Latest updates in global

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, the Philippines and Switzerland.

Canada: Canada-Italy Youth Mobility Agreement

The Canada-Italy Youth Mobility Agreement, signed in December 2020, has taken effect.

The new agreement allows youth, aged 18 to 35 years old, to work and travel for up to 12 months, and participate twice in the International Experience Program, for a total of 24 months.

As part of the expansion, 2 new streams—International Co-op and Young Professionals—will help youth gain professional work experience abroad.

Canada has formal youth mobility arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories.

There are 3 categories of participation under the program:

  • Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
  • International Co-op (Internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
  • Young Professionals participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.

Ireland: Re-entry visa requirements for children

The re-entry visa requirements for children under the age of 16 years will remain suspended until further notice.

Children under 16 who are currently resident in Ireland and who wish to re-enter,  must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian who holds an in-date residence permission. The adult accompanying the child must also provide appropriate documentation to prove they are the legal parent or guardian of the child in question.

Any child who is not currently residing in Ireland and wishes to enter the State can apply for an entry visa at their nearest VO or mission.

Malaysia: New ePass system

Effective 1 December 2022, companies registered with the Expatriate Services Division (ESD) must use the new ePass system for the renewal of an Employment Permit (EP) and related Dependant Pass (DP) and Long-Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP). The ePass will only be issued for renewals using the same passport.

The ePass will replace the physical pass endorsement sticker that is currently affixed into the passport and will be issued together with the Pass Approvals online.

The ePass is not applicable in the following situations. Instead, an endorsement sticker will continue to be affixed into the passport:

  • Change in passports during the renewal process;
  • Transfer of endorsement from old passport to new passport;
  • First time EP / DP / LTSVP approvals;
  • Professional Visit Pass (PVP) holders.

It is not yet known whether MDEC will introduce the ePass for its registered companies.

Philippines: Annual reporting period 2023

The government has announced that the annual reporting period for foreign nationals will run from 1 January to 1 March 2023.

Foreign nationals are required to report in person to the relevant office of the Bureau of Immigration – representatives are not allowed to report on behalf of foreign nationals (with a few limited exceptions).

Along with their valid passport, they must bring their original ACR I-card or paper-based ACR, or proof of a pending ACR I-Card application.

Foreign nationals aged under 14 years or above 60 years are exempted.

An annual report fee of 300 PHP is payable, along with a legal research fee of 10 PHP. Foreign nationals who fail to report in the prescribed period are subject to a fine of 200 pesos per month of delay, or up to 2000 PHP per year of delay.

Switzerland: Access to labour market restricted for Croatian nationals

The Federal Council has decided to restrict access to the Swiss labour market for Croatian nationals in 2023. The number of workers from Croatia has risen sharply in 2022 and now exceeds the threshold figure defined in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons.

The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) with the European Union was extended to Croatia through an additional protocol that came into force on 1 January 2017. The protocol provides for a phased opening of the Swiss labour market to Croatian nationals over a period of ten years. Since 1 January 2022, Croatian nationals have enjoyed full freedom of movement. The AFMP safeguard clause allows Switzerland to unilaterally reintroduce permit quotas for a limited period of time if immigration from Croatia exceeds a certain threshold. This threshold is reached when the number of permits issued in a given year – in this case 2022 – is more than ten per cent higher than the average of the previous three years (i.e. 2019-2021).

The demand for Croatian workers has been mainly in the manufacturing and construction industries (secondary sector) and in hospitality, trade and agency work (tertiary sector). In addition, there has been a rise in the number of Croatian workers in areas requiring higher qualifications, such as planning services, consulting and IT.

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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