Immigration Updates – 22nd of September

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Czechia

    Updated medical insurance requirements

    Effective 20 September 2023, foreign national applicants for a long-term visa or stay are permitted to arrange comprehensive travel and medical insurance with any insurance provider authorised in Czechia. Previously, insurance could only be obtained from Pojišťovna VZP.

    Moreover, the contracted limit for one insured accident must now be at least EUR 400,000, rather than EUR 60,000 as previously.

    Denmark

    Extended deadline for Brexit residence applications

    The deadline for submission of applications for residence documents under the Withdrawal Agreement between EU and the United Kingdom has been extended to 31 December 2023.

    The extended deadline applies to individuals who have not previously submitted an application. It also applies to applicants who submitted an application after the original deadline expired on 31 December 2021 and whose application was therefore not processed. Eligible applicants will not be individually notified that they should apply.

    British citizens and their family members are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement if they had legal residence in Denmark in accordance with the EU rules on free movement before 31 December 2020.

    Applications should be submitted according to the online procedure outlined here.

    Denmark

    The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has published updated income statistics which will take effect 1 October 2023.

    The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) uses income statistics made by the Confederation of Danish Employers (DA) in the case processing of applications to decide if an offered job is within the Danish standards for salary. This applies to the Pay Limit Scheme, and the Fast Track Scheme, among other routes.

    The new income statistics contain information from the second quarter of 2023 and will take effect for applications submitted from 1 October 2023. In the future it is expected that the income statistics will be updated each quarter and that the next update will take effect from 1 January 2024. 

    SIRI will usually assume that the salary corresponds to Danish standards, and will not make further assessment, if it is stated in the application form and employment contract that:

    • The employer is covered by a collective agreement though a membership of an employers’ association.
    • The employment is covered by a collective agreement in the relevant sector.
    • The salary is at least DKK 67,812.50 per month (2023 level). 

    If the above-mentioned terms are not documented in the employment contract, SIRI will assess whether the salary offered corresponds to Danish standards, using the income statistics from the DA as a guideline.

    Applications for a residence and work permit after 1 October 2023 will be evaluated according to the income statistics for the second quarter of 2023. 

    Applications between 1 August 2023 and 30 September 2023 will be evaluated according to the income statistics from the first quarter of 2023. 

    Finland

    Immigration service points can now be used by citizenship applicants and new Enter Finland users

    Effective immediately, individuals can avoid visiting a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in more circumstances.

    Customers are no longer required to visit a service point to prove their identity if they use Enter Finland

    • to apply for Finnish citizenship (and their children are not applying at the same time); or
    • to apply for an extended permit, a new residence permit card or a new residence card and they submit the application from a new Enter Finland account (i.e. a first-time online application).

    Previously, avoiding a visit to a service point has been possible for customers who apply for an extended permit, a new residence permit card or residence card if they have had an Enter Finland account and have previously used it to submit an application.

    To avoid visiting a service point, applicants must log in to Enter Finland using strong authentication (using their Finnish online banking ID, mobile certificate or citizen certificate). If they have previously created an account with an email address, they should change the login method to strong authentication. They must also submit a photograph retrieval code from the photo shop where they had their passport taken (if relevant) and pay the processing fee before sending the application.

    Ireland

    Irish Resident permit cards for Temporary Protection beneficiaries

    The Department of Justice has begun a project to issue Irish Resident Permit (IRP) cards to beneficiaries of Temporary Protection in a phased manner.

    The Department of Justice is currently in the process of contacting, in phases, Ukrainians and third country nationals who have been granted Temporary Protection by email to seek proof of current address in order to issue IRP cards. Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection are not required to contact the Department until requested.

    Sweden

    Minimum salary increase postponed

    The Migration Agency has postponed an increase in the minimum salary requirement for work permit holders until 1 November 2023. This was originally scheduled for 1 October 2023.

    The required monthly salary will be more than doubled from SEK 13,000 to SEK 27,360, which is 80% of the median wage in Sweden.

    For existing work permit holders, the new requirement only applies if they apply for an extension after the change, or if they apply for an extension before the change but the Migration Agency only assesses the application after the change.

    The increase does not affect holders of EU ICT Permits or EU Blue Cards or seasonal workers, for whom different salary thresholds apply.

    United Kingdom

    Georgians and Russians require transit visas

    Effective 8 September 2023, the UK government has amended the Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) Order 2014 to require citizens of Georgia and Russia to obtain a transit visa to pass through the UK without entering while transiting to another country.

    This amendment, via a statutory instrument, took effect one day after it was laid before Parliament, rather than after the usual 21-day scrutiny period. The government explained that there were concerns that giving notice of introducing a visa requirement may have triggered a substantial increase in Georgian and Russian nationals travelling to the UK and potentially claiming asylum on arrival, before the new transit visa regime came into force.

    However, during a 28-day transition period until 5 October 2023, nationals from these countries can transit through the UK without a Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV), if their travel was booked on or before 8 September 2023 and who arrive on or before 5 October 2023.

    The government states that the amendment will prevent these nationals from travelling to the UK on the pretence of transiting but claiming asylum on arrival and that, since 2018, Georgian and Russian nationals have consistently ranked top in the nationalities abusing the UK’s transit provisions to claim asylum.

    The Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) Order 2014 was previously amended, effective 20 July 2023, to require citizens of Dominica, Honduras, Namibia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu to obtain a transit visa to pass through the UK without entering while transiting to another country. In that case also, a 21-day scrutiny period was not applied, for similar reasons, and a transition period was allowed. A Visa Regime was imposed on citizens of those countries, requiring them to obtain a visa to enter the UK.

    United Kingdom

    Increased immigration fees

    The previously-announced Increases to immigration and nationality fees are set to come into effect on 4 October 2023, following legislation laid in Parliament on 15 September 2023.

    The changes mean that the cost for a visit visa for less than six months is rising by £15 to £115, while the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the UK will rise by £127 to £490, to equal the amount charged for in-country applications.

    On 13 July 2023, the government announced a 15% increase in the cost of most work and visit visas, and an increase of at least 20% in the cost of priority visas, study visas and certificates of sponsorship.

    The changes include:

    • Fees for up to six months, and for two-, five- and ten-year visit visas;
    • The majority of fees for entry clearance and certain applications for leave to remain in the UK including those for work and study;
    • Fees for indefinite leave to enter and indefinite leave to remain;
    • Convention travel document and stateless person’s travel document;
    • Health and Care visa fees;
    • Fees in relation to certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of acceptance for studies;
    • The in and out of country fee for the super priority service and the out of country fee for the priority service.  The settlement priority service will reduce so it is aligned with the cost of using the priority service;
    • Applications to Register and Naturalise as a British Citizen;
    • The fee for the User Pays Visa Application service.

    Subject to Parliamentary approval, the immigration and nationality fees will increase from 4 October 2023. These changes do not include the planned increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which is scheduled to be introduced later in 2023.

    A full list of the new fees can be found here.

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