Effective immediately, the Kenyan government has suspended indefinitely the issuance of work permits and passes to foreign nationals who are already in Kenya, and has limited visa extensions. Applications for entry/work permits must be submitted while the foreign national worker is outside Kenya.
KENYA: In-Country Work Permits Suspended Indefinitely
AUSTRALIA: Sponsor Compliance and Publication of Sanctions
Effective 13 December 2018, enhanced integrity regulations have come into effect, allowing the immigration department to publicly list companies which have failed to satisfy a sponsorship obligation.
SINGAPORE: New Administrative Fees from April 2019
Effective 1 April 2019, the application and issuance/renewal fees will be significantly increased for the Employment Pass, S Pass, Work Permit and other passes administered by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
INDONESIA: Change to Validity of RPTKA
Effective 10 December 2018, an RPTKA can only be valid for up to two years initially, rather than five as previously. After two years, the RPTKA can be extended for another period of two years, and after this for another one year.
INDIA: Increased Penalties for Late Registration and Late Visa Extension
Effective immediately, the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) has revised its penalty fees for late registration of foreign nationals, and for submission of visa extensions after visa expiry.
UNITED KINGDOM: No Suspension of Tier 1 (Investor); Publication of Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules [LATEST]
Tier 1 (Investor)
On 6 December 2018, various press outlets reported, based on an unpublished government press release, that the Home Office had suspended the Tier 1 (Investor) route until further notice. However, on 11 December 2018 a Home Office spokesperson commented: "The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is not currently suspended. However, the Government remains committed to reforming the route. A further announcement will be made in due course. Any suspension would be implemented through changes to the Immigration Rules."
UNITED KINGDOM: Citizens’ Rights Under the Withdrawal Agreement Versus a No-Deal Scenario
On 14 November 2018, the United Kingdom (UK) government reached an agreement with the European Union (EU) on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The deal, which still needs to be ratified by both the UK and European parliaments, includes arrangements about the legal status of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit.
SWITZERLAND: Transitional Period for Croatians Extended to End of 2021
On 7 December 2018, the Swiss federal council announced it will maintain until 31 December 2021 the transitional provisions of Protocol III, which extended to Croatian nationals the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons (FMPA) between Switzerland and the European Union.
NETHERLANDS: New Minimum Salary Levels for 2019
Effective 1 January 2019, the Dutch immigration authorities (IND) have announced new minimum salary levels for knowledge migrant workers (aka Highly Skilled Migrants), graduates and Blue Card applicants coming to the Netherlands.
SOUTH AFRICA: Requirements for Travelling with Children Eased
Effective 1 December 2018, the "First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014" eases the requirements for parents and legal guardians travelling with children through South African ports of entry, which were first introduced in 2015.
MALAYSIA: New Immigration Application Procedure for MIDA-Registered Companies
Effective 5 December 2018, all new and renewal Employment Pass (EP) and Dependant Pass (DP) applications for companies with pre-approved positions under the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) must be submitted via the online Expatriate Services Division (ESD) portal, rather than manually at the Immigration Unit at MIDA.
MEXICO: Delays Expected at Immigration Offices
As a new administration takes office in Mexico, major staff changes are expected to take place in the upcoming days within the offices of the National Immigration institute (INM) around the country, including at international airports.
UNITED STATES: Preparing for the Fiscal Year 2020 Cap-Subject H-1B Filing Period
On 1 April 2019, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start to accept H-1B petitions from cap-subject employers for skilled foreign workers starting work in fiscal year 2020 (from 1 October 2019).
MALAYSIA: ESD Foreign Knowledge Worker Projection for 2019 Now Open
Effective 3 December 2019, companies who are registered with the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) can start to apply for their 2019 Foreign Knowledge Worker (FKW) projection for Employment Passes and Professional Visit Passes.
UKRAINE: Stricter Border Controls for Russian Nationals Under Martial Law
Effective 26 November 2018 until 27 December 2018, Ukraine has declared martial law in the regions of Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Kherson, Odessa, Nikolaev and Vinnitsa.
MALAYSIA: MDEC Foreign Knowledge Worker Projection for 2019 Opens on 3 December 2018
Companies who are registered with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) can start to apply for their 2019 Foreign Knowledge Worker (FKW) projection for Employment Passes from 3 December 2018.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Further Details of Long-Term Visa Scheme
On 24 November 208, the UAE cabinet approved new long-term residence visas, and announced further details of the qualifying requirements for certain key professionals, investors and entrepreneurs. Currently, residence visas are valid for up to three years.
INDIA: Exit Clearance Requirement Now Extended to All Indian Nationals
AUSTRALIA: Labour Market Testing and Free Trade Agreements
On 31 October 2018, Australia became the sixth signatory to the ‘Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership’ (TPP-11), after Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. The agreement comes into force on 30 December 2018. Chile, Peru, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam are yet to ratify the TPP-11.
AUSTRALIA: Changes to Working Holiday Maker Visa Programme
There have been some recent changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa programme, which allows qualifying applicants to have a holiday in Australia and work there to help fund their trip.
BRAZIL: Residence Permit for Property Investment
The National Immigration Council has published Normative Resolution 36/2018, which regulates the issuance of a residence permit on the basis of real estate investment in Brazil.
SINGAPORE: New Vaccination Requirement for Dependent Children
Effective 1 February 2019, the Ministry of Health will require documentation of diptheria and measles vaccination to be submitted by foreign-born children, in support of applications for long-term immigration passes.
SAUDI ARABIA: Labour Market Testing Requirement Suspended
Effective immediately, the Saudi Ministry of Labor has suspended the requirement for companies intending to hire foreign nationals to first advertise jobs on the Taqat jobs portal before applying for block visas (expatriate quota).
NEW ZEALAND: Changes to Minimum Income Thresholds
Effective 26 November, the minimum income thresholds for essential skills work visas and skilled migrant residence visas are set to increase.