KN Global immigration update - January 2018

31 January 2018

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January 2018

In these global immigration updates, we provide brief details on key changes to immigration rules in global jurisdictions.

Please note that all immigration rules are subject to change and whilst correct at the time of publication, they should not be relied upon as legal advice or a statement of accuracy at a later date.


Switzerland - labour market test required for certain occupations


Effective 1 July 2018, employers hiring foreign workers in Switzerland will need to undertake a labour market test when hiring for certain occupations where the rate of unemployment is over 8 per cent.  Employers will need to advertise vacancies with the Employment Service in Switzerland for at least 5 days.  The threshold will be lowered to 5 per cent on 1 January 2020.

Employers in Switzerland should allow additional time for the advertising period, review of applications and interview process to be complete when hiring foreign national to come and work in Switzerland after 1 July 2018.


Malta - eu posted workers directive implemented


The EU Posted Workers Enforcement Directive has been implemented in Malta.  The Directive makes changes to the existing directive in the country in relation to foreign workers assigned to work temporarily in Malta. 

The changes are as follows:

  • Designated Representative  
    It will be mandatory to have a designated contact within the host company in Malta that is responsible for liaising with the Department of Industrial Relations.  The name and contact details of the designated representative must be provided.
  • Document Retention
    The following documents must be made available prior to the assignee being transferred to Malta: 

i. Employment contract; 
ii. Payslips;
iii. Confirmation of employee’s working hours;
iv. Work permit; and
v. Proof of wage payments.

All documents must be translated into English if originals are in another language.


ukraine - biometric border control process introduced


Nationals of 70 countries must comply with a biometric border control system when entering Ukraine via international ports of entry.  The new procedure requires visitors to submit fingerprints and is only available to holders of biometric passports. The requirement is mandatory for nationals of the 70 countries deemed a migration risk by Ukrainian authorities but may be applied to nationals of additional countries.  It is anticipated that the new process will lead to delays for visitors upon arrival in Ukraine.  


European union - entry-exit system to electronically monitor overstays in schengen area


Further to the announcement of regulation (EU) 2017/2226 on 30 November 2017, the European Union has introduced an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data and refusal of entry data of third-country nationals crossing the external borders of the Schengen Area.  The regulation applies to Non-EU nationals, both visa required and visa exempt, travelling for short stays of 90 days within a 180 day period in the Schengen area.
The EES will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports and will electronically register identity data, the date and place of entry and exit as well as entry refusals of third-country nationals.
The purpose of the EES is to improve the quality of border checks through the automatic calculation of those who overstay the permitted duration.  This data will be available to law enforcement authorities and will assist them to identify terrorism and protect public interests. 


Asia - Pacific

Australia - guidelines on temporary skills shortage visa published


The Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) have published guidelines to clarify details on the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa which is due to replace the Subclass 457 visa in March 2018.

The TSS visa will be categorised into three separate streams:

  • Short-term stream –for employers to hire temporary foreign skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List for up to 2 years
  • Medium-term stream –for employers to hire foreign skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List for up to 4 years
  • Labour Agreement stream –for employers to hire foreign skilled workers in accordance with a labour agreement with the Commonwealth, on the basis that a suitable candidate cannot be found from the Australian labour market

Transition Phase

The DHA have also provided clarification on the transition phase from the current 457 process to the new TSS route:

  • Employers who are currently approved as sponsors for the subclass 457 visa will remain as sponsors under the TSS visa program.
  • Any subclass 457 nomination and visa applications submitted prior to the implementation of the TSS visa will be processed under the current system.
  • Subclass 457 visa holders who plan to change employer after the TSS has been implemented must request their new employer to submit a TSS nomination application
  • Subclass 457 visa holders who plan to change their occupation or require a new visa must submit a new TSS visa application and reference a new TSS nomination application. 


Singapore - contact details required for pass holders


Employers in Singapore must now provide the contact details of all foreign workers to the Ministry of Manpower's EP Online for Employment Pass, S Pass, Training EP, Dependant's Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass applications.

Pass holders who have provided their contact details will then have access to key updates relating to their immigration status or for any emergency situations.  They will need to provide their email address and a Singapore mobile telephone number and update the online system if these details change during their stay in Singapore.


Middle East

uae - police clearance certificate required for work permit applications


Foreign nationals coming to the UAE for work purposes will soon be required to obtain police clearance certificates from any home country(ies) where they have legally resided over the last five years. The certificate must comply with several requirements, which include notarisation by a Public Notary, legalisation by the relevant government body in the country of origin and super-legalisation at the UAE Embassy/Consulate in the country of origin prior to being attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE.  It is foreseeable that the new process will add to the time frame and cost of obtaining a work permit.  The requirement will be mandatory from 4 February.



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