Immigration news update for APAC and EMEA regions
India: New regulation and relaxation for international arrivals
Effective immediately, the mandatory self declaration of vaccination status and vaccination dates completed by incoming international passengers on the Air Suvidha portal will no longer be required.
Under the revised guidelines of the health ministry, the submission of self-declaration forms on the online Air Suvidha portal is discontinued. The guidance will remain under review. All passengers must be fully vaccinated. All precautionary measures for Covid, including the use of masks and social distancing at airports shall be continued.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Government of India.
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 Jane Beynon (Regional Immigration Manager, APAC).
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Italy: New bilateral agreement with Canada for youth mobility
Individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 can now benefit from the new bilateral agreement, which has been in place since November 1, 2022, to gain a better knowledge of culture, society, and languages through travel experiences, work, and life in the other country.
This agreement mostly benefits the following three categories: working holidays, young workers and international internships.
To be eligible, applicants would need to fulfil the following requirements:
- Fall within and including the age category of 18 to 35
- Hold a valid travel document
- The expiry date of the travel document must be at least three months past the date of the requested visa
There are more than 1.5 million Canadians of Italian descent, which is one of the largest Italian communities outside of Italy in the world. Since 2008 more than 200,000 Canadians have participated in the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program. The scope of the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Canada on “Working holidays”, which has been replaced by this new bilateral agreement, will also be expanded, allowing the Italian extension of the work permit to be increased to 12 months and for prospective applicants there would be three additional categories to choose from:
- “Working holidays”: intended travellers to the host country who would like to temporarily work during their stay
- “Young workers”: for applicants who already have an employment contract in the host country, in support of their professional development or pertaining to their previous field of study
- ” International Internship”: for Interns who have enrolled in a course at a post-level institute in the host country, relevant to their studies and required by their curriculum
It is noteworthy that in Italy, the validity of the visa would be adjusted according to the expected duration of the planned stay in Italy – not exceeding 12 months though.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Government of Canada.
Switzerland & U.K.: Extension of the agreement on the mobility of service providers
Switzerland and the U.K. have agreed a three-year extension to the Services Mobility Agreement (SMA). This agreement makes it easier for Swiss companies to use British service providers and regulates the access of Swiss service providers to the British market.
Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the free movement of persons between Switzerland and the United Kingdom no longer applies. The SMA regulates market access and the temporary residence of service providers, such as management consultants, IT specialists or engineers.
The agreement was originally applied from 1 January 2021 and how now been extended by three years, until 31 December 2025.
The extension means UK professionals can continue to travel and operate freely in Switzerland for up to 90 days a year without needing a permit. In turn, Switzerland is the UK’s sixth largest export market for services, worth over £12 billion in exports last year. In 2022, the United Kingdom simplified market access, in particular for service providers with a degree from the Swiss VET system. In many areas, service providers no longer need to have a university degree or work experience to be admitted to the UK. The UK has also recognised certain Swiss qualifications in higher professional education and training as equivalent to a university degree and has simplified certain procedures for obtaining a business visa.
The two countries have also agreed to launch negotiations next year on a new free trade agreement, which will establish long-term arrangements for services mobility and boost trade between the UK and Switzerland even further, in 2023.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the U.K. Government.
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 Roberta Carnaccini (Global Operations Director, Immigration).
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