The State Department has recently extended the validity of certain visas for citizens of France, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cuba.  This trend may signal an effort is underway to adjust visa validity periods for other nationalities and visa types.  Travelers are advised to monitor the State Department’s website for announced changes

The European Commission has again delayed the implementation of the European Travel Information Authorization System (ETIAS). ETIAS is an automated electronic visa waiver program intended to facilitate travel across borders in Europe while better identifying security risks for the Schengen bloc. ETIAS was previously set to be launched in May 2023 but delayed until November 2023. The launch of ETIAS was then further delayed until 2024. Media reports had earlier indicated that another delay was likely, and the European Commission has now confirmed that the system’s implementation has been postponed until mid-2025.Continue Reading EU Officially Pushes Launch of Electronic Visa Waiver Program to 2025

On October 16, 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem announced that both the Embassy and the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv have ceased offering nonimmigrant and immigrant visa services due to the security situation.  The Embassy did not speculate as to when service will resume.  Travelers having an emergency need to travel to the

On September 27, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the designation of Israel into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). By November 30, 2023, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be updated to allow citizens and nationals of Israel to apply for authorization to travel to the United States for tourism

On September 21, 2023, the Indian government suspended the processing of visa applications in Canada. The Indian embassy in Ottawa and consulates in Toronto and Vancouver outsource visa operations to BLS International, a third-party provider of consular support services for diplomatic missions around the globe. According to a message posted on the BLS website

In response to a Trump administration Executive Order, the Department of State published notices on March 30, 2018, in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on requiring visa applicants to provide any identifiers used by applicants on certain listed social media platforms during the five years preceding the date of the application. On May

On June 8, 2023, the U.S. Department of State announced that it had adopted new technology and enhanced coordination to reduce the time required for Administrative Processing, which encompasses a range of possible additional steps that may be required before an applicant can demonstrate eligibility for a visa.  These steps may include additional national security

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

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has announced that all subclass 482 visa holders will be eligible to apply for permanent residency by the end of 2023. Currently, subclass 482 visa holders in short-term occupations are unable to seek permanent residency. The government will also allow short-term subclass 482 visa holders to renew their visas indefinitely, and will reduce the required employment period before seeking permanent residency from three years to two. The new policies are designed to provide more equitable access to permanent residency in Australia.Continue Reading Australia Expands Eligibility for Permanent Residency

Effective July 1, 2023, the Australian government will raise the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from AUD $53,900 to AUD $70,000. The move is a response to the government’s independent “Review of the Migration System,” which recently recommended actions for updating Australia’s immigration system. Raising the TSMIT will affect eligibility for the Subclass 482 visa – a Temporary Skill Shortage visa designed to allow employers to sponsor a suitably skilled foreign worker to fill a position for which a qualified Australian candidate cannot be found. According to the government announcement, around 90% of full-time jobs in Australia are now paid more than the current TSMIT.Continue Reading Australia Raises Income Threshold for Skilled Migrant Visas