SSW Global immigration

Whether you are a frequent traveler taking regular business trips overseas, or you are planning a more permanent international relocation, understanding the local immigration rules in your destination country is a critical stage of the planning process.

To help business travelers and employers remain up to date with the latest travel and visa developments worldwide, Smith Stone Walters collates a weekly round-up of global immigration news. This week, we would like to highlight the following updates.

Panama: New remote work visa

In response to emerging work modes around the world, including remote working, the Government of the Republic of Panama has developed a new remote work visa subcategory within the Non-Resident visas category.

The new remote work visa permits foreign people who are employed by or own a company operating outside of Panama to live in Panama and work remotely for up to nine months without needing to get a separate work permit.

In addition to other applicable specific requirements, applicants must meet the following prerequisites:

  • To have a work contract with a foreign transnational company, or be a self-employed worker, in the remote working model.
  • Perform duties that have effects abroad.
  • Receive income from a foreign source and with an annual amount not less than USD 36,000.00 or equivalent in foreign currency.
  • Have a valid medical insurance policy, with coverage in Panama.

The same requirements must be fulfilled as part of the renewal.

USA: Remote I-9 inspection policy extended

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has extended its remote I-9 document inspection policy until 31 August 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency.

Eligible employers will be able to check I-9 identity and employment authorisation paperwork remotely until the interim policy expires or the COVID-19 emergency ends, whichever comes first.

Employees who start working non-remotely on a “regular, constant, or predictable basis” on or after 1 June 2021 must have their documentation inspected in person.

Employers who are eligible for and choose to employ the remote I-9 policy will be allowed to view Section 2 documents remotely through video, fax, or email, and must keep copies. The usual completion timelines for I-9 remain in force. Section 1 of the I-9 must be completed before the employee’s start date, and Section 2 within three business days of the employee’s start date.

EU: European Travel Information and Authorisation System

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will be operational by the end of 2022, according to the European Commission. The EU Parliament and Commission will give the necessary financial assistance for the implementation of ETIAS, and work on it will begin immediately.

The ETIAS visa waiver programme will be needed to enter a Schengen member country. By the end of 2022, all visitors that currently do not need a visa to enter Europe will be expected to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation.

The ETIAS for Europe will grant travellers authorisation to visit the ETIAS countries, which are the 26 members that comprise the Schengen Zone. It is likely that ETIAS will be available to more countries in the future.

This visa waiver programme was established by the European Union to defend and reinforce its borders. The principal purpose is to identify potential dangers associated with individuals travelling to any Schengen Area country.

The ETIAS is a travel authorisation for business or tourism purposes, and will not be a substitute for a student or working visa. Any third country nationals who wish to live, study, work, or remain in Europe for longer than 90 days, will have to apply for a visa suited to their specific situation.

Citizens of the EU traveling in the Schengen Area can do so with either their national identity card or passport, and are not subject to any other type of border control at their mutual borders.

SSW Global Immigration

At Smith Stone Walters, moving people across borders is our business.

Our team of 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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