June 2022 Global Immigration Alert

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Please note: while we address some country-specific updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the below 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.

China - Lockdown in Shanghai Lifted

Shanghai’s lockdown is scheduled to be lifted on June 1, 2022 so that it is expected that operations will soon be moving in a more positive direction.

Beijing and other major cities are operating under normal conditions so that work and residence permit applications, including PU letter applications, may be filed.  PU letter applications (a requirement triggered by the pandemic) face processing times of about two months, so that this extra time should be kept in mind when scheduling transfers to mainland China.

European Union - Information for Refugees from the Ukraine

The European Union has established a site providing information for refugees from the Ukraine entering the territory of the European Union.  Please see link here.

This site provides information about a  refugee’s rights to cross the border into an EU country, eligibility for temporary protection and applying for international protection, as well as the rights of travel inside the European Union.  In addition, refugees will find information about education, access to health care, the labor market and accommodation by visiting the link above.

New Zealand - Upcoming Opening of Borders

The New Zealand border was closed during the pandemic and has only partially reopened.  The government is staging the reopening,  and borders are expected to be fully re-open for all travelers on July 31, 2022.  Please note details here.  

Singapore  - Borders Still not Fully open

As of this writing, Singapore’s borders are not fully open to all travelers.  Crucial criteria is the traveler’s vaccination status.  Please see the travel guidelines published by the government here.

Schengen Travel - Business Visitor Visa Application

A Schengen business visitor visa is a short-stay visitor visa allowing the holder to perform business travel in the Schengen area.  The so-called Schengen States  cover a total of 26 countries, without border controls.  Please visit the link  here for a list of Schengen countries. 

With the easing of COVID-related travel restrictions we’re seeing an increase in business travel.  Visa nationals should be prepared to calculate a few weeks’ lead time to receive an appointment for the visa application filing which usually needs to be filed in person. In addition, applicants will need to expect processing times from one to three weeks.

As lead and processing times differ from Consulate to Consulate, we want to remind you of the so-called Schengen rules which trigger the Consulates’ jurisdiction:

1. First Entry Rule:

In this case, the travel itinerary would show that the applicant will stay in each country for the same period of time.  The country they travel to first (the first entry) will have jurisdiction over the visa application and the application would be filed at that consulate.

2. Main Destination Rule:

In this case, the itinerary would show that the applicant will stay for an extended period of time in one country and a shorter period in the others.  Regardless of which country they enter first, the country in which they stay for the longest duration of time will have jurisdiction over the visa application, and the application needs to be filed at the consulate of that country.

Sweden - New Immigration Law as of June 1, 2022

The Swedish Migration Board has announced a new permit type for highly skilled individuals in connection with a new immigration law effective  June 1, 2022.   Under this new law, highly skilled individuals may  apply in their home country for a job seeker permit with up to 9 months’ validity.  Once the visa holder has entered Sweden and found a company that will  sponsor a Swedish residence permit, he/she may change status within country.

The Netherlands - Action Items for Companies that are Recognized Sponsors

The European Union has introduced various sanctions against Russia and Belarus.  These sanctions may also effect companies in The Netherlands that have ties with Russian and/or Belarusian companies.   For that reason the Dutch immigration authorities (IND) ask all recognized sponsors for regular labor and highly skilled migrants to provide a one-time statement by taking the following steps:

  • Download and print the statement here
  • Complete the company details, execute and send it as soon as possible as a PDF file to Senioren.KenT@ind.nl

Some companies may have already received an email notification from IND with instructions.  If not, kindly follow the above steps.

The IND is still examining the possible consequences for residence permit applications sponsored by companies that have a relationship with companies in Belarus and Russia.  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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