Immigration changes in UAE, Columbia, Panama and the UK

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Plans to Increase Local Hiring Announced

The first phase of the plan targets 400 occupations with monthly salaries of at least AED 10,000 in more than 2000 companies. MOHRE has not named yet specifically named any of the selected companies who are participating in the program, only describing them as important players in the UAE’s economic supply chain with large numbers of employees. Participating companies will be given discounts on government fees relating to their businesses. In addition, the ministry also offers to set up satellite offices for participating companies in rural areas to facilitate recruitment and hiring.


COLOMBIA | New Deadline for Special Stay Permits for Venezuelan Nationals
A new deadline has been established for Venezuelan nationals to obtain Special Stay Permits (PEPs) allowing them to stay and work in Colombia for up to two years. Venezuelan nationals who entered Colombia before February 2 now have four months from February 4 to apply for PEPs. Previously, only Venezuelan nationals in Colombia by July 28, 2017 could apply for a PEPs, with that deadline closing October 31, 2017.


PANAMA | Update on New Requirement for In-Person Visits to the Ministry of Labor
On December 26, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) issued a decree requiring all work permit applicants to visit the Ministry in person for biometric registration before submitting any initial or renewal work permit application. The new registration system  ̶  which is now expected to be implemented on March 6  ̶  will include scanning of the applicant’s fingerprints and passport and photographing. However, the registration will not apply to applicants for the SEM residence visa for permanent staff of multinational companies who do not require separate work permit applications. For more details, see our Immigration Dispatch of January 8.


UNITED KINGDOM | Indefinite Leave to Remain Closes for Tier 1 (General) Visa Holders on April 5
Foreign nationals in the UK under the Tier 1 (General) category will no longer be permitted to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after April 5. The Tier 1 (General) was a category aimed at “highly skilled migrants” who wished to come to the UK residence and employment (including self-employment) without requiring a sponsor. The category closed to new applicants in 2011, remaining open until April 2015 only to those making extension applications.