Worldwide immigration developments affecting your business
Recently Published Flash Alerts
– a publication of the Global Mobility Services practice
Australia’s government has introduced new immigration regulations to implement a number of clarifications to the 457 program, and to introduce greater transparency to work agreements. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has also announced changes to the processes for health checks required as part of visa applications.
Starting January 1, 2016, the salary criteria for the Belgian work permit type B and the European Union (EU) Blue Card will increase (yearly indexation). The updated thresholds will have to be taken into account by companies planning to employ personnel in Belgium in positions that require Belgium work permit type B or an EU Blue Card.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is implementing a new Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) program, which mirrors the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) already in place in the United States. Almost all visa-exempt foreign nationals will be required to apply for the eTA prior to travelling to Canada.
New Canadian immigration regulations coming into force on December 1, 2015, will further the government’s efforts (1) to encourage employers’ compliance with the conditions of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program/International Mobility Program and (2) to deter non-compliance.
A few months ago, Canada’s immigration authorities instituted the Employer Portal to replace the IMM5802 Form for collecting information and compliance fees. Employers must sign up for the new Employer Portal immediately as all work permit applications under the International Mobility Program (IMP) must be verified through the Portal prior to submission at a Visa Office or Port of Entry. In addition, employers must have the third party representatives listed as secondary users.
As of January 1, 2016, several new changes in German immigration law will become effective, among which (1) a modification to the annually adjusted minimum salary requirements for German EU Blue Cards and national visas based on the German EU Blue Card regulation and (2) broader access allowed to nationals of several Balkan countries to the German labor market.
Highly-skilled migrants working at Dutch-based companies must meet several criteria in order to enter the Netherlands for employment purposes. The main requirement, satisfaction of the salary criterion, is set to increase on January 1, 2016. The fee for a "Highly-Skilled Migrant" application will also go up on this date.
As of January 1, 2016, employers that are not on a list that is to be approved by the Russian government are not allowed to employ Turkish nationals and only allowed to conclude (renew, prolong) employment and individual service contracts with Turkish nationals which are valid as at December 31, 2015.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”), signed into law on December 4, 2015, by the U.S. president, includes a provision by which the U.S. government may revoke or deny the U.S. passport of an individual with a “seriously delinquent tax debt.”
On November 19, 2015, the U.K. Home Office published amended Tier 2 and 5 of the Points Based System Guidance for Sponsor, which takes effect immediately. The changes cover compliance matters such as the duties of individuals who are named to the Home Office as responsible for compliance; the investigatory and enforcement powers that the Home Office may exercise; and the records sponsors must keep. This is an unusually extensive set of changes.
The U.K. government has announced that from February 1, 2016, all private landlords, including those who sub-let or take in lodgers, in England will have to check that new tenants have the right to be in the United Kingdom before renting out their property to them. Under the new rules, landlords who fail to check a potential tenant’s ‘Right to Rent’ can face penalties of up to £3,000 per tenant.