Latest updates in global

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Canada, Costa Rica, Czechia and Malaysia.

Canada: New work rules for international students

Effective 15 November 2022 until 31 December 2023, international students who are in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule.

Foreign nationals who submitted a study permit application as of 7 October 2022 will also be able to benefit from this temporary change, provided their application is approved.

Currently, any student with the authorization to work off-campus is permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while class is in session, as well as full-time during scheduled breaks. Students eligible to work on campus are not subject to a cap on hours for on-campus work.

Study permit holders are still expected to balance their study and work commitments, as those who stop studying or reduce course loads to only study part-time are not eligible to work off-campus.

Other measures recently launched to benefit international students and recent graduates include:

  • a transition period for those studying online from abroad;
  • an opportunity for those with expired or expiring post-graduation work permits to get an additional 18-month open work permit.

Costa Rica: DIMEX residence cards

The government has announced that foreign nationals requiring an initial or renewal DIMEX residence card must make an appointment within three months from 1 October 2022.

This includes:

  • those whose DIMEX previously expired but was covered by the automatic extension granted in January 2022 until 1 October 2022;
  • those granted residence status before 1 October 2022; and
  • those granted residence status from 1 October 2022.

Appointments will be scheduled for 2 January 2023 onwards.

The validity of the expired DIMEX, or the notification of approval of application for immigration status, will be extended until the date of the appointment.

1 October 2022 was the expiration date of the automatic extension period for expired DIMEX established in January 2022.

Those who already have an appointment scheduled before 30 September 2022 for October, November or December 2022 should attend their appointment as scheduled.

Czechia: Borders closed to Russian tourists

Effective 25 October 2022, entry will be denied to those Russian citizens who come to Czechia via the external Schengen borders – i.e. via the international airport – for the purpose of tourism, sports or culture. This measure will apply to travellers with a valid Schengen visa issued by any EU member state.

Czechia thus follows the Baltic countries, Finland and Poland in closing their borders to Russian tourists.

Malaysia: 2023 Projection of Foreign Knowledge Workers

MSC Malaysia status and ICT companies that are registered with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) can submit their applications for the 2023 Projection of Foreign Knowledge Workers (FKW) from 1 November 2022.

Companies who intend to employ foreign nationals in Malaysia in 2023 must have the FKW projection approved and available before any Employment Pass (EP) applications (new and renewal) can be submitted.

Applications must be made online via MDEC’s eXpats portal with the company’s respective login ID. Estimates are acceptable but employers must have information on the intended job title and job descriptions.

Processing time is from two to three weeks. If the projection is not applied for in advance, an additional two to four weeks will be added onto the processing time of the EP application, which is about two to three weeks.

MDEC advises that only companies who need the FKW headcount requirement for Q1 2023 should submit first. Projection applications for Q2 onwards can be applied for anytime during 2022.

FKW projection applications for 2022 are still open until 14 Nov 2022.  Any unused projection approved for 2022 will be forfeited by 31 Dec 2022 and will not be carried forward to 2023.

The Expatriate Services Division (ESD) began accepting 2023 quota projections on 7 October 2022.

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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