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In these global immigration updates, we provide brief updates 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 accuracy at a later date.
The Australian government has announced that the Temporary Work (skilled) visa (Subclass 457) will be abolished. The 457 visa programme will be replaced with a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. The TSS visa is expected to be implemented by March 2018.
The following are likely to be affected by this change:
The new system will subject applicants to stricter requirements. These include:
Future plans for different TSS visas include:
A new process has been implemented in Sweden for companies registered with the Fast Track Certificate to improve processing times for Work and Residence Permit applications submitted after 1 May 2017. After reported delays in processing in April 2017, initial Work and Residence Permit applications will now be processed within 10 business days, while renewal applications will be processed within 20 business days.
The Swedish Migration Agency has advised that in order to qualify for the shortened processing times, applications must be complete and meet all of the immigration requirements as well as those set out by trade unions.
Applications submitted before 1 May 2017 may be subject to the extended processing time of 1-2 months for an initial work permit application and up to 7 months for a renewal application.
Slovakia has implemented the EU ICT directive (Directive 2014/66/EU) which allows a standardised work and residence permit for foreign nationals (non-EU) who are managers, specialists or trainees and seconded from non-EU employers to a Slovakian company in the same company group.
This follows implementation of the directive in countries such as Italy, Spain and Bulgaria. The EU ICT permit allows for the following:
The European Council has approved a proposal for Ukrainian nationals to travel to the Schengen Area without the need for a visa in advance. Ukrainians who hold a biometric passport now have the right to enter the EU without a visa for 90 days in a 180 day period. Allowable activities in these visa free zones include:
Individuals travelling in the Schengen Area cannot do so for the intention of work or study.
The European Commission has announced that it will not suspend the visa waiver programme for US citizens. The Commission’s decision was that this would be counterproductive after taking into consideration the US’ commitment to admit various European nationals into the country once they satisfy the requirements laid out by US legislation. These countries include:
In order to be included in the Visa Waiver Programme, one of the requirements is that the country must have a US visa refusal rate of less than 3%. Since the above countries have a refusal rate of higher than 3%, the US has therefore not included them in the Visa Waiver Programme. However, the US has confirmed that it remains committed to admit these countries into the US Visa Waiver Programme once the legislative requirements are met.
Ramadan is expected to begin on or around 26 May and end on 30 June. Processing times are expected to slow down in countries with a majority Muslim population, due to limited working hours being implemented during this period. In addition, businesses and government offices will be closed for for the Eid holiday at the end of Ramadan. Further delays are also expected immediately after Ramadan with government offices dealing with the backlog of application being processed.
Country/ region specific delays during Ramadan include:
If you are interested or have any questions about the issues raised in this update, please contact a member of our immigration team.
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