Immigration changes in Poland, Ghana, Iraq, Nigeria and Russia

POLAND | Stricter Rules and Requirements for Work Permits for Some Foreign Nationals
Effective January 1, a number of significant changes to immigration regulations were implemented in Poland. The changes apply to registration of foreign nationals, work permit exemptions for certain nationalities, and various changes to application document requirements. Authorities indicate that an additional round of changes is also now slated for later in February.

Corporate Proxies and General Partners – The requirement of obtaining a Type B work permits for stays of 6 to 12 months has been extended to include companies’ non-EEA national corporate proxies and general partners in addition to the management board members as previously required.


GHANA | Recent Announcement Requires Medical Certificates to Be Obtained In-Country
The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) recently posted a brief announcement of a new policy – purportedly with an effective date of February 15 – requiring all new applicants for work and residence permits to obtain medical certificates only through the GIS medical facility at its headquarters in Ghana. Previously, medical certificates in support of a work permit applications could be issued by a local doctor in the applicant’s home country.


IRAQ | Major Changes to Rules on Single-Entry and Multiple-Entry Visas, Exit Visas, and Mobility of Employees With Expired Visas
Iraq continues to refine its employment-based immigration system. On February 8, the Ministry of interior (MOI) issued a notification making several fairly significant changes that impact companies employing foreign nationals in the country.


NIGERIA | New Executive Order Imposes Tougher Local Hiring Measures
On February 2, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed an executive order (EO5) aimed at promoting local Nigerian expertise in science, engineering, and technology. EO5 prohibits the federal Ministry of Interior (FMI) from issuing visas to foreign workers whose skills are deemed to be readily available in Nigeria. Consideration of work visas will only be given to foreign nationals where has been certified by the appropriate governmental authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria. Under the order, Nigerian government agencies must also give hiring preference to foreign companies and firms with demonstrable and verifiable plans for indigenous development.


RUSSIA | New Rules Bring Administrative Changes to Work Permits Application Process
Effective February 4, new regulations on issuing work permits have brought some administrative changes to the work permit process. For the purpose of obtaining work permits, including permits for Highly-Qualified Specialists (HQS), application forms must be signed by the chief executive, head of branch or representative office, or other persons who have the authority to sign documents for the company without a Power of Attorney. Additionally, fees for renewal and corrections are expected to be charged in the coming weeks, processing times for standard (non-HQS) work permits have increased to 15 business days, and documents issued by authorities containing pencil-written notes may cause applications to be refused.