Immigration Updates – 8th of March

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Finland / Canada

    New youth mobility agreement

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland have announced that the Canada–Finland Youth Mobility Agreement, signed on 19 May 2023, took effect on 1 March 2024.

    This agreement will allow Canadian and Finnish nationals aged 18 to 35 to work and travel in each other’s country.

    International Experience Canada (IEC) enables working holidays between Canada and over 35 partner countries. Citizens of partner countries who do not have a job offer but want to work in more than one location and/or for more than one employer in Canada may qualify for an open work permit.

    Finland already has working holiday agreements in place with Australia (2002), New Zealand (2004) and Japan (2023). An individual applicant may be granted a residence permit on the basis of the agreement once on each of the three grounds (working holiday agreement, work or internship). Each time, a residence permit can be granted for up to a year


    Further new provisions for skilled workers now in force

    The second stage of the Skilled Immigration Act came into force in Germany on 1 March 2024. The first stage of the new regulations came into force in November 2023. The third stage from June 2024 will include the introduction of a job search opportunity card.  

    The recently effected second stage includes the following provisions:

    Skilled workers with practical work experience 

    Workers with two years’ practical experience in non-regulated careers are now able to work in Germany without needing to get official recognition for their qualifications. They only need to hold a degree or similar vocational qualification recognised by the country where the qualification was awarded. The vocational training must have lasted at least two years. Certain qualifications from German Chambers of Commerce Abroad may be valid.  

    Nurses and carers from non-EU states

    In future, people who have trained as nursing assistants for only one or two years will be able to take on permanent jobs in the healthcare system in Germany. This was previously only possible for nurses who had completed three years of training. The condition for this is that applicants have trained as a nurse/nursing assistant in Germany or hold a foreign nursing qualification which is recognised in Germany. 

    Residence for recognition of foreign vocational qualifications

    In regulated professions such as nursing and education, skilled workers will still be able to travel to Germany before their vocational qualification has been officially recognised. This opportunity is now being widened to other groups. To take advantage of the new rules, the skilled worker and their employer enter into a “recognition partnership”. The requirement for this is that the skilled worker holds a state-recognised vocational qualification (of at least two years’ duration) from their country of origin, or a university degree. The skilled worker also needs German language skills. Further information on how foreign vocational qualifications are recognised can be found here.


    Emergency travel provisions for travellers from Dominica, Honduras and Vanuatu

    Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has announced that it will try to accommodate emergency travel for travellers from Dominica, Honduras and Vanuatu who had made plans to travel to Ireland before the new visa requirement came into force on 7 March 2024, and who plan to arrive in Ireland before 7 April 2024 in the following circumstances:

    • A critical medical case involving a family member being seriously ill or undergoing medical treatment. Evidence from the relevant medical institution must be provided;
    • Visiting for a significant family event – a birth, wedding or funeral. Suitable evidence must be provided;
    • Taking up a place obtained in a third-level institution on an undergraduate or post graduate degree course. Evidence must be provided from the relevant institution;
    • Taking up employment and holding an Employment Permit for Ireland. Evidence of the permit issued by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment must be provided;
    • Travelling for business. Confirmation of the arrangements for the visit from the business in question must be provided.

    Travellers who may qualify should email with the subject line “VISA IMPOSITION – EMERGENCY TRAVEL REQUIRED”.

    All other customers are asked to complete the online visa application form at the following website:


    Quota application forms made available

    On 29 February 2024, it became possible to begin prefilling applications for hiring non-EU workers under the quotas authorized by the government for 2024 through the quota decree (“decreto flussi”). The forms are available on the dedicated ALI Portal, along with further instructions, which are also given here.

    However, applications cannot be submitted until the relevant “click day”, as follows:

    • from 18 March 2024, applications can be sent for non-seasonal employees who are citizens of countries that have cooperation agreements with Italy;
    • from 9:00 am on 21 March 2024, applications can be sent for other non-seasonal employees (also in the family and social and social assistance sector);
    • from 9:00 am on 25 March 2024, applications for seasonal workers can be sent.

    For 2024, the 151,000 quotas are to be allocated as follows:

    • 89,050 quotas for seasonal work in agriculture, hospitality and tourism, reserved to certain nationalities;
    • 61,250 for non-seasonal work as an employee;
    • 700 quotas for self-employment.


    New average monthly wage affects EU Blue Card salary threshold

    On 9 February 2024, Statistics Poland announced that the average wage in the national economy in 2023 rose to PLN 7155.48.

    The minimum salary threshold for foreign nationals applying for an EU Blue Card in Poland is set at 150% of the average wage in the national economy. This has therefore also increased, by PLN 1214, to PLN 10,733.22 per month.

    The new threshold applies to all applications received since 1 January 2024, including those submitted before 9 February 2024. Therefore, applications submitted between 1 January and 9 February 2024 should be updated with an appropriate salary increase, if necessary.

    The threshold increase does not affect EU Blue Cards that have already been issued.

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