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December

2014

PEREGRINE NEWS

Peregrine News Is a monthly digest of Peregrines global immigration news alerts. To see all
of our immigration news alerts, or to subscribe for regular updates, please visit
www.peregrine.im/news, or follow our blog (blog.peregrine.im).
This month we have added seven new immigration processes to Immiguru, for two new
countries Ecuador and Lebanon.
We also added a Learning Centre to Immiguru, where existing and future users will
find clear explanations of key global immigration terminology and hot topics.
We were delighted to welcome more than 50 participants to our webinar on the Van der
Elst ruling and how this interesting little immigration route is implemented in practice across
Europe.
Our global immigration software products, Immigo and Immiguru are showcased at
www.peregrine.im, where you can register for a free trial of both products.

Table of Contents
EU RULING ON VALIDITY OF VISAS IN EXPIRED PASSPORTS
INDONESIA NEW APPOINTMENT SYSTEM AT MANPOWER DEPARTMENT DELAYS PROCESSING
SWITZERLAND QUOTAS FOR WORK PERMITS IN 2015 ANNOUNCED
RUSSIA UPCOMING CHANGES FOR HIGHLY QUALIFIED SPECIALISTS
FINLAND CHANGES TO THE PERSONAL IDENTITY CODE APPLICATION
UNITED STATES PLAN NOW FOR THE APRIL 1, 2015 DEADLINE FOR CAP-SUBJECT H-1B FILINGS
RUSSIA UPCOMING CHANGES TO STANDARD WORK PERMITS
IRELAND RE-ENTRY VISA DELAYS AND A CHANGE TO CRITICAL SKILLS ELIGIBILITY
BELGIUM 2015 MINIMUM SALARY INCREASES FOR TYPE B WORK PERMITS
INDIA ONLINE TOURIST VISA ON ARRIVAL LAUNCHED FOR 43 NATIONALITIES
RUSSIA NEW RULES FOR LABOUR AGREEMENTS WITH FOREIGN WORKERS
AUSTRALIA LONGER STAYS POSSIBLE WITH SUBCLASS 400 VISA
CANADA UPCOMING EXPRESS ENTRY SYSTEM FROM 1 JANUARY 2015
NETHERLANDS MINIMUM SALARY LEVELS FOR 2015 ANNOUNCED
TURKEY STRICTER PASSPORT VALIDITY REQUIREMENTS FROM 1 JANUARY 2015
FRANCE NEW WORK PERMIT APPLICATION FORMS FROM 1 JANUARY 2015
VIETNAM WORK PERMIT EXEMPTION FOR INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREES FROM 22 DECEMBER 2014
SOUTH AFRICA POSITIVE NEW RULES ON EXTENSIONS OF ICT PERMITS AND VISAS
CHINA TRIAL OF SHORT-TERM WORK PERMITS FROM JANUARY 2015

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application, significantly delaying processing
at all three stages.

EU Ruling on Validity of
Visas in Expired Passports

There have also been changes to the


documentary requirements for TA-01
applications and to the validity period of work
permits in some cases.

We recently noticed the following interesting


court judgement, which clarifies a
common situation for those travelling into the
EU:

How the Appointment System


Works

On 4 September 2014, in Case C-575/12, the


European Union Court of Justice ruled that, in
light of the provisions of the Schengen
Borders Code, national legislation cannot
require third-country nationals to present a
valid visa at the border check necessarily
affixed to a valid travel document.

When the online application is submitted, a


receipt will be issued by the Manpower
Department, containing a barcode and a date
for an appointment to submit the paper
documents.
A recent typical online application for TA-01,
on 14 December 2014, resulted in the
issuance of a receipt with an invitation to go
to the Manpower department for the manual
application on 7 January 2015 (nearly four
weeks later).

A valid visa may also be affixed to an expired


or cancelled document, because the
cancellation of the concerned travel
document by an authority of a third country
does not imply that the visa affixed to that
document is automatically invalidated.

After the appointment, an RPTK or IMTA


application should take seven to ten days to
process, while a TA-01 application should take
three to five days.

INDONESIA New
Appointment System at
Manpower Department
Delays Processing

Stricter Document Requirements in


Support of TA-01 Applications
From November 2014, a copy of a university
degree certificate, curriculum vitae or letter of
reference from a previous employer (if
applicable) in support of a TA-01 application
must be submitted with the sponsoring
companys stamp and signed by the HR
Director. The first two of those documents
must also have a meterai (a signed duty
stamp obtainable from the post office).

Effective 1 December, the Manpower Office


has introduced a new appointment system for
the manual submission of applications for the
RPTK (Expatriate Placement Plan), the TA-01
(individual foreign employee approval) and
the IMTA (individual work permit).
Previously, paper applications could be
submitted manually the day after completing
the relevant online application. Under the
new system, the appointment date may be
set for more than three weeks after the online

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Shorter Validity of Work Permits for


Employers Holding Principal Permit

Employment (OASA), which will come into


effect on 1 January 2015. As a result, the
quotas announced are lower than those for
2014 (although note that quotas for 2014
have not yet been met).

Foreign Investment Companies with only an


initial Principal Permit, rather than a
Permanent Licence (IUT) will henceforth only
be able to obtain employment authorization
for a foreign national employee for up to six
months, except for Director positions.

