Global immigration
updates: Europe and
APAC regions

In the fast-paced world of global immigration, rules are subject to regular changes and new visa categories for workers and visitors are frequently introduced by governments worldwide. Employers and individuals alike should be aware of how these changes may impact their travel and work plans going forward.

This week, the SSW Global Immigration team would like to highlight the following updates from Europe, Australia and Singapore.

Europe beyond 30 June 2021

As we move into July, many European Union states have now closed their applications for those applying for permits under Article 50. This applies to British nationals resident in the relevant member state before the end of the transitional period (31 December 2020) who were looking to protect their rights. For those arriving in 2021, work authorisation is required as per any other non-EU national.

Countries throughout Europe have operated different systems as to how individuals must register for permits. The EU requires each Member State to consider late applications on a case-by-case basis and thus there is considerable discretion to process these late applicants.

For further information, British nationals should visit the page and select the relevant country of residence:

European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate roll out

As of 1 July 2021, the European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate has become effective. 24 member states are already using the system with a further 3 non-EU Schengen countries too. The three lagging behind include Ireland, Hungary and Switzerland.

The certificate is a digital document designed to evidence those who:

  • Have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Janssen).
  • Test negative for COVID-19 before their trip.
  • Can prove they have had COVID-19 in the 6 months before their trip.

Member states are to refrain from imposing travel restrictions on those who present a valid certificate (such as quarantine and testing).

Ireland requests submissions regarding the Occupations Lists for Employment Permits

This list sets out the eligible professions for the Critical Skills Employment Permit. It is vitally important for those looking for labour in Ireland as it exempts applicants from labour market testing.

Authorities are now asking for business input as to jobs that should fall under the list.  Submissions are made using the following form, and SSW is able to advise on any submissions clients may wish to make.

Australia increases visa fees (marginally)

From 1 July 2021, Australia has increased charges for visa applications by approximately 2%. Changes to some key categories include:

  • Subclass 494 (Skilled employer sponsored regional) increasing from 4,045 AUD to 4,115 AUD.
  • Subclass 482 (Temporary skill shortage) increasing from 1,265 AUD to 1,290 AUD
  • Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme) increasing from 4,045 AUD to 4,115 AUD.

More applications move to Singapore’s myMOM Portal

In Singapore, currently only new Employment Pass applications can be submitted via the myMOM portal. However, from 26 July 2021 dependants will be able to use the new submission method.

This change applies to Dependant’s Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass applicants. For those who have already started the application in the EP Online system, they should note that drafts will not be transferred to the new portal and any submissions in the EP Online System should be made by 23 July 2021.

Get the latest global immigration updates

To help employers and applications stay informed, the global immigration team at Smith Stone Walters provides regular updates on the latest developments in worldwide immigration.

To receive these updates straight to your inbox each week, please sign up to our mailing list. Or, to speak to a member of the SSW team about an immigration enquiry, please call us on 0208 461 6660 or email

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