Latest updates in
global immigration

Global immigration rules and procedures are changing by the day, as governments around the world begin to ease lockdown measures and certain overseas visa centres begin a phased reopening.

However, there are still travel restrictions, border closures and concessions in place that employers and travellers should be aware of.

With this in mind, Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following key updates in global immigration this week.

Australia: Travel Restrictions

Following a spike in coronavirus cases in Australia, numerous measures have now been put in place or re-introduced to control the spread of the virus. Below we examine the key restrictions currently limiting immigration and travel.

Travel bans are in place for those entering the country. Exemptions do exist, but for temporary visa holders the thresholds are high and often difficult to meet. For Australian citizens and permanent residents however, no such restrictions apply.

For those leaving the country, the opposite applies. Citizens and permanent residents can only leave the country should an exemption apply, whereas visa holders are free to leave at any point. Exemptions include, but are not limited to, travel in response to COVID-19, medical practitioners and those with critical skills.

Western Australia has chosen to limit the number of arrivals landing at Perth International Airport each week. The total number of passengers that will be able to land is 525, which includes Australian nationals as well as visa holders. Meanwhile, Victoria is not permitting any international flights to land at Melbourne airport. Brisbane is pushing for the same level of restriction but to date, it is yet to be enforced.

Finally, the 14 day quarantine on arrivals is still in place for all individuals. All these measures have a significant impact on businesses wishing to bring talent to Australia. Not only are flights in short supply, but putting together an argument to justify entry is required.

Ireland: Dublin IRP appointments moved online

From 20 July, all individuals from outside the EEA living in Dublin will be able to renew their Irish Residence Permit Cards (IRP Cards) online, rather than attending the Registration Office in person.

This process was previously only available to students, or more recently those with urgent requirements.

Initial applications must still be made in person and in any event an application can only be lodged one month before the current permit expires. However, there is now no need to wait for an appointment nor be physically present at it.

Whilst we don’t yet know if processing times will fall, this move will undoubtedly help streamline the existing Irish immigration system.

USA: Foreign Student Programme changes

Currently, student visa holders in the USA on a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) have been permitted to remain in the USA despite a course being completely online.

This was a relaxation in light of the COVID crisis and was afforded to persons with both F-1 and M-1 non-immigrant status.

In autumn 2020, this allowance will close and students not in observance of the rules will face removal proceedings, unless one of the limited exemptions apply.

Universities, who are still uncertain about how classes will operate in the future, are currently exploring options to join exemption lists and/or find ways that may accommodate remote learning.

SSW 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. We have spent years refining our global immigration capability, with a carefully selected choice of local partners to meet every client need.

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.

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