Immigration updates – 7th of June

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Denmark

    Upcoming amendments to rules for residence permits in healthcare sector

    On 4 June 2024, the Danish parliament passed a bill based on recommendations from the task force on foreign labour in the healthcare sector. The changes, which come into effect on 1 July 2024, are explained by the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) as follows:

    The Positive List for Skilled Work is extended to also include social and healthcare workers. This means that if, as of 1 July 2024, there is a shortage of social and healthcare workers, it will also be possible to grant social and healthcare workers a residence and work permit according to the Positive List for Skilled Work. A quota of 1000 residence and work permits is set on the basis of employment as a social and healthcare worker.

    At the same time, a new system comes into effect in the area of authorisation, where specifically requested healthcare professionals can obtain a residence permit for the purpose of obtaining Danish authorisation. In order to be covered by the scheme, the Patient Safety Authority must have assessed that the applicant is covered by a new separate authorisation process for specifically requested healthcare professionals.   

    Those with a residence permit on the authorisation scheme are exempt from work permits from 1 July 2024. They will therefore no longer have to apply for a separate work permit if they wish to work in Denmark during their authorised stay. The rules also apply to people with an already valid residence permit according to the authorisation scheme, even if this does not appear on the residence permit. SIRI will separately inform the people who already have a residence permit under the authorisation scheme and who will obtain new rights from 1 July 2024. 

    In the future, up to six months’ stay for job hunting will also be granted in extension of the authorisation stay, which can be used to look for a job in Denmark after the authorisation process has ended. Holders of a residence permit under the authorisation scheme must submit an application for a job search residence themselves. Finally, the job change rule will be extended to also apply to those who have a residence permit under the authorisation scheme. 

    New executive order on aliens’ access to Denmark came into effect on 1 June 2024

    On 1 June 2024, a new executive order on aliens’ access to Denmark took effect. It contains a new work permit exemption for models and a change in the duration of residence permits for accompanying family based on the work schemes.

    New rule of exemption

    The new rule of exemption means that foreign nationals (third-country citizens) who are going to work as professional models in Denmark can work for short periods of time without a work permit.

    The foreign national must work with companies while they hold significant and international fashion shows or fashion fairs.

    Under the new rules, it is possible to work in Denmark for up to three separate work periods of up to a total of three days within a period of 180 days.

    Furthermore, to qualify for the new exemption rule, the foreign national must be able to legally enter and reside in Denmark, either because they are a resident of a visa-free country or because they have been issued a visa.

    Duration of residence permit for accompanying family

    On all work-based immigration routes, it is now possible for accompanying family members to be granted a residence permit for the same period as the family member who is working in Denmark (the sponsor).

    This has particular significance for accompanying family members of foreign nationals with a residence and work permit under the Supplementary Pay Limit Scheme and the Fast-Track Scheme’s supplementary pay limit track where it is possible for a foreigner to obtain a residence permit for up to five years. previously, it was only possible for accompanying family to obtain a residence permit for up to four years.

    New residence scheme based on educational attachment

    On 1 July 2024, a new scheme will come into effect for foreign nationals who lose or have previously lost their grounds for residence in Denmark.

    On 4 June 2024, the Danish Parliament passed a law proposal on a residence scheme based on educational attachment.

    The scheme allows certain foreign nationals who lose their grounds for residence and who are enrolled in or undergoing education in an area where there is a labour shortage to continue staying and studying in Denmark. 

    The scheme also means that certain foreign nationals who have lost or will lose their grounds for residence before the law enters into force on 1 July 2024 will, under certain conditions, be able to continue staying in Denmark if, when they lost their grounds for residence, they were enrolled in or undergoing education in an area where there is a labour shortage. Among other things, it will be a condition for obtaining a residence permit that the foreign national’s original residence permit was refused extension or revoked, or their right of residence under EU rules was found to be expired, in the period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024.

    At the same time, a change of education scheme will be introduced for foreign nationals who are granted a residence permit under the educational attachment scheme, but who wish to change to another education in an area where there is a labour shortage. 

