Immigration weekly update: September 24, 2018

 


Germany: Evaluation and application form updates for academic qualifications

German authorities now require the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) to evaluate the academic qualifications of Blue Card permit applicants.

For most work permits requiring pre-approval, extensive information about the company and applicant will be requested.

What is the change/update?

Blue Card permit applicants will now need a “Statement of Comparability” from ZAB.

The recognition of the applicant’s academic qualification is dependent on the “H+” mark for their university, where their degree was acquired, and evaluation of the degree in the ANABIN database. Otherwise the degree must be recognized by the Central Office for Foreign Education.

The German labor office has issued new EU Blue Card forms for applicants and companies filing requests. These are for locally-hired staff, and assigned and locally-hired “Best Friends (Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States)” permits. Detailed information about the comparability of a foreigner’s salary to an identical German employee is required.

Key considerations

The processing time for a “Statement of Comparability” is approximately three weeks, which increases the issuance time for a Blue Card. This may increase further due to the extensive number of statement requests anticipated.

Document collections and application filings may take longer due to the extra amount of information required (including, extra time, holiday entitlements, etc.).

The current procedure remains unchanged in Frankfurt, therefore additional processes and costs for recognition procedure are inapplicable to clients.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Offer & Mastmann.

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 Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.


Switzerland: New integration requirements for resident permits

From January 1, 2019, authorities may require resident permit applicants to sign a cultural integration agreement and prove certain language competencies.

What is the change/update?

A few cantons in Switzerland have already implemented the integration requirements. For example, it has been enforced in Basel for two years, and in Schaffhausen for four years. From Jan. 1, the new requirements will be applicable to both first-time resident permit applications and renewals. Signatories will be requested to commit to constitutional values, participate in social and economic life and obtain language skills.

New language requirements

Residence permit typeDurationOral language level requiredWritten language level required
Permanent (Type C)Ten yearsA2A1
Permanent (Type C)Five yearsB1A1
Temporary – extension (Type B)n/aA1n/a
Family reunification (Type B)n/aA1 (or prove they’re registered for a course leading to this)n/a
Permanent (Type C) – spouse/partner of Swiss national or permanent residence permit holdern/aA2 (only after residency of at least five years)A1 (only after residency of at least five years)

Key considerations

HRs will need to ensure that employees meet the cultural integration prerequisites. The potential consequences of failing to meet them are permit refusal, downgrade or cancellation.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration 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 Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.


New Zealand: New rules for interim visas

Interim visas are now valid for 21 days after a temporary entry visa application is declined/withdrawn.

Applicants no longer become unlawful the day after their application is declined. They have 21 days to challenge the visa decision, plan their departure, and/or continue working if they have been granted work rights.

What are interim visas?

Interim visas are granted to individuals who have applied for a temporary visa, but run out of legal status before their substantive visa application is decided.

Interim visas were valid for six months, or until a decision was made on the substantive application, whichever came first. Individuals therefore became unlawful the day after their application was declined. It did not give them adequate time to leave New Zealand, or challenge the decision while holding lawful status.

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

 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, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.


Australia: Priority processing for work visas

The Department of Home Affairs has stopped accepting priority processing requests for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) and the temporary work (skilled) visa (subclass 457).

The subclass 482 visa replaced the subclass 457 visa in March. Outstanding applications for subclass 457 visas are being prioritized, and processing is expected to be finalized before the end of 2018.

TSS Subclass 482 visas are being processed in order of priority:

  1. Applications lodged by accredited sponsors
  2. Applications lodged for positions that are located in regional Australia
  3. Applications lodged for positions under the Labor Agreement Stream
  4. All other applications

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 Debbie Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.

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