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Effective August 1, 2024, Israel will require travelers from visa exempt countries to obtain an electronic travel authorization before departing for the country. Travelers applying for the authorization—known as ETA-IL—will receive a reply within 24-72 hours, and if their application is approved, will be allowed to enter Israel for business visits and tourism for up to ninety days at a time. The ETA-IL will remain valid for multiple entries over a two-year period or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever is sooner. The ETA-IL system opened as a voluntary pilot program for U.S. and German passport holders on June 1 and will open to all other visa exempt nationals on July 1. Israel’s introduction of the ETA-IL system comes as the European Union seeks to implement its own electronic travel authorization scheme for visa exempt nationals, which is expected to launch in 2025.Continue Reading Israel Introduces Electronic Travel Authorization Requirement

The European Commission has adopted a new set of rules that enable Indian, Saudi, Bahraini, and Omani nationals to obtain short-stay Schengen visas with longer validity periods. Under the new rules, Indian nationals may be eligible for two- and five-year multiple entry visas, based on their travel history. Saudi, Bahraini, and Omani nationals residing in their respective home countries are now eligible for five-year multiple entry visas. The expansion of visa validity periods reflects the EU’s determination that these nationals pose low migratory and security risks. The moves are expected to facilitate travel to Europe by reducing the frequency with which qualified nationals must apply for new short-stay visas.  Continue Reading EU Opens New Schengen Visa Options for Indian and Middle Eastern Nationals

As of March 2024, the Schengen Area will partially expand through the lifting of air and sea border controls with Bulgaria and Romania. This marks the ninth expansion of the free movement zone, which most recently added Croatia in January 2023. Land border controls with Bulgaria and Romania will remain in place for the time being and the two countries will continue issuing national entry visas rather than Schengen visas. In announcing the expansion, the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – emphasized that discussions on lifting land border controls will continue in 2024.Continue Reading Schengen Area Expands to Include Air & Sea Travel to Bulgaria & Romania

Effective January 1, 2024, Kosovo passport holders may travel to European Union member states in the Schengen Area without a passport, and may remain in Schengen territory for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. EU passport holders are likewise now eligible to travel visa-free to Kosovo. The visa-free program includes travel to all EU member states that are part of the Schengen Area, as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania, plus non-EU members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Kosovo passport holders will still require visas for travel to Ireland, which is an EU member but outside the Schengen Area.Continue Reading EU and Kosovo Launch Mutual Visa-Free Travel Program

Effective December 23, 2023, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lifted Türkiye’s visa requirement for six countries: United States, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Tourists from these countries are now permitted to spend 90 days out of a 180-day period in Türkiye without a visa. Previously, foreign nationals from these countries

On June 23, 2023, the Italian government announced that foreign workers would be permitted to begin working in Italy while they wait to sign a contratto di soggiorno (contract of stay) at the immigration office. The change is part of a package of reforms intended to enable qualified foreign workers to begin employment in Italy in a more rapid fashion. While the foreign worker is still eventually required to sign the contract of stay, they no longer have to wait to do so before beginning formal employment.  Continue Reading Italy Loosens Post-Arrival Requirements for Foreign Workers

The Polish government has reportedly begun relaxing work permit requirements for certain individuals working remotely in the country for foreign employers. The policy change has been announced in agency guidance issued by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, which exercises responsibility over the Polish labor market. The move is a departure from the government’s previous policy requiring nearly all gainfully employed foreign workers located in Polish territory to obtain a work permit – even if their physical location was incidental to their work. Poland’s relaxation of work permit rules for remote workers comes as several other countries – including Spain, Italy, Romania, Iceland, and the United Arab Emirates – have introduced remote worker (or “Digital Nomad”) visas to attract an increasingly mobile class of global talent.  Continue Reading Poland Relaxes Work Authorization Rules for Remote Workers

On April 18, 2023, the European Parliament approved a visa liberalization regime for Kosovar nationals that enables visa-free travel to the Schengen Area. Under the plan, citizens of Kosovo will be allowed to travel to the Schengen Area without requesting a visa, for periods of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. EU citizens will likewise be allowed to travel to Kosovo without a visa. The law is set to enter into force once the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) becomes active, which is expected in 2024.Continue Reading European Parliament Approves Visa-Free Travel for Kosovo

Effective October 1, 2023, Brazil will require nationals of the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia to obtain a visa prior to entering the country for tourism, business, and other purposes. The announcement reverses a visa waiver policy that had been in place since 2019 with the goal of promoting tourism. In announcing the new requirement, the Brazilian government stated that the visa exemption policy was not in keeping with the principle of reciprocity, as all four countries require visas of Brazilian nationals. While details on the new visa requirements are forthcoming, the government has stated that the visas will be issued electronically, as they were previously.   Continue Reading Brazil to Reinstitute Visa Requirement for U.S., Canada, Japan, & Australia

According to new regulations issued by the Israeli government, foreign nationals seeking to work in Israel may now receive a B-1 work visa in an electronic format. Rather than issue a physical visa sticker, the Israeli government will email a digital B-1 visa sticker to the foreign national’s employer at an email address specified during the application process. The new procedure is expected to make applying for a B-1 visa more convenient for employers and employees by eliminating the need for a physical visa sticker.Continue Reading Israel Begins Issuing B-1 Work Visas Electronically