Immigration weekly update: September 17, 2020


Australia: Changes to the Labour Testing Marketing requirements

The Australian Government has introduced new Labour Market Testing (LMT) measures for employer-sponsored applications. In addition to the two advertisements outlined in the requirements, Jobactive advertisements are now expected to run for at least four weeks. The changes are effective for nominations lodged on or after October 1, 2020.

The purpose of LMT is to evidence that a suitably qualified and experienced Australian worker is not available to fill the nominated position. Under policy, the evidence provided should have had sufficient coverage and duration to test the local labor market. There are exemptions but if a candidate does not meet any these the full LMT process must be followed before a nomination can be submitted.

Evidence that meets the LMT criteria:

  • The position has been advertised in Australia for 28 days within the previous months before lodgment of the nomination
  • The advertisement is in English and must include the following:
    • Title or a description of the position
    • Skills or experience required for the position
    • Name of the approved sponsor or the recruitment agency
    • Annual earnings for the position (if the intended annual earnings are lower than 96,400 AUD)
  • A total of at least three advertisements must be published:
    • One of these must be on the Government national recruitment website, Jobactive
    • Remaining two can be on:
      • A national recruitment website such as Seek or Indeed
      • A social media platform such as a LinkedIn Recruitment. Note that a general classifieds website or an advertisement on Twitter/Instagram are not acceptable
      • National print media with national reach in Australia such as The Australian or The Financial Review
      • National radio – radio programs that are broadcast or syndicated nationally such as the ABC
      • On the sponsor’s website (if the sponsor is an accredited sponsor)

The revised regulations are also being applied to subclass 186 employer sponsored permanent residence applications. There is no legislation in place but the Dept. of Home Affairs has revised its policy from October 1, 2020.

Employers should note that the Dept. of Home Affairs may ask to see details of the LMT process, including evidence of candidate applications, interviews undertaken and the decision-making process.

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

China: Hong Kong Entry Pass renewals in Mainland China

As at September 4,Hong Kong Entry Pass holders are allowed to renew their passes via the Entry Exit Bureaus (must be above county-level) of Mainland China. The new passes will still be issued in Hong Kong and couriered to the China residential address.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the National Immigration Administration (in Chinese).

Validity of Nucleic Acid Test results for some inbound passengers

Inbound passengers’ test results must be issued within three days of their flight. For example, test results generated on September 1 are valid for three days until September 4, and the final flight to China must take off before September 4.

Some countries will waive this requirement for the endorsed Health Statement if the report is generated from an accredited institution and the flight is direct to China (no stopovers). Those transiting through a third country are advised to check the policies of the Chinese embassy in that location.

  Health Statement required
India Mandatory
Indonesia Mandatory
Israel Mandatory
Japan Not required for direct Japan-China flights starting September 25, 2020, and if tests are done in an accredited testing center
Malaysia Mandatory
Pakistan Mandatory
Philippines Mandatory
Saudi Arabia Mandatory
Singapore Not required for direct Singapore-China flights starting September 11, 2020, and if tests are in the approved, standard format
South Korea Not required for direct South Korea-China flights and if tests are done in an accredited testing center; not required for children under three whose parents have fulfilled all boarding conditions
Thailand Mandatory
United Arab Emirates Mandatory
Vietnam Mandatory

 No source available at the time of writing.


Malaysia: Travel Ban

  • The Malaysia government has announced that the Recovery Movement Control Order will be extended until December 31, 2020.
  • From September 7, entry to Malaysia is banned from the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the News Straits Time and the Somoy News.

Singapore: Travelers from India

As of September 17, 2020, travelers with history to India in the last 14 days prior to entry will have to produce a valid Covid-19 negative test result from a polymerase chain reaction test. The test must be taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Upon entry, travelers will still be required to undergo a 14-day Stay Home Notice at an assigned government facility and have a Covid-19 swab taken.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Straits Time.

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

Qatar: Abolished kafala system and introduction of minimum wages

The State of Qatar has introduced major changes to its labor market, ending the requirement for migrant workers to obtain their employer’s permission to change jobs, while also becoming the first country in the region to adopt a non-discriminatory minimum wage.

Following the adoption of Law No. 18 of 2020, migrant workers can now change jobs before the end of their contract without obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their employer.

Under the new law, workers will be able to leave jobs, providing a one-month written notice if they have worked for the employer for less than two years, or two months if they have worked for them for longer. The worker will not have to pay these costs, and the Ministry of Labour will process the transfer request.

Additional legislation, Law No. 17 of 2020, introduces a minimum wage of 1,000 QAR that will commence six months after the law’s publication in the official gazette. The new minimum wage will apply to all workers, of all nationalities and in all sectors, including domestic workers. In addition to the basic minimum wage, employers will have to ensure that workers have adequate accommodation and food. The legislation stipulates that employers will pay allowances of at least 300 QAR and 500 QAR to cover costs of food and housing respectively, if not provided by the company.

Proposed action: All expatriates in Qatar, including Qatari working under company sponsorship, no longer need to obtain a NOC to change employers. Where a non-compete clause exists in the employment contract, workers will not be able to change jobs within the same economic sector for one year.

A worker who wishes to change employer will be required to notify their current employer about their plans to terminate the contract through the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs’ (ADLSA) electronic system. Those who leave without giving notification or completing their notice period, will not be able to return to work in Qatar for a period of one year.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.

Switzerland: Stay-Home Notices

UAE travelers entering Switzerland are required to undergo quarantine for 10 days.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from The Federal Council.

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).

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