Which Work Permits are Affected?


The quotas are imposed on a national, rather
than per-company, basis, on B permits, which
are long term residence permits, valid for up
to five years, and renewable.

Action Items
Employers in Indonesia sponsoring
work permits for foreign nationals
should allow at least four weeks
longer than previously for the
processing of each application (RPTK,
TA-01 and IMTA).The current
cumulative processing delays may
subside as the new appointment
system becomes established;
Anyone submitting TA-01 applications
should ensure that supporting
documents have the correct stamps
and signatures, according to the new
requirements;
Companies with only a Principal
Permit should re-evaluate their plans
considering they can no longer obtain
work permits for more than six
months, except for Director positions.

Once the B permit quotas are reached,


applicants are issued with L permits instead
valid for up to 12 months and convertible into
a B permit after two years.

2015 Quotas for Non-EU/EFTA


Nationals
In 2015 companies in Switzerland can recruit
foreign national specialists from non-EU/EFTA
countries up to the following national quotas:
4000 L permits (down from 5000);
2500 B permits (down from 3500).
This means that the government has decided
to reduce the amount of work permits by
1000 for each of the above categories
compared to last year.

SWITZERLAND Quotas for


Work Permits in 2015
Announced

As in previous years, half of the quota will be


allocated to the cantons, with the other half
kept as a Federal Reserve.

2015 Quotas for EU/EFTA National


Assignees

The Swiss government has announced the


quotas for highly qualified workers from non-
European Union/European Free Trade
Agreement countries, as well as for assignees
from EU/EFTA countries. The Swiss Federal
Council has adopted a partial amendment of
the Ordinance on Admission, Stay and

The quotas for assignees from EU/EFTA


countries to Switzerland for more than 90
days and for more than 120 days have also
been reduced compared to last year:
2000 L permits (down from 3000);

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250 B permits (down from 350).


These quotas will be allocated to the cantons
on a quarterly basis, as before.

Action Items
Note that quotas for 2015 are
reduced. Although 2014 quotas have
not been met, it is possible that 2015
quotas will be; plan to submit work
permit applications in good time to
avoid issues.

Notification to the Federal Migration


Service office reporting hiring or
dismissal of the employee within
three business days from the day of
signing or termination of the labour
agreement.

Other Changes
As we wrote in our July alert, from 1
January 2015, representative offices
of foreign companies in Russia will
have the right to hire foreign national
workers under the HQS program. At
present, the HQS is only available to
Russian companies and branch offices
of foreign companies;
The Federal Migration Service has
started accepting HQS work permit
applications from IT companies with a
lower minimum salary level than for
other industries. The change came
into effect at the end of June 2014,
but was not immediately
implemented by Russian officials.

RUSSIA Upcoming
Changes for Highly
Qualified Specialists
A new law makes amendments to the
notification requirements for holders of
Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) work permits
Effective 1 January 2015, Federal Law number
357-FL of 24 November 2014 amends existing
notification requirements, with fines of up to
1,000,000 RUB for each violation.

Notifications
From January, companies employing HQS
Work Permit holders will not be required to
make the following notifications:

Changes in standard work permit


procedures for Russia are also
planned for January 2015 and we will
keep you updated with details.

What is the Highly Qualified


Specialist Program?

Notification to the Federal Migration


Service office reporting unpaid leave
granted to an HQS WP holder
exceeding one calendar month during
a twelve month period;
Notification to the Tax Authority
reporting hiring or dismissal of the
employee;

The Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) program


was introduced in 2010 and allows companies
in Russia to employ foreign national workers
for up to three years with various benefits
including a simplified application process and
exemption from quotas. Please contact us, or
our partner Vista Foreign Business Support,
for more details.

Instead, the following notification will be


required:

Action Items
Ensure that the Federal Migration
Service is correctly notified of the

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hiring or dismissal of a foreign
national HQS work permit holder
within three business days from the
day of signing or termination of the
labour agreement, to avoid a hefty
fine.

that the personal identity code will not be


automatically issued, but the applicant must
remember to ask to be registered when
applying for the residence permit and include
the request form.

Registration of EU Nationals
EU nationals can now also apply to be
registered in the population register and
obtain a personal ID number, at the same
time as the EU registration at the local police
station or online.

FINLAND Changes to the


Personal Identity Code
Application

Municipality of Residence
Registration

Effective 1 December 2014, foreign nationals


applying for a Finnish residence permit will be
asked whether they wish to be registered in
the Finnish Population Information System
and apply for a personal identity number in
the application form. Until now, foreign
nationals have had to register separately at a
local office in Finland after receiving the
residence permit and arriving in the country in
order to submit their personal data and
request a personal identification number. The
personal ID number, is often needed for tax
purposes and when communicating with
public authorities, banks and employers.

Registration in the Finnish Population


Information System and issuance of a
personal ID number does not include or
replace municipality of residence registration,
which must still be completed at a local
register office if remaining in Finland for more
than a year. Municipality of residence
registration is needed for the use of services
provided by the city or the municipality, such
as healthcare services and child day care.

Action Items
Ensure that residence permit and EU
registration applicants apply
concurrently for registration into the
Population Information System to get
their personal ID number, useful for
official communications with public
authorities, banks and employers.

