Global immigration news

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Denmark, Japan, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

Denmark: New application form for sideline employment and work permit for accompanying family

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has announced that, effective 14 February 2024, it will make a new printable application form available which is tailored to those who wish to apply for a work permit for ‘sideline employment’, or for a work permit as an accompanying family member because they have been offered a job within the same company as their sponsor.

The new form is called AR8. This form will replace the application forms AR1, AR3 and AR6/7, which have previously been used for these two categories.

Applicants must now use the new application form AR8 when applying for a work permit (but not a residence permit) in Denmark if:

  • they have a residence and work permit based on a job with a certain employer, and you would like to take up an additional job as ‘sideline employment’, or if
  • they already have (or are currently applying for) a residence permit as an accompanying family member to a person who either works or is about to work in Denmark, and they need a work permit because they have been offered a job by the same company that their family member (the sponsor) works for, or at a company that has a close connection to the company where their sponsor works.

Current holders of a work permit based on either of these two schemes can use the new AR8 form to apply for an extension of their work permit.

Please note that commuters cannot use the AR8 form. A commuter is a person who works in Denmark, but lives abroad. Commuters must continue to use the application forms AR1, AR3 or AR6/7.

Japan: Digital nomad visa forthcoming

It has been reported that Japan’s Immigration Services Agency has announced that it will introduce a six-month digital nomad visa in March 2024.  The final conditions, benefits and application procedure are not yet finalised but the following details have been reported:

The visa is non-extendable and the digital nomad will not be able to apply for another digital nomad visa within six months after leaving Japan. Holders are permitted to apply for a working visa while in Japan.

Eligible applicants must be working remotely for an employer outside of Japan and must have an annual income of at least JPY 10 million.  Applicants must also be from one of the 49 countries whose citizens are visa exempt for Japan, and must be from a country which has entered into a tax treaty with Japan. The digital nomad must also obtain traveller’s health insurance covering their stay.

A certificate of eligibility will not be required and the applicant can submit the application directly to the Japanese consulate with jurisdiction for their country of residence.

Digital nomads will not be considered residents of Japan so will not be able to open a bank account or rent long-term accommodation; but they will not be liable for tax in Japan.  They can be accompanied by their family members but cannot enrol their children in school in Japan.

The Immigration Services Agency is accepting public comment on the proposed plan. 

Norway: Closure of au pair scheme

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has announced that the government has decided to close the au pair scheme, effective 15 March 2024.

Applicants who have, by 15 March 2024, registered their application via and booked an appointment to hand in their application, may still be eligible for an initial au pair permit.

Current au pair permit holders may still apply to renew their permit to change host families until the two-year au pair permit period has expired.

South Africa: Draft immigration law changes published

On 8 February 2024, the South African government published draft amendments to the immigration regulations and requested public comments until 29 March 2024.

The key proposed changes are as follows:

  • A points-based work permit system is introduced, assessing applicants on their work experience, job offer, qualifications, age, language skills and :ability to adapt within the Republic”;
  • A new digital nomad visa category is proposed, with a three-year duration, which allows family to accompany the principal applicant and has a minimum income requirement;
  • The draft proposes a one-year critical skills visa which requires a job offer and proof that an application for professional registration has been submitted (rather than proof that professional registration has been granted);
  • Radiological reports would no longer be needed for the medical clearance process;
  • It is clarified that police clearance certificates are only needed for the last five years of residence;
  • It is clarified that spouse and children of South African permanent residents or citizens are permitted to change their status within the country;
  • Parents of South African children would also be allowed to change their status within South Africa.

Sweden: Proposal for a new minimum salary condition for work permits

The migration minister has received a report commissioned by the government, which proposes tighter conditions for labour migration.

Among the proposals being considered by the government are the following:

  • A new minimum salary requirement for non-EU workers. The report proposes that this should be set at the median national salary (currently SEK 34,200). The maintenance salary was increased in November 2023 from SEK 13,000 to SEK 27,360 (80% of the median salary).
  • Exceptions to the median salary rule. Exceptions could be made for certain occupations or regions with more acute labour shortages, and for new graduates.
  • Changes for highly qualified workers. The report proposes changes to facilitate EU blue card and intra-company transfer permit holders.
  • Exclusion of certain professions. it is proposed that the Swedish Migration Agency should annually inform the government about professions where abuse of the regulatory system is so great that the professions should be excluded from the possibility of being granted a work permit.

The changes to the immigration law are proposed to enter into force on 1 June 2025.

United Arab Emirates: New temporary work permit for medical professionals in Dubai

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched the Permit to Practice Initiative.

The initiative allows health facilities in Dubai to obtain a temporary permit for a healthcare professional who has not yet obtained their full licence.  The professional can then practice at the facility for up to three months.

The medical director of the health facility can apply for the permit to practice from the health facility’s account.

  • The temporary permit is non-renewable and non-transferable;
  • Healthcare professional can be granted a temporary permit to practice once only;
  • The permit duration is selected by the healthcare facility with a maximum permit period of three months;
  • The medical director can submit only one application at a time;
  • The facility is responsible for ensuring the availability of valid malpractice insurance to cover the professional obtaining the temporary permit;
  • The facility/medical director is liable for all clinical/administrative services provided by the professional obtaining the permit;
  • The Dubai Health Authority reserves the right to immediately suspend or cancel the temporary permit to practice without notice in cases where fraudulent information is provided;
  • The application is subject to DHA review and, if rejected, a refund is not applicable;
  • Draft applications that are inactive for over three months will be cleared from the account. A 15-day reminder will be sent to the registered mail.

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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