KN Global immigration update - October 2017

31 October 2017

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October 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.


Belgium - Additional declaration requirements enforced for posted workers


Companies who assign employees to work in Belgium are now expected to use the LIMOSA declaration which is a system for notifying the Belgian labour authorities of postings.

LIMOSA declarations must now include the following additional information:

  • The nature of the services that the posted worker will provide ; and
  • The details of the posted worker including name, address, date of birth, email/telephone number of the person appointed to liaise with the Belgian authorities and their capacity to represent the employer

The appointed liaison officer must provide all of the relevant information and documents that have been requested to the authorities and be responsible for recording all information from the authorities concerning employment of posted workers in Belgium.

Certain documents concerning the posting including the assignment letter, salary slips and time sheets must be kept and provided to the authorities should they be requested for at least one year after the assignment end date and these may need to be provided to the authorities on request.


Switzerland - New published quotas for 2018


The Swiss Federal Council has decided to increase certain work permit quotas for 2018.

Non-EU/EFTA Nationals

The quota for recruiting specialist non-EU/EFTA nationals in the coming year has increased from 7,500 to 8,000. The additional 500 permits will be allocated specifically to B permits bringing the total to 3,500.

There will be no change to the allocation of short term L Permits which will remain at 4,500 Permits.

EU Nationals

For 2018, 500 long-term B Permits will be granted. This is an increase of 250, compared to the 2017 quota.   3,000 short term L Permits have been granted for EU/EFTA nationals which is an additional 1,000 permits compared to the 2017 quota.  


Germany - border controls WITH AUSTRIA TO BE EXTENDED


The German Federal Ministry of Interior has decided to extend the border controls between itself and Austria for an additional six months.  As well as extending land borders, border control plan will be introduced for specific flights entering the country, namely flights from Greece. 

As a consequence, foreign nationals travelling in the Schengen area should carry their immigration documents with them (including passports).  Visitors should expect increased delays when attempting to enter Germany from German flights or when travelling through the Austrian border. 


Middle East

qatar - Introduction of electronic travel authorisation for certain permit and visa holders


Qatar has introduced a single-entry electronic travel authorisation (ETA).  The ETA will be valid for 30 days and once expired, can be renewed only once. This authorisation will be available for nationals and valid visa or residence permit holders from the following countries:

  • United Kingdom;
  • United States;
  • Canada;
  • Australia;
  • New Zealand;
  • Schengen countries; and
  • Gulf Corporation Council

The following must be provided when applying for the ETA online:

  • Proof of nationality or valid visa/residence status from the above list of countries;
  • Proof of onward travel (airline ticket);
  • Evidence of accommodation in Qatar; and
  • Fee of 14 USD  


Asia Pacific

vietnam - New work permit category INTRODUCED


A new intra-company transferee (ICT) work permit category has been implemented in Ho Chi Minh City. This new work permit will apply to the following individuals who are transferred to Vietnam:

  • Managers;
  • Executive directors;
  • Experts; and
  • Technical Workers

This new category will ease certain requirements under the standard ICT route. A number of key requirements have been relaxed including the following:

  • Individuals in the above category are not required to provide a local labour contract
  • The individual’s tenure at a company will be considered alongside the 12 months experience that is also required.  With the regular ICT route, the individual applying must have at least 12 months experience with the sending company and this company is required to be listed on the Vietnamese business licence.
  • The working testimonial that is necessary may now come from any of the entities within the group of the companies, insofar as they are related to the company mentioned on the Vietnamese licence. 


thailand - new online applications for work permits and visas


A new electronic work permit system called the Single Window for Visa and Work Permit is being introduced by the Board of Investment (BOI) in Thailand.  Once the new system has been implemented applications will need to be submitted online before an appointment is made at the One Stop Service.  The process is expected to take approximately 3 hours and the online system will be available 24 hours a day.  Foreign nationals will then be able to utilise this system to evidence their right to work in Thailand by obtaining a Digital Work Permit instead of a hard copy version. This can be done by registering and downloading the permit on the individual’s smartphone, with any status changes to their permit being reflected automatically.

Companies that are BOI registered must register online and complete a mandatory training workshop. This first come first serve training will initially allow for 2 representatives from each BOI registered company to attend. It is advised that these companies register for this training.

This new system will be introduced in stages starting from this month and is scheduled to be available for use from January 2018.


North America

canada - comprehensive economic and trade agreement agreed with European union


The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has now been ratified by the European Union (EU).  CETA will apply to Canada and the EU and focus in the areas of business visitors, intra-company transfers, and business visitors with the intention of investment.

Business visitors

  • Individuals that fall in this category will be allowed to enter Canada without a work permit for up to 90 days in any six month period. These business visitors will be limited to certain business activities during their stay.  This includes: attending meetings, training seminars, conducting research and negotiating sales.  It is not permissible to sell goods or services directly to the general public or receive remuneration from a source in Canada.
  • Employees in a managerial or specialist position who are responsible for setting up an enterprise will be considered as business visitors with the intention of investing.

Intra-company transferees

The intra-company transfers (ICT) rules of CETA are similar to the existing ICT arrangements in Canada. The rules allow entry and stay without labour market testing or quotas.

Under CETA, all Intra-company transferees must have been employed by or have a partner relationship with the sending company for at least one year. This individual must also fall under one of the three groups –

  • Senior personnel or Specialists – these individuals may qualify for work permits valid for stays for up to 3 years with an option to extend for an additional 18 months; or
  • Graduate trainees – these individuals will be allowed permits for up to 1 year. There will be no option to extend the length of this permit.  Eligible graduate trainees must have a university degree.

Due to CETA, the existing business visitor provisions are amended. The main change will be the widening of the scope which eligible candidates seek to enter Canada for the purposes of business, particularly for short term business and for business visitors with investment purposes.


Investors who are eligible under CETA can obtain work authorisation for up to one year and will not be subject to labour market testing or quotas.  Extensions will be at the discretion of the Canadian immigration authorities.


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