Registration Procedure
Foreign nationals may ask to be registered in
the Finnish Population Information System
when they apply for their first residence
permit, and receive a Finnish personal ID
number (henkiltunnus) at the same time as
they are issued with the permit. An extract
from the population register will be enclosed
with the residence permit decision letter,
together with information on the ID number
and local registrations. In addition, the ID
number is printed on the Permit Card.

UNITED STATES Plan Now


for the April 1, 2015
Deadline for Cap-Subject H-
1B Filings

If no residence permit is granted, no


information will be recorded in the Population
Information System, and the applicant will not
be issued with a personal identity code. Note

1 April is the deadline for cap-subject


employers to file their H-1B petitions for

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skilled foreign workers. However, it is
important not to wait until the last minute to
file petitions for this visa type. President
Obamas November 21 reforms did not
increase the governments strict limits for H-
1B skilled worker petitions. The demand for
H-1B visas currently exceeds the number of
available visas and USCIS exhausted its
supply within days of the 1 April deadline in
both 2013 and 2014. With no further reforms
in sight, USCIS may only approve 65,000 new
H-1B petitions per fiscal year (the cap) with
an additional 20,000 set aside available each
fiscal year for individuals with advanced
degrees from U.S. institutions.

Note that there are certain exceptions to the


cap, as well as other visa options that may be
available to employers to facilitate their
staffing needs.

Action Items
Start planning staffing for 2015, to
ensure timely filing of your petitions
and to review all options.

RUSSIA Upcoming
Changes to Standard Work
Permits
1 January 2015 will be a big day for Russian
immigration. In addition to the changes to the
Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) work permit
system, which we covered in an alert earlier
this week, major changes are coming to the
standard work permit system for
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
nationals, introducing a new system of "work
patents".

What is the H-1B Visa?


H-1B visas are the most common temporary
work permits available to foreign national
professionals. They are obtained routinely by
U.S. corporations and other organisations that
require foreign professional workers.
A U.S. employer can file an H-1B petition with
United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) on behalf of a foreign
employee provided that the job requires (and
the employee possesses) at least a bachelor's
degree or its equivalent in a particular field.
An H-1B employer also must attest to paying
the same salary and benefits packages
normally offered U.S. workers in similar
positions and to observing the H-1B program's
specific public notice and recordkeeping
requirements.

In addition, the new requirement for proof of


knowledge of Russian language, history and
legal system will be implemented for all
categories of standard work permit and
patent application.
Finally, there are some minor amendments to
the notification requirements for holders of
standard work permits who are nationals of
countries requiring a visa to enter Russia.

Timeline for H-1B Petitions

CIS Nationals

Petitions for new H-1B visas must be received


within 5 days of the 1 April deadline in order
to be considered for approval. Workers
benefiting from approved petitions may start
work on 1 October of the same year.

Work permits for CIS nationals are to be


replaced with a new system of work patents,
effective 1 January 2015. Following entry into
the country, where any CIS nationals
intending to work should state this on their
migration cards, the applicant should then
apply for the work patent within 30 calendar

H-1B Cap Exceptions

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days and find local employment (either with a
company or an individual) within 60 days of
the work patent collection.

The upcoming requirement for Russian


language, history and basics of legal
knowledge tests to be applied to all categories
of standard work permit applicants and work
patent applicants remains vague. It seems
that local schools and universities will be
selected to test work permit/patent
applicants on Russian language, history and
legal basics knowledge but when and how this
will work in practice is yet unclear.

Work patents will give the right to work in a


particular Russian region for almost any
employer for up to 12 months (renewable
once), free from any quotas. They will not be
issued for specific job positions, allowing for
transfer without need to amend the
document and will not require a sponsoring
employer for the initial application.;

Impact
Since none of the above developments will
affect the Highly Qualified Specialists (HQS)
work permit process, it is expected that more
and more employers will consider engaging
exclusively HQS Work Permit holders.

Authority with regards to issuance of work


patents will be transferred to the governors of
Russias regions who are now authorized to
hire third party companies to process the
applications, to prevent the issuance of work
patents at any time basing their decision on
Labour Office opinion, and to order that all
work patent holders who are engaged in
certain type of work need to be dismissed by
their employers in a given timeframe if they
see fit. It remains to be seen how this will be
implemented regionally.

This is likely especially now that IT companies


can employ HQS work permit holders with a
reduced minimum salary, and even more so
once Representative Offices are granted the
right to sponsor HQS work permits from 1
January 2015, see our recent alert.

Action Items

Visa Nationals

Companies employing, or considering


employing, CIS nationals in Russia
should note carefully the new work
patent system, and contact our
partners in Russia, Vista Foreign
Business Support, for further details
and advice.
Be aware of the upcoming Russian
knowledge examinations for standard
work permit and work patent
applicants and contact our partners in
Russia, Vista Foreign Business
Support, for further details and
advice.
Consider the HQS category if the
applicant salary can be raised to 2 000
000 RUB.

Effective 1 January 2015, Federal Law number


357-FL of 24 November 2014 amends existing
notification requirements for visa nationals
holding standard work permits, with fines of
up to 1,000,000 RUB for each violation.
Companies employing standard work permit
holders will not be required to notify the Tax
Authority reporting hiring or dismissal of the
employee and should instead notify the
Federal Migration Service office reporting
hiring or dismissal of the employee within
three business days from the day of signing or
termination of the labour agreement.

