Immigration Updates – 29th of April

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    General Updates

    Czech Republic

    Effective 1 May 2022, the minimum gross salary for holders of EU Blue card increases to CZK 56,758.50 per month (up from CZK 53,417 per month).

    The Blue Card is an EU-wide long-term residence permit for highly skilled employees with a local job offer in the destination country and a salary at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary for that position. The Blue Card offers some concrete benefits to the applicant. The applicant must have completed a university degree or higher vocational education of at least three years.

    The Blue Card is issued in line with the employment contract duration plus two months, with a maximum validity of two years (renewable).

    In October 2021, the European Council adopted a revised blue card directive, which must be adopted by member states during 2022 and 2023. The new rules, which will replace the existing ones, further harmonise the conditions of entry and residence for highly qualified workers and increase the attractiveness of the EU blue card. In particular, they establish more inclusive admission criteria, facilitate intra-EU mobility and family reunification, simplify procedures for recognised employers, grant a very high level of access to the labour market and extend the scope to include non-EU family members of EU citizens and beneficiaries of international protection.

    EU member states will be able to maintain national schemes aimed at highly qualified workers in parallel with the EU blue card scheme. However, the new rules will introduce a number of provisions to ensure a level playing field so that EU blue card holders and their families are not at a disadvantage compared to holders of national permits.

    Ireland

    On 22 April 2022, the Irish government the extension of the availability of the 5-year multi-entry short-stay visa option to eligible applicants from all visa required countries.

    Until now, Ireland has offered 1, 2 or 3-year multi-entry visas, with the 5-year option only available to Chinese nationals (since 2019). A multi entry visa permits the holder to travel to Ireland on a number of occasions during the dates shown on the visa.

    In general, multi entry visas are only issued to an applicant who has shown a compliant Irish travel history. With the new changes being announced by the Minister today, people who have frequent travel to the UK, Schengen zone, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, and have observed the conditions of those visas will also be able to apply for the option of a multi-year visa (of any duration from 1 to 5 years), even if they have no previous Irish travel history.

    A multi entry visa may also be approved for some business travellers, under certain conditions, who have no previous travel history to Ireland. The standard single entry visa option also remains available.

    COVID-19 Updates

    Belgium

    • Effective 23 April 2022, the following regions are newly assigned a dark red colour code:
      • France: Occitanie
      • Luxembourg: Luxembourg
    • The full list of colour codes for the EU countries and regions is here.
    • Third countries on the white list:
      • Bahrain, Chile, China (dark red), Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kuwait, Macau, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay.
    • All other third countries that are not on the white list are designated dark red or grey.
    • As of 27 April 2022, there are no countries on the very high-risk countries list.

    Malta

    • Effective 2 May 2022:
      • The Passenger Locator Form is no longer required.
      • Red/Dark Red Lists will still apply.
      • Masks will no longer be mandatory except on flights, hospitals and in care homes
      • Quarantine Rules will also be reviewed, so that only the person who has tested positive will need to isolate for 7 days (given that a Negative Test Result is produced on Day 7, in which case the Quarantine will extend by a further 3 days, i.e., maximum 10 days). Persons living in the same household as a person who has tested positive, will no longer need to quarantine, unless he/she/they develop symptoms.

    Portugal

    • Effective 26 April 2022:
      • Travellers to Portugal, must present, before boarding, one of the following documents:
        • A negative result of a PCR test carried out up to 72 hours before departure; OR
        • A laboratory rapid antigen test carried out up to 24 hours before departure; OR
        • A valid EU digital COVID certificate (EUDCC) showing proof of vaccination, recovery or negative test; OR
        • A valid vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country under reciprocal conditions:
          • Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Benin, Cabo Verde, Colombia, El Salvador, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, the Vatican.
      • Passengers are no longer required to complete a Passenger Locator Card
      • Children aged 12 years and under are not required to present a test result or an EU Digital COVID Certificate.

    Switzerland

    • Effective 2 May 2022, all COVID-19 entry restrictions are lifted.
      • There is no longer any list of high-risk countries.
      • Travellers are no longer required to present proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test.
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