Immigration changes around the world

CANADA | Brazilian, Bulgarian, and Romanian Nationals Receive Visa-Free Entry Privileges
Effective May 1, citizens of Brazil, Bulgaria, and Romania will be able to travel visa-free to Canada. Citizens of those three countries who currently hold a valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa, or have held a Canadian visitor visa within the last ten years, may now enter Canada by obtaining an electronic travel authorization (eTA) via the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. For more information on Canada’s eTA requirement



IRELAND | Consolidation of Employment Permit Regulations Brings Several Small Changes
Effective April 3, Ireland’s Ministry of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (MJEI) completed a review and reorganization of its employment permit regulations, consolidating the regulations into a single set under Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 95 of 2017. Included in the new consolidated regulations are several small substantive changes of which companies employing foreign workers should be aware:

Additions to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List (HSEOL) – Academics who hold qualifications at National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) level 10 (PhD level) in their field have been added to the HSEOL – but with the caveats that: the applicant’s qualifying degree must have been awarded within two years of application, the applicant must have at least one year of relevant teaching experience, and the applicant must be applying to teach at an Irish university or technology institute.
Temporary Exemptions to the Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL) – Temporary exemptions from the ICEL have been expanded for meat deboners and added for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers with CE or C1E driver’s licenses. An additional 160 general employment permits for meat deboners and a new quota of 120 general employment permits for qualified HGV drivers have been made available.
Changes in Document Requirements for Engineers – Employment permit applications for charted engineers, associate engineers, and engineering technicians must now include a copy of the applicant’s registration with the Institute of Engineers of Ireland.
Clarification of “Other” on the HSEOL and ICEL – Occupations that appear elsewhere in the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) cannot be coded as “other” on the HSEOL or the ICEL.


SERBIA | New Enforcement of 2014 Rule Complicates Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Assignments
A provision in Article 19 of Serbia’s Law on Employment of Foreigners enacted in 2014 states that assignments of foreign employees of a company located outside Serbia to work at an affiliated local company in Serbia are initially limited to a maximum of one year. The assignment, and the corresponding intra-company transfer (ICT) work permit, can then be extended for one additional year – but only if the foreign employee’s country of citizenship has an existing social security agreement with Serbia. If no such social security agreement applies, and the companies desire the employee to continue working in Serbia, the employee must be placed on the local company’s payroll – which may subject them to Serbian taxes and duties not otherwise applicable to ICTs. Suffice it to say, this provision has the potential to make ICT assignments to Serbia a somewhat complicated morass of immigration, tax, and employment law.


THAILAND | Long-Term Visa Renewals Receiving Closer Scrutiny, DOR Tax Document Receipts Required
Effective May 1, non-Board of Investment (BOI) registered companies using the One Stop Service Center (OSSC) to renew their foreign employees’ long-term visas have an additional application document requirement. Authorities at the OSSC are requiring companies to provide original receipts received when certifying company tax documents at the Department of Revenue. The measure is designed to combat what authorities see as a recent up-tick in companies submitting fraudulent tax documents in support of applications for visa renewals.

Along with this additional document requirement, companies should also expect increased scrutiny of all aspects of their applications for visa extensions, both submitted through the OSSC or submitted through the regular process, for the foreseeable future.