Russian Language, History and Legal


Knowledge Exams

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a re-entry visa to travel freely into and out of


Ireland (until they gain Irish residency rights).
Re-entry visas are only granted for a
maximum of one year, or in line with the
expiration date on an individuals GNIB card.

Ensure that the Federal Migration


Service is correctly notified of the
hiring or dismissal of a visa national
standard work permit holder within
three business days from the day of
signing or termination of the labour
agreement, to avoid a hefty fine.

Note that the registration process with the


Garda National Immigration Bureau, which is
co-located with the Re-entry Visa Office, is
operating normally. There is no need to queue
before the Office opening hours and all
applicants will be dealt with on the day.

IRELAND Re-entry Visa


Delays and a Change to
Critical Skills Eligibility

UPDATE
Further to our alert of 5 December, the Irish
Naturalisation and Immigration Services (INIS)
has stated that it is in now in the process of
reviewing the delivery of Irish immigration
services including the transfer of registration
functions from the Garda National
Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to INIS.

There are delays in re-entry visa processing,


and a change of wording for one category of
eligible skills for the Critical Skills Employment
Permit.

Re-entry Visas
In recent weeks there has been a very high
number of people queuing to obtain re-entry
visas, as people plan to travel over the
Christmas period. There are reports of people
queuing overnight at the main Garda National
Immigration Bureau (GNIB) office in Burgh
Quay, Dublin.

The Irish authorities are looking at options to


streamline both GNIB registration and visa re-
entry services for non EEA nationals. As part
of this process, INIS intends to introduce
online appointment booking in the first
quarter of 2015.

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration


Service (INIS) has acknowledged that they are
experiencing an unprecedented demand for
re-entry visas, but hopes to have normal
processing times restored as soon as possible.


Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations
The Department for Justice, Enterprise and
Innovation (DJEI) has made slight changes to
the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List,
which defines which skills are eligible for the
Critical Skills Employment Permit. The most
important change is the new wording for the
Sales, Marketing and Related Associate
Professionals category.

However the visa office strongly advise that


any applicant intending to travel in 2015, does
not join the queue at this time as it is creating
additional difficulties for those who are
planning to travel before Christmas. It is
possible for people to apply for the re-entry
visa by post and this service can take anything
from 10 to 21 days.

The category now applies to Business sales


executives specialising in International Sales
roles or ITB2B sales roles and with fluency in
the official language, apart from English,
of a state which is not a Member State of the

Any visa required national residing in Ireland,


with a valid permission to remain, will require

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EEA. It can be concluded from this that any
international or IT sales executive with fluency
only in English or an EEA language is now
ineligible for the Critical Skills Employment
Permit. Previous to this change, English as an
official language of a non-EEA state was not
mentioned as an exception in this category.

The minimum annual salary for highly skilled


foreign nationals applying for Type B work
permits will increase to 39,802EUR, from
39,422EUR.
The minimum annual salary for senior
management and executive-level foreign
nationals applying for Type B work permits
will increase to 66,405EUR from
65,771EUR.

Action Items
Any visa required national residing in
Ireland, who is planning to travel out
of Ireland before the end of 2014,
should be prepared for significant
delays in processing of their re-entry
visa, including long queues at the
GNIB office in Dublin.
Those intending to travel after 15
January 2015 are advised to apply for
their re-entry visa after 5 January.
Wait to make travel plans until the re-
entry permit is issued.
Sales Executives whose only language
is English are no longer qualified to
obtain an employment permit in
Ireland.

The minimum annual salary for Blue Card


applicants will increase to 51,466EUR
(depending on the region of Belgium) from
50,974EUR.

Background
The Belgian government annually increases its
minimum salary requirements for foreign
nationals in line with inflation. Work permits
are processed by the Belgian Regions:
Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia.

Action Items
Review the salaries of current and
future highly skilled, senior and
executive employees sponsored for
Type B work permits and Blue Cards in
Belgium.

BELGIUM 2015 Minimum


Salary Increases for Type B
Work Permits

INDIA Online Tourist Visa


on Arrival Launched for 43
Nationalities

The Belgian government has announced an


increase in the minimum salary requirement
for Type B work permits and Blue Cards from
1 January 2015.

On 27 November the Indian government


launched its new online tourist visa system for
nationals of 43 countries, including Australia,
Brazil, Germany, Japan, Russia, Singapore,
South Korea, UAE and USA (note that the UK
is not included in the list).

In addition the Belgian region of Wallonia has


adopted legislation confirming that
discretionary bonuses cannot be taken into
account when processing a work permit
application.

The new system is expected to facilitate visa


processing and increase tourism to India, and

Minimum Salary Thresholds

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is likely to be rolled out to more countries
soon.

passport information page must be uploaded


as part of the application.

Who Can Use The New Visa On


Arrival?

The applicant should receive an electronic


travel authorisation (ETA) within 72 hours,
which they must carry at the time of travel.

The Tourist Visa on Arrival is available for


holders of passports of the following
countries:

On arrival to India, biometric data will be


taken at the port of entry.

Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands,


Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia,
Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos,
Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius,
Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New
Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau,
Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines,
Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands,
South Korea, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE,
Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

The TVoA is valid for 30 days from the date of


arrival in India, is non-extendable, non-
convertible and allowed for a maximum of
two visits in a calendar year.

