Latest updates in global

This week, the SSW Global Immigration team would like to highlight the following updates from Canada, Italy, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Canada: Changes to the Super Visa program

Effective 4 July 2022, the government of Canada is introducing enhancements to the Super Visa programme to facilitate the reunion of Canadians with their parents and grandparents.

Canada’s Super Visa program allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to visit Canada for extended periods. The Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that is valid for up to 10 years.

The changes being introduced from July are as follows:

  • Increase the length of stay for super visa holders to 5 years per entry into Canada. At present, Super Visa holders can stay in Canada for up to 2 years per entry.
    • People who have a super visa also have the option to request to extend their stay by up to 2 years at a time while in Canada.
  • Allow the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to designate international medical insurance companies to provide coverage to super visa applicants in the future
    • Currently, only Canadian insurance providers can provide the necessary medical coverage that super visa applicants are required to have. Information about any designated medical insurance companies located outside of Canada will be communicated on IRCC’s website at a later date.

Each year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada issues approximately 17,000 super visas. To adequately support super visa holders while in Canada, their host child or grandchild must meet minimum income requirements.

In addition, parents and grandparents applying for a super visa must have a medical examination and provide proof of private health insurance from an approved insurance provider.

Italy: Work permits for non-EU citizens

The Immigration Flow Decree (‘Decreto Flussi’) is a measure by which the Italian Government establishes each year the entry quotas for non-EU citizens who may enter Italy for employment, self-employment and seasonal work.

The Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced that a new “decreto flussi” will soon be published, with a quota of 75,000 work permits. This amounts to an increase of more than 5000 on last year’s quota.

Saudi Arabia: Important update for visitors

Effective 9 June to 9 July 2022, visit visa holders are not permitted to enter Saudi Arabia through four airports which have been designated for holders of Hajj permits only. The restricted airports are those in Jeddah, Madinah, Yanbu and Taif.

Holders of visit visas to the Kingdom must have round-trip tickets with arrival and departure from Riyadh airport.

United Arab Emirates: Fee discounts for companies employing home talent

Effective 1 June 2022, private companies in the United Arab Emirates may be eligible for discounted government fees for meeting or exceeding targets such as Emiratisation. Emiratisation is an initiative by the government of the UAE to employ its citizens in a meaningful and efficient manner in the public and private sectors.

Companies will be classified according to their compliance with criteria including the Wage Protection System, workers’ rights protections, and their employment of Emirati workers.

Most private companies should fall in the second category, but some may earn the benefits of the first category while some others may drop to the third category in case of non-compliance with labour laws and policies.

The first category is for those companies who meet one of the qualifying criteria, including an Emiratisation rate at least triple their target, participation in the Nafis programme to train at least 500 Emiratis per year, or ownership by a young Emirati citizen, among other criteria. They are charged only Dh250 per work permit for a two-year period.

Firms in the second category pay Dh1,200 per permit and those in the third category pay Dh3,450 per permit.

Work permits for foreign workers hired from within the UAE (with a valid residency permit) cost Dh250.

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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