Immigration weekly update: December 6 , 2018


Australia: Changes to working holiday maker visa program

There have been some recent changes to the program allowing qualifying applicants to holiday and work in Australia to fund their trip.

There are two similar visa categories in the program – the working holiday visa (subclass 417) and the work and holiday visa (subclass 462). Each is open to a different group of nationalities, and some requirements differ between the two visa types.

From Nov. 1, 2018, applicants for a working holiday visa (subclass 417) holding a Canadian or Irish passport must be aged between 18 and 35. This is an increase from the previous requirement of 18 to 30 years.

On Nov. 5, 2018, the Minsters for Immigration and Agriculture announced further changes to provide additional support to farmers and regional economies.

The announced changes include:

  • Extending the opportunity of regional work to WHM visa holders (subclass 462) to enable eligibility for a second year visa.
  • For those working with an agricultural employer, their visa will extend beyond the six month work limitation to 12 months. This is for both subclass 417 and 462 visa holders.
  • For applicants who complete six months of regional work in their second year visa, there will be a third year visa introduced for both subclasses 417 and 462 (effective Jul. 1, 2019).
  • Lifting of the annual cap on subclass 462 visas to certain countries participating in the program.

Meanwhile, online application submission is now available for WHM visa (subclass 462) applicants from more countries. This service is now available to nationals of Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino and Slovenia. Previously only available to nationals of Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Slovakia and the United States.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Department of Home Affairs.

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 Debbie Beynon, our Regional Immigration Manager for APAC.


Brazil: Consulate to transfer from Rotterdam to Amsterdam

The Consulate-General of Brazil in the Netherlands is being transferred from the city of Rotterdam to Amsterdam. Brazilian nationals and foreigners seeking services will not be able to do so until the completion of the transfer. The consulate cannot legally provide services until the federal administrative procedures enabling the transition conclude.

Other posts with consular services in Europe remain in regular operation. They will be able to attend to visa requests that originate from the General Coordination of Immigration.

Key considerations

If you have submitted an application to collect the visa at the consulate in Rotterdam, you must now submit a request via email to the General Immigration Coordination. This is in order to change the collection destination for the visa.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Consulate General Rotterdam. 

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 our Global Operations Director of Immigration Roberta Carnaccini.


Brazil: Residence permit for property investment

The National Immigration Council has published the Normative Resolution 36/2018. The new resolution confirms the introduction of a new residence permit for real estate investment in Brazil.

The criteria for this new visa are as follows:

  • Applicants must invest a minimum of one million reals (or 700,000 reals in the North and Northeast regions of Brazil).
  • Investment in more than one property is possible, as long as the total investment in all properties meets this criteria.
  • Funds must be transferred from abroad.
  • Funds must be invested in a property that is already built or currently under construction.
  • Property must be located in an urban area.

The new visa grants residence for two years, with the possibility for a two-year renewal or conversion to a permanent residence permit.

Key considerations

We advise that any potential property investors contact its team in Brazil for further advice.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Pesquisa.

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 our Global Operations Director of Immigration Roberta Carnaccini.


New Zealand: Changes to minimum income thresholds

The minimum income thresholds for Essential Skills work visas and Skilled Migrant residence visas have increased. Changes are listed below.

Essential Skills work visas

Skill level Current rateRate from Nov. 26, 2018Visa duration
Low-skilled employment (ANZSCO Level 1-3)Less than NZD$ 20.65 per hourLess than NZD$ 21.25 per hour12 months
Low-skilled employment (ANZSCO Level 4-5)Less than NZD$ 36.44 per hourLess than NZD$ 37.50 per hour12 months
Mid-skilled employment (ANZSCO Level 1-3)Less than NZD$ 20.65 – 36.34 per hourLess than NZD$ 21.25 – 37.49 per hourThree years
High-skilled employment (ANZSCO Level 1-3)At least NZD$ 36.44 per hourAt least NZD$ 37.50 per hourFive years

 

Skilled Migrant residence visas

Skill level Current rate Rate from Nov. 26, 2018
Skilled employment at ANZSCO level 1-3NZD$ 24.29 per hourNZD$ 25.00 per hour
Skilled employment at ANZSCO levels 4-5 (or where there is no matching ANZSCO code)NZD$ 36.44 per hourNZD$ 37.50 per hour

 Key considerations

Employers are advised to review the salaries of their foreign employees holding both visas to ensure compliance with the new rates.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from New Zealand Immigration.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact our Regional Immigration Manager, APAC, Debbie Beynon.


Romania: Changes to immigration rules

Changes to immigration rules have been introduced and may affect foreign national workers. The rule changes are based on law no. 247.

Key changes include:

  • Invitation letters, requiring approval from the General Inspectorate of Immigration, will be processed in 45 days. Reduced from the previous time of 60 days.
  • The minimum required salary for foreign workers has also been reduced:
    • Standard locally-hired or assigned workers and intra-company transferees must now be paid the minimum gross salary of 1,900 Romanian leu (rather than the previous 4,162 Romanian leu).
    • Highly-skilled workers must now be paid at least twice the average gross salary or 8,324 Romanian leu (compared to four times the average gross salary or 16,648 Romanian leu).
    • The minimum means of support for family members is now the minimum gross salary (1,900 Romanian leu per dependent).
  • The standard process for obtaining a work permit for local employment has changed:
    • It is no longer necessary to obtain the applicant’s degree certificate approval from the Romanian Ministry of Education. However, employers should still ensure that the foreign worker has suitable professional training and experience.
    • The job advertisement only needs to appear in a Romanian national newspaper for one day (even if suitable unemployed Romanian or EU national applicants were found in the Work Force Agency system). Previously three days if suitable candidates were found.
  • A new Au Pair work authorization category has been introduced.
  • The fees for work authorization have decreased:
    • From 200 Euros to 100 Euros for standard locally-hired or assigned workers and intra-company transferees.
    • From 50 Euros to 25 Euros for holders of residence permits for student/postgrad or family reunification, and change of employer or position applications.
  • Immigration authorities must be notified within 30 days of a foreign national’s employment contract or assignment end date.
    • Failure to notify the authorities will result in a 1,500-3,000 Romanian leu penalty.
  • New penalties will be imposed on non-compliant sponsoring companies:
    • 5,000-10,000 Romanian leu for obstruction of a compliance audit.
    • 1,500-3,000 Romanian leu for failing to make the required documents and information available. Documents are required within 30 days of a foreign national’s employment contract or assignment end date.

Key considerations

Please note that there is no change to the policy of annually publishing an immigration quota. The immigration authorities will study the legislative changes, after which further instructions on implementation are expected.

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 our Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA Michele Giordani.

Global Operations Director of Immigration Roberta Carnaccini.


Russia: Residence permit for property investment

This new procedure was introduced for situations where the foreign national leaves their registered place of stay and ceases any connection with their host party. If the foreign national departs Russia or registers at a new address, notification of departure is not required. Deregistration will be carried out automatically.

The notification of departure can be submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in person, via a multifunctional center or a post office.

The notification form and submission procedure have not been officially approved. Until then, the notification can be submitted using a temporary form available at migration offices.

The deadlines for submitting the notification of departure have not yet been established.

Background

Federal Law N 257-FZ introduced the new procedure on Jul. 29, 2018. It was based on the Ministry of Internal Affairs draft order of “on the form of the notification of departure,” which was published on Oct. 29, 2018.

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 our Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA Michele Giordani.


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