Latest updates in global
28 April 2021
With global immigration rules and guidance changing by the day, it is important for businesses and individuals to keep on top of the latest developments to identify any changes that may impact your immigration goals.
With this in mind, Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following key updates in global immigration.
USA: US Embassy in India cancels appointments, global consular services remain unpredictable
The US Embassy in New Delhi announced on Friday that it would cancel in-person visa appointments and interview-waiver appointments from 26 April to 9 May, as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in India.
- While the Embassy will cancel most appointments, officials said they would make every attempt to honour scheduled emergency appointments. Emergency services for US citizens will also continue.
- The Embassy said US Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata continue to offer limited visa services, but may cancel some appointments as required by local COVID-19 conditions.
- The regional travel bans remain in place barring entry to most foreign nationals who have been physically present in Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the Schengen Area in the 14 days before entry. Anyone traveling to the US by air must provide documentation of a negative viral COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel or evidence of recovery from a recent COVID-19 infection.
Canada: New pathways to permanent residence for essential workers and international graduates
The Canadian government announced that it would open up new pathways to permanent residence for essential workers and international graduates who are currently in Canada and actively contributing to the Canadian economy.
- To be eligible for one of the new streams, applicants must:
- Have at least one year of experience in a healthcare or other pre-approved essential profession, or;
- Have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary programme within the last four years and no earlier than January 2017.
- In order to promote Canada’s official languages, the IRCC will also open up permanent residence streams for French-speaking essential workers and recent graduates outside of Quebec who meet similar eligibility requirements.
- The IRCCC will begin accepting applications on 6 May 2021, as follows:
- Up to 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care.
- Up to 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations.
- Up to 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution.
- The streams will remain open until 5 November, or until they have reached their numerical limit, whichever occurs first.
Bahrain: Wage protection system introduced for private sector employees
Bahrain has unveiled a phased system aimed to protect wages of private sector employees and limit labour disputes.
The Minister of Labour and Social Development said the system will be implemented in three phases:
- The first phase of the system takes effect on 1 May 2021, covering private sector institutions that employ 500 workers or more.
- The second phase, taking effect from 1 September 2021, covers employers of 50 to 449 workers.
- The third phase will comes into effect on 1 January 2022, and covers employers of 1 to 49 workers.
In the third phase, employers will be given a six-month grace period with the enforcement of each related phase.
Failure to pay monthly salaries on time will result in financial penalties and employers will be blocked from using the Labour Market Regulatory Authority portal, which allows them to file and renew work permits.
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