What's new in global

In the fast-paced world of global immigration, rules are subject to regular changes and new immigration legislations are frequently introduced by governments worldwide, particularly in relation to the ongoing pandemic.

With this in mind, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to make our clients and followers aware of the following recent updates.

Ireland: Landmark scheme to regularise undocumented migrants

Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, announced on 3 December that the government has approved a scheme to regularise thousands of undocumented migrants and their families who are living in Ireland.

The time-limited scheme will open for online applications in January 2022 and applications will be accepted for 6 months.

The scheme, which is a key part of Minister McEntee’s Justice Plan 2021, will be for long-term undocumented migrants and their eligible dependents, where the specific criteria is met. It will enable eligible applicants to remain and reside in the State and to regularise their residency status.

There is no reliable data on the number of undocumented persons in the State but studies suggest there could be up to 17,000 undocumented persons including up to 3,000 children and that many could be in employment, although likely low paid employment.

Announcing the scheme, Minister McEntee said: “I’m delighted that the government has approved my proposal for this momentous, once-in-a-generation scheme. Given that those who will benefit from this scheme currently live in the shadows, it is difficult to say how many will be eligible, but we are opening this scheme for six months from January to allow people come forward and regularise their status.

“It will bring some much-needed certainty and peace of mind to thousands of people who are already living here and making a valuable contribution to our society and the economy, many of whom may be very vulnerable due to their current immigration circumstances.”

In order to be eligible under the scheme, applicants must:

  • Have spent at least four years in Ireland without an immigration permission, or three years for those with children on the date the scheme opens for applications.
  • Meet standards regarding good character, crimimal record / behaviour, and demonstrate that they pose no threat to the State. Having convictions for minor offences will not, of itself, result in disqualification.

Those with an existing Deportation Order can apply, if they meet the minimum undocumented residence requirement. Those with expired student permissions will also be able to apply.

A fee of €700 will generally apply to family unit applications to assist in recovering the cost of administration. Children up to 23 years, living with their parent(s), can be included in a family unit application. A fee of €550 will apply to individuals’ applications.

Successful applicants will be granted an immigration permission that allows for unrestricted access to the labour market. With that permission, the newly regularised migrants can begin accruing years of residence for the purposes of pursuing Irish citizenship by way of naturalisation.

Russia: Mandatory medical testing

All foreign nationals entering Russia with a work visa and obtaining a first-time work permit must now complete mandatory medical tests at an approved institution in Russia. Tests must be carried out for:

  • Drug use
  • Infectious diseases including Tuberculosis, Leprosy (Hansen’s disease), Syphilis and COVID-19
  • HIV.

Tests can be carried out at branches of the State Budgetary Healthcare Institute of the City of Moscow and cost approximately 5000 roubles. No advance appointments are available, and staff do not speak English.

Note that the Tuberculosis test is only available at the Multifunctional Medical Centre for Labour Migration at Varshavskoe Highway, 64th Kilometre, 1, Building 47, Entrance 4.

Certificate processing takes from five to ten business days, and certificates must generally be collected in person.

The foreign national must bring their original passport and a copy of the passport information page, a notarised translation of the passport information page and a copy of the translation, their original migration card and a copy, and their original registration slip and a copy.

Foreign nationals must submit their medical certificates in person at the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow (Moscow Multifunctional Migration Centre – Moscow, Voronovskoye Settlement, Varshavskoe Highway, 64th kilometre, household 1 / 47, Building 47, Entrance 1) within 30 calendar days of the date of entry to Russia.

They must submit the original medical certificates and copies, their original passport and the original work permit application for the submission of the documents for a work permit with the stamp confirming the receipt of the work permit application by the Immigration Department.

A state representative should put the stamp confirming the acceptance of the copies of the medical certificates on the work permit application.

Worldwide: Countries respond to COVID-19 Omicron variant

As governments around the world await more scientific data on the transmissibility of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, a number of countries have updated their entry requirements and re-introduced certain travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the latest variant.

The restrictions vary depending on the country, ranging from full border closures to suspending flights, enforcing quarantines, restricting arrivals and requiring testing. Many of the restrictions apply to travellers arriving from southern Africa, or those who have been in the region within 14 days of travel. The countries subject to many of these bans are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The list of restricted countries and the travel restrictions being enforced globally will likely grow and change as more information on the Omicron variant emerges. Given the constantly changing situation, travellers are advised to check with the relevant airlines and Embassies before departing.

If you are planning international travel in the near future, please speak to the SSW Global Immigration team for up to date information on the entry requirements and travel restrictions for your destination country.

Expert advice on global immigration

If you need support with any aspect of worldwide immigration, Smith Stone Walters is here to help.

To speak to a member of our Global Immigration team, please contact us today.

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