Note: While we are covering some country-specific updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the information below contains information regarding global restrictions and closures as they stand today. Given the ever-changing nature of this situation, we strongly recommend that you review all international mobility requests on a case-by-case basis, including any specific consulate or immigration authority resources, in “real time” before traveling abroad. Please contact our Global Mobility Team prior to any international travel.
Australia – Change in legislation
From July 1, 2022, Australia will facilitate the stay of TSS 482 visa holders. in Australia as a holder of a 482 visa in the short-term stream for periods totaling at least 12 months between February 1, 2020 and December 14, 2021. A “sunset” clause applies, which will limit this grant to applications filed before July 1, 2023.
Belgium – Obligations of employers in the Brussels Region
Employers of foreign nationals in the Brussels region must be aware that they are faced with immigration obligations during the period of validity of the single permit which could be penalized if they are not respected. It is compulsory for the employer to file a standard verification form, the payslips and the individual account with the Brussels authorities each year, even if the single authorization will be granted for a period of 3 years. These documents must be submitted each year, no later than one month after the anniversary date of the start of validity of the work permit. The purpose of this obligation is to enable the Brussels authorities to check that the salary threshold for highly qualified personnel has been respected (and failing that, to revoke the single permit).
China – Containment in Shanghai continues
Shanghai is still in lockdown due to the Covid pandemic and as a result government offices remain closed. Trade visitors whose status will expire during the lockdown will be able to file the extension once the lockdown is lifted; as of this writing, it should be sometime in May. Visitors are considered to be in good condition during the lockdown even though the visitor visa will expire during this period.
Denmark – DISCO code
As of March 1, 2022, a DISCO code (which is an international occupational classification) will be required for work permit extension applications.
The Danish immigration authorities (SIRI) require such a code to assess whether the salary corresponds to the Danish standard. A link to the Disco-codes can be found on the Danmarks Statistik website here . It is unfortunately only presented in Danish
Danmark Statistik emphasizes Statbank Denmark websitewhich is in English and can be helpful in understanding applicable codes and associated wages.
Italy – New website
Italian authorities will publish a new website and work permit and family authorization applications cannot be submitted between April 22, 2022 and May 10, 2022. We also expect processing delays due to limited office operations. of immigration during this period of transition.
United Kingdom – Introduction of new UK work and business visas
As part of the government’s move to modernize and facilitate overseas business operations and labor mobility, new visa pathways are being introduced, including changes to routes sponsored by existing licenses. The launch of three new visa routes is planned as follows:
Global professional mobilityopening on April 11 and replacement of existing ICT channels:
- WBG: senior or Specialised worker which will replace the intra-company transfer channel, and
- GBM: Graduate Trainee: this will replace the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee course.
high potential personopening May 30.
Increaseopening August 22.
In the Global Business Mobility category, the following routes are open:
– UK Expansion Worker Visa: This visa allows an overseas company to sponsor an existing employee in a senior or specialist role to establish a branch company in the UK. The maximum duration allowed on this visa is 2 years, and the employee can then switch to another pathway, such as Skilled Worker. This visa replaced the previously existing Single Foreign Representative route, which is now closed to new applicants.
– Superior or specialized worker and graduate trainee visa: this visa replaces the intra-company transfer visa and allows a company to sponsor an existing overseas employee to work for the UK branch of the company. The minimum wage for a senior or specialist worker has been raised to £42,400 a year, and for the graduate trainee category it is now set at £23,100 a year. This visa does not lead to establishment, and the UKVI has rejected a suggestion from the Migration Advisory Committee to allow establishment for these visa holders.
All existing ICT licensed businesses were automatically transferred to a Superior worker or specialist and Graduate trainee licensed under the GMB route. The existing CoS allowance has been transferred to the GBM category, and all valid sponsorship certificates awarded under the ICT pathway can be used for GBM visa applications, as long as the new minimum wage level is met.
–Posted worker visa: this visa allows a foreign company to transfer an employee to the UK to perform specific work for a different organization in the performance of a high value contract in the UK. The transferring employee must have worked for the overseas company for at least 12 months outside the UK. The maximum duration allowed on this visa is 2 years and the worker can change paths.
Other types of visas under non-sponsorship itinerary include:
– high potential person Visa: this type of visa is for overseas graduates who within the past 5 years have completed their studies at one of the top 50 global universities listed on the Home Office website. The validity of the visa will be 2 years for Bachelor and Master graduates or 3 years for holders of a doctorate.
–Scaling Visa – this type of visa is intended for companies that have experienced strong growth over the past 3 years. To apply for a scale-up license, the company must show at least 20% of its annual revenue or an increase in its workforce during the relevant period. Approved companies will be able to sponsor migrants for university-level positions with a salary of at least £33,000 a year. The main advantage of this route is the exemption from the immigration skills surcharge.
UK visa fee update from 6 April 2022
Some UK visa application fees increased on April 6, 2022, and the new fee schedule can be found here. There has been a £15 increase in visa fees for most UK work and visitor visa routes. Citizenship and Sponsor License rates are unchanged, as well as the Immigration Health Surcharge and Immigration Skills Charge.
UK visa processing delays and suspension of priority services for overseas applications
Priority and super priority services for UK visa applications abroad – – including work, study and family routes – – remain unavailable. Applicants expect at least 3 weeks of waiting after their biometric appointments for work and study visa applications, and at least 3 months for family visas. Customers with standard education, work and family applications are also expected to experience processing delays. Indeed, the UKVI is currently prioritizing applications made under the Ukrainian Family and Home Programs in response to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the invasion of Ukraine.