UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | New “Tawteen Program” and Local Hiring Requirements
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has recently stepped-up its efforts at “Emiratisation” with two new actions. The first presents an essentially voluntary opportunity for companies to begin employing more UAE nationals and, in turn, receive corresponding benefits for future work permit processing. The second comes in the form of mandatory local hiring requirements for certain companies.
BULGARIA | New Posted Worker Requirements Implemented
Effective January 10, a statute amending the Labor Code and the accompanying implementation Ordinance have brought Bulgaria into harmony with the European Union (EU) Posted Workers Directive (2014/67/EU). However, the new Bulgarian requirements go a step further by placing obligations on companies posting or sending workers to Bulgaria, as well as companies posting or sending workers from Bulgaria to other locations in the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. “Posting” is defined in the statute as instances where an employee of a sending company is assigned by agreement or relationship between the sending company and host company to work for the host company. “Sending” is also governed by the new provisions, and is defined in the statute as instances where an employee of a temporary work agency is assigned to work for the host company.
THAILAND | Initial Work Permit Booklet Must be Received Before Applying for Long-Term Visa
Effective immediately, foreign employees of Board of Investment (BOI) registered companies who apply for initial Work Permits at the One Stop Service Center (OSSC) must first obtain their Work Permit booklet from the Employment Department before receiving their in-person queue number to apply for their long-term visa. Previously, applicants could simultaneously apply for the Work Permit booklet and long-term visa in one appointment. With this change in process, foreign nationals should anticipate either two appointments on separate days, or two appoints the same day by scheduling the Work Permit appointment as early in the morning as possible. Applicants should allow for up to 8 hours total now to complete the process. While representatives may still appear on behalf of applicants for renewals, initial applications for Work Permits and long-term visas require the foreign national to appear for in-person submission.
UNITED KINGDOM | “Beat the Peak” Visa Processing for Indian Nationals
At the recent Destination Britain India event in Pune, the United Kingdom High Commissioner of India announced a unique “Beat the Peak” program for Indian nationals applying for both short- and long-term business and tourist visas to the UK. To encourage Indian nationals to submit their visa applications during the slower January and February season when application volume is lowest, applicants will be able to post-date their visa validity start date by up to three months. Applicants will benefit from faster processing times during this time with the flexibility of setting travel dates three months out. High Commissioner Dominic Asquith hopes “even more Indians will choose to come to visit the UK to see our world class heritage sites, enjoy beautiful countryside and experience the vibrancy of our cities.” More information on the “Beat the Peak” program can be found at the VFS Global India site here.