In immigration news this week:
- Romania: Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in non-graduate roles will increase by 7.2 percent from 2019.
This and other news from Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Spain follow in this edition of the Fragomen Immigration Update.
Important Updates in Immigration This Week
Romania, December 30, 2019
Minimum Salary Level to Increase
- Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in non-graduate roles in Romania will increase to RON 2,230, up 7.2 percent from 2019.
- Salary requirements for EU Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit applicants, EU Blue Card applicants and applicants in graduate roles remain unchanged.
- Although foreign workers typically receive a salary well above the threshold, employers are advised to check current salaries for foreign workers in non-graduate roles to ensure compliance with the new rule.
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Weekly News Briefs
Canada: Opening of Parents and Grandparents Program Delayed – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will delay the reopening of the Parents and Grandparents Program until they complete the development of the new intake process for the 2020 program. The Parents and Grandparents Program was originally set to reopen on January 1, 2020. Fragomen will provide updates on the situation as they become available.
Israel: Short-Term Assignment Length More Strictly Limited – Effective immediately, a foreign national on a Short-Term Employment Authorization (SEA), Short-Term Expedited Process (STEP) or Hi-Tech (HIT) 90 visa will be limited to a maximum duration of 90 days within a six-month period starting from the foreign national's date of entry into Israel. Previously, companies were able to apply for a new work visa valid at the start of the next year for foreign nationals who were employed during the last three months of the calendar year (September to December). This effectively allowed companies to retain foreign nationals on the above-listed visas for a six-month period. The change is expected to limit companies' flexibility in allocating foreign workers to short-term projects. As before, companies can only apply for these visa types once per calendar year.
Saudi Arabia: Secondment Process Now Available to Employees in Healthcare Sector – Employees of companies in the healthcare sector can now benefit from a temporary secondment process through the Ajeer program, according to announcement by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. The Ajeer program enables companies in select sectors to second their workforce by employing foreign nationals already in Saudi Arabia, instead of recruiting workers from overseas. In order to participate in the Ajeer program, employers must fulfill the following requirements: both the sending and host entities must perform the same business activity as per their business license; the host entity should, at a minimum, hold a middle green band rating per the Nitaqat rating system; the maximum number of foreign workers that can be seconded must not exceed 20% of the total foreign headcount in an entity; and the maximum period of secondment must not exceed 12 months within two years. Eligible employers may register on the Ajeer website for the program.
Spain: Delay in New Salary Requirements – Since a new government is currently being formed following federal elections in Spain, salary thresholds, which are typically published by December to take effect January 1 of the following year, have not yet been published. News sources expect the 2020 budget – which would include 2020 salary thresholds – to be published in March, at the earliest. In the meantime, employers can continue to use 2019 salary thresholds in setting wages for their foreign workers.
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