Mayer Brown’s Global Directions is a summary of recent immigration and mobility trends arising in key jurisdictions around the globe. This high-level overview alerts recipients to select changes in law and practice that may affect their global mobility programs.

Americas

Canada

Canada to Lift Visa Requirement for Mexican Visitors

  • The Prime Minister on June 28 announced that Canada will lift its visa requirement for Mexican nationals traveling to Canada for purposes of business or tourism. Effective December 1, 2016, the new policy allows Mexican nationals to travel to Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Mexican nationals will join other visa-exempt nationals who enjoy the benefit of obtaining an eTA for travel in lieu of a visa.

”Implied Status” for Visa-Subject Nationals’ Travel Clarified

  • The Canadian immigration authority has clarified that visa-subject nationals who have “implied status” based on a pending application to extend their Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) period of authorized stay in Canada may travel to the United States, as well as to the St. Pierre and Miquelon overseas collectivity of France, without requiring a new visa upon their return to Canada. TRV holders from visa-subject countries will continue to require a visa for return travel from any country other than the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon.

United States

Supreme Court Issues Split Decision on Deferred Action Policies

  • The United States Supreme Court issued a one-line decision on June 23 in an immigration case with ramifications for approximately five million undocumented immigrants in the United States. By a 4-4 vote, the Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of a lower court, keeping in place an injunction on President Obama’s executive order to defer deportation for a broader group of undocumented immigrants who arrived in childhood, as well as the undocumented parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Asia

India

Deadline Extended for PIO-OCI Conversions

  • The Indian External Affairs Ministry announced on June 19 that the deadline for the conversion of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders to the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) designation has been extended until December 31, 2016.
  • The extension was granted to provide more time to PIO cardholders to submit applications for OCI registration. PIO cardholders can continue to use their valid PIO cards through the application deadline and should submit applications for OCI cards in the meantime at their local overseas mission or consulate of jurisdiction.

Singapore and Myanmar

Countries Announce Reciprocal 30-Day Visa Exemption

  • Effective December 1, 2016, Singapore and Myanmar nationals will no longer need visas for short visits between the two countries. The countries exchanged diplomatic notes on the visa exemption on June 7, which stated that both countries will grant a visa exemption to each other’s citizens for a stay of not longer than 30 days and that the exemption is subject to other requirements for admission of short-term visitors.

Europe

United Kingdom

‘Brexit’ Threatens EU Free Movement Provisions

  • UK voters decided on June 23 to depart the European Union in a historic referendum dubbed “Brexit” that could substantially impact European workers’ free movement provisions into and out of the United Kingdom. However, minimal immediate impact is expected, as the affirmative vote has no impact until the British government fully negotiates its exit from the European Union. Also, the British government may take other actions regarding immigration control independent of Brexit. For more information, please see our legal update.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia

Economic Vision Contains Immigration-Related Proposals

  • The Saudi Cabinet recently approved Vision 2030, a 15-year plan to diversify the Saudi economy, reduce reliance on carbon fuels, create jobs and attract foreign investment. Included in these proposals are the introduction of sector-based special zones, including zones with visa exemptions designed to enhance the country’s financial sector as well as its tourism and trade. In addition, plans to develop a residency permit system similar to the United States’ green card system are to be developed within five years.

United Arab Emirates

Consular Processing Needed for Some Employment Visa Applicants

  • Visa applicants for employment-based entry permits from certain countries will soon be required to process visa applications through UAE consular service centers in their home countries. Applications for renewals of employment-based residence permits, as well as new residence visa applications for dependents, will not be impacted by the change. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) and Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) have not yet announced a specific date for implementation.
  • Affected applicants include nationals from the following countries:
    • Bangladesh
    • Egypt
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Kenya
    • Lebanon
    • Nigeria
    • Pakistan
    • Senegal
    • Sri Lanka and
    • Tunisia.