What's new in global
11 May 2023
This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Australia, Denmark, France, Peru, Qatar, Singapore and the United States.
Australia: New Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold
Effective 1 July 2023, the Australian Government will increase the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from AUD 53,900 to AUD 70,000.
The TSMIT has been paused for the last ten years. The new income threshold is assessed by the government to be approximately where the TSMIT should have been if it had been properly indexed over the previous decade.
The Government is also announcing that by the end of 2023, Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) short stream visa holders will have a pathway to permanent residency within the existing capped permanent program.
Denmark: Residence applications based on the Withdrawal Agreement
The deadline for submitting an application for residence based on the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK has been extended until 31 December 2023. SIRI will reopen the processing of pending applications that previously were put on hold.
The extension of the deadline for submitting an application applies to:
- Applicants who have submitted their applications too late – i.e., after the original deadline expired on 31 December 2021 – and therefore have received a refusal to process their application;
- Individuals who have not yet submitted an application.
The extended deadline for submitting an application does not apply to individuals who have already had an application processed and have received a refusal on the grounds that they did not meet the conditions of the Withdrawal Agreement. These individuals will therefore not be able to have their application processed again.
Applications submitted after the 31 December 2021 which are still being processed by SIRI, will be processed based on the extended deadline. This means that they will be considered to have been submitted on time.
Applicants whose applications have been refused processing by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) due to late submission and who have an appeal pending with the Immigration Appeals Board, will be contacted by the board.
Applicants whose applications have been refused processing by both SIRI and the Immigration Appeals Board due to late submission or who have not appealed the rejection to the Immigration Appeals Board, can now ask SIRI to have the case reopened, based on the extended deadline.
It continues to be a requirement to meet the conditions for residence based on the Withdrawal Agreement including legal residence in Denmark before 31 December 2020.
France: Increased minimum legal salary requirements
Effective 1 May 2023, the French government has increased the minimum legal salary requirement (SMIC) to EUR 1747.20 gross per month, or EUR 11.52 gross per hour (up 2.2% from January 2023).
The SMIC is the minimum legal salary for all workers in France, and it affects the minimum salary thresholds for some types of work permit:
- Talent Passport – Employee on Assignment: Gross annual pay of at least 1.8 times the statutory national minimum wage (SMIC), i.e., €37,739.52.
- Talent Passport – Qualified Employee/Employee of an Innovative Company: Gross annual pay of at least twice the statutory national minimum wage (SMIC), i.e., €41,933.
The salary threshold for the “EU Blue Card” version of the Talent Passport, for highly skilled employees, is not calculated using the SMIC, but is 1.5 times the average annual gross salary set by decree, which equals €53,836.50 as of 1 May 2023.
Each year, the SMIC is upgraded annually by decree on 1 January, which takes into account the change in inflation observed for the 20% of households with the lowest incomes. In addition, each increase of at least 2% in the consumer price index is automatically followed by a proportional increase in the minimum wage.
Peru: New temporary residence and work visa for nationals of Andean countries
The government has passed amendments to the immigration rules which will create a new temporary residence and work visa for nationals of Andean countries.
The new visa for Bolivian, Colombian and Ecuadorean nationals under the Andean Immigration Statute will be valid for two years, with similar benefits to the Mercosur visa.
Moreover, the new regulations will allow Bolivian, Colombian and Ecuadorian national tourists to apply to extend their stay for up to 90 additional calendar days beyond the initial 90 days permitted stay period.
Finally, nationals of Mercosur countries (Argentinian, Bolivian, Brazilian, Chilean, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Paraguayan, Peruvian, and Uruguayan nationals) will be able to apply for and collect a Mercosur visa at a Peruvian consulate in their home country. Currently, they can only apply for and collect a Mercosur visa in Peru.
The date of implementation of these new regulations is yet to be confirmed.
Qatar: Hayya platform extended for more visa application types
Qatar Tourism has expanded the use of its Hayya platform to cover applications for tourist visas and other visa types. Hayya was initially launched for visitors to the World Cup 2022, but can now be used for the following visa types:
- Tourist Entry Visa (A1);
- GCC Resident Entry Visa (A2);
- Entry Visa (A3) with Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA): The Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is applicable to visa and residency holders of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and/or Schengen;
- Entry Visa for Companion of GCC Citizen (A4):This visa type is applicable to GCC Citizens who would like to bring companions during their travel.
- Hayya with Me: Those who obtained a Hayya Card during the World Cup (the validity of which has been extended until January 2024) can invite up to three family members or friends via Voucher Codes to visit Qatar.
Tourists who require a visa to enter Qatar can apply through the Hayya Platform at www.hayya.qa or via the smartphone application.
Singapore: Visa free entry for some Saudi nationals
Effective 1 June 2023, Saudi nationals with passports issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will no longer need to apply for an entry visa to enter Singapore.
Other than holders of Saudi diplomatic passports, who are already exempted from Singapore visa requirements, all other Saudi nationals need to apply for an entry visa if they intend to enter Singapore before 1 June 2023.
There is strictly no refund of the visa processing fee for those who have already submitted or received the outcome of their entry visa applications.
United States: Important compliance deadline for employers
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have announced that employers will have 30 days to reach compliance with Form I-9 requirements after the COVID-19 flexibilities end on 31 July 2023. These flexibilities were first announced in March 2020 and subsequently extended throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. DHS encourages employers who have been using those temporary flexibilities to plan ahead to ensure that all required physical inspection of identity and employment eligibility documents is completed by 30 August 2023.
In March 2020, ICE announced that it would defer the requirement that employers review employees’ identity and employment authorization documents in the employees’ physical presence, instead employers to complete this review remotely (e.g., over video link, fax, or email) and to enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical examination delay, with the expectation that physical inspection would occur within three business days after normal operations resumed.
In October 2022, DHS and ICE extended the flexibilities until 31 July 2023. They have now clarified that employers have until 30 August 2023 to perform all required physical examination of identity and employment eligibility documents for those individuals hired on or after 20 March 2020 who have only received a virtual or remote examination under the flexibilities.
On 18 August 2022, DHS issued a proposed rule that would allow alternative procedures for the examination of identity and employment eligibility documents. The public comment period closed on 17 October 2022. DHS is currently reviewing public comments and plans to issue a final rule later in 2023.
United States: COVID-19 vaccine requirements to end from 12 May
Effective 12 May 2023, the vaccine requirements for international air travellers will end.
Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will no longer require non-US travellers entering the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination upon request.
Until 11 May 2023:
- Nonimmigrant foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country. Limited exceptions apply.
- Non-US nationals seeking to enter via land ports of entry and ferry terminals from Canada or Mexico (for essential and non-essential reasons) are required to present proof of vaccination.
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.