Latest updates in global

This week, the SSW Global immigration team would like to highlight the following recent updates from the European Union, New Zealand and Argentina.

European Union: Visa facilitation for some Russian nationals suspended

The European Commission has published new guidance on the suspension of visa facilitation for some Russian nationals, and on general visa issuance in relation to Russian national applicants.

The visa facilitation agreement, suspended on 25 February 2022, enabled expedited processing and a reduction in fees.

The partial suspension targets specific categories of persons close to the regime: it applies to Russian citizens who are members of the Russian Federation’s official delegations; members of the Russian Federation’s national and regional Governments and Parliaments; the Russian Federation’s Constitutional Court and the Russian Federation Supreme Court; citizens of the Russian Federation holding valid diplomatic passports; as well as business people and representatives of business organisations.

The suspension means that these groups no longer have privileged access to the European Union. As an example, the documentary evidence to be issued ahead of a journey is no longer waived, and the fees for processing of visa applications are no longer reduced, meaning that the standard €80 visa fee applies by default.

The suspension does not affect ordinary Russian citizens, who continue enjoying the same benefits under the agreement as they currently do.

The guidelines are intended to help Member States and their consulates in applying the partial suspension, clarify the procedures and conditions for issuing visas to Russian citizens in any given consular location of the EU and ensure that visa issuance on humanitarian grounds should always remain possible.

New Zealand: Immigration Rebalance Plan

The Government has announced an Immigration Rebalance plan designed to make it easier to attract and hire high-skilled migrants, while supporting some sectors to continue their shift away from relying on lower-skilled migrant workers. The changes are as follows.

From 4 July 2022:

  • The Accredited Employer Work Visa will include a median wage threshold.
  • A green list will make it easier for employers to hire and attract migrants for high-skilled, hard-to-fill positions.
  • New sector agreements to provide for short-term or ongoing need to access lower-paid migrants.

From September 2022:

  • Streamlined pathways to residence for migrants in green list occupations or paid twice the median wage.

From December 2022:

  • Most partners of temporary migrant workers will need to qualify for an Accredited Employer Work Visa in their own right, instead of automatically getting an open work visa.

Other changes:

  • Changes to post-study work rights and cost-of-living requirements for future students.
  • During 2023 a new requirement will come into effect requiring employers to be accredited to employ any migrant.

Argentina: Digital Nomad Visa

Effective 21 May 2022, visa-exempt foreign nationals employed outside Argentina can apply for a six-month “digital nomad” residence visa, allowing them to work remotely in Argentina without a local sponsor. This can be extended once for another six months.

A Digital Nomad visa is a type of temporary work permit that allows remote workers to live and work from a country for a specific amount of time without the need for formal sponsorship from an employer. This type of visa gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when remote working became more widespread. Many countries worldwide now offer some form of digital nomad visa.

After a decrease in tourism due to the pandemic, the Argentinian government is now focused on attracting more remote workers to the country. The visa intends to encourage more foreign national “digital nomads” to the country to boost the economy and aid financial recovery from the effects of the pandemic.

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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