On April 27, 2022, the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – proposed the digitalization of the Schengen visa process. If implemented, the proposal would enable an online visa application platform and replace visa stickers in passports with a secure electronic status. Applicants may still need to visit consular posts to submit biometric data, such as fingerprints. Under the Commission’s proposal, Schengen Area member countries would have five years from the date of implementation to switch to the digitalized visa platform.

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On April 22, 2022, the Irish government announced an expansion of the eligibility criteria for the country’s multiple entry short stay visas. The changes mean that foreign nationals from all visa-required countries will now be eligible to apply for a five-year, multiple entry short stay visa.  The government’s announcement is intended to ease administrative burdens and facilitate multiple short-stay trips by visa-required nationals as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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With the regular changes to the UK Right to Work (“RTW”) checks over the last year or so, employers may be forgiven for having lost track of what the latest requirements are.

As mentioned in our last blog on RTW checks (You’re Joking – Not Another One! Further Changes to the Right to Work

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK Government has published details of how it is assisting Ukrainian nationals who find themselves in challenging UK immigration scenarios.

We set out below a summary of the current guidance which we will look to update on a regular basis.  The full guidance can be found here:

Support for

Effective January 17, 2022, the Romanian government has begun implementing a new “Digital Nomad” visa designed to allow foreign nationals to enter the country for work purposes without first being sponsored by a local employer. The new visa is expected to provide increased flexibility to remote workers while also helping to attract human and financial capital during a time of critical labor shortages. Romania’s introduction of the Digital Nomad visa follows the launch of remote work visas in countries such as Iceland and the United Arab Emirates.

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On December 23, 2021, the Department of State announced that consular officers are now authorized to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain temporary work visa applicants who have petitions approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  This authorization will expire on December 31, 2022.  Interviews may be waived for temporary workers applying for the following visa types:  H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q.  As the authorization requires a USCIS-approved petition, it does not appear to apply to individual visa applications submitted pursuant to approved “L” blankets.  In order to qualify, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

Continue Reading State Department Will Waive Interviews for Many Temporary Work Visa Applicants

The United Arab Emirates’ (“UAE”) most recent five-year multiple entry visa was launched by the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (“GDRFA“) on November 22, 2021 aiming to create flexibility for professionals, especially the employees of multinational companies.  The new visa scheme allows foreign employees to visit their employer in the UAE

The U.S. government administers an annual Diversity Immigrant Visa Program that, historically, offers one of the most expeditious paths to legal permanent residency and the American dream. Registration is currently open through November 9, 2021. The application is submitted electronically and registration is open to candidates around the globe, including to foreign workers in the United States who seek a “fast-track” to permanent residency.

Continue Reading Registration for U.S. Diversity Visa Program Open Until November 9

The Israeli Ministry of Interior released a new set of regulations for the Short-Term Employment Authorization (SEA) B-1 Work Visa. The new regulations include shortened visa processing times, increased duration of stay, and overall simpler application processes for candidates wishing to obtain a work visa for short stays.

Continue Reading Israel Releases Updates to the Short-Term Employment Authorization (SEA) B-1 Work Visas

Under the immigration laws of the United States, an individual who applies for an immigrant visa abroad, or who seeks permanent residency while in the United States, must undergo a medical examination to establish that they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible on health-related grounds.

Effective October 1, 2021, in addition to the current list of mandatory inoculations, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mandates that applicants must also demonstrate completion of a COVID-19 vaccination series (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine) to the panel physician or civil surgeon performing the medical evaluation. According to the CDC, the following constitute acceptable proof of vaccination: (1) an official vaccination record, or (2) a copy of a medical chart with entries made by a physician or other appropriate medical personnel. Absent this documentation, the panel physician or civil surgeon may agree to administer the vaccine to the applicant to meet this requirement.

Continue Reading New COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Immigrants