Immigration news update for all regions
Costa Rica: Digital residency cards implementation
The immigration authorities will begin issuing digital residency cards (known as DIMEX) as a PDF version via email, to foreign nationals, effective January 02, 2023. There will be a two-year transitional period where foreign nationals will still receive a physical DIMEX card in addition to the digital one. Current holders of DIMEX cards are not required to do anything until the renewal stage.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the El Financiero News website
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 Rafael Pavanelli (Regional Immigration Manager, Americas) or Roberta Carnaccini (Global Operations Manager, Immigration).
China: Border re-opens as domestic control of COVID-19 is to be downgraded
The National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China announced on that the management of COVID-19 control will be officially downgraded from January 08, 2023.
The following policies will be implemented on the same day relating to Chinese immigration:
- Application for a health code from China Embassies or Consulates for boarding purpose will be waived; and
- Cancellation of centralized quarantine and PCR test on-arrival.
The requirements below still need to be followed until further notification from the Government:
- A PCR test within 48 hours before departure to China. If the result is positive, the traveler will be rejected from entering China; and
- A health declaration obtained from China Customs after arrival.
China will continue to improve the arrangements for foreign national’s visa applications for working, business, studying and family reunion purposes.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China
India: Deadline extended for accepting PIO cards as travel documents
The High Commission of India has extended the deadline until December 31, 2023 for accepting handwritten Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards as a travel document for travel to India, along with the foreign passport. In 2015 the Indian government announced that PIO and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) categories were merged and people who were previously holding PIO’s are now considered as OCI’s.
This is welcome news for those holding PIO cards to travel to India without obtaining a visa and allowing them more time to convert from PIO to OCI.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the High Commission of India
Services resumption in Shanghai, China
The Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) in Shanghai, China has now resumed its normal operations with effect from December 29, 2022 and are accepting visa applications. The center was temporarily closed on December 19, 2022 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Consulate General of India in Shanghai
RTPCR test required 72 hours before departure for certain travelers
The requirement of a negative RTPCR certificate and self-declaration form was discontinued in November 2022, however due to the sudden increase in COVID cases in selected countries, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India has put in place a mandatory requirement effective January 01, 2023 for a RTPCR test to be done within 72 hours before departure for international passengers traveling from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. The negative RTPCR certificate must be uploaded on the Air Suvidha portal.
Random sample testing will continue for all international air passengers upon arrival to India until further notice.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Philippines: Mandatory reporting requirements for ACR-I card holders
Within the first sixty (60) days of every calendar year, all registered foreign nationals holding or in the process of obtaining Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-Cards, shall report in person to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) main office or to any BI-designated offices. Foreign nationals must present their original ACR I-Card and a valid passport, as well as pay an annual report fee (PHP 300) and a legal research fee (PHP 10).
The BI urges foreigners to immediately register with their online appointment system so that the schedules can be provided on when the annual report should be made.
The reporting period is January 01, 2023 to March 01, 2023 and the following are not required to report: foreign nationals in the Philippines under an ACR I-Card exempt category, such as:
- 47(a)2 visa or PEZA visa holders;
- Retirees; or
- Special non-immigrant E.O. 226 visas under Regional or Area Headquarters or Regional Operating Headquarters of multinational companies.
The following are exempted from making a personal appearance and may file through a representative with a Special Power of Attorney:
- Children aged below 14 years old;
- Adults aged 65 or over;
- Those who are mentally or physically incapacitated; Provided, a PWD ID is presented; and
- Pregnant women and those confined in a hospital may request a one-week exemption, in writing, supported by an approved medical certificate.
The consequences for non-compliance include:
- Submitting a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) for the delayed compliance and requirement to pay PHP 510 as part of the MR fees; and
- Paying a fine of PHP 200 per month that the compliance is delayed, up to a maximum of PHP 2,000 per year. A fraction of a month shall be considered one month.
- The BI may also impose visa cancelations, deportations, or imprisonment for non-compliance.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Republic of the Philippines Bureau of Immigration
Singapore: Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass application
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has finally released the information on the application process for the Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass.
