AZERBAIJAN | ASAN E-Visa Expanded as Government Reforms Continue
To celebrate the success of its online ASAN visa application portal, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry recently introduced 12 more nations to the list of countries eligible to use the system, bringing the total number to 93 nations covering most of the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. First rolled out in January of this year, the new e-visa system purported to provide users with various single-entry 30-day business and tourist visas with less than three-day processing times. For more details, see our Immigration Dispatch of January 9. Now more than six months into its use, the Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry is reporting widespread use of the new system and consistent maintenance of the promised three-day processing standard. The new list of eligible nations can be found on the ASAN website here.
While Azerbaijan’s economy has stalled in the recent era of low global oil prices, the government has been in a significant reform mode since the September 2016 Constitutional Amendment restructuring itself into a presidential republic. Along with significant fiscal, monetary, and regulatory reform, its Economic Roadmap – rolled out last December – calls for increased international trade and transit, of which the present visa reforms are a welcomed first step. As the most direct land route between Russia and Iran and between Turkey and the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is heavily dependent on oil production and transportation. Whether the ongoing reforms will be sufficient to bring the needed economic diversification is yet to be seen; but the trend is certainly to the positive.
ROMANIA | New Company Obligations for Posted Workers Now in Effect
With immediate effect, the Romanian government has enacted National Law No. 16/2017, implementing the provisions of the European Union (EU) Posted Workers Enforcement Directive (2014/67/EU). Companies posting foreign employees for temporary work assignments in Romania have already been subject to the requirement to notify the Romanian Regional Labor Inspectorate (RLI) of the posting. However, the adoption of the Directive now loosens the notification deadline, brings the additional requirement to appoint a “designated representative,” and adds document retention requirements.
Notification of the posting is now due to the RLI at least one business day prior to start of the assignment, rather than the previous deadline of five days. Notification may be submitted by email or post. Information required in the notification includes: location details of the hosting company and work location, details of the sending company, name of the designated representative of the sending company in Romania, the period and purpose of the assignment, identification details of the posted worker, and an additional declaration of the assignee’s details where the posted worker is a non-EU citizen.
As part of the notification to the RLI, the sending company must designate a person in Romania as its “designated representative” responsible for any communication with the RLI regarding the posting. While the representative must be located in Romania, that person may be another employee posted to Romania.
Finally, for at least three years after the end of the assignment, the Romanian host company must retain the following documents:
Copy of the original notification submitted to the NLI;
Documentation confirming the details of the designated representative;
Work schedule and time records of the posted worker; and
Secondment Letter, translated into Romanian and notarized, containing the salary (with currency confirmed), payment details, assignment period, names of the sending and receiving companies, and other general conditions of the assignment
While these document requirements are similar to those required for posted workers in other EU nations, note that Romania elected to set a longer retention period of three years, rather than the one or two years often adopted in other countries. These documents may be retained in either paper of electronic form, but must be available to the RLI within 20-days upon request during the three years.