Immigration Updates – 6th of May

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    General Updates

    European Union

    The European Commission has proposed lifting visa requirements for nationals of Kuwait and Qatar.

    Under this proposal, once agreed, Qatar and Kuwait nationals holding biometric passports would no longer need a visa when travelling to the EU for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period for business, tourism or family purposes.

    It is now for the European Parliament and the Council to examine the proposal and decide whether to grant visa-free travel to the EU to nationals of Qatar and Kuwait. If the proposal is adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, the EU will negotiate a visa waiver agreement with Qatar and Kuwait, respectively, to ensure full visa reciprocity for EU citizens.

    Visa-free travel to the EU for nationals of Qatar and Kuwait will start applying once the visa waiver agreement enters into force.

    The EU currently has visa-free regimes in place with more than 60 countries and territories. EU law lists the non-EU countries whose nationals need visas to travel to the EU and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement.

    Visa-exempt travellers visiting the Schengen area will be subject to the EU Entry/Exit System(EES) as of second half of 2022 and to the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) as of May 2023.

    Under the visa exemption, travellers can visit all EU Member States except for Ireland, as well as the four Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The visa exemption is independent from possible work permit requirements in EU Member States. It does not provide for the right to work in the EU, although Member States have the possibility to allow travellers to conduct a paid activity during their stay

    Sweden

    On 20 April 2022, the Swedish parliament adopted changes to the Aliens Act which will enter into force on 1 June 2022.

    The key changes include the following:

    • The introduction of a new type of residence permit for highly qualified job seekers and entrepreneurs.
    • The removal of the current maximum limit for the permit period of 48 months (72 months under special circumstances).
    • Measures to counteract the expulsion of skilled workers – labour migrants should no longer be expelled from the country as a result of minor mistakes.
    • The requirement to have an employment contract for a work permit to be issued.
    • The obligation for employers to report if terms of employment are changed or become less favourable.
    • The introduction of a maintenance requirement for family member immigration in connection with foreign labour.

    COVID-19 Updates

    Belgium

    • Effective 30 April 2022, the following regions are newly assigned a dark red colour code:
    • Spain: Ceuta, Murcia, Cantabria, Navarre
    • Finland: West Finland
    • 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 3 May 2022, there are no countries on the very high-risk countries list.

    Bulgaria

    • Effective 1 May 2022, all COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted.
      • Inbound travellers are no longer required to present proof of COVID-19 status (i.e., certificates of vaccination, recovery or negative test).

    Croatia

    • Effective 1 May 2022, all COVID-related entry restrictions are lifted.

    Italy

    • Effective 1 May 2022, the passenger locator form is no longer required. The remaining rules for entry to Italy are extended until 31 May 2022:
    • Travellers to Italy from any country are required to:

    • Submit one of the COVID-19 green certificates or other equivalent certification showing one of the following:
      • Completion of the primary vaccination series or booster dose according to the vaccination plans of the countries of release with vaccines authorized by the European Medical Agency (primary series validity 9 months and booster dose without predefined limit) 
      • Recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection (valid for 180 days from positive swab test)
      • Recovery after the administration of the first dose of vaccine or at the end of the primary vaccination series or following the administration of the relevant booster dose
      • Rapid antigen or molecular (PCR) swab test, respectively within 48 or 72 hours before entry into Italy.
    • Travel from/to the Republic of San Marino and the State of the Vatican City is not subjected to any restrictions.
    • COVID-19 green certificates of successful vaccination are accepted in one of the following languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish or German. If submitted in another language, they must be accompanied by a sworn translation into Italian. Foreign certifications of recovery must be accompanied by a sworn translation into Italian.

    Lithuania

    • Effective 1 May 2022, all pandemic-related restrictions on foreign arrivals are lifted.
      • There is no ban on the entry of foreigners;
      • There is no requirement to complete the passenger questionnaire on the NVSC website;
      • There is no COVID-19 testing requirement, regardless of vaccination or health status.
      • There is no requirement to self-isolate.

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