Immigration Insights

SWITZERLAND: Work Permit Quotas Announced for 2022

December 1, 2021

On 24 November 2021, the Federal Council of Switzerland announced that quotas will remain the same for new work permit applications submitted during the 2022 calendar year for non-European Union/European Free Trade Agreement (non-EU/EFTA) nationals (with a stay greater than four consecutive months/120 days per year) and service providers/seconded workers based in the EU/EFTA (also with a stay greater than four consecutive months/120 days per year).

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New Global Travel Restrictions Introduced in Response to COVID-19 Omicron Variant Concerns

December 1, 2021

While the world awaits further information on the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, many countries have introduced new travel restrictions against individuals from, or with recent travel to, several Southern African countries.

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AUSTRALIA: Travel Restrictions Ending for Eligible Visa Holders [Updated 30 November 2021]

November 30, 2021

From 15 December 2021, eligible visa holders who have been fully vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recognized vaccine will be free to travel to and from Australia without the need to first apply for a Travel Exemption.

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COVID-19: Weekly Immigration Updates

November 30, 2021

Our weekly COVID-19 Immigration Guide focuses on enhanced immigration-related information and processes. Our guide provides clients with information on both immigration-related restrictions and concessions being announced due to COVID-19, and it helps our clients understand the overall impact the pandemic has on the immigration processes and permit holders in specific countries.

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U.S. to Expand Vaccination Requirement for Foreign National Travelers

November 28, 2021

Starting 22 January, 2022, the Biden administration will require foreign national travelers engaged in essential travel to be fully vaccinated when crossing U.S. land borders or ferry terminals.

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UNITED STATES: Long Delays for Work Permits for L, H, and E Spouses Are Over [Updated]

November 24, 2021

To seek relief from immigration application delays, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and its partners filed a lawsuit, which was settled with the Department of Homeland Security.

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SWITZERLAND: Freedom of Movement for Croatian Citizens Beginning 1 January 2022

November 18, 2021

The Swiss Federal Council recently announced that Croatian citizens will be granted full freedom of movement beginning on January 1, 2022. This change will put Croatian nationals on equal terms with EU/EFTA nationals. As such, as of January 1, 2022, they will be allowed to follow the streamlined EU/EFTA national immigration process.

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IRELAND: Holiday Travel Allowances and Citizenship Application Improvements

November 17, 2021

Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, T.D., has announced improvements to holiday travel allowances and to citizenship applications.

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SRI LANKA: Residence Visa Validity Increased to Five Years

November 17, 2021

Sri Lanka has officially increased the standard duration of their Employment and Dependent Residence Visas from the current two years to five years.

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SINGAPORE: Acceptable Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Amended for Individuals Vaccinated in the U.S.

November 17, 2021

Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced new criteria for individuals vaccinated in the United States to prove their vaccination status and use the country’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs).

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UK: Reminder of Application Submission Changes from 30 November 2021

November 15, 2021

In September this year the Home Office issued a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules which will see a change to how applicants (and their dependants) for Student and Skilled Worker visas make their applications. The change will apply from 30 November 2021.

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KUWAIT: Temporary Suspension of Visa Issuance for Lebanese Citizens

November 12, 2021

Amid continued political disputes between Lebanon and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior has temporarily suspended all new visa issuance for Lebanese citizens effective November 10, 2021.

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NEW ZEALAND: New Accredited Employer Work Visa Process to Debut on 4 July 2022

November 12, 2021

After its original November 1, 2021 launch was delayed, New Zealand’s new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme will now be introduced on July 4, 2022. As part of New Zealand’s recent efforts to increase the skill level of foreign workers, the AEWV program will streamline six current and previous work visa options into a simplified application system.

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MALAYSIA: Projection Window Opens for 2022 Foreign Worker Needs

November 3, 2021

Effective 1 November 2021, the Malaysian authorities have opened the window for companies to submit their 2022 foreign worker projections. This is applicable to both companies registered with the Expatriates Services Division (ESD) online portal and companies registered with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) eXpats portal.

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AUSTRALIA: Outbound Travel Restrictions Lifted for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

November 3, 2021

Effective 1 November 2021, fully-vaccinated and medically-exempt Australians will no longer require a travel exemption to depart Australia.

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RUSSIA: Medical Testing Requirements Amended for Visa-Required Foreign Nationals

November 3, 2021

Effective 31 October 2021, Russian authorities amended the medical testing requirements for foreign nationals seeking work authorization in the country. Most notably, these new regulations now include visa-required Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) Work Permit applicants.

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UNITED KINGDOM: Pork Butchers Join the Seasonal Worker Route

November 2, 2021

A Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules published on, and effective from, 1 November 2021 amends the Seasonal Worker route for temporary workers to include those coming to conduct ‘specified pork butchery work’.

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IRELAND: Changes to Critical Skills and Ineligible Occupation Lists

November 1, 2021

The Irish Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced changes to the occupation lists for non-EU/EEA/Swiss/UK nationals seeking to work in Ireland.

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UNITED STATES: Biden Administration Lifts Travel Restrictions to Allow Vaccinated Travelers into United States

October 29, 2021

To advance the safe resumption of global travel during the COVID-⁠19 pandemic, on 25 October President Biden issued a Proclamation emphasizing the continued enhanced measures against the spread of the virus. Travel restrictions for foreign nationals traveling from China, Iran, the Schengen Area, the U.K., Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, and India, are to be relaxed and new travel requirements for travelers from all other countries imposed. The Proclamation applies to all travelers aboard flights scheduled to arrive in the United States that depart after 12:01 a.m. EST on 8 November, 2021.

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MALAYSIA: Upcoming Improvements to Online Application System

October 21, 2021

Effective 15 November 2021, Malaysia’s Expatriation Services Division (ESD) will roll out new features to its online application platform for Employment Pass (EP) and Professional Visit Pass (PVP) filings. While preliminary guidelines for the platform have been announced, full guidance is expected from the ESD authorities prior to the system’s upcoming implementation.

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