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Immigration and Global Mobility Update

United Kingdom
See below our Immigration and Global Mobility Update, which shows the changes in global mobility and immigration from around the world over the past few months. We aim to update you regularly.

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Austria, Chile, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, United Kingdom

Austria: Decree on joint interpretation of cross-border commuter regulation with Germany

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance has issued a decree, retroactively effective of 9 April 2019, reflecting the content of a new consultation agreement concluded between Austria and Germany on the basis of Article 25(3) of the ‘Double Taxation Convention Germany’ (‘DTA’).

The consultation agreement serves to clarify the effects of cross-border commuter regulation in Article 15 (6) of the DTA. It sets out the joint interpretation of conditions for the general application of the cross-border commuter regulation and also for certain special cases (such as employees working remotely, providing part-time work, having several employers, being involved in intra-year migration or who are professional drivers or doctors). It also establishes the legal consequences of the applicability of the cross-border commuter regulation.

The consultation agreement merely reflects the common understanding of the parties to the agreement. Rights and obligations going beyond the statutory provisions cannot be justified by it.

Birgit Vogt-Majarek, and Karoline Saak, of Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte GmbH.


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Chile: Online applications for Permanent Residence

From 1 May 2019, all Permanent Residence applications must be submitted online though the Department of Foreign Affairs’ website, except for foreign nationals from Brazil, China, Cuba, Haiti and Peru, whom must present their application in person at ‘Chile Atiende’ (the multi-function public administration service) offices.

In addition, as of 1 May 2019, it is also mandatory to all foreign nationals to submit a Criminal Record Certificate and / or Judicial Background Certificate with their Permanent Residence application.

This should make these procedures more user-friendly, as foreign nationals will no longer need to send all the paperwork required by courier.

Marcela Salazar Flores, of Munita & Olavarría 

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Finland: Removal of the labour market test

The free movement of labour will be improved in Finland from 1 June 2019, when the labour market test will no longer apply to holders of an employed person’s residence permit who have worked in Finland for at least one year and who are transferring to another sector for work. The labour market test relates to the process of determining the availability of labour in Finland.

The reform will be carried out by amending provisions of the Finnish Aliens Act. Many sectors in Finland (e.g. cleaning services and construction) are experiencing a growing labour shortage. This is why the labour mobility of foreign citizens already working in the Finnish labour market needs to be improved. Removal of the labour market test for individuals already working in Finland and transferring to other sectors will only apply to a few dozen residence permit applicants annually. However, in individual cases, the reform may be significant, since it improves free movement and supply of labour.

The new procedure will apply to foreign employees who have at least one year of work experience in Finland with an employed person’s residence permit and a professional qualification for the sector in question.

Iisa Koskela, of Dittmar & Indrenius

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Germany: A1 Certificates for EU business travel: electronic application in Germany

Despite the EU Commission’s reform plans on coordination of social security systems, an A1 certificate of coverage is currently still required for business travel between EU and EEA member states and Switzerland. This also applies to business trips lasting only a few hours.

From 1 January 2019, the A1 certificate may only be obtained electronically, usually via the payroll provider, for business travel from Germany to other EU/EEA member states or Switzerland. Until 30 June 2019, a paper application can still be made in justified individual cases.

Julia Uznanski, of KLIEMT.HR Lawyers

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Hungary: Applications for a residence permits can only be submitted electronically by employers and host organisations 

A public electronic administration system (called ‘Enter Hungary’) has been established by the Hungarian Immigration and Asylum Office. Employers and host organisations must register on the system and can use it via their Business Gateway access (‘cégkapu’).

As of 1 January 2019, employers and host organisations can only submit applications for residence permits for the purpose of employment (residence and work permit), intra-corporate transfers, EU Blue Cards or family reunification electronically, using the Enter Hungary system.

It is possible to provide the required data and submit the necessary attachments (e.g. travel documents and photos) in the electronic system. The processing fee can also be paid online.

However, in several cases the employee and/or his or her family members must appear before the authority personally. Using the electronic system does not exempt them from this requirement.

Henrietta Hanyu, of CLV Partners Law Firm

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Italy: New legislation on the so-called ‘Brain return’

Decree no. 34/2019, the so-called ‘Decreto Crescita’ (‘growth decree’) has introduced a tax reduction for employees and self-employees returning to Italy after not being resident in Italy for the previous two years who undertake to remain in the country for the next two years. The aim of this provision is to make it easier for employers to attract valuable employees from abroad.

Under this law, only 30% of the employees’ income will be taxed. This falls to only 10% for those undertaking to reside in the South of Italy.

Valeria Morosini, of Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo e Soci

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Italy: Brexit – UK citizens will be required to ask for a residence permit in order to stay in Italy

On 20 May 2019, a Law (41/2019, converting a Decree of 25 March 2019) on the consequences of Brexit in Italy was approved.

Under it, UK Citizens already enrolled in Italian public registers can request an ‘EU residence permit for long-term residents’ by 31 December 2020. This permit is granted when the applicant has been resident in Italy for at least five years at the Brexit date.

If this requirement is not met, UK citizens and their family members can still stay in Italy regularly, as long as they request a permit ‘for residence"’ (valid for five years and renewable) by 31 December 2020.

