What's new in global

This week, the Global Immigration Team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Europe, Japan and Thailand.

Europe: Visa restrictions for Russian citizens

Effective 18 August 2022, Estonia will reject Schengen visa applications from Russian citizens. Moreover, Russian citizens already holding a Schengen visa issued by Estonia are not permitted to enter Estonia.

Similarly, Finland has reduced the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens by 90%, and the Latvian government has proposed to suspend the issuance of residence permits to Russian and Belarusian citizens until 30 June 2023.

Japan: eVisas for Canadian and US nationals

Effective 18 August 2022, Canadian and US nationals are able to apply online for a single-entry, short-term stay visa, valid for up to 90 days for business, visiting relatives or tourism, via the Japan eVisa website.

Prior to this online visa application, the receiving organization located in Japan is required to complete an application in the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS) and obtain a “Certificate for Completion of Registration issued by the ERFS.”  This certificate must be submitted in support of the eVisa application.

Tourists, sponsored by a travel agency in Japan, must have only visited countries classified as “blue” in the 14 days prior to scheduled departure.

Successful applicants are required to log onto the Japan eVisa website and display their “visa issuance notice” at the airport.

Currently, the visa exemption programme has been suspended and all foreign nationals wishing to newly enter Japan need to apply for a visa.

Thailand: LTR visa for high potential migrants

Thailand is introducing a new Long-term Resident (LTR) visa designed to attract “high-potential” foreign nationals from 1 September 2022.

LTR visas will be offered to four categories of foreign nationals:

  • Wealthy global citizens, holding at least USD 1 million in assets;
  • Wealthy pensioners aged 50 years and older, retired, with an annual pension or stable income;
  • Work-from-Thailand professionals, working remotely for well-established companies;
  • Highly-skilled professionals – professionals or experts in targeted industries working for business entities or higher education institutes or research centres or specialised training institutions in Thailand or Thai government agencies.

Benefits include:

  • Spouses and dependent children of LTR visa holders will also qualify for the same visas.
  • LTR visas will be granted for up to 10 years and will be renewable.
  • Exemption from employment ratio (four Thai nationals to one foreign national).
  • Fast Track service at Thai international airports.
  • 90-day report extended to one-year report.
  • Exemption from re-entry permit requirement.
  • Permission to work in Thailand.
  • 17% persona income tax rate for highly-skilled professionals.
  • Immigration and work permit facilitation services at the One Stop Service Centre for Visa and Work Permit.

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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