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: Television and Film Professionals Exempt From Labor Market Impact Assessment

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced that, effective February 17, 2016, a foreign television and film industry worker whose position or occupation is essential to a television or film production in Canada may be exempt from the Labor Market Impact Assessment.  Work will be considered essential where the production will create and maintain significant economic benefits and opportunities for citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Europe

Ireland: Changes to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and the Ineligible Categories of Employment List

  • Effective February 1, 2016, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation put into effect changes to both the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and the Ineligible Categories of Employment List. The Department added material scientists, industrial pharmacists, perfusionists, gastro-intestinal technologists/physiologist and international marketing experts to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List. Conversely, Paramedics, Aircraft Maintenance personnel, MIG/TIG Welders and tourist guides in non-European Economic Area (EEA) languages were removed from the Ineligible Categories of Employment List.

Italy: New Immigrant Quota

  • A new immigrant quota of approximately 30,000 visas has been established for subordinate and self-employed individuals. In addition, the quota will allow several categories to convert to work permits.
  • The majority of the 30,000 visas have been allocated for subordinate and self-employed work, while the remaining visas will allow the conversion of study/internship/training permits and European Community long-term residence permits issued by other EU member states into Italian work permits.

Russia: Changes in Salary Requirements for Highly Qualified Specialists

  • Effective January 1, 2016, new salary requirements for Highly Qualified Specialists (HSQ) went into effect.  HSQ work permit holders must now be paid a gross monthly salary of at least 167,000 rubles (approx. US$2,123).  If an HSQ takes an extended leave, the quarterly gross salary must be at least 510,000 rubles (approx. US$6,368).

United Kingdom
Health Surcharge Extended to Nationals of Australia and New Zealand

  • Beginning April 6, 2016, nationals of Australia and New Zealand who reside in the United Kingdom for more than six consecutive months, or apply to extend their stay while in the United Kingdom, will be required to pay the annual health surcharge.  Previously, Australian and New Zealand nationals were exempt from the surcharge.

Expansion of Registered Traveler Service

  • On January 25, 2016, the United Kingdom Home Office announced that the registered traveler service had been expanded to include nationals of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.  Nationals from these countries join nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States as users of the registered traveler service.
  • In order to be eligible, foreign nationals must be at least 18 years of age and either have a UK visa or have visited the United Kingdom four times in the last two years.  Approved users of the service will be eligible to use passport eGates and UK/EU controls at participating airports.