Latest updates in global

This week, the SSW Global Immigration team would like to highlight the following updates from Ireland, Greece and Switzerland.

Ireland: Residence Permit card extensions

Holders of an Irish Residence Permit card that was in date at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, will now have its validity period extended to 15 January 2022. This means that they may use their current expired card to enable them to depart from and return to Ireland in confidence over Christmas and until 15 January 2022.

Anyone travelling during this time will be able to print a copy of a travel confirmation notice and display this with their existing IRP card to show proof of residence when returning to Ireland before 15 January 2022.

The re-entry visa requirements for children under the age of 16 have also been suspended until 15 January 2022.

The Department is engaging with airline carriers to notify them of this new arrangement and to ensure that the process runs smoothly. The travel confirmation notice can also be displayed as proof of residence for employment purposes or to access any State services and supports for which people are ordinarily eligible.

Greece: Online renewal for Residence Permits

Effective 16 November 2021, all residence permits and residence cards that have been issued to non-EEA nationals can only be renewed online, via a new electronic platform.

The new service, available in several languages, affects approximately 700,000 residence permit holders, including about 250,000 whose permits expire on 31 December 2021.

The process requires the identification of the user via mobile phone and email, and communication with the applicant will be done exclusively online. Lawyers can submit applications on behalf of their clients via the electronic platform of the Plenary of Presidents of Greek Bars Associations.

Once the application process is complete, applicants will receive an electronic invitation for an appointment to collect their biometric data.

Switzerland: New rules for Croatian and Australian nationals

Effective 1 January 2022, Croatian nationals will have the same rights to live and work in Switzerland as all other EU citizens. So far, Switzerland has opted out of fully opening its borders to Croatian citizens. Currently, Croatian nationals benefit from visa-free entry for up to three months. However, special transitional provisions apply to the taking up of paid employment in Switzerland, such as a labour market test and fixed annual quotas. The Swiss government reserves the right to reimpose a limit on the numbers of permits granted to Croatian nationals if deemed necessary.

Also effective 1 January 2022, Australian nationals will be permitted to enter Switzerland visa-free for all purposes, including short stays involving work and stays of more than 90 days. Conditions of entry established in Swiss law will still apply to Australian nationals, including the financial means requirement.  Australians will also need a residence permit if they intend to stay in Switzerland for more than three months or if they plan to work.

From the same date, Australia will add Switzerland to the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for the Australian Work and Holiday Programme, applicable to those between the ages of 18 and 30 who wish to visit Australia for tourism, short-term work, study or cultural purposes.

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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