Latest updates in global

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Australia, Canada, the European Union and the United Arab Emirates.

Australia: Changes to Working Holiday visa

The relaxation of the six-month limitation for working holiday visa holders has been extended until 30 June 2023.  Previously, the relaxation of this limitation was in effect until 31 December 2022.

This change allows Working Holiday Makers to work with any one employer for the duration of their visa without requesting permission, and any work that is carried out before 1 July 2023 will not be counted towards the 6-month limitation period.

This means that from 1 July 2023 onwards, Working Holiday Makers may work for any employer for up to an additional 6 months even if they worked for that same employer before 1 July 2023.

Note that the visa must still be valid and the visa holder cannot overstay their visa if it expires before 1 July 2023.

Canada: Work permits for spouses and working-age children

The government has announced that the previously announced expansion of eligibility to work in Canada to spouses and working-age children for workers at all skill levels will start on 30 January 2023.

From that date, the following may be eligible for an open work permit:

  • The spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of
    • a work permit holder who
      • works in a job of any Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category (0 to 5), OR
      • is the principal applicant and has an open work permit (example: post-graduation work permit holders at all skill levels); OR
    • the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of an economic classes permanent resident applicant who holds a work permit.

Spouses and dependents of workers in a TEER 4 or 5 job under the low-wage stream of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are not yet eligible.

European Union: EES launch date delayed

The European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA) has announced that the planned date of entry into operation of the new Entry/Exit System (EES) of May 2023 is considered no longer achievable due to delays from the contractors.

The Agency is currently preparing a revised timeline that it will present for approval at the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council in March 2023.

The EES is an automated IT system for registering travellers from third-countries, both short-stay visa holders and visa exempt travellers, each time they cross an EU external border.

The EES will also be connected to the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) which will require non-EU visa exempt nationals to obtain a prior travel authorisation to enter the EU at a cost of €7. ETIAS is currently expected to open in November 2023.

United Arab Emirates: The new labour law employment contract deadline

All companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must ensure they are compliant with a new labour law affecting the issuance of employment contracts. All companies must comply by the deadline of 2 February 2023 or risk a sanction or block and the possibility of additional fines.

Announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the New Labour Law, Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 came into effect on 2nd February 2022. According to the new law, all employment contracts must now be issued on a limited term basis, not exceeding three years.

This means that unlimited employment contracts are no longer allowed, and any existing unlimited term employment contracts MUST be converted into a limited term contract by 2 February 2023.

The term of any employment contract can continue to be extended or renewed in accordance with an agreement between employer and employee and the new term shall be deemed as an extension and therefore added on when calculating the employee’s end of service.

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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