What's new in
28 May 2020
Global immigration rules are changing by the day, both in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of legislative updates across the globe.
Smith Stone Walters is here to help businesses and individuals keep on top of these developments and identify any changes that may impact your immigration goals. With this in mind, we would like to highlight the following key updates in global immigration.
Russia: Dual Citizenship Bill introduced
The Russian government has recently made significant changes to their current law on citizenship. The new law eliminates the requirement that applicants need to renounce their foreign citizenship in order to acquire Russian citizenship.
In the past, applicants had to provide evidence that they had renounced their foreign citizenship before presenting an application for Russian citizenship. The amendment will apply to all foreign nationals and stateless individuals who permanently reside in Russia.
Among other provisions, the new law will reduce the qualifying period before submitting citizenship applications from three years to one year, for those who both live and work in Russia or are foreign graduates of Russian universities.
The changes are expected to come into force officially within the next three months. It is important to note that currently this does not apply for the reverse scenario where a Russian National is looking to apply for a second Citizenship and individuals should be aware of this restriction before investing heavily in Citizenship fees.
Japan: Further visa renewals granted
The immigration services agency of Japan has agreed to grant all foreign nationals with visas expiring in July a three-month extension to current visas.
This is an additional three months that have been granted on top of the previous extensions implemented in early April, which addressed visas that expire between March and June.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the Japanese government have experienced congestion at their immigration processing hubs, therefore the extension period has been approved in order to alleviate some of their services.
The measure was introduced in an attempt to further assist foreign nationals who are unable to return home due to tighter border controls across the globe. As a result of an influx of renewal applications, delays are to be expected and we advise individuals to note this when planning their submission process.
Canada: Major changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit
The post- graduation work permit program (PGWPP) allows international students who have graduated from eligible Canadian institutions to obtain a work permit in order to gain work experience.
Canada has changed how they approach the PGWPP requirements for international students taking online courses this autumn due to current travel restrictions.
Under normal circumstances, the rules are that international students need to complete a full-time programme for a minimum of eight months to qualify for the PGWPP. However, the government have announced that students unable to travel will be able to begin their classes outside of Canada and will be allowed to complete up to 50% of their programme via online distance learning.
In addition to this, international students will still be eligible for the PGWPP once in Canada and will not have time deducted from the length of the work permit that they are eligible for. This major announcement will support international students through this period of time up to 31st of December 2020.
Need support with global immigration?
At Smith Stone Walters, moving people across borders is our business. Our team of immigration experts manage and support immigration moves throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
If you need advice or support in reaching your business’s global immigration goals, Smith Stone Walters would be delighted to help. Contact us today to discuss your requirements – we are immigration experts.