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.
Germany - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR PRE-WORK AUTHORISATION
The Federal Employment Agency in Germany has recently updated its online application forms for pre-work authorisation. Employers in Germany seeking pre-approval for non-EEA nationals will now be required to provide additional information regarding salary and employment conditions when making an application.
The new forms can be accessed online and will require employers to provide the following information:
- Employees monthly salary based on an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement;
- Salaries of German employees with a comparable position;
- Number of paid holidays;
- Amount of overtime work required and compensation for overtime;
- Evidence that the salaries of foreign workers are the same as or higher than German workers in similar positions; and
- In cases where there is no comparable position, employers will be required to describe the need to hire a non-EEA national in a detailed manner.
Both first-time and renewal applicants will be impacted by the above changes. Employers are encouraged to make note of the additional requirements and allow for extra time when submitting a new application. Employers are also encouraged to review their salary and employment conditions to ensure that they are compliant with the new requirements.
TURKEY – VISA-ON-ARRIVAL PROCESS TO BE CANCELLED
Immigration authorities in Turkey will shortly be cancelling the visa-on-arrival process. Visitors must now obtain an e-visa online via the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for a fee of €15. Applicants must also have a passport with an expiration date of at least 60 days beyond the duration of stay of their e-visa. Visitors should bring a copy of their e-visa on arrival in Turkey as this is likely to be requested by passport control.
NIGERIA – FOREIGN NATIONALS SUBJECT TO MONETARY PENALTIES FOR VISA OVERSTAYS
The Federal Government of Nigeria has increased the enforcement of visa overstay rules, introducing a sanction to discourage foreign nationals from breaching their immigration laws. Monetary penalties range from $200 to $4000 depending on the number of days the foreign national has overstayed their visa.
Under the e-pass system, introduced in September 2015, foreign nationals (excluding nationals of ECOWAS countries) travelling to Nigeria on a tourist, business or temporary work permit are allowed to stay for an aggregate period of 56 days in a year. Where an extension request is made, an immigration fee of $200 will apply for a stay of up to 90 days, $1000 for 90 to 180 days and $2000 for stays of up to one year. Foreign nationals who have overstayed their visa will be subject to monetary penalties of 100 per cent plus the original e-pass extension fee if they are found in breach of the regulations.
Foreign nationals (non-ECOWAS) should track the number of days they are in Nigeria to avoid breaching the overstay rules. An e-pass extension request form must be obtained and processed in-country. Visitors should note that they will be checked at departure gates and asked for their e-pass or passport and required to pay a fine if they have overstayed their visa.
ARGENTINA – ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM INTRODUCED TO TRACK VISA APPLICATIONS
An electronic filing system has been launched in Argentina to streamline the process for visa applicants. The new online system is intended to reduce manual delays by simplifying online procedures. Visa approvals are to be issued within a few days after the applicant has completed their biometric appointment with the local ID (DNI) card being mailed to the applicant.
Applicants will be able to submit applications and supporting documents electronically, receive an appointment date for providing biometrics and track the progress of their application online. As part of the new electronic system, applicants will also be required to provide more detailed information about their marital status, level of education and industry sector. It is possible that applicants will encounter delays with the new system during the implementation process.
CANADA – 3 YEAR PLAN ANNOUNCED TO INCREASE IMMIGRATION LEVELS
Immigration authorities in Canada have announced a plan to accept more than 1 million immigrants in the next three years, which is an increase on targets that were put in place in 2017.
New projected estimates for 2019- 2021 have been included in the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in Canada’s (‘IRCC’) 2018 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration. Canada accepted more than 286,000 permanent residents in 2017 and has continued to accept a high number of immigrants this year.
The IRCC has set the following targets for the next three years:
2019 - 330,800
2020 - 341,000; and
2021 - 350,000.
These targets includes a range of visa routes including foreign nationals who will apply for work authorisation as skilled workers (under the Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs) or those applying under refugee status.
This announcement reinforces the long-term plan of the Canadian government to encourage immigration as part of the country’s economic policy for growth.
ISRAEL – SHORT-TERM WORK AUTHORISATION VALIDITY RESTRICTED
Under a new policy published by the Israeli Work Permit Unit, the validity period for Short-Term Employment Authorisation (SEA 45 day-work visa) and Short-Term Employment Permit’s (STEP) has been reduced.
Visa-exempt nationals applying for Short-Term Employment Authorisation (SEA) will be required to deduct any prior travel to Israel, including personal visits in the same calendar year, from the maximum work permit validity period of 45 days. Employers may avoid these deductions by registering the non-work related travel with the Israeli Work Permit Unit before applying for SEA.
Visa nationals applying for a Short-Term Employment Permit (STEP) will be required to deduct consular entry visa processing times (reported to take approximately four weeks) from the permit validity period of three months.