Immigration Updates – 5th of January

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Denmark

    Updated Positive Lists

    The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has updated the Positive Lists for people with a higher education and for skilled work. The new lists re applicable from 1 January 2024. 

    The Positive Lists are lists of professions experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals in Denmark. Those offered a job included in the Positive List can apply for a residence and work permit in Denmark based on the scheme.

    The new Positive List for People with a Higher Education includes 72 job titles, while the Positive List for Skilled Work includes 38.

    European Union

    Bulgaria and Romania to join Schengen area

    On 30 December 2023, the European Council decided to accept Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area, with air and sea border controls lifted from March 2024.

    Discussions on a further decision to lift controls at land borders will continue in 2024.

    Kosovans qualify for visa-free travel

    Effective 1 January 2024, Kosovo passport holders can travel to the EU without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Equally, EU citizens are able to travel to Kosovo without a visa.

    The proposal to grant visa free travel to Kosovo was approved by the European Union co-legislators in April 2023.

    The EU Member States covered by the visa waiver are:

    • the following EU Member States which are part of the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden;
    • the EU Member States which are not yet part of the Schengen area but do apply the EU acquis related to the EU visa lists Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania;

    The visa waiver also applies to the associated Schengen states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    Although Ireland is an EU Member State, it is not part of the Schengen Area, so the visa waiver does not apply.

    Kosovans can enter the EU as a tourist, to visit friends or family, to attend cultural or sports events, business meetings, for journalistic or media purposes, medical treatment, for short-term studies or training and any similar activities. However, the visa waiver does not apply to persons travelling for those who come to work in the EU.

    Finland

    Increased financial requirement for Schengen visas

    Effective 1 January 2024, Finland has increased the daily financial requirement for short-stay visitors to EUR 50 per day of stay (previously EUR 30). This financial requirement applies to visits of no more than 90 days. The financial requirement is raised as it has been lagging behind the cost of living.

    Also effective 1 January 2024, Finland has introduced a proof of sponsorship and/or accommodation form, which allows visa applicants to finance their visit using the funds of the inviting party. This applies Article 14.4 of the EU’s Visa Code.

    With the introduction of the proof of sponsorship, the fact that a Finnish citizen or a person residing in Finland with a residence permit undertakes to finance the travel of the visa applicant may be taken into account in the visa consideration. The inviting party must fill in a proof of sponsorship form to be attached to the visa application.

    Increased processing fees

    The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has announced an increase to certain of its processing fees, effective 1 January 2024.

    The key changes are as follows:

    • The processing fees for permanent residence permits will be different depending on whether you apply online in Enter Finland or submit a paper application. The fee for an online application for a permanent residence permit will be EUR 220. The processing fee for a paper application will be EUR 270. Before the changes, the fee was EUR 160 for both paper and online applications.
    • The processing fee for a citizenship application submitted online will be EUR 490. Previously, the fee was EUR 460.
    • The processing fee for an online application for a first residence permit for an employed person will be EUR 540. Previously, the fee was EUR 490. 
    • The processing fee for an online application for an extended permit will be EUR 170. Previously, the fee was EUR 160. 
    • The fee for renewing a residence permit card will be different depending on whether you submit the application online in advance or apply for a new card at a service point without having filled in an application form beforehand. The processing fee for an online application will be EUR 60. Without an online application, the processing fee will be EUR 75. Previously, the fee was EUR 54 in both cases.

    Russia

    Updated forms and new notification procedure

    Effective 1 January 2024, there are changes in the forms for applications and notifications concerning foreign employees submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as to the notification submission procedure.

    Forms

    The following new forms are available:

    • quarterly salary notification;
    • Notification of termination of an employment agreement with a foreign national;
    • Application for work permit issuance;
    • Application for work permit renewal;
    • Application for duplicate work permit issuance;
    • Application for work permit amendment;
    • Application by a foreign national for involvement as an HQS;
    • Notification of employment of a foreign national by an organization providing employment services for foreign nationals in Russia.

    Notification procedure

    A single electronic signature or an enhanced unqualified electronic signature should now be used for the notification of conclusion and termination of an employment agreement and for quarterly salary notifications.

    Previously, it was necessary to use an enhanced qualified electronic signature.

    Türkiye

    Visa-free travel extended to six more countries

    Effective 2 December 2023, citizens of Bahrain, Canada, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States can travel to Türkiye visa-free.

    The visa-free regime was extended in a decree published on that date in the official gazette of Türkiye.

    Ordinary passport holders from those six countries are now able to enter Turkey for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

    United Kingdom

    Fee increase for legalising public documents

    Effective 1 January 2024, the fees for the legalisation of UK public documents have increased. Legalised documents form the UK may be required for work visa applications and other procedures outside the UK.

    • The standard legalisation service in the UK has increased from GBP 30 to GBP 45.
    • The standard next-day fee has increased from GBP 30 to GBP 45.
    • A digital e-Apostille has increased from GBP 30 to GBP 35.
    • The urgent service in the UK has increased from GBP 75 to GBP 100.
    • The overseas service has increased from GBP 30 to GBP 45.
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