    A foreign national who is granted a residence permit under the educational attachment scheme or for the purpose of changing education will also be granted a residence permit for a maximum of six months in order to seek employment in Denmark after completing the educational programme.

    Finland

    Government proposes to increase income threshold for residence permits

    On 6 June 2024, the government submitted a proposal to parliament that those arriving in Finland with a residence permit for employment should receive a monthly pay of at least EUR 1600. If the proposal is accepted, the amendments are scheduled to enter into force on 1 November 2024.

    The income limit refers to the pay that a person must receive for work that they arrive in Finland to do. Other income is not included in the income limit. The income limit of EUR 1,600 corresponds with the minimum pay for full-time work based on collective agreements in several sectors where work-based immigration is needed.

    A residence permit for an employed person currently requires payment in accordance with a collective agreement or the lower limit of the requirement for sufficient financial resources, that is, approximately EUR 1400. The pay must comply with the collective agreement in future too. However, the suggested EUR 1600 would be the minimum below which a residence permit for an employed person could not be granted.

    All employees in sectors or groups of experts for which no separate residence permit exists apply for a residence permit for an employed person. Typically, these people are skilled workers. In 2023, around 13,000 persons applied for their first residence permit for an employed person and it was granted to approximately 10,000 people.

    Ireland

    Ukrainian nationals now require biometric passport

    Effective 5 June 2024, temporary measures which allowed Ukrainian nationals to travel to Ireland without a biometric passport will cease to be in effect. All third country nationals, now also including Ukrainians, travelling to Ireland must have a valid biometric passport.

    Ukrainian nationals remain non-visa required when travelling to Ireland, and the change does not affect temporary protection status.

    As part of an emergency response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022, Ireland temporarily suspended the requirement for a biometric passport from Ukrainian nationals who wished to enter the State. This suspension was aligned with practice in other EU Member States and in accordance with guidelines from the EU Commission.

    While the suspension was activated, Ukrainian nationals seeking to enter the State could rely upon alternative documentation as proof of their nationality including expired biometric passports or internal passports

    Italy

    New long-stay visa required for family members of Italian and EU citizens

    Following the recent amendment to Article 23 of Legislative Decree 30/2007, the Italian government has announced that short-stay visas (VSU) for tourism/visit to family members will no longer be issued to foreign family members of Italian or EU citizens who intend to reunite with their family member permanently residing in Italy.

    Instead, effective 1 June 2024, foreign family members of Italian or EU citizens, traveling to Italy for family reunification and intending to stay more than 90 days, will be issued a national visa for “family reasons”.

    The following family members are entitled to family reunification:

    • The spouse;
    • The partner who has contracted a registered partnership with the EU citizen based on the legislation of a Member State, provided the legislation of the host Member State equates the registered partnership to marriage and in accordance with the conditions laid down by the relevant legislation of the host Member State;
    • Direct descendants under the age of 21 or dependent, and those of the spouse or partner;
    • Direct ascendants who are dependent, and those of the spouse or partner.

    Visas will be issued free of charge. The visa application can be submitted through the Prenotami portal. Nulla Osta (entry clearance) from the unified immigration desk (SUI) in Italy is not required. The visa will be valid for 365 days with multiple entries. Family members must apply for a residence permit for “family reasons” within eight days of entering Italy by completing the appropriate application at the Post Office.

    For family members accompanying or joining the Italian or EU citizen for periods of less than 3 months, a visa for tourism or visit to family members will continue to be issued free of charge.

    Portugal

    Government ends post-arrival residence permit application

    On 3 May 2024, the Council of Ministers approved an Action Plan for Migration which removes the “Expressions of Interest” procedure which allowed foreign nationals to apply for a residence permit while in Portugal as a visitor.

    The plan also includes an expansion of capacity at Portuguese consular posts abroad to cope with the expected consequent increase in consular residence applications, as well as the creation of a mission structure, with additional resources, to address the existing backlog of pending residence cases.

    Further details of the Action Plan can be found here in English and here in Portuguese.

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