Immigration changes in Canada, the Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Greece, Japan, and Taiwan.

CZECH REPUBLIC | Major New Legislation Brings New ICT Rules and Other Changes
A broad new piece of legislation that Pro-Link GLOBAL has been following for some months is now set to come into force in the Czech Republic on August 15. Act No. 222/2017 makes extensive changes to the Republic’s Act on Stay of Foreigners: including various changes to the current rules on employee cards, permanent residency, temporary residency, and long-term visas, as well as the introduction of three new permit categories for intra-company transfers (ICTs), foreign investors, and seasonal workers. The more significant aspects of the new law applicable to companies and their foreign employees include the following.


CANADA | Additional Job Bank Requirements for Companies Filling LMIA Positions

Effective August 28, companies applying for work permits under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) for occupations requiring Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) will be required to post the open position in the Government of Canada’s Job Bank and enroll the position in its Job Match Servicefunction. This requirement applies to both low-wage and high-wage positions.

While companies currently seeking LMIA-based work permits are already required to use three recruitment methods, all companies (regardless of province or territory) now must include the Job Bank and its Job Match Service as one of their three recruitment methods. Note, however, that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is currently exempting primary agriculture employers from this requirement pending further review of its impact on that sector.


DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO | Conversion to New Biometric Work Card Required
The Ministry of Labor (MOL) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is in the process of converting to new biometric work cards. Foreign nationals currently applying for work authorization in the DRC will receive the new biometric work card. However, the MOL has further mandated that current holders of valid non-biometric work cards must visit their local MOL office to submit their biometric data and obtain the new biometric card. Reportedly, authorities will begin visiting work sites later this month to assure that all foreign workers have either converted over to the new biometric card or have submitted their biometrics in the process of doing so.


FRANCE | Efforts to Bring 48-Hour Processing to Tourist Visas Benefits Business Visas As Well

In a push to boost tourism, which has tapered-off in recent years, French authorities have pledged to cut tourist visitor visa processing times from the typical 10-days to a mere 48-hours for visitors from Russia, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. While the push to speed processing times has reportedly already been tested in several other French diplomatic posts abroad over the last year, this latest move appears to be a more expansive rollout and will soon be available in more nations as European Union visa procedures improve. These new processing times are scheduled to begin on November 1.


GREECE | Posted Worker Rules Now Implemented
While Greece transposed the European Union Posted Workers Enforcement Directive (2014/67/EU) into its national law in 2016, actual implementation and enforcement of its provisions had been delayed until now due to administrative procedural challenges. However, effective immediately, companies posting foreign workers to Greece are now subject to the Directive’s requirements including notification to the appropriate labor authorities on or before the start date of the assignment, appointment of a designated local representative to liaise with officials regarding the posting, and retention of certain documents following the end of the assignment.


JAPAN | New One-Year Permanent Residency Pathway Now In Place for Highly Skilled Professionals
Last December, Pro-Link GLOBAL reported on Japan’s early moves to implement the world’s shortest path to permanent residence, presenting certain highly-skilled foreign nationals the opportunity to become permanent residents after just one-year. For more details, see our Immigration Dispatch of December 5. Information coming out of Japan recently indicates that the government has now implemented the new liberal permanent residence requirements and has begun accepting applications.


TAIWAN | New Work Permit for Accompanying Spouses

Effective July 26, the Republic of China (Taiwan) Workforce Development Agency introduced a new work permit specifically designed to make it easier for spouses of foreign national employees to work in the country. The new work permit is available to foreign spouses of foreign nationals employed in Taiwan in “Class A” professional or technical work in the engineering, architecture, professional services, health care, and manufacturing sectors. The new work permit would then allow the employee’s accompanying foreign spouse to likewise engage in “Class A” work, either on a full-time or part-time basis.