross-border work activities for the first time on or after January 1, 2021 require standard work authorization unless specific provisions are agreed in the Brexit negotiations. Further information is available on this site.

Russia: New Notification Form for De-Registration of Rotational Foreign Workers – Effective October 12, 2020, foreign nationals registered at the address of their organization who work on a rotational basis (this can include seasonal workers, cross-border workers, oil and gas industry workers, among others), must use a new notification form, available on Consultant Plus, to de-register no later than seven business days after departing from their place of registration. Until this new notification form goes into effect on October 12, foreign nationals can continue to use the old form for de-registration.

Ukraine: Broader Permanent Residence Eligibility for Information Technology Specialists – Ukraine has broadened permanent residence eligibility for information technology specialists by expanding quota eligibility to more occupations, adding quota spots, reducing required professional experience to three years (from five to seven years) and accepting more diverse supporting documents to demonstrate professional experience, among other changes. Permanent residence permit holders do not require a separate work permit to work in Ukraine. Although these measures broaden the scope of eligibility, they do not streamline the permit process itself, which still takes approximately one year. Employment-based immigration for temporary assignments is not affected by these changes.

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