Global immigration
news round-up

Global immigration rules are changing by the day, both as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and due to updates in the Immigration Rules within certain countries.

Smith Stone Walters prides itself on delivering dependable global immigration advice. With this in mind, we would like to highlight the following key updates.

Singapore: Dependants now require work authorisation

Under Singapore’s Immigration Rules, eligible Employment Pass or S Pass holders can bring certain family members to Singapore on a Dependant’s Pass. These family members can get permission to work in Singapore by applying for a Letter of Consent if they find a suitable job.

However, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower recent announced that from 1 May 2021, all dependants of foreigners with a Dependant’s Pass will need an applicable work pass, such as an EP, S Pass or Work Permit, to work in Singapore instead of a Letter of Consent.

Dependant’s Pass holders who are business owners may continue running their businesses on a Letter of Consent if they meet the specified criteria. Dependants of S Pass holders will need to apply for a Work Permit, S Pass or Employment Pass instead. They will have to meet the eligibility criteria for these passes.

Dependants should note the following:

  • Dependant’s Pass holders who get an Employment Pass or S Pass are required to cancel the Dependant’s Pass.
  • For S Pass dependants who get a Work Permit, the Work Permit’s validity period will be tied to that of the S Pass holder’s pass.

Those who do not meet the new criteria can continue working until their Letter of Consent expires. They can also apply for a one-off extension of their Letter of Consent until 30 April 2022. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower is expected to release further details in due course.

Saudi Arabia: Professional Verification Programme

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD) announced the launch of the Professional Verification programme, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation to ensure the competence of skilled workers in the Saudi labour market.

The Professional Verification programme aims to prevent unskilled workers from entering the country. The initiative will be gradually implemented beginning in July 2021.

The programme aims to verify that all skilled workers in Saudi Arabia have the required skills to perform the occupation they were recruited for, and will include practical and theoretical examinations in the workers’ specialised fields. It will target more than 1,000 professions belonging to 23 fields as per the Saudi Standard Classification of Occupations.

India: New rules for OCI cardholders

An Overseas Citzenship of India (OCI) Card is a multiple entry life-long visa which enables the holder to have unlimited travel and stay in India.

On Thursday, the Indian government changed the rules for OCI cardholders, meaning they must now seek permission from authorities before undertaking certain activities.

As per the new rules, any OCI cardholder who wishes to be involved in missionary or journalistic activities will have to obtain a special permission from the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

The OCI cardholder will be “required to obtain a special permission or a special permit from the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or the Indian Mission to undertake research and to undertake any missionary or mountaineering or journalistic activities,” said the notification.

In addition to this, overseas Indians will have to gain permission for internships with foreign missions or if they need to visit a prohibited area.

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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