Immigration Updates – 27th of October

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Updated calculation of residence under short-term track

    SIRI has updated the guidelines for calculating residence under the short-term track, within the Fast Track Scheme.

    Under the short-term track, applicants can be granted a residence and work permit that will last for up to 90 days. The update provides further information on how to calculate the distribution of the 90 days across these several stays.

    When calculating the multiple stays within 90 days, the method being used is referred to as a ‘rolling’ calculation. This means that the method only accounts for the number of days of residence within a 365-day period. When calculating the period, the count starts from the first day that your permit is to be valid, and is then counted 365 days back in time.

    Applicants who have used a calculation of a short-term stay which is attached to their first entry into Denmark in connection to a pending application under the short-term track can contact SIRI no later than 1 December 2023.

    European Union

    New ETIAS timeline confirmed

    The European Council has announced a new timetable for the implementation of the Entry/Exit system and the ETIAS online travel authorisation system.

    The Entry/Exit system will be ready to enter into operation in Autumn 2024 and ETIAS will be ready to enter into operation in Spring 2025.

    The Council adopted the regulation for the Entry/Exit System (EES) in November 2017. EES will electronically register the time and place of entry and exit of third-country nationals, and calculate the duration of their authorised stay. It will replace the obligation to stamp the passports of third-country nationals which is applicable to all Member States.

    The Council adopted the regulation establishing the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) in September 2018. ETIAS is a pre-travel authorisation system for visa exempt travellers. Its key function is to verify if a third country national meets entry requirements before travelling to the Schengen area. The information submitted, via an online application ahead of their arrival at borders enabling pre-travel assessment of irregular migration risks, security or public health risk checks. It will be similar to existing systems in place in the US, Canada and Australia, among others.


    New online information service

    The Directorate of Immigration has launched a new website providing immigration information.

    The “Service Web” offers detailed information about visas, residence permits, citizenship, international protection and application tracking, as well as step-by-step guides to visa and permit requirements, frequently asked questions and an online enquiry form.


    Stamp 4 work permission expanded

    On 23 October 2023, the government announced that holders of Stamp 4 immigration permission are now eligible to apply for civil service jobs.

    Stamp 4 is an immigration permission allowing work without an employment permit. It is issued for two years and is renewable. It may be granted after a foreign national has had permission to work in Ireland with a Critical Skills Employment Permit for two years, with an employment permit for five years or as a researcher for two years.

    United Kingdom

    Electronic Travel Authorisation now available for Qatari nationals

    Effective 25 October 2023, applications are open for the electronic travel authorisation (ETA) required for nationals of Qatar travelling to the UK on or after 15 November 2023.

    Nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates travelling to the UK on or after 22 February 2024 will also require an ETA, and will be able to apply from 1 February 2024.

    The ETA scheme will eventually be rolled out to all nationalities who do not need a visa for short stays (up to six months) to the UK for tourism, visiting family and friends, business or short-term study; for stays of up to three months on the Creative Worker visa concession; and for transiting through the UK.

    An ETA permits multiple journeys and is valid for two years or until the holder’s passport expires – whichever is sooner.

    • The easiest way to apply for an ETA is through the ‘UK ETA app’. Individuals can also search for ‘Apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation to come to the UK’ on GOV.UK if they do not have access to a smartphone.  
    • To apply for an ETA, individuals need to:
      • Pay the £10 fee 
      • Provide contact and passport details 
      • Provide a valid photo, complying with our rules for digital photos on GOV.UK 
      • Answer a set of questions.
    • Most applicants will receive a response within three working days, with many receiving a result sooner.  
    • If an individual’s ETA application is refused they will need to apply for a visa if they wish to seek permission come to the UK. 
    • British and Irish citizens will not require an ETA.  

    Immigration Health Surcharge Increase Confirmed

    In July 2023, the government announced it intended to increase the rates of the immigration health surcharge. On 18 and 19 October 2023, the government laid before parliament the Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2023, which confirms that the increase will take effect on 16 January 2024.

    As previously announced, the annual cost of the Health Charge will increase from £470 to £776 for students, dependents of students, applicants for entry clearance as a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme Applicant) and persons under 18 years of age. For all other applications made in respect of a person aged 18 or over at the date of the application, the Health Charge will increase from £624 to £1035.

    The order also clarifies that applicants who are applying for the Stateless immigration route are exempt from the requirement to pay the Health Charge. This will put applicants in a similar position to migrants who are granted refugee status.

    The order also formalises existing exemptions under the Ukraine Schemes. The Ukraine Schemes were launched in March 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine to support migrants displaced by the war in Ukraine to either enter or remain in the UK.

    In its own explanatory memorandum, the government admits that these substantial increases will likely have a significant impact on businesses, charities and volunteer bodies. “The indirect cost to businesses is estimated in the order of tens of millions of pounds per year”.

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