Immigration weekly update: December 16, 2019


Belgium: Minimum salary threshold increases

The minimum gross annual salary levels for foreign employees will increase on Jan. 1, 2020:

RegionHighly skilled workersManagement staffEU Blue Card applicantsAged up to 30 years/ Nurses of all ages
Brussels and Wallonia42,869 Euros71,521 Euros55,431 EurosN/A
Flanders42,696 Euros68,314 Euros51,235 Euros34,156.80 Euros

 Looking ahead

Employers applying for new/renewal work authorizations after Jan. 1 must increase salaries to comply with the new thresholds. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary requirements will be rejected. Employers with pending applications after Jan. 1 must also increase salaries and inform the regional authorities.

Employers must also ensure that the salaries of employees already working in Belgium comply with the new thresholds. Each salary must be subject to tax (if paid in the home country) or social security (if paid in Belgium). Salaries must be fixed prior to employment in Belgium. Please note that discretionary bonuses, Cost of Living Allowances (CoLA) and other allowances such as travel, board and lodging, etc. cannot be considered.

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 Laxmi Vikraman, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.


Canada: Biometrics for inland applications

Since 2018, Canada has collected biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) from most nationalities applying for a temporary resident visa, work permit or study permit from outside Canada. This has now expanded to in-Canada applications.

Impact Toronto, Canada

Applicants within Canada are now required to give their biometrics at designated locations. A full list of office listings can be found here.

Looking ahead

Please note that biometrics in all cases are valid for 10 years. So if they were previously provided, they will not be required for inland applications. Additionally, U.S. citizens (unless applying for permanent residence), and individuals under the age of 14 or over the age of 79, are exempt from providing biometrics.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Kranc Associates.

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 Manager, Immigration.


China: Shanghai expedited work and residence permits

For qualified applicants (new Category A applications), the Shanghai government is starting to offer a “one-stop” window for work and residence permits. This window could cut processing times from nineteen to eight working days and applications can be made at the Entry Exit Bureau instead of two departments (Foreign Expert Bureau and Entry Exist Bureau).

Impact

CWM HR Roundtable Shanghai

In practice, this new process has numerous limitations, including:

  1. Limited to only Category A applicants.
  2. The sponsor company must already be registered with the Entry Exit Bureau.
  3. The sponsor company’s account with the Foreign Expert Bureau must be registered at the main branch in 77 Meiyuan Road; other registrations will not be accepted.
  4. Only authorized personnel registered with the Entry Exit Bureau can lodge applications; applications cannot be submitted on behalf of a client.

Looking ahead

Presently, the Entry Exit Bureau does not have visibility over the Foreign Expert Bureau’s Work Permit system. This means case officers must cross check individual applications with the Entry Exit Bureau. Due to the above limitations, there is strong push back from the Entry Exit Bureau personnel to limit the number of applications in the initial stages. Corporate clients and applicants should follow the regular process until further notice.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Shanghai authorities (available in Chinese and English). 

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 Pamela Williams, Immigration Lead for China.


South Korea: E-7 visa application changes

Impact

Requirements have been relaxed for applicants who hold a diploma that is not related to the position in a Korean company. They only need to demonstrate three years of related work experience, rather than the five years previously required.

The E-7 visa is for locally hired employees (contract and payroll in South Korea). The job description must match one of eighty three categories of occupation as classified by the immigration department in Korea. The position to be filled in Korea also requires highly specialized technical skills. E-7 visa applicants whose university diploma relates to the job position must demonstrate only one year of related work experience.

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 Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.


South Korea: Unpaid tax affecting processes

The Korean Immigration authority has introduced a new regulation outlining that applications for Visa Issuance Confirmation Numbers (VICN) and Alien Registration Card (ARC) extensions will be rejected if the sponsoring company has any tax arrears.

Impact

Effective immediately, new applications will not be accepted until all unpaid tax is fully paid and certified.

Looking ahead

The immigration authorities require a local tax clearance certificate. This must be submitted in support of VICN and ARC extension applications alongside tax payment and VAT certificates.

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 Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.


We track policy changes in over 120 countries. Find out how we can help you in this short video.

Related Topics

Share this Post