Global Immigration Updates | Week Ending 28 May 2021

May 28, 2021

CANADA: Trade Continuity Agreement with UK Takes Effect

The Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (CUKTCA) came into effect on 1 April 2021. CUKTCA is modelled on the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The new agreement replicates the CETA immigration rules so that UK nationals can again obtain work permits exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), including for intra-company transfer, contractual service providers and independent professionals, engineering and scientific technologists, investors and business visitors.

UK nationals currently working in Canada under a CETA exemption cannot renew this authorization under the terms of CUKTCA. A new application will be required.

PANAMA: New Short-Stay Visa as a Remote Worker

Effective 20 May 2021, the government of Panama has introduced a new category of non-resident visa for short stays as a remote worker.

  • This visa will be granted to foreign nationals who intend to work remotely within the Republic of Panama for a period of nine months, renewable once for the same period.
  • Foreign national applicants for this visa must meet the following conditions:
    • Have an employment contract with a foreign multinational company or be a self-employed worker.
    • Perform duties that have effects abroad.
    • Receive income from a foreign source and with an annual amount not less than USD 36,000 or equivalent in foreign currency.
    • Have a valid medical insurance policy, with coverage in Panama.
  • For visa renewal, the foreign national must meet the same requirements submitted with the first application.
  • Once the short stay visa is approved, it will not be necessary to carry out additional procedures or obtain authorizations from another governmental entity.
  • If the foreign national were to represent the foreign company for local activities in Panama, the Short Stay Visa would be canceled.

RUSSIA: Extended Requirement for Chief Executives to Attend In-Person Interview

The migration authorities of the city of Moscow and Moscow region are now extending the practice of inviting chief executives (general managers, heads of branches and representative offices) for an interview.

This is now applicable to all companies for the purpose of company accreditation as an inviting company. In the Moscow region it is also required for the purpose of obtaining initial Highly Qualified Specialist work permits.

UNITED STATES: ICE Announces Extension of I-9 Compliance Flexibility

On 26 May 2021, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced another extension, this time until 31 August 2021, of the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance.

Employees hired on or after 1 April 2021 and working exclusively in a remote setting fur to COVID-19 related precautions are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).

Our Advice

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