In the 12 December 2019 United Kingdom general election, the electorate gave the Conservative party a substantial majority. This makes it almost certain that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will be passed by parliament (although it is not certain that this can be achieved by 31 January 2020 without a further extension) and all but eliminates the risk of a cliff-edge no-deal Brexit with no transition period.
BREXIT: Majority Conservative Government Expected to Pass Withdrawal Agreement Bill
SINGAPORE: Lower Dependency Ratio Ceiling in 2020
Effective 1 January 2020, the Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) and S Pass Sub-DRC for companies in the services sector will be lowered. The DRC is the percentage of foreign workers (Work Permit and S Pass holders) that a company can hire.
SOUTH KOREA: Stricter Policy for Illegal Stay
The Korean National Assembly is debating tougher penalties for the employers of illegal residents. For those voluntarily reporting illegal residence by 28 February 2020, penalties will be reduced or exempted.
AUSTRALIA: Traffic Light Bulletin – Skilled Migration List Review
Following consultations with various stakeholders, including Newland Chase Australia (read our 28 November blog post here), the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business has released its Traffic Light Bulletin outlining its proposed changes to Immigration's skilled occupation lists.
CZECHIA: New Appointment Booking Lottery at New Delhi Consulate Allows Only 33 Applications
The Czech embassy in New Delhi, India, has implemented a new appointment booking system for nationals of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives applying for employee cards. Under this system, only 33 employee card applications will be accepted between January and March 2020.
SAUDI ARABIA: Ministry of Labor Cancels Yellow Nitaqat Band
Effective 26 January 2020, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) has announced it will cancel the yellow band in its Saudization programme, Nitaqat. Companies currently in the yellow band will be moved into the red band and will become non-compliant unless they improve their Nitaqat rating.
RUSSIA: Reminder - Upcoming Deadline for Employers to Confirm Measles Vaccination of All Foreign Employees [UPDATED]
Employers engaging foreign labor in Russia have until 31 December 2019 to confirm the vaccination against measles of all the foreign nationals they currently employ.
FRANCE: Decree to Extend Rights of Posted Workers from July 2020
Ministerial order 2019-116 of 20 February 2019, which will come into effect on 30 July 2020, transposes into French law European Directive 2018/957 of 28 June 2018, extending the employment rights of posted (seconded) workers.
SWITZERLAND: Reminder that Job Advertisement Threshold to Change from January 2020
Effective 1 January 2020, employers wishing to hire foreign nationals for occupations with an unemployment rate of 5% or above will have to test the Swiss labor market by advertising. The threshold has been 8% since the requirement was introduced in July 2018.
UNITED STATES: Electronic Registration Required for Upcoming H-1B Cap Season
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will implement its new electronic registration process for H-1B applications for the upcoming H-1B lottery.
ARGENTINA: Police Clearance Certificates Required for Certain Visas
Effective immediately, holders of 30-day technical or professional visas valid for 30 days who apply to renew the visa for a sixth time (i.e. beyond six months’ continuous stay in Argentina) must submit police clearance certificates (PCCs) from their country of origin and/or all countries where they have lived during the previous three years.
KUWAIT: New Business Visit Visa Regulations Extended to All Nationalities
In an attempt to crack down on forged degree certificates submitted in support of business (commercial) visit visa applications, the Kuwait Ministry of Interior has introduced new regulations for all nationalities.
CANADA: Biometrics Now Required for Certain In-Canada Applications
Effective 3 December 2019, applicants within Canada for work permit, study permit and visa extensions, as well as for permanent residence, must give their biometrics (fingerprints and photo) at a designated Service Canada location.
SOUTH KOREA: Visa Invitations and Extensions Limited for Companies with Unpaid Tax
Effective immediately, the Korean immigration authorities have introduced a new regulation rejecting applications for visa issuance confirmation numbers (VICN) and Alien Registration Card (ARC) extensions if the inviting company has any amount of arrears for any type of tax.
NETHERLANDS: New Minimum Salary Levels for 2020
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.
MALAYSIA: MDEC Foreign Knowledge Worker Projection for 2020 Opens 3 December 2019
MSC/ICT status companies who are registered with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) can start to apply for their 2020 Foreign Knowledge Worker (FKW) projection for Employment Passes from 3 December 2019.
SOUTH KOREA: Work Experience Requirement Relaxed for E7 Visa Applications
Effective immediately, applicants for an E7 visa whose university diploma is not related to the job position in the Korean company only need to demonstrate three years of related work experience, rather than five years as previously required.
SPAIN: New Requirements for Assignment Letter for Intra-Company Transfer Permit Applications
Effective immediately, the immigration authorities have established new requirements for assignment letters in support of all intra-company transfer permit applications, both those under EU Directive 2014/66 and those under the Spanish Entrepreneur’s Law.
COLOMBIA: New Entry and Stay Regulations
Effective 1 December 2019, Resolution 3167 of 2019 establishes new guidelines for the entry into, stay in and departure from Colombia of both Colombian and foreign nationals.
AUSTRALIA: Skilled Occupation List Review
On 26 November 2019, Newland Chase met with two representatives from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, regarding the upcoming changes to the skilled occupation lists used by Immigration.
SWITZERLAND: New Quotas for 2020
On 27 November 2019, the Federal Council of Switzerland announced that quotas will remain the same for new work permit applications submitted during the 2020 calendar year for certain groups.
SAUDI ARABIA: Work Visit Visa Eliminated
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has privately confirmed that the Work Visit Visa (WVV) is no longer available. Newland Chase is being told that the Business Visa now replaces it. Those currently in the Kingdom under a WVV can stay until their visa expiry date.
AUSTRALIA: New Regional Visas Now Available
The new Subclass 494 Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa opened for applications on 16 November 2019 for employers with roles in regional Australia (defined by postcode), which is generally anywhere outside the Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne metropolitan areas.