Action Items
Review upcoming trips and bear in
mind that the new online application
may be a worthwhile possibility for
some applications.

Activities Permissible

RUSSIA New Rules for


Labour Agreements with
Foreign Workers

The visa is available to those traveling on


leisure, for short duration medical treatment,
for a "casual business visit" or to meet friends
and relatives. Travellers must show proof of
onward travel and sufficient funds.

Effective this Friday 12 December 2014,


amendments to the Russian Labour Code
state that employers must sign unlimited term
labour agreements with foreign employees in
most cases.

The definition of "casual business visit" is not


clear but could realistically be interpreted as
meaning business meetings of a short
duration. If there is any uncertainty over
whether the activities to be carried out qualify
as a business visit or not (i.e. if any activities
verge on "working" in India), it is unlikely that
this visa would be appropriate. For more
information about what activities are and are
not permissible on business visa status in
India, please contact us.

The new regulations also clarify that a labour


agreement must include details of the foreign
nationals work permit and medical insurance
cover, and offer a few benefits for internal
employee changes.

New Labour Agreement Regulations


From 12 December, all employers of foreign
nationals in Russia are required to:

How Does it Work?


This visa applicant must apply online, at least
four days before the intended date of arrival
to India, for a Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA).
The visa fee (about US$60) should be paid at
this time. A digital photograph and copy the

sign unlimited term agreements with


all foreign employees including those
applying for the Highly Qualified
Worker Category. Some exceptions

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will apply (for general directors, chief
accountants and/or when the
employer is a Representative Office or
Branch Office). Previously, there was
no official guidance for employers
about whether to sign limited term or
unlimited term labour agreements
with their foreign employees.
include in the text of the labour
agreement the details of the
document, confirming the right of a
foreign national to perform work
activities, whether this be the work
permit, work patent, or temporary or
permanent residence permit;
include in the text of the labour
agreement the Medical Insurance
Certificate or agreement between
employer and insurance company for
provision of the medical insurance,
including cover for first aid and
emergency medical care. Previously,
Russian legislation did not contain any
specific guidelines as to what services
medical insurance should include.

Employers in Russia must ensure that


they sign unlimited term labour
agreements with all foreign national
employees, unless an exception
applies.
Ensure that labour agreements signed
with foreign nationals in Russia
include the relevant details of
adequate medical insurance and work
authorisation.

AUSTRALIA Longer Stays


Possible with Subclass 400
Visa
Effective 23 November 2014, the maximum
period of stay for a Subclass 400 Temporary
Work (Short Stay Activity) Visa has increased
from three months to six months.
However, stays of over three months will only
be granted in exceptional circumstances,
backed by a strong business case and
evidence that the activities will not adversely
affect Australian workers.

Temporary Transfer or Suspension


of Foreign National Staff

The validity of the visa has also been


extended, so that applications can be made
up to six months before the intended date of
travel.

Moreover, all host entities now have the right


to:
transfer a foreign employee to
another job position within the
company for up to one month within
a calendar year, without first applying
for a work permit amendment;
suspend a foreign employee from
work activities for up to one month, if
the employee's work permit expires.
Previously employers were required
to terminate labour agreements in
this situation.

Criteria for Granting an Extended


Stay
Applicants for a Subclass 400 visa requesting a
stay period of more than three months must
demonstrate:
That employment conditions satisfy
Australian workplace standards;
That the Subclass 457 visa route is not
being circumvented.
The importance of the project to the
local community;

Action Items

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The need for specialist advice or
which not available in Australia;
The number of Australians to be
employed on the project;
The time available to train an
Australian to do the work in the long
term;
Any contractual obligations relating to
the installation or servicing of
equipment;

corresponding reduction in staff


numbers in immigration offices.

Action Items
Ensure that any Subclass 400 visa
applications for longer than a three
month stay are supported by
sufficient evidence;
Consider future Subclass 457 visa
needs more than three months in
advance of standard business
sponsorship expiry;
Expect some delays in visa processing
due to Collective Case Management,
and plan assignments accordingly.

Other Australia Immigration News


The Department of Immigration and
Border Protection (DIBP, formerly
DIAC) will no longer be assessing 457
visa applications where the standard
business sponsorship (SBS) is about to
expire (i.e. within 3 months). It is
therefore more important than ever
for employers to consider their future
visa needs well in advance of any
expiry date.
DIBP is increasingly asking questions
of sponsors as to whether a position is
genuine, especially where a
proposed annual salary is around
AUS$55,000 - $65,000. The genuine
criterion has been in the Migration
Regulations for several years but was
not previously actively enforced. The
questions are aimed at satisfying the
Department that employers have
made efforts to source workers from
the local labour market.
There are some delays in visa
processing due to a new system of
Collective Case Management, in
which applications are managed at
random DIBP offices rather than at
the office closest to the sponsoring
employer. This has been introduced
due to a recent significant drop in
Subclass 45 visa applications and a

CANADA Upcoming
Express Entry System from
1 January 2015
On 1 January 2015, Citizenship and
Immigration Canada (CIC) will launch a new
electronic application system called Express
Entry, to manage applications for permanent
residence under certain existing economic
immigration programs.
This is of particular interest to many foreign
nationals currently in Canada on the
Temporary Foreign Work (TFW) program. A
cap was introduced on 1 April 2011 that
limited stay under the TFW program to four
years maximum. That initial four years will be
up on 1 April 2015, so it is important that
qualifying Temporary Foreign Workers who
have been in Canada since 2011 and who wish
to remain beyond that date apply correctly for
permanent residence under the new system.

