Immigration changes in Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

AZERBAIJAN | Post-Arrival Change of Status No Longer Possible for Foreign Workers or Business Travelers
Effective immediately, foreign nationals travelling to Azerbaijan for work or business must obtain the appropriate work or business visa before traveling. Previously, most foreign nationals traveling to Azerbaijan for work or business would enter the country on an e-visa or as a visitor with a visa-on-arrival, and then change status post-arrival.

Please note, since early 2016, U.S. nationals traveling on the direct flight from New York City to Baku with Azerbaijan Airlines, for tourism, business, or work, have been able to obtain a 30-day single-entry visa upon arrival at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku. This option is no longer available for business or work.

 

COSTA RICA | August Changes to Post-Arrival Immigration Steps Reversed
The Costa Rican immigration authorities, Dirrección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME), has reversed a recent change to the post-arrival temporary residence application process for employees of registered companies. The requirement – imposed in August and mandating that the main applicant and any dependents submit their fingerprints and complete a registration with their home country’s consulate in Costa Rica before submitting their temporary residence application – has been cancelled effective October 9.

However, to avoid possible post-arrival immigration delays, applicants are still encouraged to complete consular registration and fingerprinting ahead of the residence application.

 

OMAN | Minimum Salary Threshold for Foreign Employees to Sponsor Dependents Lowered
Effective immediately, foreign national employees in Oman earning at least OMR 300 (approximately USD $780) per month are permitted to sponsor their family members for dependent residence permits. Previously, the salary threshold for dependent sponsorship was OMR 600 per month.

While there is no specific ministerial decision in Oman establishing the minimum salary for expatriate employees to be able to sponsor their family members, the Royal Oman Police issue internal rules which provide such a threshold salary in practice.

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Abu Dhabi – Dependent Residence Permit Now Requires Abu Dhabi Tenancy Contract
Foreign nationals employed in Abu Dhabi who wish to sponsor family members for initial or renewal dependent residence permits must submit a Tawtheeq (a residential lease registered in Abu Dhabi) in support of the application. This change is effective immediately.

Exceptions

Note that there are some exceptions to this new rule. Predominately, employees who cannot submit a Tawtheeq because they live in another Emirate (such as Dubai) may appeal to the humanitarian section to seek an exception to this rule. In addition, the following exceptions have been historically granted:

  • Where the employee provides an undertaking to move the family to Abu Dhabi (however this can result in a shorter one-year dependent visa);
  • Where the employee works for a company which has another branch in the Emirate where the employee resides; and
  • Other sympathetic circumstances may be eligible for exception on a case-by-case basis.

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