Please note: while we address some country-specific updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic, this Alert contains information regarding global restrictions and closures as they stand today. Given the constantly changing nature of this situation, we highly recommend reviewing any global mobility inquiries on a case-by-case basis, including any consulate-specific or immigration authority resources, in "real-time" before traveling internationally. Please reach out to our Global Mobility Team in advance of any international travel.
Canada – Work Permit Eligibility for Family Members of Temporary Foreign Workers
On January 30th, 2023, Canadian Immigration minister Sean Fraser announced that Canada will be temporarily extending work permits to family members of principal applicants in the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP). This measure will help Canada combat chronic labor shortages. Under the new policy, eligibility for a work permit is extended to the following classes of applicants:
- The spouse, common-law partner, or dependent child of a work permit holder who works in a job of any Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) category (0 to 5), or;
- The spouse, common-law partner, or dependent child of a work permit holder who is the principal applicant and has an open work permit (example: post-graduation work permit holders at all skill levels).
- They are the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of an economic class permanent resident applicant who holds a work permit.
Spouses, common-law partners, and dependents of workers in a TEER 4 or 5 job under the low-wage stream of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are not eligible to apply at this time.
New Restrictions to Buying a Home in Canada as a Foreign National
On January 1st2023, The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act came into effect. The new regulations prohibit the purchase of a residential property by any foreign investor who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The regulations will last two years and then be automatically cancelled.
The act specifically prohibits foreign commercial enterprises and foreign nationals who are not Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents from acquiring non-recreational, residential property in Canada. Residential property includes: detached homes or similar buildings, semi-detached houses, rowhouse units, residential condominium units, and other similar premises.
There is one exception to this act, which allows a foreign national to buy property in Canada as if a they were on a valid work permit. To qualify for an exception, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- They worked (full-time) in Canada for a minimum period of three (3) years within the four (4) years preceding the year in which the purchase was made,
- They filed all required income tax returns under the Income Tax Act for a minimum of three(3) of the four (4) taxation years preceding the year in which the purchase was made, and
- They have not purchased more than one residential property.
A foreign national who finds a way to purchase a prohibited residential property in Canada, or anyone who knowingly assists that purchaser,, will have committed an offence and will be liable for a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, the superior court of the province in which the property is situated may order that the property be sold.
Denmark – New Salary Threshold
The Danish authorities published the new salary threshold for the Pay limit scheme:
The new minimum salary amount is DKK 465,000 per year (DKK 38,750 per Month)
Denmark Positive list scheme – New Job Titles:
The positive lists are updated twice a year and the new job titles for the next six (6) months have now been updated on the Positive list.
Ireland – AWS Relaxed Rules
The Irish government relaxed the rules for general applications under the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) effective January 1, 2023.
It is important to note that a 90-day permission under the AWS will be permitted to be spread over a six-month period, allowing the employee to travel intermittently during this period. The cooling off period to commence a new AWS permission after this six-month period will also be reduced from 12 months to one month. This is beneficial for foreign nationals who may work periodically in Ireland and do not need to work for a consecutive 90-day period.
The salary threshold for the AWS will be revised from the current National Minimum Wage to align with the published salary requirement for a General Employment Permit (currently €30,000).
Further details can be found here.
Israel – Increase of Minimum Prevailing Wage for Foreign Experts
Effective January 1, 2023, the minimum monthly prevailing wage for foreign national experts has been increased to NIS 23,460 which is a twelve percent (12%) increase compared to last year.
Employers of foreign national experts who file a work permit (either initial or renewal) application on or after January 1, 2023, must increase the foreign national's minimum salary to comply with the new rule. This also relates to pending applications. As a result, employers of foreign national experts with pending work permit applications as of January 1, 2023 must increase the foreign national's minimum salary to comply with the new rule.
Please note that this does not apply to foreign nationals holding 90 days SEA B-1 or short-term up to 90 days STEP B-1 visas.
Singapore –Overseas and Network Expertise (ONE) Pass
The Ministry of Manpower released the following details about the previously announced ONE Pass application on January 1, 2023 which is applicable to top talent across all sectors:
- Applicants must earn a fixed monthly salary of at least SGD 30,000 in the last year or under their future employer in Singapore; OR
- Applicants must have attained outstanding achievements in arts and culture, sports, science and technology, research, and academia.
- First-time Work Pass applicants are also required to demonstrate that they have worked/will be working for an established firm with a market capitalization of at least USD 500 million OR showing an annual revenue of at least USD 200 million.
- The ONE Pass is considered a personalized pass with a 5-year validity, and is renewable.
- It allows employment flexibility where the holder may concurrently start, operate, and work for multiple companies in Singapore at any one time.
- No foreign worker levy or quota is applicable.
Further details please see here.
Slovakia – Immigration Changes
Effective January 1, 2023 Act No. 5/2004 on Employment Service was amended and several changes affecting immigration processes of EU and NON EU nationals were implemented.
Kindly note that Slovak companies who are accepting EU nationals on assignment/secondment in Slovakia are now obliged to submit information cards to the Labor Office upon the start of the assignment and termination as well.
It is not necessary for the labor office to perform a labor market review during the renewal processes for Non-EU nationals who are applying for a Single Permit Renewal or a Blue Card Renewal and who are not changing their job positions.
Please also note that Non-EU nationals who have a pending Single Permit Renewal application are authorized to work until a decision has been made even if the current permit will expire; it is just important to file the renewal application 90 days prior to the expiration date, in exceptional cases 30 days prior to the expiration date. Employers will need to submit the Information Card to the Labor Office.
The Labor Office published further information here. The site offers a Slovakian and English version, please see language option on the top right corner.
Spain - Remote Work Visa
Spain introduces a teleworking visa, the so-called El visado para el teletrabajo de carácter internacional. The law was published on December 22, 2022 and it aims to attract highly skilled personnel.
The teleworking visa is set aside for Non-EU Nationals who intend to live in Spain and work in a self-employed capacity or as employees of foreign companies who perform their job duties remotely for up to one year. It is possible to apply for a three-year residence permit and afterwards for two-year renewals.
The sponsoring foreign company with which the applicant maintains an employment relationship needs to show accreditation of a previous real and continuous activity for at least one year. The applicant must have earned at least three months' tenure working for the foreign sponsoring company. Spanish authorities have published the list of required documentation here. The fact that supporting documentation must include among other items, police certificates, evidence of social security coverage, and health insurance evidence means that sufficient lead time will be necessary in order to collect this evidence.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.