Russia: Federal Migration Service reorganized and merged into Ministry of Internal Affairs
Effective 5 April , 2016, per the President of Russia’s order, the Federal Migration Service (FMS) has been abolished and its functions incorporated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs. There will be a thirty per cent reduction in FMS staff when the transition is finalized later this year (expected June 1). The Ministry of Internal Affairs will now oversee all facets of Russia’s immigration policies.
Australia: Updates for Subclass 457 and Temporary Work Visas
Effective 19 April, 2016 the government implemented changes to the subclass 457 visa application process. The changes demonstrate ongoing amendments to the subclass 457 visa including ensuring fair employment for the local labor market, streamlining the application process, and doing away with required language proficiency testing for some applicants.
Ghana: Petroleum Commission plans Work Permit application changes
The Petroleum Commission (PC) of Ghana has published initial, internal guidance outlining two new changes to work permit applications filed in the Oil & Gas sector. A public announcement of these changes has yet to be issued.
Effective 4 April, 2016 the PC requires a new “Information Gathering Sheet” to be attached to all Oil & Gas work permit applications. An email version of the form is available and the PC expects it to be accessible on their web site in the upcoming weeks. The information sheet will request general information regarding the employee, assignment, and sponsoring company specifics (including plans for the sponsoring company to fill the position with a local Ghanaian citizen). This form is expected to streamline the application process and expedite processing times.
New Zealand: Essential Skills in Demand Lists updated
Effective April 11, 2016 the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment implemented changes to the Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists. These lists outline the occupations for which the New Zealand authorities have determined there is a “skills shortage” in the local labour force. Qualified foreign workers filling these positions will be eligible for a streamlined immigration process that includes an exemption to local labour market testing requirements. These changes affect new hire foreign applicants only.
The ESID encompasses the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL).