Immigration weekly update, February 6, 2018

 

 

 

 

  1. Singapore
  2. Philippines
  3. Kazakhstan
  4. Austria
  5. Oman
  6. Thailand

Singapore

New mandatory requirement

Singapore city sky line
The Ministry of Manpower now requires employers to provide pass holders’ contact details in order to complete applications, renewals or issuance transactions. 
 
During the application process for an Employment Pass (EP), S Pass, Training EP, Dependent Pass or Long Term Visit Pass, the employer must indicate the pass holder’s email address.
 
During the renewal or issuance process, the employer must indicate the pass holder's email address and Singapore mobile number. Principal Employment Pass holder’s email address and mobile number can be provided for their dependents as well.
 
Providing and updating the contact details will enable pass holders to receive important and timely updates from the Ministry of Manpower and relevant governing authorities during emergencies or on matters related to their pass.
 

Key considerations

 
For any change in the pass holder's residential address or contact details, the employer will be required to update the Ministry of Manpower accordingly within seven working days. 
 
Alternatively, pass holders with Singpass can log in to the EP online portal to update their details.
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Manpower and Peregrine Immigration Management
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC, or Mahadir Khan, Immigration Manager Singapore.
 
 

Philippines

Certified copies of documents now required for Alien Employment Permits

 
The Department of Labour & Employment ( DOLE ) has issued an official advisory reinforcing Department Order 186 series 2017, issuance of Alien Employment Permit (AEP). Applications must include, but are not limited to, the following:
 
  • 2018 Mayor’s Permit (Business Permit) 
     
  • Certified True Copy (per page):
    • S.E.C. Registration and Articles of Incorporation 
       
    • Updated General Information Sheet (G.I.S.) 
 

What is the change/update?

 
The DOLE are looking to have original certified true copies of the S.E.C. Registration, Articles of Incorporation and updated general information sheet. Previously the certification was not required. 
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the DOLE office.
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC, or Vandana Aiyer, World Mobility Manager Philippines.
 
 

Kazakhstan

Minimum salary level increased

Kazakhstan city and river side
The immigration authorities in Kazakhstan have announced a minimum salary level increase applicable as of January 1, 2018. 
 
The minimum monthly salary for foreign workers has increased by approximately 15 percent to KZT 28.284.
 
All other requirements remain the same.
 

Key considerations

 
Employers need to ensure the salary of their foreign national will be increased to the new requirements when they obtain or renew their work permit.
 
Please note that employers should also increase the salary for those with a pending work permit application. 
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Paragraph.
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA .
 

Austria

Change to authentication requirement

 
University diplomas and school leaving certificates submitted in support of initial Red-White-Red Card Plus (RWR Card Plus) applications by dependent family members of RWR Card holders must be legalized and authenticated under the ENIC-NARIC framework. Previously, ENIC-NARIC recognition of university diplomas was not required for these applicants.
 
Dependents of RWR Card holders applying for an initial RWR Card Plus who cannot demonstrate proof of German language skills at A1 level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) are affected by this new requirement.
 
This application now requires evidence of German language skills at A1 level, or a university diploma or school leaving certificate that has been legalized or apostilled, accompanied by an academic transcript (which does not have to be legalized). The diploma will then be authenticated by the Ministry of Education in Austria under the ENIC-NARIC framework.
 
  • RWR Card Plus applicants who are dependents of EU Blue Card or ICT Card holders do not need to submit proof of German language skills or university diplomas for their initial application.
     
  • Dependents applying for renewal of an RWR Card Plus were already required to provide an ENIC-NARIC recognized diploma or proof of A2 level German language skills.
     
  • RWR Card and EU Blue Card holders applying to switch to an RWR Card Plus after two years’ residence do not need to submit proof of German language skills or university diplomas for their initial application.
     
  • ICT Card holders cannot switch to an RWR Card Plus.
 

Key considerations

 
Extra time should be allowed to have university diplomas legalized and authenticated. Crown World Mobility advises to carefully verify the requirements and start this process as soon as possible to avoid any delays. 
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management.
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.
 

Oman

Six-month ban on hiring foreign nationals

Oman city and water side

The Ministry of Manpower of Oman has suspended the recruitment of foreign nationals in 87 professions for six months. 
 
The 10 sectors this ban affects are:
 
  • Information Systems
     
  • Media
     
  • Technical Professions
     
  • Engineering
     
  • Air Transport
     
  • Accounting and Finance
     
  • Insurance
     
  • Sales and Marketing
     
  • Management and Human Recourses
     
  • Medicine
     
The full list of the 87 affected job titles is available here
 

Key considerations

 
Work permits issued before January 29, 2018 will remain valid until their date of expiry. Employers registered with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development or the Public Authority for Social Insurance are exempt from the ban. 
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.
 

Thailand

Four-year SMART visa for top talent

 
The Board of Investment (BOI) in Thailand has introduced a new SMART visa for highly skilled foreign workers and investors in certain industries. The visa was introduced on February 1, 2018. 
 

Benefits

 
The SMART visa will be valid for up to four years. Current Non Immigrant visas are valid for 12 months only. They will be available to qualifying highly skilled professionals, senior executives and investors. They will also be available for a period of 12 months and renewable for two years for startup entrepreneurs. 
 
SMART visa holders will be exempt from the usual Immigration requirements to: 
 
  • Obtain a work permit.
     
  • Report to the Immigration authorities every 90 days.
     
  • Obtain a re-entry permit to enter and exit Thailand.
 
Spouses and dependent children of a SMART visa holder will also be granted residence. Spouses will be able to work in Thailand without a work permit and dependent children aged 18 or over can also work without a work permit under the SMART T talent visa. 
 

Qualifying criteria

 
The SMART visa is only available to certain foreign experts, executives, investors and entrepreneurs whose qualifications are endorsed by the designated agencies from any of the targeted “S Curve” industries. These are:
 
  • Next Generation Automotive
     
  • Smart Electronics
     
  • Affluent medical and wellness tourism
     
  • Agriculture and Biotechnology
     
  • Food for the future
     
  • Automation and Robotics
     
  • Aviation and Logistics
     
  • Biofuels and Biochemicals
     
  • Digital
     
  • Medical Hub
 
The SMART visa will be designated into certain visa categories.
 
SMART T (Talent) 
 
A highly skilled professional in science or technology must have an employment contract with at least one year remaining in an “S Curve” company and earn a salary of at least THB 200,000 per month. 
 
SMART I (Investor) 
 
An investor of at least THB 20 million in a company using technology in manufacturing or delivering services in the targeted industries. 
 
SMART E (Executive)
 
A senior executive including a Chairman or Managing Director, with an employment contract with at least one year remaining with a company using technology in manufacturing or delivering services to an “S Curve” company. Earnings must be a minimum of THB 200,000 per month and the employee must hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher with at least ten years documented experience in the relevant field.
 
SMART S (Startup)
 
A startup entrepreneur must be participating in an incubator, accelerator or similar program or receive joint vendor funding endorsed by a Government Agency in a targeted industry. There must also be a fixed savings account in Thailand or abroad with a balance of at least THB 600,000 with a remaining maturity term of at least one year. They must also set up a company in a targeted industry within 12 months and hold no less than 25% of the shares or assume a directorship of the company. 
 

Application process

 
  • Applicants must first obtain a qualification endorsement letter from the SMART visa unit of the Thailand BOI. This can be obtained from the One Stop Centre (OSC) for visas and work permits. The application can be submitted at either the OSC or at a Thai Embassy/Consulate overseas. The application will involve verification by the designated agencies and 30 days processing time should be allowed. 
     
  • Current holders of a Non Immigrant Visa must apply for the qualification endorsement at least 90 days before the expiry of the Non Immigrant Visa. 
     
  • The SMART visa application should be submitted to either the OSC or the Thai Embassy/Consulate overseas within 60 days of the issue of the qualification endorsement letter. 
     
  • For renewals, a new application for a qualification endorsement must be made at least 90 days before the SMART visa expires.
 
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.
 
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.