Immigration changes around the world: Switzerland, Cyprus, Panama, Singapore & Tanzania

SWITZERLAND | Third Quarter Quota of L and B Permits for EU/EFTA Nationals Exhausted
With still one month left in the quarter, the third quarter (Q3) quota of Swiss Short-Term (L) and Long-Term (B) work permits allocated for European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) nationals has been exhausted. EU/EFTA nationals who have been assigned for work in Switzerland but remain on foreign employment contracts cannot be issued new L or B Permits until the fourth quarter (Q4) quota opens on October 1. As with quota shortages in the past, individual cantons vary in their responses and interim measures available to EU/EFTA nationals now starting work in September.

Note that this quota exhaustion does not impact non-EU/EFTA nationals applying for L and B Permits, who have separate quotas, or applicants seeking other permits not subject to quotas, such as the 120-Day Permit and Short Term (4 month) Permit. Nor does this in any way affect renewals of existing L or B Permits.


CYPRUS | Posted Worker Requirements Amended
Effective immediately, Cyprus has adopted the European Union Posted Worker Enforcement Directive(2014/67/EU). While Cyprus has had posted worker requirements in place since 2002, Law No. 63(1)/2017 now amends the requirements under its Framework of Provision of Services Law to bring them into line with the EU Directive.


PANAMA | Visa-Free Entry Revoked for Venezuelan Citizens
Due to recent internal conflicts in nearby Venezuela and the resulting influx of refugees, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela has announced that his government is revoking visa-free entry and imposing visa requirements on most Venezuelan citizens traveling to Panama starting October 1. Reportedly, Venezuelan citizens who hold multiple-entry visas for the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia valid for at least one-year from the date of entry into Panama will be exempt from the new visa requirement. All other Venezuelan citizens will be required to obtain visas through the Panamanian counselor posts.


SINGAPORE | New “Smart” Work Pass Cards Coming
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is introducing a new “smart” Work Pass (WP) Card. The new card will come with a quick response (QR) code linked to the holder’s WP details (such as occupation, validity and expiration dates) and a free mobile application called “SGWorkPass” enabling holders and employers to check the current status of work passes using their smartphones. WP Card holders without smartphones will continue to be able to use the existing online MOM eServices such as Work Pass OnlineEmployment Pass Online, and Check Work Pass Status. Once fully implemented, the new card system should enhance security of card holder’s personal information, as well as make access more convenient and reliable for both holders and employers.


TANZANIA | New Company Documents Required for Residence Permit Applications
The Tanzanian Immigration Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs has recently imposed significant additional company document requirements on foreign employees applying for residence permits. Applicants for Class A and B residence permits should take note that the Immigration Department is now requiring the following corporate documents from their sponsoring employers:

  • Letter stating the current status of shareholders from the Registrar of Companies of the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA), including immigration status if shareholder is a foreign national;
  • Tax Clearance Certificate from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA); and
  • Certified copies of the employer’s tax payment slips from the TRA.