Global Immigration Updates | Week Beginning 5 April 2021

April 9, 2021

BELGIUM: Antwerp Authorities Invite UK National Residents to Make Appointment for M Card Application

The Immigration Office in Brussels has announced that British nationals (and their family members) living in Antwerp or Deurne who qualify for a status of beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement (because they were already resident in Belgium before 31 December 2020) and already hold a valid residence document (E card or F card) can now make an appointment to apply for an electronic residence card (M card).

  • In general, Belgian municipalities are sending invitations to qualifying British nationals to submit applications, but in Antwerp and Deurne qualifying British nationals should not wait for an invitation to make an appointment and begin the process.
  • Qualifying applicants should send an email with a copy of all printed pages of the valid passport and a copy of the E card (or F card for family reunification with a British national) and will be notified when they can book an appointment.
  • This procedure does not yet apply to applicants for N cards (for local border traffic).
  • On submission, applicants will receive a temporary certificate of application covering all their residence rights until a decision has been made.
  • Until 31 March 2022, applicants can also continue to use their former valid residence document (E/E+/F/F+) in Belgium pending the submission of their application and a decision. These former residence documents will be proof that they are protected under the Withdrawal Agreement during the application period, but they do not cover any rights reserved to EU citizens.
  • After 31 March 2022, all former residence documents will automatically lose their validity but applicants can continue to use the certificate of application for beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement until a decision has been taken.

IRAQ: New Visa on Arrival Scheme for Nationals of 37 Countries

The Iraqi government has lifted the requirement to obtain entry visas prior to arrival for citizens of 37 countries, including the European Union member states and permanent members of the UN security council.

Citizens of the following countries will be eligible for a visa on arrival: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States.

The visa on arrival is valid for stays of up to 60 days but cannot be converted into a multi-entry visa or residency. Permitted activities include:

  • Attending internal meetings and contract negotiation;
  • Attending or participating in a conference and seminar;
  • Exploring business and investment opportunities;
  • Attending or receiving training;
  • Engaging legal firms for entity formation.

NIGERIA: New Document Requirement for Resident Permit Renewals

Effective 6 April 2021, all applications for resident permit renewals must be supported by evidence of payment of tax.

Our Advice

Employers who may be affected by any of these immigration changes are encouraged to contact Newland Chase for case-specific advice.