Immigration Insights

COVID-19: Weekly Immigration Updates

January 17, 2022

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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White Paper | Revised EU Blue Card Directive Adopted by Council of European Union

January 11, 2022

On 7 October 2021, the European Council adopted the Revised EU Blue Card Directive with the intent to streamline and harmonize the current EU Blue Card infrastructure throughout the region. Although long heralded as a premier immigration option for the European Union to attract highly-skilled non-EU nationals, the program has faced frequent criticism for being overly complicated, having inconsistent regulations in different member states, and, in some cases, providing only limited advantages compared to national work and residence authorization schemes.

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United States Companies: Simplify Your Invitation Letters to China

January 10, 2022

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has required visa applicants to possess a Foreign Affairs Office Invitation, sometimes known as the ‘PU’ letter. Companies seeking these letters are encountering extended delays, high-rejections, and difficulties with dependents. Newland Chase, through our sister company CIBTvisas, offers a simpler, faster solution. If your organization qualifies, we can secure your PU letter in as few as 10-12 business days.

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UNITED KINGDOM: Youth Mobility Scheme Update

January 6, 2022

The Home Office has updated its Youth Mobility Scheme guidance to reflect that Iceland and India have the joined the scheme as of 1 January 2022.  Iceland will have an allocation of 1,000 places in 2022 and India will be allocated 3,000 places.

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UNITED KINGDOM: eVisa Updates to Right to Work Check Requirements

January 6, 2022

As of 30 December 2021, Appendix D to the full policy guidance on sponsoring a Worker or Temporary Worker, or sponsoring a Student, has been updated to reflect the introduction of eVisas (a digital version of a visa containing immigration status information) and the associated changes to the right to work check documentary retention requirements.

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GLOBAL UPDATE: Omicron Variant Surge Prompts Continued Changes to Travel Protocols and Requirements

January 1, 2022

As 2022 gets underway and the Omicron variant surges throughout the world, international travel continues to see rapidly changing requirements, protocols, and entry restrictions. While trends remain temporary in nature, many countries have either introduced new or changed restrictions, or extended the current ones into January 2022. It is anticipated that new and extended restrictions will continue into at least early 2022 and beyond if Omicron continues to be a major concern.

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SINGAPORE: COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Certain Immigration Processes Starting February 1, 2022

December 29, 2021

Beginning February 1, 2022, individuals applying for new Long-Term Passes, Work Passes, and Permanent Residence, as well as renewals of any existing Work Passes will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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UNITED STATES: Consular Officers Authorized to Waive In-Person Interview Requirements for Certain Non-Immigrant Visa Applicants

December 29, 2021

Effective through December 31, 2022, the U.S. State Department has authorized consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for select groups of visa applicants.

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UNITED STATES: ICE Announces Extension to I-9 Compliance Flexibility Regarding Physical Document Inspection Requirements

December 21, 2021

On Dec. 15, 2021, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) extended the flexibility previously afforded to the Form I-9 compliance rules regarding physical document inspection through April 30, 2022.

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UNITED KINGDOM: Right to Work Update

December 21, 2021

From 6 April 2022, individuals in possession of Biometric Residence Permits (BRP), Biometric Residence Cards (BRC), or Frontier Worker Permits (FWP) will evidence their right to work in the UK exclusively via the Home Office online checking service.

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UNITED KINGDOM: New UK Visa Routes for Spring

December 21, 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, Newland Chase revisits new UK visa routes announced earlier this year and that are due to open in Spring 2022. These include “Scale-Up” visa, “High Potential Individual” visa and “Global Business Mobility” visa.

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: New Penalty Structure of Immigration Non-Compliance Announced

December 16, 2021

The UAE authorities have announced a new penalty structure for immigration non-compliance relating to visa issuance, renewal, and cancellations. The implementation date for these new consequences has yet to be announced by the UAE government, but is expected in the upcoming months.

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AUSTRALIA and SWITZERLAND: Eased Visa Measures Announced Between Countries

December 16, 2021

As part of continued efforts to strengthen long-standing diplomatic ties, Switzerland and Australia have announced eased visa measures and new visa opportunities between their nations. Both countries will introduce these changes on 1 January 2022.

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: New Monday-Friday Afternoon Work Week to Debut 1 January 2022

December 16, 2021

In an effort both to support work-life balance for employees and further align the country with the global economy, the UAE will make changes to the country’s public sector work week, effective 1 January 2022.

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UNITED STATES: USCIS Temporarily Waives 60-Day Rule for Civil Surgeon Signatures on Form I-693

December 10, 2021

On 9 December 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will temporarily waive the requirement that the civil surgeon sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record within 60 days of filing an application for the underlying immigration benefit. This temporary waiver is effective immediately and will continue until 30 September 2022.

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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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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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