Latest global immigration

With COVID-19 travel and entry restrictions still in place to some extent in most countries worldwide and general updates to global Immigration Rules being introduced alongside, it is important for cross-border travelers to take note of the latest guidance in your destination country, whether you are traveling for work or as a visitor.

With this in mind, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Europe, Vietnam and the United States.

European Union: Deadlines for residence applications for UK nationals

The deadline for UK nationals to apply for a residence document in several EU member states is 30 September (or 1 October) 2021.

  • This applies to UK nationals already resident before 1 January 2021 in Finland, France, the Netherlands or Sweden.
  • The deadlines for Croatia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Malta and Slovakia passed on 30 June 2021.
  • France and the Netherlands extended their deadlines from 30 June to 30 September/1 October 2021.
  • The deadline is 31 December 2021 for Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovenia.

The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of UK nationals who were resident in an EU member state, as well as those employed locally or self-employed in but resident outside an EU member state (frontier workers) before the end of the transition period.

Residence rights apply to UK nationals who are workers or self-employed, or are enrolled as a student with health insurance, or have sufficient resources and health insurance, or are family members of someone who meets these conditions, or are permanent residents.

Those who have not yet lived in the host state for at least five years and therefore have not yet acquired permanent residence status, can continue residing in the host state and acquire permanent residence after five years of residence.

These residence rights cease after a leave of absence of more than five years and are only valid in the country of residence.

EU member states may require resident UK nationals to register or apply for a residence document. Details vary between countries.

Finland: Long-term D visa proposed

The Finnish government has proposed the introduction of a long-term national D visa, at first covering specialists, growth or start-up entrepreneurs and their family members, and later also applicable to researchers and students.

A national D visa, based on the Schengen convention, allows people to stay in the issuing country for up to one year.

The D visa proposed by the government supports the implementation of the 14-day fast-track service pledged by the government in September 2020, which is expected to be ready in June 2022.  Senior specialists or start-up entrepreneurs and their family members will be able to travel to Finland immediately after they have been issued a residence permit, which means that they will not need to wait for a residence permit card before entering Finland.

The proposal will be implemented through legislative amendments which are scheduled to come into force in spring 2022.

Vietnam: Changes to work permit rules

On 9 September 2021, the Vietnamese government issued Resolution 105, which among other measures eases certain procedures and requirements for the issuance of work permits for foreign nationals. This follows stricter rules introduced through Decree 152 which went into effect earlier this year.

The key changes in Resolution 105 are as follows:

  • Previously issued Vietnamese work permits are now accepted as proof of work experience for a new work permit application.
  • Certificates of graduation are now also accepted as proof of qualification. The previous requirement was for a diploma or degree certificate, excluding certificates of graduation.
  • Passport copies no longer need to be legalised.
  • Applicants now require proof of at least three years of work experience relevant to the job position. Previously, at least three years of work experience in the trained field and relevant to the job position were required.
  • Foreign national work permit holders are now permitted to work in another province for up to six months without obtaining a new work permit. The employer or host entity must report the work location to the provincial labour authorities.

United States: COVID-19 entry rules relaxed for some travellers

Effective early November 2021, the United States will cancel the suspension of entry for foreign nationals who in the previous 14 days have been in the following locations:

  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • The Schengen Area
  • China
  • Iran
  • Brazil
  • India
  • South Africa

In place of these bans, all international travellers will be required to prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days before boarding a flight to the United States.

Limited exceptions will apply, such as for children, COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants, and humanitarian exceptions for people traveling for an important reason and who lack access to vaccination in a timely manner.

Individuals who are exempted from the vaccine requirement may be required to be vaccinated upon arrival.

CDC will continue to strongly recommend against air travel by American citizens who are not fully vaccinated; however, all unvaccinated travellers who return to the United States and are not fully vaccinated will be required to, prior to boarding an airplane:

  • Provide proof of a negative test result taken within one day of their departure;
  • Provide proof that they have purchased a viral test to be taken after arrival.

Questions about global immigration?

If you would like advice on current entry restrictions for your destination country, or assistance with any other area of immigration, Smith Stone Walters would be delighted to help.

To speak to a member of our global immigration team, please contact us today.

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