What is Express Entry?


The Express Entry system will be the new first
step to immigrate to Canada under three
existing programs:

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the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
the Federal Skilled Trades Program,
and
the Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates who have been invited to apply


will have 60 days to submit a complete
Application for Permanent Residence online.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada aims to
process the majority of complete applications
(meaning those with all the necessary
supporting documents) in six months or less.

Provinces and territories will also be able to


recruit candidates from the Express Entry
system through their Provincial Nominee
Programs to meet local labour market needs.

Candidates can stay in the pool for up to


twelve months. If they do not get an Invitation
to Apply for permanent residence within
twelve months of submitting an Express Entry
profile, they may submit a new profile. If they
still meet the criteria, they can re-enter the
pool.

Note that the Province of Quebec will not use


Express Entry. They select their own skilled
workers.

How Does Express Entry Work?


First, potential candidates will be able to
complete a secure, online Express Entry
profile at any time, providing information
about their skills, work experience, language
ability and education. Note that there will be
no deadline to complete a profile and there
will be no caps on the number of candidates
that will be accepted to the pool.

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible to enter the pool, candidates
must have skilled work experience and a job
offer in one of the National Occupation Code
(NOC) 0, A or B occupations, and meet the
relevant language requirements. The job offer
must also meet the Labour Market Impact
Assessment (LMIA) requirements for the
relevant permanent residence program.

Anyone who meets the criteria for one of


these programs will be accepted into a pool of
candidates.

Then, top-scoring candidates will be drawn


from the pool at regular intervals and invited
to apply for permanent residence. CIC will
only pick the top ranking candidates,
regardless of when they were accepted into
the pool.

A candidate who already has a job offer


supported by an LMIA, or a nomination from a
province or territory, will rank high enough to
be invited to apply at the next eligible draw of
candidates. A candidate who does not have
either of these must register with
Employment and Social Development
Canadas (ESDC) Job Bank.

Candidates will be awarded points for:

Action Items

Invitation to Apply

Those wishing to make a strong


application for permanent residence
under the new Express Entry System
after 1 January 2015 should gather
important documents required for the
application, especially language
testing results, educational credential
assessments, police clearances,

a job offer, usually backed by the


employers Labour Market Impact
Assessment (LMIA);
a provincial/territorial nomination;
skills and experience.

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immigration medicals and letters of
reference from previous employers,
past addresses, birth and marriage
certificates, and passports with
sufficient validity;
Employers wishing to retain existing
Temporary Foreign Workers, when
they reach the end of their four years
after 1 April 2015, should ensure that
the job is backed by a permanent
skilled LMIA.

This must be paid in monthly


instalments of at least
3316.68EUR/month (this
amount includes 8% holiday
pay).
Persons who have graduated in the
Netherlands within the last 12
months: 28,524.96EUR per annum
(up from 27,565.92)
o This must be paid in monthly
instalments of at least
2377.08EUR/month (this
amount includes 8% holiday
pay).
Blue Card Holders: 63,607.68EUR per
annum (up from 61,469.28EUR)
o This must be paid in monthly
instalments of at least
5300.64EUR/month (this
amount includes 8% holiday
pay).
o

NETHERLANDS Minimum
Salary Levels for 2015
Announced
The Dutch immigration authorities have
announced the new minimum salary levels to
take effect from 1 January 2015 for
knowledge migrant workers (aka Highly
Skilled Migrants) and Blue Card applicants
coming to the Netherlands. Note that, since
January 2014, salaries must meet minimum
monthly pro-rata levels, must include 8%
holiday allowance and must also be paid
directly into the bank account of the foreign
national.

Monthly Payments
Remember that payments must meet the
minimum monthly amounts stated above,
which include 8% holiday pay. Payments must
also be made directly into the bank account of
the foreign national, and the onus is on the
employer to prove that such payments have
been made and meet monthly requirements.

Minimum Salary for 2015


The new minimum salary levels are as follows:

Failure to be compliant with this rule may


result in fines of up to 12,000EUR per
violation.

Knowledge Migrants aged over 30:


54,289.44EUR per annum (up from
52,462.08).
o This must be paid in monthly
instalments of at least
4524.12EUR/month (this
amount includes 8% holiday
pay).
Knowledge Migrants aged under 30:
39,800.16EUR per annum (up from
38,465.28)

Affected Applications
The new salary criteria applies only where the
application for the regular provisional
residence permit (Machtiging Voorlopig
Verblijf or MVV) has not been made prior to 1
January 2015. For applications made prior to
this date, the 2014 salary criteria apply.
It is not necessary to adjust salaries of existing
Knowledge Migrants in the Netherlands

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unless applying for a renewal of the residence
permit. The new levels apply only where an
application, either for a new residence permit
or a renewal of an existing residence permit,
is made.

The rule will also apply to those foreign


nationals already in Turkey who are planning
to exit and re-enter the country.
It remains to be seen exactly how the
immigration authorities will interpret the rule
once it comes into force on 1 January.

