Our July and August 2020 global immigration update provides key changes to immigration rules in global jurisdictions. In this month's issue we include the European Union, Ireland, Belgium, Poland, Luxembourg, Singapore, Australia, the USA, Canada and Barbados.




The European Council has updated its list of countries whose residents should be allowed or denied entry into the EU Member States. Travel restrictions have also been lifted for highly skilled workers by many EU Member States as well as Schengen Area countries.


Automatic visa renewals

All immigration permissions expiring between 20 August and 20 September 2020 are automatically extended for a further one-month period. The Department of Justice Registration Offices will also temporarily close again in light of the on-going coronavirus outbreak.

The re-opening of Online Residence Card renewal process

As of 20 July 2020 the renewal process of Online Residence Card (IRP card) has been opened up to all non EEA nationals and their dependant families residing in Dublin.


EU Posted Worker Directive

As of 30 July 2020 Belgium has implemented the revised EU Posted Worker Directive. This should only have minimal changes as most of the rules were already in place.


As of 30 July 2020 Poland has also implemented the revised EU Posted Worker Directive making changes to its posted worker laws.


British nationals residing in Luxembourg

The Luxembourg government has published information on what British nationals residing in Luxembourg must do before 31 December 2020 (end of the Brexit transition period) to maintain their right of residence and work in Luxembourg.

Asia - Pacific


Increase to the minimum salary threshold for Employment Passes 

The minimum qualifying monthly salary threshold for Employment Passes has increased to SGD 4,500 from 01 September 2020. As of 01 October 2020 there will also be stricter advertising requirements and job postings when carrying out the labour market test for employers wishing to employ foreign workers. 



New Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) released

In order to expedite Temporary Skill Shortage visa application processing, the Australian government has introduced a new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List for certain critical workers. 

Additional labour testing requirements

As of 01 October, additional labour market testing requirements will be imposed for certain visa types.

North America


New fee regulation to be implemented by U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

From 02 October 2020 onwards a new fee regulation will be implemented for immigration benefit filings. Higher fees are expected to be put in place for employment-based applications and petitions and new application forms are also expected to be issued for L-1, H1B and other non-immigrant petitions to reflect the new fees. 

USCIS has stopped furlough of its workforce

USCIS has ceased furloughing its workforce by cutting agency spending, however the cuts are said to increase processing times, backlogs and waiting times.   

COVID-19 online learning accommodations for F-1 and M1 students 

Foreign students on F-1 and M1 visas who are enrolled on courses entirely taught online will not be allowed to take the full online course and remain in the US. They will not be issued visas and/or admitted in the US during the fall 2020 semester. 


Restrictions to Quebec’s Experience Program (PEQ)

From 22 July 2020 restrictions have been implemented on the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ). These restrictions of course make it more difficult for foreign nationals such as temporary residents either working or studying in Quebec who are required to apply for permanent residence in the province.

Central America/Caribbean


Welcome Stamp Visas

New Welcome Stamp Visas have been introduced by the government to enable foreign nationals to reside and work remotely from Barbados. There is a requirement to show sufficient income for this visa.