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.
FRANCE - NEW IMMIGRATION BILL proposed
A new immigration bill has been announced by the French government which will introduce a number of significant changes to the current immigration policy in France. The following points highlight some of the changes expected to take place:
- A cooling off period will be introduced for holders of the EU ICT permit. They will be required to leave France when their visas expire for periods of at least 6 months.
- Instead of the current requirement that EU ICT permit holders have 3 months prior experience in their chosen field, employees will be required to evidence 6 months employment with their sending employer.
- Non-EU nationals who have graduated from a French educational institute will be upgraded to a full residence permit, instead of the temporary residence authorisation that is currently issued. The full residence permit will allow non-EU nationals to travel in the Schengen area.
- Companies may be eligible to qualify as an ‘innovative’ sponsor even if they have not obtained the tax status of being a ‘young, innovative company ‘ and as such, they will be allowed the 4 year talent passport. Talent passports may also be available for individuals that undertake business projects that encourage and support the economic development of a French business.
POLAND - STRICTER REQUIREMENTS imposed ON EMPLOYERS FOR WORK PERMITS
A new immigration law has come into force in Poland which will affect employers, non-EU and non-EEA nationals who apply for work permits in Poland. The key changes include:
- New documentation requirements for employers, who will now be required to provide copies of diplomas and reference letters during the labour market testing for work permit applications;
- A requirement for employers to provide a declaration that their employees do not have a criminal record;
- Seasonal ‘Type S’ work permits will be introduced. This will exempt nationals of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine from labour market testing if they are working in seasonal industries for up to 9 months in a calendar year;
- The Type B work permit will be expanded to include general partners and proxies who intend to work for more than six months in a 12-month period; and
- Annual quotas on the number of work permits issued.
Taiwan - further details clarified on new gold card
Immigration authorities in Taiwan have announced that they will introduce a combined work and residence permit, called the Gold Card. Following from this, further updates have been announced, clarifying details about the Gold Card. The Gold Card will be available for employers hiring Foreign Special Professionals who fall into certain specific categories. The Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals Act has provided clarity for employers by defining the term Foreign Special Professionals in the following areas:
- Cultural and art
Those who fall in the category of Foreign Special Professionals are eligible for the Gold Card and as such, they will not need an employer to sponsor them. Additionally, the Gold Card will allow applicants to change jobs and search for new employment without losing their status. Each category has specific criteria that must be satisfied, which includes criteria based on salary, experience and qualifications. The validity of the Gold Card will vary from 1 or 3 years.
India - changes to the immigration regulations announced
The Ministry of Home Affairs has made some changes to the Immigration laws in India, which include –
Visa subcategories –
- There are expected changes to the Electronic business visas which will include visitation for the purposes of business.
- Further subcategories are introduced which include:
- Foreign nationals who will participate in commercial sports in India under a contract and receive payment (B-sports)
- Foreign academics covered under GIAN (B-6)
- Foreign nationals who are partners of a business or are directors/functioning as directors of a company (B-7)
- Student visas will also expand their subcategories and allow for foreign nationals who enter India for theological studies and missionary students.
Changes to activities –
Additional changes to the immigration laws involve all foreign nationals, other than Pakistani nationals, to enter India on any type and be allowed to undertake the activities that are typically permitted on a tourist visa.
Determining the appropriate subcategory –
During the application process, the applicant is required to select the visa subcategory from the application form drop down list. However if the applicant is unsure of which subcategory they must choose based on their proposed activities, the applicant can apply under the general ‘visa’ category. Once selected, the visa officer will be responsible to determine the appropriate subcategory from the information provided.
Singapore - Advertising requirements expanded to apply to wider employer base
Effective from 1 July 2018, the Fair Consideration Framework rules will be expanded by the Ministry of Manpower in an attempt to encourage employers to increase the hiring of Singaporean candidates. The expansion of the rules is designed to bring more employers and roles within their scope. Under the current law, employers with 25 (or fewer) employees were exempt from the rules and roles with a fixed monthly salary of $12,000 SGD per month and above were exempt. The new position now allows employers with 10 or more employees to be covered. Roles that pay a fixed monthly salary below $15,000 SGD will have to be advertised for a minimum duration of 14 days.
Singapore - Sqworkpass app to be expanded this month
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will expand its newly introduced SGWorkPass mobile app to cover Employment Passes, S passes, Dependent Passes and Long-term visit passes. In September 2017, the MOM introduced a mobile app to allow employers, employees, agents and other workers to check Work Permit validity, expiration dates and other dates. The purpose of these changes are to create a more efficient and streamlined process, allowing the information on the card to be stored on the digital app and to make the information more secure. This programme was subsequently expanded to all work permits (excluding domestic works).
Employees will not have to apply for a new Work Pass card. Cards without a QR code can be verified using the unique Card Serial Number printed on the card.
canada - authorities to focus on francophone immigration outside quebec
The Canadian Federal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister has unveiled plans to increase Francophone immigration to French-speaking minority communities across Canada. Plans include the following:
• Increasing employer recruitment of French-speaking immigrants who are planning on settling in Canada (they must be outside of Quebec);
• Promoting awareness of the various immigration pathways and settlement options for French-speaking applicants; and
• Increasing the availability, awareness and accessibility of French language services.
The immigration authorities in Canada are expected to continue discussions regarding these plans and provide periodic reports on the progress of Francophone immigration in Canada.