KN Global immigration update - November 2017

30 November 2017

November 2017

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.

Asia Pacific

Malaysia - changes to the employment pass application

 

Malaysia Economy Corporation (MDEC) has announced that it will introduce more consistent processing times for issuing employment passes.  Additionally, a new online application portal and the new service fees are permitted to be paid online in advance of the application’s submission.

The focal point for all application matters will still be MDEC and they will continue to be in contact with the Immigration Department of Malaysia on the endorsement of passes. 

The revised the processing times are:  

Previous processing times:

  • Stage 1 (approval) - 3 working days
  • Stage 2 (endorsement) - 14-21 working days
  • Stage 1 (ICT approval) - 5 working days
  • Stage 2 (ICT endorsement) - 10-14 working days

New processing times:

  • Stage 1 (approval) - 7 working days
  • Stage 2 (endorsement) - 2 working days
  • Stage 1 (ICT approval) - 7 working days
  • Stage 2 (ICT endorsement) - 2 working days

Effective immediately, payments to MDEC must now be made online through an online payment portal. 

SINGAPORE - INTRODUCTION OF AN ELECTRONIC PERMANENT RESIDENCE APPLICATION SYSTEM

 

An electronic–Permanent Residence (e-PR) application system has been introduced by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority.  The e-PR is expected to be effective from 18th December 2017 and will be mandatory for all permanent residence (PR) applications being made from that day onwards.

PR applicants will no longer be required to make an appointment to submit their application in person. Instead, the e-PR will allow the applicant to use an online system to enter their details and then electronically submit their documents.  Additional changes include changes to the fees being paid. Currently, PR applicants are charged SGD 100 for an entry permit, and are not charged a processing fee.  Effective, 18th December, the charge payable online for PR processing will be SGD 100 and the entry permit fee will be SGD 20. 

The processing time will be unaffected by the introduction of the e-PR system.  Applicants can still expect the general processing time to be between 4-6 months, once all documents are submitted and fees have been paid, to have their application submitted and processed. 
In order to use the e-PR system (along with the other existing documents) applicants must have a:

  • Valid SingPass account;
  • Computer that can run Adobe Acrobat Reader;  
  • Camera;
  • Scanner; and
  • Digital passport-sized colour photograph, taken against a white background 

 

Singapore – Recruitment details now required for Employment Pass application

 
 
The Ministry of Manpower has amended the Employment Pass online application form to add new questions that must be answered by the sponsor companies of the applicant. The types of questions now asked include:
  1. Details on the company’s efforts to hire Singaporean nationals for the job (including number of Singaporean applicants who applied and were interviewed) 
  2. Details of the foreign nationals who have applied for the job
  3. The status of each candidate and how successful candidates were through the process
Going forward, employers will need to actively monitor the details of the applicants applying for their jobs and provide details of who they plan to hire. 

 

Europe

Cyprus – Implementing the new Intra-company Transfer permit 

 

Cyprus has implemented the EU Intra-Corporate Transfer (‘ICT’) permit.   The EU ICT permit enacts the European Union ICT Directive 2014/66 and will allow non-EU/EEA individuals who are qualified managers, specialists and graduate trainees to work in Cyprus or any of the EU countries implementing the directive on a temporary basis, as long as the company they are to work at is within the same group of companies as the sending company. 

Managers and specialists who have worked at the sending entity for at least 12 months (and at least 6 months for graduate trainees) will be suitable for the EU ICT permit, should the host company send them to a linked corporate entity. 

The EU ICT permit can be issued for an initial duration of up to 3 years for managers and specialists and up to 1 year for trainees. 

 

Sweden – New permit announced for Intra-company transferees 

 

The Swedish Migration Agency plans to facilitate short term intra-EU mobility under the EU Intra-company Transferee Directive 2014/66 (EU ICT permit) from 1st March 2018.  An online application procedure will also be introduced.

The EU ICT permit will allow non-EU/EEA individuals who are qualified managers, specialists and graduate trainees to work in Sweden or any of the EU countries implementing the directive on a temporary basis. The applicant will be allowed to stay for up to 90 days in a 180 day period, without the need to apply for a separate work permit. The applicant can rely on this directive as long as the company they are to work for is within the same group of companies as the sending company (in certain circumstances the Swedish Migration Agency may require a notification from the applicant upon arrival).

 

Austria - New permit announced for Intra-company transferees

 

The EU Intra-company Transferee Directive 2014/66 (EU ICT Permit) has been implemented into Austrian national law. The ICT directive will allow non-EU/EEA individuals who are qualified managers, specialists and graduate trainees to work in Austria or any of the EU countries implementing the directive on a temporary basis, as long as the company they will be working is within the same group of companies as the sending company. 

These third country nationals must have worked at the sending company for at least 9 months (6 months for trainees). This differs from the previous ICT scheme (Rotationsarbeitskraft) that was initially in place.  Another difference of the EU ICT permit, in comparison to the previous scheme, is the EU ICT permit is only issued with a validity of 12 months (renewable for up to 3 years for managers and specialists, and non-renewable for trainees). 

 

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