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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.
Belgian authorities are in the process of finalising legislation to introduce a single work and residence permit. This change is being driven by an EU directive issued in December 2011, (Directive 2011/98/EU) which requires EU member states to adopt a single application procedure to enable non-EU nationals to live and work in the EU.
It is expected that this legislation will come in to force no earlier than October 2018, and will impact non-EU nationals who want to work and live in Belgium for more than 90 days. The aim is to simplify the process for applicants, who will only need to submit one application to obtain a dual work and residence permit. Those who are on short-term employment of up to 90 days will continue to use the ‘dual’ system of applying for separate work and residence permits. Those non-EU nationals who have existing work permits will not need to apply under the new system until their current permit expires.
On 13 June 2018, a new process was introduced in Nigeria, requiring all visa-on-arrival visitors to submit their biometrics upon arrival. Upon arrival, these entrants will have to pay $90 USD to have their biometrics taken, in addition to the mandatory visa fee.
may lead to financial penalties.
Since 5 June 2018, UAE citizens no longer need a visa to visit Canada. Upon presenting a valid UAE passport and an Electronic Travel Authorisation (“eTA”), UAE nationals will be granted entry to Canada for up to six months. This will allow UAE citizens to visit Canada for the purposes of business, tourism, or family visits. People travelling to Canada for the purposes of employment or study will still need a visa. The requirement to obtain an eTA when travelling to (or transiting through) Canada was introduced in November 2016. Obtaining an eTA is an automated process that allows Canadian authorities to screen passengers before their arrival in Canada, to determine the eligibility of visitors to enter the country, and to determine whether that individual poses a security risk. The eTA process costs $7 and is generally issued on the same business day when the application is made.
Further to a resolution which took effect on 16 May, immigration authorities in Colombia have implemented new measures to enforce stricter immigration penalties and compliance rules.
For example, changes to a foreign national’s visa status must be reported in the online SIRE platform. Penalties for non-compliance with immigration regulations have increased significantly and employers will not be permitted to make changes to the mandatory reporting of foreign workers in the SIRE system after 90 days. It is advisable for companies to review their current policies to ensure that they are in compliance with the new regulations.
Foreign nationals who do not have the correct valid visa may be subject to deportation and other offences that are deemed to be less serious
The Israeli Minister of Interior has updated regulations regarding the work authorisation process for hi-tech and cyber experts. In February 2018, the Hi-Tech (“HIT”) visa was introduced to attract more foreign talent. Previously, hi-tech employees were exempt from the requirement to undergo the consular processing requirement when applying for a visa, which meant that visa applications were typically processed in around six business days. However, all migrant hi-tech employees must now undergo consular processing before their arrival. It is expected that the processing time will now be between 30-45 days, and the process may involve medical and police clearance checks.
Further, under Israel’s current short employment authorisation (“SEA”) process, employees can apply for a maximum duration of 45 days per calendar year. However, hi-tech and cyber companies can now apply for a visa for up to 90 days, although they will be required to meet the minimum salary threshold of NIS 19,604 per month. This is double the current average salary in Israel. Applications under the SEA process are expected to take up to 6 business days to process.
The Population and Immigration Authority (“PIA”) of the Israeli Ministry of Interior has announced plans to conduct unannounced inspections of companies that employ migrant workers and refugees. Inspections are set to begin over the next few weeks and will involve a review of employer compliance with labour and immigration law regulations, including checks on work permits and place of work limitations. The PIA has warned that companies found to be in violation of labour or immigration law may face legal action.
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