Penalties are specified for violations of the provisions above.

Furthermore, in order to safeguard the social security rights of UK citizens, in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit the Social Security Coordination Regulation (883/2004) will continue to apply for them until 31 December 2020.

Valeria Morosini, of Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo e Soci

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New Zealand: Updates to Essential Skills in Demand lists and increases to minimum income requirements

New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has conducted a review of the Essential Skills in Demand lists. These lists set out occupations for which applicants may be granted certain work visas (e.g. Essential Skills and Long Term Skill Shortage List work visas) and which are exempt from the labour market test requirements. On 27 May 2019, a number of occupations will be added and others removed from the lists. In addition, the Immediate Skill Shortage List will be replaced with a Regional Skill Shortage List, identifying skill shortages across 15 regions (as opposed to the previous broader six-region model).  This model will also be applied to the Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List.

From 13 May 2019, holders of Essential Skills and Religious Worker visas, with children whose visas are dependent on theirs, must earn a minimum of NZD 43,322.76 per annum, which represents a NZD 378.56 increase from the previous minimum income.

Simon Lapthorne, and Hannah King, of Kiely Thompson Caisley

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Poland: Implementation of the EU Students and Researchers Directive

A number of changes of law came into force effective from 27 April 2019 in connection with the implementation of the EU Students and Researchers Directive (2016/801). Most importantly, a new certification process has been introduced for schools and universities wishing to host a foreign student or researcher. A simplified notification procedure and a work permit exemption has also been introduced for students and researchers legally residing in other EU countries who move to Poland for a limited period under the terms of so-called ‘student and researcher mobility’.

Tomasz Rogala, and Kinga Polewka, of Raczkowski Paruch

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Poland: Further changes in immigration law

A change regarding the short-term mobility of ICT residence permit holders has been introduced: the Polish authorities now can object to the ICT RP holder’s entry to Poland within 20 days after receiving the short-term mobility notification.

Lastly, the possibility to extend a stay in Poland for purpose of employment has been removed for foreign nationals who entered on the basis of tourist or family reunion visas. These foreign nationals can no longer apply for residence permits with the right to work.

Tomasz Rogala, and Kinga Polewka, of Raczkowski Paruch

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Portugal: Amendment to Tech Visa conditions

On 5 April 2019, an amendment to the Tech Visa programme came into force.

The programme aims at certifying companies for the employment of foreign nationals who intend to work in a highly skilled activity in Portugal. Previously it was restricted to companies that were active in the technological and innovation areas.

The amendment has extended the type of companies that can apply for certification, thus eliminating the condition limiting it to technological and innovation areas.

Bruno Barbosa, of pbbr

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Russia: List of documents required for the migration registration of foreign nationals updated

From 20 March 2019, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has extended the list of documents required for the migration registration of foreign nationals.

Now, a copy of the document confirming the foreign national’s right to use residential premises or other premises provided for actual residence is required in addition to the notice of arrival, copies of all pages of his or her passport containing a stamp confirming crossing the Russian border, and a migration card.

If a foreign national is registered at their employer’s address, in addition to the standard set of documents, the Ministry of Internal Affairs must be provided with copies of the employment contract or civil service agreement confirming the foreign national performs work or another activity for the organisation. Furthermore, some cases will require an official letter from the organisation’s head.

For migration registration of foreign nationals from the Eurasian Economic Union and their family members, a copy of the employment contract or civil service agreement and copies of the documents confirming relationships between the foreign national and his or her family members are required.

The new migration registration rules confirm the documents required for migration registration of foreigners can be submitted directly to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, through a multifunctional centre or the Russian Post.

Irina Anyukhina, and Margarita Egiazarova, of ALRUD Law Firm

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Russia: New simplified rules for obtaining Russian citizenship come into force

Starting from 29 March 2019, the new simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship came into force for select categories of foreign nationals.

According to the amendments, the Russian President can determine on humanitarian grounds categories of foreign nationals who can obtain citizenship status through the simplified procedure.

The amendments also provide for a simplified procedure for foreigners who participate in the State programme for facilitating the voluntary resettlement in the Russian Federation of ethnic Russians living abroad.

These individuals have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under the simplified procedure; in particular, if they have a temporary residence permit or permanent residence permit and they are registered at a place of residence or place of stay in a Russian region included in the State programme.

Irina Anyukhina, and Margarita Egiazarova, of ALRUD Law Firm

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United Kingdom: EU Settlement Scheme update

The EU Settlement Scheme was further expanded on 9 April 2019 to allow for pre-settled and settled status applications to be made from outside the UK. This follows on from the full public rollout of the scheme on 30 March.

The Home Office confirmed in a document published on 2 May that over 600,000 applications have already been made under the scheme.

Experience to date shows that applications are being processed with the aim of maximising the likelihood of approval, with further documents and information being requested from applicants where an approval cannot be issued immediately. A Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC) has also been set up to assist with any queries or issues arising throughout the application process. The scheme is being well resourced, with over 1,500 trained staff in place to process applications and over 250 staff allocated to the SRC.

Andrew Osborne, of Lewis Silkin LLP

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