Per Diems and Allowances


Per diems and allowances may only be
included if they are guaranteed and stated in
the employment contract.

Background
The new rule is being implemented as part of
Turkeys Law on Foreigners and International
Protection (Law No.6458), which began to
come into effect earlier this year. See our
earlier alert here for more information on all
the changes.

Market Salary Rate


It should be noted that salaries must also
meet the market salary rate for the specific
position. If the Immigration and Naturalisation
Service (the IND) consider the suggested
salary to be less than sufficient, they can ask
the UWV Werkbedrijf (the body that provides
opinions on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of
Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) for an
opinion. Additional justification for the salary
level would likely be requested from the
prospective employer. Applications which do
not meet market conditions as adjudicated by
the UWV Werkbedrijf will be rejected.

Action Items
Ensure that all foreign nationals
travelling to Turkey, including those
intending to exit and re-enter the
country, have a passport valid for at
least 60 days beyond the expiry date
of their visa, visa extension or
work/residence permit.
Begin the passport renewal process, if
necessary, as soon as possible.

Action Items

Note new minimum salary levels for


2015 and ensure that upcoming
applications meet the new criteria.

FRANCE New Work


Permit Application Forms
from 1 January 2015

TURKEY Stricter Passport


Validity Requirements from
1 January 2015

Effective 1 January 2015, three new work


permit application forms will replace the
existing seven, in an attempt to streamline
and modernise application procedures.

Effective 1 January 2015, a foreign national


will only be able to enter Turkey if their
passport is valid for at least 60 days beyond
the expiry of their visa, visa exemption or
work/residence permit.

What Are the New Forms?


Form 15186*01 should be completed
by an employer applying for a work

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permit for a foreign national
employee resident in France;
Form 15187*01 should be completed
by an employer applying for a work
permit for a foreign national
employee resident outside of France;
Form 15188*01 should be completed
by an employer applying for a work
permit for a foreign national
employee resident outside of France
with a service contract or on an intra-
company transfer.

VIETNAM Work Permit


Exemption for Intra-
Company Transferees From
22 December 2014
On 5 November 2014, The Ministry Of
Industry and Trade issued Circular
41/2014/TT-BCT stipulating the requirements
and procedures for work permit exempted
intra-company foreign transferees.
The exemption applies to transferees who
work in Vietnam for enterprises operating in
the 11 service sectors specified in Vietnams
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
commitment. The circular is expected to come
into force on 22 December 2014.

Official forms for working in France are


administered by CERFA (le centre
denregistrement et de rvision des
formulaires administratifs).

Possible Issues
One additional piece of information required
by the new forms is the salary being paid for a
comparable French national employee. This
may have a major impact for those who are
dtach in France (i.e. not locally hired in
France), who only need to be paid according
to the national minimum salary (as per the
provisions of the law or the applicable
bargaining agreement) plus expenses (mainly
housing, food and travel), and not necessarily
according to the internal salary grid of the
French host company.

What are the main conditions for


intra-company transferees to be
exempted from obtaining a work
permit?
The foreign transferee holds a
managerial position, or is an expert /
specialist or technician;
The foreign transferee should have
been working for the foreign company
for at least 12 months prior to being
seconded to the Vietnam-based
entity;
The Vietnam-based entity must
operate in one of the 11 service
sectors defined in the annexes to the
circular.

It is therefore not currently clear how this


field on the new forms should be completed
for a dtach employee, but watch this space
for more information when this becomes
clearer in the New Year.

Action Items

Documents required for work permit


exemption that are not in Vietnamese are
exempt from consular legalization, but they
must be translated into Vietnamese and
authenticated in accordance with Vietnamese
law.

Anyone managing French work permit


applications should familiarise
themselves with the new forms and
their supporting documentary
requirements.

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What are the 11 service sectors


which qualify for work permit
exemption?

delays in obtaining decisions from DeLISA and


MOIT. Obtaining a full work permit may, in
some cases, still prove to be the best option
for some employers.

Business Services;
Communications services;
Construction and related engineering
service;
Distribution services;
Educational Services;
Environmental services;
Financial services;
Health and Social related services;
Tourism and Travel related services;
Recreational, Cultural and Sporting
services;
Transportation services.

Action Items
Anyone planning intra-company
transfer to Vietnam in any of the
qualifying service sectors should
consider applying for a work permit
exemption, but should be prepared
for a delayed decision and the
possibility that a work permit
application may be preferable.

SOUTH AFRICA Positive


New Rules on Extensions of
ICT Permits and Visas

However, not all subsectors listed in the WTO


commitments on services are included in the
list for exemption.

Further to our alert on this subject in October,


the South African Department of Home Affairs
has now issued additional clarifications to the
October Directive, which state that extensions
can be submitted within South Africa, and also
that new applications from the home country
may be submitted for assignments lasting
beyond four years.

What is the procedure for obtaining


the work permit exemption?
The Work Permit exemption application
should be lodged at the provincial
Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social
Affairs (DeLISA), which assumes responsibility
for defining the exemption.

Background

In case of doubt, the Ministry of Industry and


Trade (MOIT) will confirm whether or not the
Vietnam-based entitys operation is included
in the 11 qualifying service sectors.

