Immigration Updates – 13th of January

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    General Updates

    Ireland

    Atypical Work Scheme

    Effective 1 January 2023, a number of changes to the Atypical Worker Scheme have been introduced.

    • The salary threshold for the Atypical Working Scheme will be revised from the current National Minimum Wage to align with the published salary requirement for a General Employment Permit (currently €30,000).
    • Permission under the scheme will continue to be granted for a period of 90 days
    • The 90 days of permission under the scheme can be used to support intermittent travel into and out of the State to a maximum of 90 days over a 6-month period
    • A cooling-off period of one month will apply from the end of the 6-month period before any new entry to Ireland under a subsequent AWS permission can occur.
    • A new application can be made during this one-month period, but the permission granted cannot be used until the month has passed. This will be identified on any subsequent permission letters granted.
    • The granting of any subsequent permission under the scheme will be contingent upon demonstrated compliance with the terms of the previous permission and that responsibility for demonstrating same rests solely upon the applicant or their agent in the form of evidence of landing and remaining in another jurisdiction by means of passport stamps.

    These amendments apply only to the “general” category of applications for permission under the Scheme (including the entertainment industry, biotech, pharmaceutical, and technology sectors) and have no impact on applications for permission to enter Ireland as frontline medical personnel or under other categories of permission available under the Scheme.

    Sea Fishers

    Immigration Services has confirmed that the Atypical Scheme for non-EEA Crew in the Irish Fishing Fleet is now closed following the agreement to transfer responsibility for work permissions in this sector to the Employment Permit system, as advised in November 2022.

    During the ongoing transitional period, Immigration Services has confirmed that all holders of a current valid permission to work as a non-EEA Crew member in the Irish Fishing Fleet expiring on or after 1 January 2023 will be granted a Stamp 4 immigration permission, on an exceptional basis.

    The granting of a Stamp 4 immigration permission is applicable to any individual non-EEA Crew member in the Irish Fishing Fleet who currently holds a valid IRP card expiring on or after 1 January 2023. On the basis of a permission granted to work as non-EEA fishing crew under the Scheme or to any individual holding a letter of permission under the Scheme issued on or after 3 October 2022 for the same purpose.

    Qualifying crew members are advised to make an appointment as soon as possible at their local GNIB Office so that a Stamp 4 immigration permission can be awarded and an updated IRP card issued. The standard fee of €300 will apply, therefore customers may opt to renew closer to expiry of their current Stamp 1 permission. When attending for appointment at their local GNIB office they should present their current in-date passport, their most recent valid in-date letter of permission under the Scheme and their current IRP card (if applicable). Dublin based non-EEA nationals should apply for renewal of their permission online here: https://inisonline.jahs.ie

    Please note that any non-EEA Crew in the Irish Fishing Fleet, whose AWS permission expired on or before the 31 December 2022 and who has not renewed their permission will not benefit from this notice and the granting of a Stamp 4 immigration permission.

    United Kingdom

    The first ballot of the 2023 Youth Mobility Scheme opens at 00:01am on Tuesday 17 January and closes at 00:01am on Thursday 19 January, with 800 ballot places available per country.

    Most applicants are usually chosen during the January ballot and the remaining places are allocated in the July ballot.

    Applicants for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa must enter the ballot if they are from Hong Kong (SAR), Japan, South Korea or Taiwan.

    British Overseas Citizen, British Overseas Territories Citizen or British National (Overseas) do not need to enter the ballot.

    There’s a different ballot for applicants for the India Young Professionals Scheme, details of which are not yet published.

    Applicants who receive an email notifying them that they have been successful in the ballot have 30 days to submit their application and pay the visa fee. After paying, they have 90 days to book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to provide fingerprints and a photograph. A decision will be notified within three weeks after this appointment and, if the application is successful, the visa holder has 90 days to enter the UK.

    Applicants who are unsuccessful in the first ballot can enter the second ballot in July 2023.

    COVID-19 Updates

    Austria

    Effective 7 January 2023, travellers from China need to show a negative PCR test (valid for 48 hours) before boarding the plane 

    Belgium

    Effective 8 January 2023, travellers from China need to show a negative COVID-19 test (valid for 48 hours) before boarding the plane 

    Cyprus

    Effective 15 January 2023, all passengers arriving in Cyprus from China are required to present a negative result of a PCR test carried out within 48 hours before entry.

    Germany

    Effective 9 January 2023:

    • China is designated as an “area of variants of concern in which a variant of concern threatens to emerge”;
    • Travellers arriving from China, regardless of vaccination status, must present a rapid antigen test carried out not more than 48 hours before scheduled entry, or a PCR test carried out not more than 48 hours before scheduled departure;
    • If requested to do so, travellers aged 12 or over must submit to a PoC antigen test directly on arrival in Germany. Testing is performed by the German authorities on a random basis. If a result is positive, it is followed up by a confirmatory test by means of nucleic acid (e.g., PCR) testing. In place of the PoC antigen test, a test based on nucleic acid testing may be taken directly.

    Greece

    The Greek government has decided to require travellers from China to present a negative result of a COVID-19 antigen or PCR test carried out no more than 48 hours before departure.

    Malta

    Effective 9 January 2023, travellers older than 11 years old and arriving from China must present a negative result of a COVID-19 antigen test carried out within 48 hours before to arrival.

    The Netherlands

    Effective 10 January 2023, travellers older than 11 years old and arriving from China whose final destination is the Netherlands with a direct flight must present a negative test result before boarding.

    • This does not apply to people who transfer/make a transfer in China.
    • The test result may have been issued on the basis of a NAAT(PCR)-test or an antigen test that is no more than 48 hours old at departure.
    • There are a number of exceptions.

    Portugal

    Effective 8 January 2023, travellers arriving from China are required to present a negative result of a COVID-19 antigen or PCR test carried out no more than 48 hours before departure, and are subject to random testing on arrival.

    Sweden

    Effective 7 January 2023, all travellers from China must be able to present a negative test result for ongoing COVID-19 infection upon arrival in Sweden, regardless of their vaccination status.

    • The test requirement applies to adults and children over the age of 12 who are third-country nationals.
    • There are certain exemptions from the test requirement, for example people with residence permits in Sweden, long-term residents of the EU and EEA, and travellers with imperative family reasons.
    • The entry restrictions do not apply to Swedish citizens.
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