In July 2019's global immigration update, we provide brief details on key changes to immigration rules in global jurisdictions including Europe, The Americas, Asia-Pacific & The Middle East.
France - Changes announced to posted worker notification online platform
New rules regarding posted workers in France came into effect on 1 July 2019 with the online platform used for submitting posted worker notifications being updated to reflect these changes.
The non-French employer will now need to provide additional information on the online platform including the European value added tax number of the co-contracting party, the worker’s gender and the worker’s hourly salary.
Employers can now also designate a representative in France on the online platform and will no longer need to make hard copy submissions of the posted worker notification form.
All notifications on the old website will be transferred to the new system automatically.
Belgium - Reduced processing times planned for single work and residence permits
The Belgian Federal Immigration Office has announced measures to reduce processing times for single work-and-residence permits. The current processing time is up to four months.
Processing time should reduce over the next few months now that the Federal Ministry has shifted responsibility for part of the process to local immigration authorities.
Earlier this year Belgium’s three regions introduced a system for single work-and-residence permits under the EU directive which unifies procedures for non-EU/EEA workers across the EU.
Under the new process, employers will submit their applications to regional authorities. The regional authorities then issue a conditional employment authorisation following which the federal immigration authorities assess eligibility and approve the applications. The permit is then issued by the regional authority.
These work-and-residence permits can be valid for up to 3 years depending on the employment contract or assignment and the region.
Additionally, the ICT permit is expected to be implemented in the Flemish and Brussels regions in the coming months.
Netherlands - pilot programme for startups to hire skilled non-eu Workers
The Dutch government is planning to launch a pilot scheme in summer 2020 to help startup companies hire skilled workers from non-EU countries. Startups are often unable to meet the Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) programme’s salary thresholds and the existing startup residence permit requires the migrant worker to hold a significant amount of company shares. The scheme will give startups more options for hiring talent from outside the EU.
The pilot will run for 3 years and some of the proposed key aspects are:
- It will be open to both Dutch and foreign startups established in the Netherlands with no more than 15 employees in total and within this, no more than 5 of the employees can be non-EU nationals.
- Employers will be required to meet the lowest HSM salary threshold, currently €2,364 gross per month.
- Employers will be required to demonstrate “employee participation” in the company, such as, stock options, certificates of shares, or shares without voting rights.
- Employers will be required to show that the employee is essential to the growth of the startup.
The aim is for the startups and these employees to later enrol into the regular HSM programme as soon as they become eligible to meet the requirements for this visa category.
Canada - Canada and the netherlands to launch first voluntary passport-free programme
Canada and the Netherlands will launch the passport-free programme pilot between their countries in 2020. The programme is called the Known Traveller Digital Identity.
Travellers under the programme will no longer need their passports and instead will use a secure data storage system on a mobile app. The programme is aimed at speeding up the flow of passengers through airports and testing paperless travel.
The pilot scheme will be voluntary and potential participants will be selected between two groups involved in the programme: (i) employees of participating partners and (ii) passengers of selected airlines. Participants will need to be Dutch or Canadian nationals aged 18 or above and eligible to travel to the respective country. Participants will establish a known traveller profile to be used by border agencies and certain airlines using personal documents which can be shared amongst agencies in the programme. Their identity data will be encrypted and stored on the mobile app instead of the passport microchip. Depending on the success of the programme, this model may then be rolled out to additional countries.
Japan - New work permit category introduced for foreign national university graduates
A new work permit category has been introduced in Japan to provide further options to obtain work authorisation for foreign nationals who have graduated from universities in Japan.
The new work permit falls within the subcategory of the Designated Activities (DA) work visa and is available to employers/sponsors from any industry or job sector.
Successful applicants will be granted with an initial validity of three months, six months, one year, three years or five years, based on the duration of the assignment. There will be an option to renew the work permit for a stay of up to five years.
Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from a university in Japan and be sponsored in a full-time or permanent position. The minimum salary requirement will be a salary of JPY 200,000 per month and all applicants must pass a Japanese language proficiency test in order to be eligible for the new work permit.
United arab emirates - emiratisation plan to introduce labour market testing
Immigration authorities in UAE have announced a plan to increase the employment of UAE citizens. This will require private-sector employers to undergo resident labour market testing for certain visa types prior to applying for work permits for foreign (non-UAE) nationals. This plan is in accordance with the general push in favour of Emiratisation, which is an initiative by the UAE government to ensure the employment of UAE citizens in the UAE workforce.
Companies in the UAE seeking to recruit more than 300 designated types of profession in skill level 1-3 will be required to interview UAE nationals selected by UAE authorities. The company will need to justify any decision not to hire a UAE national and instead seek a work permit before immigration authorities approve a work permit. Companies with fewer than 10 employees will be exempt from this requirement. The policy is expected to be implemented gradually.
Please note that all immigration rules are subject to change and while correct at the time of publication, they should not be relied on as legal advice or a statement of accuracy at a later date.