Immigration changes around the world for Estonia, Denmark, South Africa & Thailand

ESTONIA | Tenth Nation to Adopt EU Intra-Company Transfer Directive
Effective January 17, Estonia has become the tenth European Union (EU) nation to have implemented the EU Intra-Company Transfer Directive (2014/66/EU). Estonia now joins Spain, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Luxembourg in what will be a standardized work permit scheme for senior managers, experts, and trainees engaged in temporary intra-company transfer (ICT) assignments across Europe. Pro-Link GLOBAL has been watching with great interest the progress toward this EU-wide ICT Permit over recent months. For more details, see our white paper “EU ICT Permit: Potential Game Changer for EU Mobility?here.


DENMARK | Closer Scrutiny of Clauses in Foreign Employment Agreements
The Danish Immigration Service (DIS) recently issued new guidance on how it evaluates employment contracts for foreign employees submitted in support of applications for work and residence permits. Under the Danish Act on Statements of Employment Particulars (Act No. 1565 of 15.12.2015), all employment agreements, including those with foreign nationals, must meet certain minimum requirements to be valid. The new DIS guidelines, in effect since January 1, provide those standards that must be met regarding non-compete clauses and non-solicitation clauses contained in employment contracts of foreign employees.


SOUTH AFRICA | Recent Anti-Immigration Protests Leading to Increased Workplace Inspections
To those regular readers of our alerts, it will come as no surprise that immigration has been a hot topic in South Africa as of late, and there is much movement toward reform on the part of authorities. For more details on the current international business climate and recent changes in corporate mobility in South Africa, see our extensive recent Global Brief here and last week’s Immigration Dispatch here. Undoubtedly, South Africa’s corporate immigration system is in a state of flux, and will likely remain so for the coming months. This week’s “heads-up” for companies employing foreign nationals in South Africa is a caution to watch for significantly more-frequent unannounced workplace inspections.


THAILAND | Heightened Scrutiny of Visa Extension Applications
While there has been no official announcement of a formal policy change, Pro-Link GLOBAL has observed in recent weeks a noticeable up-tick in additional document requests and heightened scrutiny of applications for visa extensions in Thailand. The trend appears to be limited to applications filed through the “standard” process, whereas applications submitted through the One Stop Service Center (OSSC) appear unaffected. The additional documents that are now often being requested, or customary documents that are receiving higher scrutiny, include:

  • Updated applicant photographs;
  • Various documents officially certified by other Thai government agencies; and
  • Signed copies of company directors’ passports, visas, and work permits where that director is signing renewal applications for their employees.