Several times a year, our experts from around the world compile an update on immigration and global mobility practice, setting out recent changes to the laws and regulations in their jurisdictions. Here are the highlights of the February 2024 Immigration and Mobility Update.
This edition is dominated by moves to ease labour shortages in high-demand professions. The most striking example is in France, where a wide-ranging new immigration bill has simplified ‘talent’ permits for qualified workers, introduced a new permit for medical professionals trained outside the EU, and even provided a path for illegal workers in certain short-staffed jobs to obtain legal status. Similarly, Greece is now granting work permits to some non-EU nationals already living in the country without a permit. Slovakia is simplifying the process for employing non-EU bus and truck drivers. Ireland is significantly expanding the list of occupations that are eligible for work permits. And Sweden is introducing a new immigration system with a focus on attracting skilled workers.
Another theme is increased enforcement and penalties. France’s immigration bill increases the sanctions for employing illegal workers. Poland has decided to extend controls on its border with Slovakia. Belgium’s Flemish region has introduced new ‘chain liability’ rules for contractors along with increased fines for non-compliance with employers’ duty to inform the authorities of changes affecting a worker’s permit status.
Finally, as with our last Update, there continue to be developments in European cross-border issues. Italy has joined the EU Framework Agreement on Cross-Border Telework, and Austria has reached agreement with Germany on tax rules for cross-border workers who work from home.