EMS Blog

Global Immigration Updates and Mobility Summary

Morocco, Brazil and Chile – Adhere to The Hague Convention

Morocco, Brazil and Chile recently joined the Convention of the Hague which removes the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents, commonly known as the Convention establishing the Apostille This Agreement shall enter into force for Morocco and Brazil on August 14, 2016 and Chile on August 30, 2016 . The Apostille Convention (also known as the Treaty of Apostille, or The Hague Convention will abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents) was signed on October 5, 1961. Since then, it has been signed by 112 countries. The Convention specifies how a public document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified by a competent authority of that country for use in any of the signatory countries without consular legalization (certification which ultimately makes MWA Affairs or equivalent of the country where the document is to be used). The integration of these three countries to the Convention will allow greater speed in the preparation of the documents that are required to provide for administrative procedures to be carried out on them or from them to other signatory countries...

Colombia – Additional documents for work visa applications of TP – 4

Colombia – Additional documents for work visa applications of TP – 4, since early last March, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia has requested additional documents that had been demanding for applications for work visas are contributed TP – 4 and visas for dependent beneficiaries. The now required additional documents are: For the first request for TP – 4 visa temporary jobs for local employees: Employment contract; For renewal of employment visa TP – 4: A labor certification issued by the Colombian company; and Visas for dependent beneficiaries: marriage certificates and birth issued and legalized within three months prior to the visa application. As a result of this, companies in Colombia that require the processing of such visas for foreign employees should coordinate the necessary steps so that at the time the request is filed, be provided all required documents, including these additional documents and thus prevent the prolonged resolution times from the administration. Documents not provided in the initial application, may be required by the Ministry subsequently, which in most cases leads to delays of up to about 30 days. Currently, only it is being requested to provide the employment contract for the processing of visas TP – 4 visas. However, it is expected that the contribution of that contract also may be required for visa applications for local employees  (Visa TP...

No Visas in Brazil during Rio 2016 Olympic Games

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil.- Foreigners who visit Brazil during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 will not need a visa to enter the country, according to a law approved by Congress seeking to encourage tourism during the event. The law, which has already passed through the House of Representatives, was approved in last resort by the full Senate and now only depends on the approval of the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, whose government started the initiative, to go into force. The law benefits tourists who enter Brazil between June 1 and septiembre 18, 2016, and who request permission to remain 90 days. The period works for those who visit Brazilian territory during the Olympics, to be held in August, as well as for the Paralympic Games, scheduled for September. Brazil has bilateral agreements for visa extentions with 82 countries, but the list doesn´t include countries with an important number of tourists, primarily the United States, Japan and China, countries that demand visas for Brazilians. For this reason, in these cases the South American country applies the Brazilian policy of reciprocity. Despite initiatives from the tourism sector to not demand visas for U.S. tourists under any circumstances, the Ministry claims it cannot make an exception to its reciprocity policy. With or without a ticket The passed law clarifies that the unilateral decision taken by Brazil to not demand a visa is not conditioned on the visitor showing tickets for the competitions or Olympic events. According to the ministry, eliminating the requirement for a visa will allow Brazil to receive a higher number of tourists than those who...

Mexico and Canada support Eliminating Visas

The relationship between Mexico and Canada, which is being touted as having entered a ¨new era,¨ has gotten off on the right foot. The first world leader to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his electoral victory the night of October 19 was Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. At the G-20 Antalya summit in Turkey, held November 15 & 16, the leaders of Mexico and Canada took advantage of the gathering to have their first ¨one on one¨ meeting, with meetings among their cabinet members also taking place. As a show of the ¨seriousness¨ Trudeau´s new liberal government wants in the relationship with its second commercial partner in North America, in both his electoral campaign and government platform Trudeau has pointed to the necesity to eliminate the visa for Mexicans in order to improve the relationship with this country. A visa requirement for Mexico was imposed by surprise on July 14, 2009, under the previous conservative government of Stephen Harper, based on the fact that in 2008 – according to official figures – Mexico was number one in petitions for refugee status, the majority ¨unfounded,¨ according to immigration officials. On that Tuesday, July 14, Harper´s government announced the enforcement of the visa, only giving a 48-hour grace period to those already on the verge of travelling to the Maple Leaf country. The sudden enforcement of the visa put the brakes on requests originating in Mexico, while at the same time the Canadian government admitted that it would be necessary to make adjustments to their processing system to receive asylum, a process which ended up lasting five years and whose...

Visa-free Travel in the EU for Peruvians as of March 2016

Peruvian citizens may enter Europe without a Schengen visa as of March 2016, according to information released from the Ministry. Ana María Sánchez, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has said that as of March of this year the authorities in Peru and the European Union will sign a provisional agreement to eliminate the visa. Immediately following the signing, the exemption will go into force. ¨As of the day following the signing, Peruvians will be allowed to enter Europe without the requirement of having a visa. It is a priority for us to insure the visa exemption agreement between Peru and the EU for short stays goes into force,¨ noted the minister. The minister also told the responsible state agency that the member states of the European Union are at the moment waiting on the issuance of biometric passports from the National Immigration Authority. In agreement with the state agency, the Ministry still has not finalized the hiring process of the service to issue the aforementioned passports. Travellers may stay 90 days in the country they visit. Elimination of the Schengen visa allows entry without a visa into the following countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Sweden and...

