Latest updates in global
14 December 2021
This week, the SSW Global Immigration team would like to highlight the following updates from Belgium, Russia, Spain and the Philippines.
Belgium: EU ICT permits
Effective 16 December 2021, employers can apply for an EU ICT (Intra-Company Transfer) Permit to assign their foreign national employees to Belgium.
The new ICT permit is available to third-country nationals transferred from outside the EU to work in Belgium for more than 90 days, within the same group of companies, as senior managers, specialists or trainees with a university degree. The foreign employee must have worked for their sending company continuously for at least three months (Flanders and Walloon) or six months (Brussels).
The ICT permit is issued for a maximum duration of three years, after which the foreign national can apply to transfer to a different permit type or leave Belgium for a cooling-off period of three months before applying for another ICT Permit. Qualifying family members can accompany the principal applicant as dependents and are allowed to work without an additional work permit.
A holder of an ICT permit issued in Belgium will be able to work in another EU member state for a company of the same group, for stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period, without a separate work permit, although the host country may require a notification. For stays of more than 90 days, a “mobile ICT permit” for that country may be required. Likewise, a holder of an EU ICT permit issued in another EU member state can apply for a Mobile ICT Permit to work at a company of the same group in Belgium on the basis for over 90 days.
Russia: New entry requirements for foreign nationals
Effective 29 December 2021, all foreign nationals entering Russia for any purpose, with any visa, are required to undergo a medical examination and register their fingerprints and photographs.
Those who enter Russia for work:
- Required to undergo medical examination, fingerprinting, and photographing procedures within 30 calendar daysfrom the date of entry into Russia or upon obtaining a work permit or when applying for a patent.
- The medical examination procedure is carried out upon entry into Russia or when obtaining a work permit or applying for a patent. After the expiration of the validity period of medical documents (90 calendar days), within 30 calendar days, the foreign citizen is obliged to undergo a medical examination again. It is also necessary to undergo a medical examination in case of obtaining work permits, extensions of a work permit or patent, making corrections to a work permit, obtaining additional work permits or patents – for secondary work or work in other regions of Russia.
- Medical certificates must be submitted to the authorised department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs by a foreign citizens
- Currently, a bill is being considered to increase the validity period of medical documents to one year.
- Fingerprinting and photographing procedures are carried out once. Upon subsequent entry into Russia and obtaining permits and patents, it is not required to undergo these procedures again.
Procedure for Highly Qualified Specialists (HQS) employed in Russia from 29 December 2021:
- Quarantine – 14 calendar days at the place of stay (applies only to the employee).
- Migration registration immediately after entry into Russia – carried out by the landlord (owner of the premises, hotel, etc.) – personal presence of the employee is not required (the procedure is necessary for further steps)
- Medical examination – employee and family members (employee – within 30 calendar days, family members – within 90 calendar days)
- Fingerprinting and photographing – employee and family members (employee – within 30 calendar days, family members – within 90 calendar days)
- The foreign employee can start working once they have obtained a work permit.
Procedure for HQS employed before 29 December 2021:
- The Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed that foreign citizens employed in Russia before 29 December 2021 will also need to undergo fingerprinting, photographing and medical examination within 30 calendar days from the date of entry into Russia (for example, after leaving and re-entering Russia).
Those who enter Russia for a purpose other than work:
- Required to undergo medical examination, fingerprinting, and photographing procedures if the stay in Russia exceeds 90 calendar days from the date of entry into Russia.
- Fingerprinting and photographing procedures are carried out once. Upon subsequent entry and stay in Russia, it is not required to undergo these procedures.
- The medical examination procedure is carried out after the expiration of the validity period of medical documents (90 calendar days) – within 30 calendar days, a foreign national is obliged to undergo a medical examination again.
- Medical certificates must be submitted to the authorised department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs by the foreign national personally.
The above-mentioned requirements for medical examination, fingerprinting and photographing do not apply to the following categories of foreign nationals:
- Citizens of the Republic of Belarus;
- Children under 6 years old;
- Employees of international organisations and other foreign citizens with diplomatic status.
Spain: New start-up law
On 10 December 2021, the Spanish government approved a start-up law which, once passed by the parliament, is expected to enter into force soon after summer 2022.
The proposed legislation includes significant tax cuts for start-ups and investors, as well as measures to streamline company establishment and visa processing, including for digital nomads. More details can be expected once the law takes effect next year.
Philippines: New PEZA visa
Effective 27 November 2021, the government of the Philippines has introduced a new Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) visa that replaces the 47(a)(2) Special Nonimmigrant Visa.
The PEZA visa is issued to foreign national investors, key employees and their dependents for an initial period of up to two years and can be renewed 30 days before expiry. Application processing is reduced to 10 days.
PEZA Visa holders are exempt from Bureau of Immigration registration requirements and have multiple entry privileges, including exemption from Exit Clearance Certificates, Re-Entry Permits and Special Return Certificates.
Expert advice on global immigration
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