KN Global Immigration Update - December 2018

28 December 2018

December 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.

Europe

Greece - NON-EEA NATIONALS ELIGIBLE FOR ICT PERMITS UNDER THE FRAMEWORK OF THE EU DIRECTIVE 

 

Non-EEA managers, specialists and trainees, transferring within the same corporate group to Greece, will now be eligible to apply for an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) permit, under the framework of European Union (EU) Directive 2014/66 (the ICT Directive). The Greek Government published Law No.4540 on 22 May 2018, transposing the ICT Directive into its national law.

To be eligible, the non-EEA national must have been employed by the sending company as a senior manager or specialist for at least 12 months or as a trainee for 6 months. Applications must be submitted outside of the EU and the applicant must collect their entry visa prior to entering into the EU. Greek authorities are expected to issue the ICT permits within 90 days of submission. The permits are valid for a maximum period of three years for managers and specialists and one year for trainees.

The new ICT permit is also expected to ease intra-Europe mobility for non-EEA nationals. Under the framework of the ICT Directive, a holder of an ICT permit issued in Greece is eligible to transfer within the same corporate group to other EU member states, without a separate work permit, for stays of up to 90 days in a 180 day period. A mobile ICT permit may be required for stays of more than 90 days.

Where the ICT permit is issued in another EU member state, the holder will now be entitled to transfer within the same corporate group to Greece for stays of up to 90 days. However, in these cases, the permit holder must notify Greek authorities prior to the commencement of the transfer. 

 

Africa

South Africa/Kenya - VISA VALIDITY PERIOD EXTENDED FOR BUSINESS TRAVELLERS BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND KENYA

     

 


Following negotiations between South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister and Kenya’s Minister of Interior Affairs, a reciprocal agreement has been reached to extend the visa validity period for business travellers. Effective 1 December 2018, Kenyan nationals travelling to South Africa (and vice versa) for business will be eligible for a 10 year multiple entry visa. 

Previously, Kenyan nationals were required to apply for a single entry visa each time they visited South Africa. Relaxation of the visa requirements is expected to improve tourism and business travel access between the countries. Travellers should be aware that the validity period of each individual visit is likely to remain capped at 30 days. 

SOUTH AFRICA – IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS PUBLISHED INTRODUCING CHANGES TO VISA CATEGORIES 

 
 
 
South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs have published its first amendment to the Immigration Regulations of 2014, which were made under the 2002 Immigration Act. The key changes are as follows:
 
  • Children travelling to South Africa – children who are foreign nationals travelling from countries where visas are required will no longer be required to carry supporting documents, as these are provided during the visa application process. Children travelling from visa free countries may be requested to produce supporting documents upon entry, even though producing documents is no longer compulsory. Previously, an unabridged birth certificate was required for any foreign child entering South Africa. 
     
  • Life Partnerships – interviews are no longer compulsory for applicants in a permanent relationship. Parties in a permanent relationship ‘may’ be interviewed, as opposed to the previous requirement. 
     
  • General and Corporate Work Visa’s – the Department of Labour’s decision on general work and corporate work visa applications will now be sent to prospective employers. This will notify the prospective employer of the Department’s recommendation, ensuring that applications are not unknowingly filed. 
Additional changes are expected after the election in March 2019. 
 

 

Americas

BRAZIL – REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT VISA INTRODUCED 

 
 
 
Further to the Normative Resolution (36/2018) published by Brazil’s Ministry of Labor on 21 November 2018, foreign nationals may be eligible for residency in Brazil on the basis of their investment in real estate. The new investment visa is a pathway for foreign nationals, seeking to work and live in Brazil. The visa is granted for an initial two year period, with the option to renew for an additional two-year period or convert to a permanent residence permit. 
 
In order to qualify, the applicant must be willing to invest, at a minimum:
 
  • 1 million Brazilian reals (approximately £203,492) in real estate that is located in an urban area of Brazil; or
     
  • 700,000 Brazilian reals (approximately £142,444) in real estate that is located in the north or northeast area of Brazil.
Foreign nationals must submit applications to the Ministry of Labor in Brazil. When filing the application, proof of the real estate acquired must be presented. Applications may be submitted in-country where the foreign national is already in Brazil. In order to comply with Brazil’s legislative requirements, applicants must remain in Brazil for at least 30 days after registering with the Federal Police. 
 

CANADA – IMPAIRED DRIVING CATEGORIES AS A SERIOUS CRIMINAL OFFENCE

 

Effective 18 December 2018, the maximum sentence for impaired driving will be increased from five to ten years, moving the offence into the category of ‘serious criminality’. Bill C-46 (Impaired Driving Act) received royal assent on 21 June 2018, replacing all driving and related offences under the Criminal Code of Canada. The Bill has the potential to seriously impact foreign nationals, whether they intend to work in or visit Canada on a temporary basis.

Under Section 36 (1) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a foreign national or permanent resident is inadmissible (and may be subject to deportation) on grounds of serious criminality, if they have been convicted of an offence which is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years.

The following individuals will be directly impacted by the reclassification of impaired driving offences if convicted of the offence after 18 December 2018:

  • Foreign Nationals seeking temporary entry into Canada – foreign nationals will be deemed inadmissible
     
  • Temporary Residents of Canada – work permit holders and students who are seeking to extend their stay will be deemed inadmissible
     
  • Foreign Nationals applying for Permanent Residency – foreign nationals applying for permanent residency will be deemed inadmissible
     
  • Permanent Residents of Canada – permanent residents could face deportation
     
  • Sponsored Relatives of Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents – sponsored workers may lose their appeal rights if found inadmissible

Foreign nationals who have an impaired driving offence on their record will not be eligible for deemed rehabilitation, a process whereby an individual, who is deemed inadmissible, may still be permitted to enter into Canada. Deemed rehabilitation only applies to individuals who have a single offence, punishable by a sentence of less than ten years.

 

Asia

SINGAPORE – GOVERNMENT FEES INCREASED FOR WORK PASS RELATED APPLICATIONS

 

Effective 1 April 2019, administrative fees for work and related pass applications issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore will be increased. The most recent fee adjustment took place in April 2013.

Administrative fees will be adjusted as follows:

Type of Pass

Current

From 1 April 2019

Current

From 1 April 2019

Employment Pass

$70

$105

$150

$225

S Pass

$60

$75

$80

$100

Work Permit

$30

$35

$30

$35

Personalised Employment Pass

$70

$105

$150

$225

EntrePass

$70

$105

$150

$225

Training Employment Pass

$70

$105

$150

$225

Dependant’s Pass

$60

$105

$150

$225

Long Term Visit Pass

$30

$105

$60

$225

Work Holiday Pass

N/A

N/A

$150

$175

Work Permit (Performing Artiste)

$40

$75

$30

$100

Training Work Permit

$30

$35

$30

$35

Miscellaneous Work Pass

$70

$175

N/A

N/A

 

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