The amendments to the South African


immigration legislation made in late May 2014
(see our alert here) made it possible for Intra
Company Transfer (ICT) Work Visas to be
issued for periods of up to four years.
However, there was considerable uncertainty
over whether extensions of ICT Work Permits
with two year validity would be permitted or
not.

In case of rejection, an appeal for review from


the Vietnam-based entity is possible and the
Ministry of Industry and Trade will re-examine
the case.

Delays Expected
It is likely that the implementation phase of
these new regulations will take many months,
during which time there will be considerable
uncertainty about which jobs qualify, and

In October 2014, the Department issued a


Directive making it clear that holders of two
year ICT Work Permits would be permitted to
apply for new, four year ICT Work Visas, but

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only if they returned to their home country
and applied at the South African diplomatic
post there.

CHINA Trial of Short-Term


Work Permits from January
2015

Extensions Within South Africa


The new clarifications state plainly that
holders of ICT Work Visas issued prior to 26
May 2014 may apply for a new ICT work visa
(with validity of up to four years) either at the
South African diplomatic post in their original
country of residence, or from within South
Africa.

A nationwide trial of a new short term work


permit procedure in the Peoples Republic of
China will come into effect on 1 January 2015.
The procedures clarify which activities will
require short-term work permits instead of
business visas for employment of less than 90
days. Previously, as long as a foreign national
remained on home payroll and contract, work
in China for up to 90 days was generally
permissible on business visitor status. The
new procedure makes it clear that this is no
longer possible where the foreign national will
be visiting a business partner (i.e. client or
supplier), although note that intra company
short term assignments may still be
conducted on business status.

This is significant as previously, it was not


possible to apply for the new ICT Work Visa
from within South Africa.

Extensions Beyond Four Years


The new clarifications also state that where
an assignee has completed four years of an
international assignment and is needed for a
further period, it is possible for them to apply
for a new ICT Work Visa with validity of up to
four years. However, such an application must
be submitted at the South African diplomatic
post in their original country of residence.

Which Activities Will Require a


Short-Term Work Permit for up to
90 Days?

This is a very positive development as it now


gives companies the possibility of having
assignees in South Africa for up to eight years
on an ICT Work Visa.

Under the new procedures, foreign nationals


who intend to participate in the following
activities in China for up to 90 days are
required to apply for a work permit:

Action Items

Visiting a business partner in China to


complete a technical or scientific
project, or to provide management or
guidance;
Physical training in a sports club
(including trainers and athletes);
Shooting a film (including
commercials and documentaries);
Participating in a fashion show
(including runway or print models);
Participating in a commercial
performance; and

Note that ICT Work Visa extensions


for holders of ICT Work Permits issued
period to 26 May 2014 may now be
submitted from within South Africa
Note that new four year ICT Work
Visas may now be issued to assignees
who have already completed four
years in South Africa on an ICT Work
Visa/Permit, meaning that up to eight
years on this status is permissible.

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Other activities may require short-
term work authorisation, subject to
the discretion of the immigration
authority.

to apply for a 90-day work-type residence


permit upon entry.
Timing is difficult to estimate as the
procedures are new, but employers should
allow at least four to six weeks lead time.

Which Activities Will Not Require a


Short-Term Work Permit for up to
90 Days?

Extensions of Stay
The new short term work authorisations can
be granted for up to 90 days.

Foreign nationals entering to participate in


the below listed activities for fewer than 90
days are not required to apply for a work
permit, and can enter on an M visa (for the
first three types of activities) or an F visa (for
volunteers):

Foreign nationals obtaining the new short-


term work permit will not be able to remain in
China beyond the approved period, and the
approval cannot be renewed.

Background

Providing maintenance, assemblies,


testing, taking apart, guidance or
training for equipment or machinery
purchased;
Providing guidance, supervision or
inspection of a project;
Short-term assignment to a
subsidiary, branch office, or rep
office;
Volunteers without pay or paid by
overseas organisations.

The trial procedures implement the 90-day


work permit rules from the recent Exit-Entry
Administration Law and Regulations.
The procedures were announced on 6
November 2014 in Notice No.78, issued jointly
by the Ministry of Human Resources and
Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
the Ministry of Public Security, and the
Ministry of Culture.

Action Items

Short Term Work Permit Application


Procedure

If your business has plans to send


employees to client or supplier sites in
China for up to 90 days, in 2015, note
that those employees may now need
work permits (not just business visas)
in order to remain compliant with the
new trial procedures;
Employers of short-term foreign
workers in the relevant categories
should begin the employment licence,
work approval and Z visa application
process at least four weeks in
advance;
Employers should also plan projects
and assignments to take into account

The host entity needs to first apply for an


employment licence and Approval for Short-
Term Employment for Foreigners Working in
P.R. China at the local labour bureau, and
then apply for a Z visa invitation letter.
The foreign national must then apply for a Z
visa to enter China. An applicant whose
employment is for less than 30 days will
receive a Z visa for 30 days with a note stating
that they are allowed to work only within the
period of time indicated in the approval.
An applicant whose employment is for more
than 30 days will receive a Z visa with a note

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that the new short-term work permits
are non-renewable;
Be aware that this is a trial
implementation and, as such, the
details may change, be interpreted
variously by different government
offices, and may not take permanent
effect.


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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration
newsletter has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and
administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied
upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding
the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine
2014 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.

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