Following on from our in-depth look at changes to Australian immigration processes last week, this week we’re giving a broader view on the latest immigration news from around the world.
Our global experts are keen to discuss your immigration requirements with you. Mauve offers a free 30-minute consultation addressing your organisation’s specific needs; and from there, we can provide a full range of Global Visa and Immigration services – whether you require a standalone solution, or support in conjunction with our bespoke packages.
Dependent Children Upper Age Limit Announced
Dependent children applying for Long-Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP) must be aged between 18 and 25 years at the time of application according to a new directive from the Expatriate Services Division (ESD). The change is effective immediately.
Beforehand, any dependent child aged over 18 could apply. As part of the application, the dependent child must submit a declaration letter confirming their status (single, unemployed and in the custody of the Employment Pass (EP) holder) and this must be signed before a Commissioner of Oaths.
Upcoming Tightening of Foreign Worker Quota Rules
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower is implementing planned changes to the foreign worker quota rules, potentially making the employment of foreign workers more challenging for companies.
Locals Qualifying Salary Increase
From 1 July 2019, the Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) will increase by SGD 100 per month, for companies in any sector.
From 1 July 2019, a Singaporean or Permanent Resident employee employed under a contract of service, including the company’s director, is counted as:
- 1 local employee if they earn the LQS of at least SGD 1300 per month.
- 0.5 local employee if they earn half the LQS of at least SGD 650 to below SGD 1300 per month.
The LQS determines the number of local employees who can be used to calculate a company’s Work Permit and S Pass quote entitlement. The LQS was previously known as the Full-Time Equivalent salary.
Dependency Ratio Ceiling Decrease
From 1 January of next year, the percentage of foreign workers (Work Permit and S Pass holders) that a company in the services sector can hire will be lowered.
The services Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) for Work Permit holders, currently 40%, will decrease to 38% from 1 January 2020 and to 35% from 1 January 2021.
The services sub-DRC for S Pass holders, currently 15%, will decrease to 13% from 1 January 2020 and to 10% from 1 January 2021.
What type of companies are classed as service sector?
Businesses who engage in financial, commercial, communications, IT, professional and other services are classed as service sector.
What effect will the changes have?
- Potential need to raise salaries of local employees by companies in all sectors seeking to hire foreign nationals in the S Pass and Work Permit categories.
- In the services sector, employers will need to either remove Work Permit and S Pass holders or hire more locals. When the changes come into effect over the next two years, employers in the services sector who exceed the new DRC or sub-DRC will be permitted to retain excess Work Permit and S Pass holders until the expiry of their passes to avoid business disruption. However, these companies will not be allowed to hire new Work Permit and S Pass holders, or renew their existing Work Permit and S Pass holders, until they meet the new DRC or sub-DRC.
Other key facts to note:
- There will be no changes to quota requirements in other sectors this year, as confirmed by the government.
- These changes will not impact companies sponsoring Employment Pass holders; EPs are excluded in the calculation of foreign worker quota.
Venezuelan Nationals Granted Entry, Transit and Departure on Expired Documents
Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced it is permitting entry, transit and departure of Venezuelan nationals on expired or soon-to-expire passports up to two years from the date of expiry.
Expired documents can likewise be used as proof-of-identity, provided the passport contains an entry stamp and stay permit from the Special Administrative Unit of Migración Colombia.
Venezuelans with expired documentation may also apply for or renew visas in line with Ministry of Foreign Affairs rulings.
New Long-Term Visas
UAE officials have approved the regulatory framework for the issuance of 5 and 10 year visas. Previous residence visas had a maximum validity of 3 years.
This applies to those with the following conditions:
- Special talents – specialists in science and knowledge subjects can apply (though certain conditions may be applicable).
- Those with a property with a minimum value of AED 5 million can obtain a 5-year visa;
- Investors in public investments (not property) through a deposit, an established company, a business partnership of at least AED 10 million or a total deposit of at least AED 10 million can obtain a 10-year visa.
- The investor’s dependents are also eligible for a long-term visa.
- In order to apply for the long-term visa, investors will be granted multiple entries over a 6 month period.
- Entrepreneurs – those with a previous project of at least AED 500,000 or approved business incubator approval can access a 5-year multiple-entry visa. This can potentially be upgraded to an investor visa. Dependents, a business partner and 3 executive directors are also eligible for long-term visas.
- Outstanding Students: those with a grade of at least 95% in secondary public or private schools or a student with a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.75 upon graduation from a local or international university can legally apply for a 5-year visa. This additionally extends to the family of the outstanding student.
New Residence Applications Procedure for EU National Immigration in Copenhagen
New procedures have been implemented by the Danish government relating to residence applications for EU nationals after they have arrived in country.
- From April 1st, applications will be handled by the Danish Agency of International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) where they were formerly administered by the State Administration (RSA).
- Since 18 March 2019, EU residence document applications in Copenhagen must be submitted in person at the RSA, by the applicant rather than a third-party.
These changes only apply in Zealand. In the rest of Denmark (Fyn/Funen and Jutland), assignees are permitted to submit their application whilst still in their home country.
2019 Immigration Fees Update
Although fees have largely remained the same since 2018’s update, some updated immigration fees have come into effect at the directive of UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI). Main changes apply to optional premium/fast-track services, and there has been a minor increase to visit visa fees.
Employment Permit Changes Due to Labour Shortages
At the end of this month, changes will come into effect in relation to the Critical Skills List of Occupations and the Ineligible List of Occupations. This is to address labour shortages including an allowance of an extra 300 workers in the area of customs duties and control; this area is expected to require a sharp increase in manpower in the event of Brexit, regardless of the type of withdrawal that is agreed upon.
The following occupations have been added to the Critical Skills List of Occupations; as a result, these roles will qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit:
- Civil engineers
- Quantity surveyors
- Construction project managers
- Mechanical and electrical engineers with BIM capabilities
- High Performance Directors and Coaches for high-level sports organisations.
The following occupations have been removed from the Ineligible List of Occupations; as a result, these roles qualify for a general Employment Permit:
- Sheet metal workers
- Welding trades
- Air-Conditioning &U Refrigeration Engineers
- Shuttering Carpenters
- Glaziers, window fabricators & fitters
- Scaffolders, stagers & riggers
- Crane drivers
- Career guidance teachers (secondary schools).
The following additional occupations have been removed from the Ineligible List of Occupations by quota; as a result, these roles qualify for a general Employment Permit:
- Transport and Distribution Clerks and Assistants (Freight Forwarders; Cargo & Freight Agents; Brokerage Clerks) subject to a quota of 300
- Plasterers subject to a quota of 250
- Bricklayers subject to a quota of 250
If you require any further information or insights into the matters discussed in the latest Immigration Round-Up, phone us today or get in touch via the Contact Form.