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.
Botswana - Dual Citizenship Possible Now
The Republic of Botswana announced in a Press Release that Dual Citizenship is now possible, and that Botswana nationals will not lose their citizenship if they acquire the citizenship of another country.
Brazil – Digital Nomad Visa
Brazil is offering a digital nomad visa (RN45/2021). The applicant must first file a visa application with the Brazilian consulate having jurisdiction over the place of residence. The application requires sponsorship by a foreign employer, but not by a Brazilian company. The employee can enter Brazil with the visa, which provides temporary residence valid for 1 year starting from the date of first entry. The employee will need to complete the in-country process with a registration and application for an RNM residence card from the Federal Police. As a practical matter, the employee will also need a CPF tax ID in order to open a bank account.
Singapore – Changes as of September 1, 2023
The implementation of the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) program will take effect as of September 1, 2023. Please find in the following a summary of the changes:
Please see further details here.
Sweden- New Salary Thresholds
Effective October 1, 2023, the minimum wage to qualify for a work permit in Sweden will be 27 360/SEK per month. This is 80% of the median wage and was established to attract highly skilled workers.
The salary threshold for a blue card application is now updated to 57 450 SEK/month. It goes into effect immediately, and also retroactively. Sponsoring companies should review all pending applications to identify cases where the salary needs to be adjusted to comply with the new threshold.
United Kingdom – Significant Increase to UK Illegal Worker Penalties in 2024
On 7 August 2023, the Home Office announced a significant increase in fines for illegal migrant breaches. Fines are to be tripled for employers and landlords who allow migrants without lawful immigration status to work for them or rent their properties.
The higher penalties will be effective as of the start of 2024. In the meantime, the Home Office is going to consult on options to strengthen action against sponsor-licensed companies who are employing workers without lawful immigration status.
The civil penalty for employers (last set in 2014), will be raised to up to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach from £15,000, and up to £60,000 for repeat breaches from £20,000.
The new civil fines are significant, and employers should be warned that immigration enforcement checks have increased this year. Home Office visits targeting workers without lawful immigration status have increased by 50% since last year.
To avoid civil and criminal penalties, employers must ensure they have the appropriate procedures for right to work checks. If you haven't completed a right to work check correctly, you won't have a statutory excuse against a civil penalty if there ends up being a problem with an employee's immigration permission. The scale of these civil penalties, particularly from next year, can be catastrophic for a business.
The Home Office regularly updates their guidance providing instructions as to how employers should carry out right to work checks on their employees. The processes and guidelines have been often updated as the Home Office begins phasing in its digital-only immigration system. We therefore recommend carrying out training and regular audits of internal compliance files to make sure the procedure is being followed properly and to adjust any existing error or data gaps.