What's new in global

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Denmark, Poland, Russia, Taiwan and the United States.

Denmark: Updated Positive Lists

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has published updated Positive Lists which are effective 1 July 2023.

The new Positive List for People with a Higher Education includes 30 job titles, while the Positive List for Skilled Work includes 36 job titles.

The job titles on the Positive List for People with a Higher Education will be on the list for at least two years (until at least 30 June 2025). The job titles on the Positive List for Skilled Work will be on the list until at least 31 December 2023.

Poland: National minimum wage increase

On 1 July 2023, the Polish government increased the minimum wage in Poland to PLN 3600.  The monthly rate had previously been increased to PLN 3490 from 1 January 2023.

Also from 1 July 2023, the minimum hourly rate increased  to PLN 23.50. The hourly rate had previously been increased to PLN 22.80 from 1 January 2023.

Employers in Poland must pay all foreign national employees above the minimum wage.

Russia: HQS salary notifications due date

Salary notifications for Highly Qualified Specialists (HQS) are due by 31 July 2023.  Employers have until this date to report to the migration authorities the salaries of HQS foreign national employees for the first quarter of 2023 (1 April to 30 June).

Quarterly notifications must be submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) within 30 days of the end of each quarter, and the reported salary should be at least RUB 167,000 per calendar month or RUB 501,000 per quarter.

Violation of the established notification procedure may lead to administrative fines on the employer. Failure to pay the salary in the minimum amount established for HQS may lead to the company being banned from employing new HQS employees for two years.

The Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) program allows companies in Russia to employ foreign national workers for up to three years (renewable) with various benefits including a simplified application process and exemption from quotas.

Taiwan: Visa-free entry program trial extended

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced a one-year extension of the trial visa-free entry program for nationals of Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines (New Southbound Policy partner countries). The extension will run from 1 August 2023 to 31 July 2024.

In addition, the Project for Simplifying Visa Regulations for High-end Group Tourists from Southeast Asian Countries will continue for a further year until 31 December 2024. This scheme permits tourists from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to visit Taiwan with an electronic visa when travelling in a group of five or more via an accredited travel agency.

United States: Online rescheduling of biometrics appointments

On 28 June 2023, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched online rescheduling of biometrics appointments.

Previously, benefit requestors and accredited representatives could only request to reschedule a biometric services appointment by calling the USCIS Contact Center. Now, USCIS online account holders can reschedule most requests for biometric services appointments without having to call the Contact Center.

The biometric services appointment rescheduling tool can be accessed regardless of whether the pending case was submitted online or by mail. Alternatively, individuals will still have the option to call the USCIS Contact Center to reschedule an appointment.

The new tool, however, cannot be used to reschedule an appointment that already has been rescheduled two or more times, is within 12 hours, or that has already passed.

Untimely requests:

USCIS has also issued guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to explain that the agency may consider an untimely request to reschedule a biometric services appointment and the effect of failing to appear for an appointment, and to explain how the agency considers a timely request to reschedule a biometric services appointment for “good cause.”

Good cause exists when the reschedule request provides sufficient reason for the benefit requestor’s inability to appear on the scheduled date. Sufficient reasons may include, but are not limited to:

  • Illness, medical appointment, or hospitalization;
  • Previously planned travel;
  • Significant life events such as a wedding, funeral, or graduation ceremony;
  • Inability to obtain transportation to the appointment location;
  • Inability to obtain leave from employment or caregiver responsibilities; and
  • Late delivered or undelivered biometric services appointment notice.

USCIS only accepts untimely rescheduling requests made to the USCIS Contact Center and does not accept untimely requests to reschedule by mail or in-person at a USCIS office or through the myUSCIS online rescheduling tool.

Expert advice on global immigration

If you need support with any aspect of global 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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