The eligibility, information and conditions shared in September 2022 remains the same.
How to Apply
Either the applicant, the company HR or an Employment Agency (EA) may submit the application online via this link: Apply for ONE Pass Link and provide all the personal and corporate documents. For the issuance of the ONE Pass, the applicant’s presence is required at the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC) office. An appointment is required before the applicant can visit the EPSC office. Crown Singapore is happy to assist with the application for the ONE Pass, with the consent of the applicant/HR.
The processing time is within 4 weeks from the date of submission; however, this may take longer if the MOM requires further verification from other government agencies.
Dependent Spouse/Common-Law Spouse Privileges
Spouses holding a valid Dependent Pass (DP) or Common-Law Spouses holding a valid Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) linked to the ONE Pass can work in Singapore with a Letter of Consent. Their prospective employer must apply to the MOM for a Letter of Consent (LOC) on their behalf. Spouses/common law spouses of ONE Pass holders are allowed to work in Singapore for one employer only. If the spouse is a business owner, they will be considered employed by their own company and cannot work for another employer.
- Applicants can only submit 1 application at a time. For example, they can only apply for either a ONE Pass or Employment Pass (EP) at any one time. Therefore, if there is an existing EP application, this needs to be withdrawn before the ONE Pass can be submitted. For existing EP holders, the EP needs to be cancelled before the ONE Pass can be issued.
- Candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with WHO EUL vaccines (including booster, if eligible) to get the ONE passes issued.
- The In-Principle Approval (IPA) is valid for 6 months and the ONE Pass can only be issued once the applicant is physically in Singapore.
- An annual notification to the MOM of the applicant’s professional activities and annual salary is required. Further details on this matter will be released by the MOM in the third quarter of 2023.
- Certain profession will require the applicant to obtain a professional registration from the respective professional bodies (examples of such professions include healthcare professionals, lawyers, football players or coaches), in addition to obtaining a ONE Pass. They may also require licensing, for example, a valid license issued by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) if the employer is a food establishment.
- ONE Pass holders are eligible to apply for Singapore Permanent Residency (SPR) and apply via the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA).
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Manpower
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).
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Denmark: Minimum salary increase for Pay-Limit scheme & Positive List update
The annual minimum salary for the Pay-Limit scheme has increased to DKK 465,000. This means that any work and residence permit applications under the scheme must meet this minimum salary requirement.
The salary must be paid into a Danish bank account and must also correspond to Danish standards.
At the same time, the positive list has also been updated, which is the list of professions experiencing a shortage of skilled or highly qualified professionals in Denmark.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the New to Denmark website
Netherlands: Increase to minimum salary levels
The Dutch immigration authorities (IND) have announced the new minimum salary levels for Highly Skilled Migrants, Intra-Corporate Transferees (EU ICT Directive 2014/66/EU) and Blue Card applicants coming to the Netherlands. These new amounts, effective January 01, 2023, are applicable to new applications for local hires, assignees and (extension applications after) changes of employer.
The new minimum gross monthly salary levels are as follows:
- Highly Skilled Migrants and Intra-Corporate Transferees from 30 years of age: EUR 5,008
- Highly Skilled Migrants and Intra-Corporate Transferees aged under 30 years: EUR 3,672
- Foreign nationals who have graduated from a Dutch higher educational institution, or from an international educational institution listed in the top 200 of one of the ranking lists, taking up employment within three years after graduation: EUR 2,631
- Blue Card Holders: EUR 5,867
The above amounts do not include the mandatory 8% holiday allowance. Payments must be made monthly, directly into the bank account of the foreign national, and the responsibility lies with the employer to prove that such payments have been made and meet monthly requirements. Failure to comply with these rules may result in fines. Benefits and allowances may only be included if they are specified in the employment contract, fixed/guaranteed and paid monthly in money (not in kind) and in gross (not net). Furthermore, it should be noted that salaries must also meet the market salary rate for the specific position.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
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) and Sabrina Crespo (Team Lead, EMEA).
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