Working and living in Brazil – Employment Visas

The decision of accepting a proposal of moving abroad due to work is a tough one. Moving to a different country with different traditions and culture can be hard on the expatriate and family. Moving an expat to Brazil is no different. Brazilian culture can be hard on the ones that are not prepared for it, but it will captivate you in ways that you have never imagined! From their warming hospitality to the Brazilian jeitinho (Brazilian ways to get through bureaucracy), their culture and traditions are very Latin. However, in the business world, Brazil has become very westernized and follows the pattern of the developed nations. In the big corporate centers, Brazilians dress and behave within the international business norms, which makes much easier for the expats to adapt. Still, all the co-workers will get together once a week to go on happy hours and talk about the performance of their favorite soccer team. Apart from the process of cultural integration, it is crucial for the company to analyze the type of work visa required for the specific job function that will be carried on during the expatriation process. The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs classifies different occupations with a different type and length of stay visa. The employee is subject to deportation and penalty fees in case the Brazilian legislation is not followed. The sponsor company is also impaired in those cases with administrative and legal sanctions and penalty fees. The types of work visa vary according to the employee skills and functions, but the most common ones are the following: RN 99: Temporary work visa with...

Delays and Limits on Stays Rise in Turkey

Delays and limits on stays rise in Turkey over the past months, the waiting period to get an appointment to request a residence permit has encountered significant delays, while at the same time new limits have been put into place regarding the length of time foreign residents can be out of the country. Specifically, the online system that assigns appointments to request a residence permit has been having severe delays, providing dates of up to 90 days after registering online, which could put the immigration status of the employee in the country at risk. The delays are not affecting renewals, but rather only affect requests being made for the first time. The request for an appointment can be made via the online system before arriving in Turkey, but the applicant must go in person on the assigned day, which means planning the arrival to coincide with the assigned date. Renovations do not require the in-person appearance of the applicant, so it is not necessary to request the appointment online. It is important to take these delays into account should the person get the process rolling with a tourist visa in order to request the appointment, as the permit may expire while the applicant awaits the assigned day. Additionally, Law No. 6458 (on international protection and foreigners) of May 1, 2014, which regulates the amount of time foreigners with residence permits may spend outside of Turkey, has recently been established. This Law had not been put into practice up until last month, when short stay residence permits that had encroached on these regulations began to be denied. The law establishes...

Peru introduces a new Law on Foreign Nationals

In Lima, through Legislative Decree 1236, Peru introduces a new Law on Foreign Nationals which will facilitate the arrival and residence in the country, adapting and controlling the increase in migration to Peru that is currently occuring. Also, in accordance with the law, to remain or reside in Peru foreigners ¨have the obligation to keep their condition as a migrant regularized, as well as to be up-to-date on the tax obligations related to their immigration status.¨ According to Peru´s legal norms, with this new immigration law foreigners will enjoy and exercise basic rights such as access to health care, education, and employment, all under the same conditions as nationals. Should a change in immigration status or the situation become necessary, the foreigner will need to verify Peruvian regulations, especially if they need information on family reunification. Undoubtedly, this will help the deficit existing in Peru when it comes to foreign investment and also provide an increase in human talent for the country´s growth and development. We should also pay attention to the specific sanctions that will be established for foreigners who violate public order and harm national heritage. These offenders may be punished with expulsion from the country, as well as find themselves in difficulties if they wish to return....

Immigration System for Foreign Employees in Saudi Arabia

If your desire is to go to Saudi Arabia with a foreign or Saudi company, it is important that the company as well as the employee understand very clearly the requirements necessary to be able to request and obtain work and residence visas. The immigration system for foreign employees in Saudi Arabia have a strict analysis of requirements and applicable procedures needed. The requirements to apply for visas vary depending on the consulates. To decide which type of visa is needed, you must know: What activity is going to be carried out? Period of stay? With a registered company? With or without family? In addition, it is important to know that a quota program exist that forces Saudi companies to fulfill ´Saudization´ to be able to hire expatriates who want to join the work environment of that company, for which these posts must be justified to the Ministry of the Interior to prove the reason for this need from behalf of the employer. Restrictions and requirements vary depending on the position, sex and qualifications of the employee. For example, for highly-qualified employees, the university degree and the employee´s experience must coincide with the job being offered and should be indicated on the work authorization, and these people will have greater ease and benefits than employees without professional degrees, who will not be able to bring their families. Women, additionally, have more difficulties and requirements they must fulfill, beyond just the cultural ones. For example, women over the age of 45 who travel to Saudi Arabia must be accompanied by a Mahram, who must be a male family member such...

Residence for Investors and Entrepreneurs in Spain

This past July 29, Law 25/2015 of July 28 was published in the BOE (Official State Bulletin) regarding the second chance mechanism, reduction of financial burden and other social measures, which were regulated in final provision eleven of Law 14/2013 in support of Entrepreneurs and their Internationalization. By virtue of this modification, an even more favorable framework has been established to ease the obtention of a permit of residence for Investors and Entrepreneurs in Spain for citizens of countries that are not members of the European Economic Area or Switzerland who make investments under this law, or who are going to undertake a project in the country. Among the most important changes are the following:   Investors The condition that required the investor to obtain a visa at the Spanish Consulate corresponding to their country of origin prior to making the request for residency has been eliminated. In this way, a person making any of the investments specified in the law and who is legally in Spain may solicit authorization for residency without having to leave the country. Now, initial residence permits for investors can be renewed for successive periods of five years, instead of the two years established in the repealed regulation. The investor or entrepreneur who has a residence permit, or with the right to same, may now include their ancestors or dependent children of majority age as their beneficiaries, as well as any person with whom they have a relationship similar to matrimony, which means life partners are recognized. As such, the situation which arose when the investment was made by a married couple under community...

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