VIETNAM | Clarification of Intra-Company Transfer Permit Requirements in Ho Chi Minh City
In a welcomed development in Vietnam, the Vietnamese Labor Department in Ho Chi Minh City has clarified and eased its definition of what constitutes an intra-company transfer (ICT) for the purposes of work authorization and immigration in Vietnam. While maintaining previous regulation changes, the labor authorities in the Ho Chi Minh City office have implemented a new “Manager, Executive Director, Expert, and Technical Worker” classification that will provide multinational companies with more immigration options for their foreign employees. Under this new classification, which is available immediately, applicant foreign nationals will qualify for work permits where they have worked at least one-year for a foreign company “within the business group” of the host Vietnamese company.
AZERBAIJAN | Urgent Business E-Visa Now Available With Three-Hour Processing
The Republic of Azerbaijan continues to improve and expand its new online ASAN Viza system. Rolled out in January of this year, the new e-visa system provides fast and convenient visa application and processing for citizens of 94 nations, covering most of the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Eligible applicants can receive business and tourist visas with 30-day validities to Azerbaijan with standard processing times of under three-days. For more details, see our Immigration Dispatches of January 9 and July 31.
INDIA | Form C Registration Rules Placing Greater Burdens on Companies and Foreign Employees
For some time, India has technically required landlords, apartment managers, and accommodations managers to submit Form C to the Indian Bureau of Immigration (BOI) registering their foreign national tenants and guests within 24-hours of their arrival. While this rule has been officially “on the books,” in practice it has only been enforced arbitrarily depending on region, liberally interpreted to apply only to non-tourist stays, and the required registration timeframes often extended to 14-days from the foreign national’s arrival. Note that submission of Form C is an independent registration requirement for the foreigner’s landlord/manager and differs from the well-known requirement for foreign nationals to register with the local Foreigners (Regional) Registration Office (FRRO/FRO). For more information, see the BOI website here and here.
LITHUANIA | Twentieth Nation Adopts European Union Intra-Company Transfer Permit
On September 1, Lithuania began offering the European Union (EU) Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) Permit to non-EU/European Economic Area (EEA) employees of foreign companies transferred for work assignments to related companies in Lithuania but remaining on foreign payroll. With that, the Republic becomes the twentieth EU-27 nation to have adopted the EU’s Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) Directive (2014/66/EU). For details on the recent EU ICT Directive implementation in Austria and Croatia, see last week’s Immigration Dispatch of September 18.
QATAR | New Electronic Travel Authorization Introduced
Qatar continues to increase its openness to international business and combat the negative impact of the ongoing diplomatic and economic boycott by its Persian Gulf neighbors. For our previous coverage of the Gulf crisis and similar moves by Qatar, see our Global Brief of June 8 and Immigration Dispatches of June 26 and August 14. After introducing a visa-free option for citizens of 80 nations in August, Qatar is now implementing a single-entry electronic travel authorization (ETA) option for foreign nationals from additional countries not covered by the previous visa-free option. Effective September 27, citizens of eligible nations who also hold valid visas issued by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, or Schengen Area and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries may apply online for the ETA authorizing stays in Qatar of up to 30-days, renewable in-country for an additional 30-days.
RUSSIA | New Document Requirements for Highly Qualified Specialist Work Permit Renewal in Moscow
In the Russian Federation, the Migration Department in Moscow has increased supporting document requirements for Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) work permit extensions and corrections. Immigration authorities in the Moscow office are now requiring applicants to submit copies of their quarterly salary notifications covering the entire validity of the work permit for which they are seeking renewal.
SAUDI ARABIA | Japanese Nationals Now Eligible for Three-Year Work Visit and Commercial Visas
Saudi Arabia has significantly lengthened the validity period of Work Visit and Commercial Visas issued to Japanese citizens. Effective immediately, Japanese passport holders are eligible for three-year multiple-entry visas valid for stays of up to 90-days. Only citizens of the United States receive longer visas to Saudi Arabia, with a five-year multiple-entry option. United Kingdom and European Union passport holders are eligible for multiple-entry visas for up to two-years, with all other nationals eligible for visas of only up to six-months.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Visa-On-Arrival for Indian Nationals Expanded
In May of this year, the United Arab Emirates opened its popular visa-on-arrival program to Indian citizens – with the caveat that they must hold a valid visa or green card issued by the United States. Thus, Indian passport holders with U.S. visas or green cards were then eligible for stays of up to 14-days (extendable in-country for another 14-days) in the UAE without need of obtaining a UAE visa. For details, see our Immigration Dispatch of April 10.