KN Global Immigration Update - September 2018

27 September 2018

September 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

GERMANY – ADDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION REQUESTED BY THE GERMAN FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY



A new form has been introduced by the German Federal Employment Agency which requests additional employment information for pre-approval applications for the following permit types:

  • Work permits for locally-hired or assigned workers who are nationals of one of the recognised ‘Best Friend’ countries: Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States; and
  • EU Blue Card applications for locally-hired workers in shortage occupations.

Employers must now provide additional salary and overtime information, as well as an employee’s annual holiday entitlement. It is expected that this will increase the time it takes for an employer to collect the required documents to prepare work permit applications. 

European Union – SCHENGEN ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION SYSTEM (‘ETIAS’) TO BE IMPLEMENTED BY 2021

 

The European Parliament has approved the implementation of an electronic European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for visa-waived nationals. The system is due to be implemented by 2021 with the purpose of improving security across the Schengen Area.

ETIAS will apply to non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals who are visa-waived to the Schengen Area and will pre-screen travellers to identify security and migration risks. Travellers will be required to register online to obtain travel authorisation before travelling and will need to have a valid ETIAS and travel document on arrival at a Schengen Area country member. The cost of obtaining this travel authorisation will be 7€ and once approved, an ETIAS will be valid for three years.

Passengers will be required to provide the following information:

  • Personal details;
  • Passport information;
  • Date of birth;
  • Country of birth;
  • Country of residence;
  • Parents’ names; and
  • Details of any convictions and trips to conflict zones.

This information will then be cross-checked against transnational security databases, including the Schengen Information System, Visa Information System, Eurodac, Europol and Interpol.

 

Africa

Ghana – ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT ANNOUNCED FOR BUSINESS VISITORS IN THE OIL AND GAS SECTOR


 

Employers in the western region of Ghana are now required to report any foreign nationals entering under a business visa who will be performing certain activities within the oil and gas sector. These activities include short consultancy services, repair/maintenance services and training.

The notification must be given to the Western Regional Command and failure to do so could lead to the employer being fined. A foreign national who enters Ghana under a business visa for one of the above named activities may be arrested and deported.

South Africa – OVERHAUL OF VISA SYSTEM ANNOUNCED



The South African government has announced plans to overhaul the country’s visa system. This would include the visa rules governing children, tourist visas, and work visas for foreign nationals. The purpose of this is to boost the economy and attract tourism, business and investment.

The government is currently formulating the package and we expect further information regarding this in due course.

 

Asia

Singapore – HOUSING CHECKS INTRODUCED FOR WORK PASS HOLDERS



Effective from 14 September 2018, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore have confirmed the mandatory requirement for applicant’s addresses to meet the relevant housing requirements for foreign workers. The requirement has been introduced to stop work pass holders from staying in commercial buildings which are not permitted for residential use and also to prevent overcrowding.

The employer has the responsibility to ensure their employees’ housing meets MOM’s housing requirements and employers must notify the MOM of any changes of residential address within 14 days for Employment and S Pass holders, and within 5 days for Work Permit holders.

Failure to comply can lead to employers facing fines and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months.

 

Middle East

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - VISA-FREE TRAVEL INTRODUCED FOR RUSSIAN NATIONALS TRAVELLING TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES



Russian nationals are no longer required to obtain a visa when travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for short business and leisure trips of up to 30 days.  

Previously, Russian nationals had to obtain a visa before travelling to the UAE, however, immigration authorities have agreed to waive visa requirements for Russian passport holders. Russian nationals travelling to the UAE for business will be able to conduct limited business activities and can extend the visa for an additional 30 days in-country.

Russia is in the process of introducing reciprocal visa-free requirements for UAE nationals.

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