Global Immigration Update – May 2017

May 3, 2017 All, Global



Global Immigration Update – May 2017

Spain – Signatories of Employment Contracts Residence permit applications for highly qualified professionals are processed under the Entrepreneurs’ Act. Authorities may require the signatory of the employment contracts for such…

Spain – Signatories of Employment Contracts

Residence permit applications for highly qualified professionals are processed under the Entrepreneurs’ Act. Authorities may require the signatory of the employment contracts for such individuals be a legal resident in Spain. Recently, however, authorities have indicated that they will not apply this requirement if the signatory is an EU, EEA or Swiss national.


Sweden – Work and Residence Permit Application Processing Delays and New Requirements for Dependents

The Swedish Migration Agency has reported that processing delays are causing initial work and residence permit applications to take one to two months to process. Further, processing times for extension applications is currently seven months.

The Swedish Migration Agency now requires dependents to leave Sweden during the processing of their Work Permit application. Dependents of permanent residence holders must also provide proof of cohabitation and proof of financial means to live in Sweden.


Italy – Halt of Notification Requirement for Foreign Workers

Previously, non-EU companies seconding workers to Italy were subject to notification requirements. These requirements have been lifted due to an EU Directive. Secondment notifications sent before the directive may need to be cancelled.


United States of America – 2018 H-1B Lottery Cap has been reached

The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the H-1B cap has been met for the 2018 fiscal year. USCIS grants 65,000 general-category H-1B petitions and 20,000 advanced degree exemptions. This year, the USCIS received 199,000 petitions. Premium processing continues to be suspended; therefore, decisions may not be granted for several more weeks.


Colombia – Processing Delays

New online registration process has caused some delays in processing for foreign nationals who need to file their local identification card application. Migracion Colombia requires all foreign nationals to register their visas online. This should be done after they have obtained their visas, and prior to getting a local identification card.


Australia – 457 and Permanent Residence Updates and Timelines

The Federal Government has announced the abolition of the 457 visa. This is part of a campaign to promote national employment. The announcement details that the 457 Temporary Work Visa will be abolished next year in addition to the occupations review.  In the latest announcement also made on 18th April, the 457 will be replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa on March 2018. The TSS will comprise the Short-Term (2 years) and Medium-Term stream (4 years). Companies should continue with their mobilisation plans as usual until the approval of the new regulations and further details on the TSS are confirmed.


Malaysia – Increase in Salary for Employment Permits

With effect from 1st September 2017, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has created a new system of classification based on monthly salary and duration of employment for Categories I, II and III Employment Pass Types. The changes are:

  • Category I
    • Before 01 Sep: RM 5,000 with a minimum duration of 2 years
    • On/after 01 Sep: RM 10,000 with a maximum duration of up to 5 years
  • Category II
    • Before 01 Sep: RM 5,000 with a maximum duration of less than 2 years
    • On/after 01 Sep: RM 5,000 – RM 9,000 with a maximum duration of up to 2 years
  • Category III
    • Before 01 Sep: RM 2,500 – RM 4,999 with a maximum duration up to 1 year (renewable up to 2 years)
    • On/after 01 Sep: RM 3,000 – RM 4,999 with a maximum duration up to 1 year (renewable up to 2 years)


China – Changes in Work Permit Applications in Shanghai

With effect from 1st April 2017, The Shanghai Administration of Foreign Affairs (Shanghai Foreign Experts Bureau) has implemented a New Work Permit Application policy. The new policy integrates the old “Alien Employment License” and “Foreign Expert Employment Permit.” This also eliminates the former Z-visa invitation letter. All foreign workers will now be categorised into one of three groups—A, B and C. The category will be determined on a points-based evaluation system:

  • Category A – High-end Personnel
    • 85+ Points
    • This category is for foreign nationals who are a scientist, science and technology leading talent, international entrepreneur, specialised talent, etc.
    • There is no age limit or work experience required
  • Category B – Professional Personnel
    • 60 – 85 Points
    • This category is for foreign nationals who work in a field detailed in the China directory and job requirements, and who fulfill a role that meets the urgent need of China’s economic and social development.
  • Category C – Ordinary or Government Approved Seasonal Personnel
    • Fewer than 60 Points
    • This category is for foreign nationals who meet the needs of the domestic labour market, in line with national policies and regulations. This may be students entering China through an inter-governmental programme, or an individual who will take a seasonal job like ocean fishing.


China – Change in Requirements at Chinese Processing Centre

The Chinese processing centre has announced that EU citizens will need to provide a letter from their UK employer clearly stating the employment start date in the UK. If the EU national is self-employed, he or she will need to provide proof of tax payments, or in the case of business owners, proof of ownership. Students must present a letter from University as proof of attendance. Lastly, dependents will also have to present a letter from the main applicant’s employer in the UK along with proof of relationship (i.e. marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.)

US Citizens residing in the UK will no longer be allowed to apply for a visa with only an entry stamp less than 6 months old. They must show their residency permit in order to obtain a Chinese Business Visa.

India – Mandatory Aadhaar Card for Foreign Nationals and 5 Year Indian Business Visa

  • With effect 1st July 2017, foreign nationals residing in India for 182 days or more in the last 12 months will be required to obtain an identification card called the Aadhaar Card. Please see previous newsletter for more details.
  • The Indian High Commission will not process 5-year Business Visas through a same-day service. Foreign nationals who wish to apply for a 5-year Visa for business or tourist purposes must attend a Biometric appointment at the Visa Centre.


FSA Global Immigration Update – May 2017

 For any further information on any part of this newsletter, please contact your dedicated Immigration Consultant via email on or call us on +44 (0) 20 3668 2700.