Immigration Updates – 15th of December

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Denmark

    Authorities publish updated income statistics applicable from 1 January 2024.

    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, the Positive List and the Fast Track Scheme, among other routes.

    The new income statistics contain information from the third quarter of 2023 and will take effect for applications submitted from 1 January 2024. It is expected that the income statistics will be updated each quarter and that the next update will take effect from 1 April 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 31 December 2023 will be evaluated according to the income statistics for the third quarter of 2023. 

    Applications between 1 October 2023 and 31 December 2023 will be evaluated according to the income statistics from the second quarter of 2023. 

    Finland

    Processing backlog in family applications

    The processing of application files on the basis of family ties is currently backlogged. Currently, around 11,800 applications are awaiting a decision.

    The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) notes that the number of applications has increased dramatically over the last two years. In 2021, there were around 26,000 applications based on family ties, whereas in 2022 the figure was around 32,000. This year, the number of pending applications is expected to rise to 40,000. The increase in applications is around 50% compared to 2021.

    However, Migri claims that the backlog does not affect the majority of applications based on family ties. In 2023, more than 60% of applications based on family ties have been decided in less than three months and 76% will be decided in less than six months from the date of application.

    The majority of applicants have received a positive decision. In 2022, a total of 17,476 decisions were taken on first residence permits based on family ties and 11,589 decisions on subsequent permits, totalling around 29,000 decisions. In 2023, around 35,000 decisions have already been made, and for the year as a whole, the estimate is 37,500 decisions. Of these, the proportion of positive decisions is around 93% for the first permits and around 96% for subsequent permits

    Migri offers the following reminders for applicants for a residence permit on the basis of family ties:

    1. Fill in the application carefully. 
    2. Have documents legalised before submitting the application. 
    3. If there are any changes in the family relationships, inform the Finnish Immigration Service. 
    4. Remember to renew the passport if it is about to expire.

    Ireland

    Immigration Services Delivery (ISD) has announced an initiative to facilitate Christmas travel

    Immigration Services Delivery (ISD)of the Department of Justice has acknowledged that persons seeking to renew their permissions to reside in Ireland are currently experiencing a backlog in processing of those renewals. Following the completion of the renewal process for a registration, it may take a further two weeks to receive an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card via post.

    To facilitate Non-EU/EEA nationals legally resident in the State who are required to renew their current permission and who wish to travel internationally during the Christmas and New Year period, the Minister for Justice is issuing a Travel Confirmation Notice.

    The Notice requests carriers to allow individuals to travel on their recently expired IRP card during the period from 06 December 2023 to 31 January 2024 if they have submitted an application to renew their residence permission in advance of the expiry date of their IRP card.

    • Persons should download and print this travel notice and present it, along with their expired IRP card, and proof of their renewal application (email confirmation that details the date of application) to immigration authorities and airlines if requested to do so.
    • ISD will advise all airlines and foreign missions of the Irish initiatives in place. However, it cannot force them to comply.
    • If you have to travel through a third country to return to Ireland it is a matter for that jurisdiction to require you to meet their immigration requirements including visa etc.
    • Travellers intending to use the travel notice should contact their carrier in advance of travel.
    • Further details on these arrangements can be found here.

    Switzerland

    Government launches consultation on digitisation of Schengen visas

    At a meeting on 8 December 2023, the Federal Council opened a consultation on the draft legislation required to implement the new EU regulation on Schengen visa applications.

    Under the regulation, Schengen visa applications will have to be submitted on an electronic EU platform (yet to be developed). The visas will be issued in digital form and replace the stickers issued in paper form until now.

    Some of the provisions of the new EU regulation must be incorporated into Swiss law before becoming applicable. This requires amendments to the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act (FNIA) relating to the future platform, the content of the national visa system and the delegation of new tasks, such as the verification of travel documents, to appointed third parties.

    There will be some exemptions from using the EU platform, for example in special humanitarian cases or where internet access is difficult. The Federal Council will define these exemptions at ordinance level at a later date.

    The consultation on the legislative amendments will run until 22 March 2024. The new European platform is scheduled for roll-out in January 2026, with Switzerland expected to connect to the platform in 2028 at the earliest.

    As part of the new submission procedure, the visa format must be redefined so that visas can be issued in digital form. At its meeting on 8 December, the Federal Council therefore also adopted an amendment to the Ordinance on Entry and the Granting of Visas (EGVO), providing for a digital visa in the form of a barcode in addition to a paper visa sticker.

    Digitalisation of the visa procedure will apply not only to short-stay Schengen visas, but also to visas for stays exceeding 90 days (‘national visas’). The change will come into force on 1 February 2024.

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