Immigration changes around the world – CHINA, CÔTE D’IVOIRE, SINGAPORE & SWITZERLAND

CHINA | New Talent Visa Rules and Benefits Details Released
Effective January 1, new regulations for the “R Visa” for high-level talent allow multiple stays in China of up to 180 days at a time – with a visa validity of up to ten years, a streamlined online application system, and reduced processing times. As we reported earlier, these improvements to the R Visa are designed to attract high-level talent: including technology experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, and others with high-demand skills. See our Immigration Dispatch of January 8.

To obtain an R visa, applicants must qualify as Category A under the new classification standards implemented as part of the new work permits system last year. Those qualifications include:

  • the qualifications of the applicant’s Chinese employer;
  • the applicants own professional qualifications and experience;
  • the applicant’s salary; or
  • a score of at least 85 points under the new scoring system.


CÔTE D’IVOIRE | Deadline for Converting to New Biometric Residence Cards Fast Approaching
Nationals of non-ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) countries holding temporary residence permit cards in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) have until February 1 to exchange their old residence cards for new biometric residence cards (Cartes de Résident). All unconverted temporary residence permits will become invalid on February 1. This deadline, originally set for December 31, 2017, has been extended. However, after February 1, any non-ECOWAS national resident in Côte d’Ivoire without a biometric resident card will be subject to a penalty.


SINGAPORE | Applicant’s Contact Details Required for Pass Applications
Effective January 26, employers must provide their foreign workers’ contact details to complete transactions via the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM’s) EP Online portal for Employment Passes (EPs), S Passes, Training EPs, Dependent Passes, and Long-Term Visit Passes. The pass holder’s email address is required for pass applications, and email addresses and Singapore mobile numbers are both required for pass renewals or issuance requests.


SWITZERLAND | New Job Advertising Requirement for Certain Occupations Coming July 1
Starting July 1, employers wishing to hire foreign nationals for jobs in Switzerland which have a high local unemployment rate will be required to perform labor marketing testing by advertising the position online for five days through the Swiss Public Employment Service (PES). Details and lists of affected occupations will be reportedly be released closer to the July 1 implementation date. Initially, the requirement will be applied only for occupations with an unemployment rate of 8 percent or above, with this threshold being lowered to 5 percent in January 2020.