What's new in global

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.

UAE: New employment visas and entry permits for vital sectors resumed

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced that they will be resuming employment visa applications for individuals working for vital government and semi-government sectors. This will also include entry permits for domestic permits of all nationalities who hold valid visas.

In addition to this, individuals looking to join the vital sectors such as healthcare, transport and sanitation will also be able to apply for a work permit allowing them to travel to the UAE. This decision was announced by the ICA and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).

Both authorities have advised that entry permit application will be considered on the basis that precautionary measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have been met. Compulsory measures such as presenting a pre-entry COVID-19 test and ensuring that employees enforce the 14 day quarantine are non-negotiable.

Nigeria: New visa policy fees approved  

Earlier this year, the Nigerian president announced that a new visa policy will be implemented between 2020-2023 in order to facilitate easier travel to Nigeria for purposes of business, tourism and permanent residence. The new policy will contain a total of 79 new categories, which is a considerable increase from the six they originally had.

The categories will range across three main visa options: short-term visits, temporary residence and permanent residence. The idea is that by expanding the variety of categories, this will afford more options for foreign nationals when they are applying for work in Nigeria. A key feature is that it will allow travellers to visit Nigeria without a visa, and only commence the process of obtaining a visa upon arrival into the country.

The federal government has now officially approved the implementation of the new visa policy and the new fee criteria. The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) introduced the new fees effective 1 October 2020. The decision was in line with the new visa policy signed in February this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Spain: Schengen border closure extended

Spain has once again extended their temporary closure of the Schengen border until 31 October 2020, after a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases. This precedes the original announcement to extend the closure up until September 30.

The only exceptions are for European Union citizens, those living within the Schengen area, habitual residents of the Vatican, Andorra, The Vatican, San Marino and a dozen selected non-European countries notably;

  • Canada, Australia, Japan, Georgia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, China and Uruguay.

In addition to the country exceptions, a few individuals will also be exempt from the closure, including cross-border workers, health professionals, students, elderly care professionals and diplomatic personnel.

Need help to reach your global immigration goals?

Smith Stone Walters will continue to post updates on the latest global immigration news to ensure you stay informed. If you have questions about the latest changes, or need support reaching your global immigration goals, we are here to help.

At Smith Stone Walters, moving people across borders is our business. Our expert team are experienced in managing and supporting immigration moves throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements – we are immigration experts.

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