Immigration Updates – 21st of October

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    General Updates

    Belgium

    Effective 1 January 2023, the following immigration salary thresholds will apply in the Belgian regions:

    Permit TypeBrusselsWalloniaFlanders
    Highly-skilled employees€47,174€47,175€45,984
    Highly-skilled employees with local Belgian contract under 30 years old or employed as a nurseN/AN/A€36,787.20
    Management personnel€78,704€78,704€73,574
    Intra-Corporate Transferee (specialist)€48,798€48,799€45,984
    Intra-Corporate Transferee (trainee)€30,499€30,499€45,984
    Intra-Corporate Transferee (Management)€60,998€60,998€73,574
    EU Blue Card€60,998€60,998€55,181
    TraineeMin. salary (sector)Min. salary (sector)Sufficient means of existence
    Medium-skilled employees in bottleneck professionsN/AN/AMin. salary (sector)

    Note:

    • Employers applying for new or renewal work authorizations on or after 1 January 2023 must increase the salary to comply with the new threshold. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary requirement will be rejected.
    • Employers with pending applications as of 1 January 2023 must increase the salary to comply with the new threshold and must inform the regional authorities.
    • Employers must also ensure that the salaries of existing employees already working in Belgium comply with the new thresholds as of 1 January 2023.

    Sweden

    Effective 1 November 2022, applicants for a work permit or a residence permit for self-employed persons must personally show their passport before the Swedish Migration Agency can make a decision.

    The new requirement affects both people who are applying for a residence permit for the first time and those who are applying for an extended residence permit, but it applies only to applicants using a passport that they have not previously shown to the Swedish Migration Agency, a Swedish embassy, or the consulate-general. Those applying with a passport that they have already shown in connection with a personal visit, do not need to show it again.

    If the Swedish Migration Agency wants to see an applicant’s passport, they will contact the applicant with information about how to book an appointment. Applicants should not send their passports.

    Those who need an entry visa or residence permit card to travel to Sweden will usually have their fingerprints taken and be photographed when they present their passport at an embassy or consulate-general.

    Their family members must also show their passports before they can get a residence permit. Children under the age of five are not required to show their passport in person, but if a child needs a residence permit card, he or she must the main applicant to be photographed.

    Those applying for a permanent residence permit and meeting the requirements to be granted one do not need to show their passport.

    United Kingdom

    The UK Home Office has published a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules. Among the changes are the following:

    • The Seasonal Worker visa route is being expanded to include roles in the poultry sector. Poultry workers under occupation code 5431 (butcher) or 5433 (for example, processor) must be paid at least £25,600 each year. All other poultry workers must be paid £10.10 for each hour worked and receive at least 30 hours’ paid employment each week.
    • The Ukraine Extension Scheme is extended to allow Ukrainian nationals who obtain permission to enter or stay in the UK for any period between 18 March 2022 and 16 May 2023 to apply and obtain 36 months’ permission to stay in the UK. A new application deadline of 16 November 2023 is also introduced.
    • The abolition of the requirement for migrants to register with the police, announced previously, is formalized.
    • Citizens of Colombia, Guyana, and Peru are being made non-visa nationals. This means they will no longer have to obtain a visit visa before coming to the UK and can be examined and granted entry on arrival.
    • Children of status holders under the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) route can apply to the BN(O) route independently (without forming part of their parents’ household or apply at the same time as them) if they have at least one BN(O) parent, are aged 18 or over, were born on or after 1 July 1997 and reside in Hong Kong, the UK or the Crown Dependencies.
    • In the Global Talent category:
      • The evidential requirements for arts and culture applications are being amended to require applicants to provide letters of support from organisations or individuals who have directly worked with the applicant and can therefore comment on their skills through personal experience rather than via reputation.
      • The evidential requirements for digital technology applications are being amended to require applicants to provide letters of support from individuals who have detailed knowledge of applicant’s work over a period of at least 12 months.
    • In the Global Business Mobility routes:
      • A new rule is being added to enable permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand to qualify under the Service Supplier route where the services they provide are covered by the free trade agreements with those countries. In addition, Australian nationals and permanent residents of Australia providing services under the free trade agreement with Australia will be able to stay for up to 12 months at a time in the Service Supplier route. These changes are required to implement commitments the UK has now taken in those free trade agreements.
      • New rules are being added to the Service Supplier route to ensure provisions that enact commitments the UK has taken in trade agreements can only be used where an agreement is in force or has been provisionally applied by the relevant parties to the agreement.

    COVID-19 Updates

    European Union

    • Effective 15 October 2022, the EU recognizes the equivalence of COVID-19 certificates issued by Brazil.
      • Brazil is now connected to the EU system and their COVID-19 certificates will be accepted in the EU under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC).
      • Brazil has also agreed to accept the EUDCC for travel from the EU to Brazil.
      • So far, the following non-EU countries are participating in the EU Digital COVID Certificate system: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Bahrain, Benin, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malaysia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Vatican.

    Spain

    • Effective 21 October 2022, all COVID-19 health control measures for passengers from non-EU or Schengen countries are lifted.
      • Visitors from these countries are no longer required to present proof of full vaccination, recovery or a negative test result.
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