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.
Electronic Travel Authorization Implementation Delayed
- Foreign nationals who require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to arrival in Canada now have until September 29, 2016, to obtain the eTA. Originally, the eTA requirement was scheduled to be fully implemented on March 15, 2016.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization Validity Period Reduced for Greek Nationals
- Effective April 1, 2016, Greek nationals applying for or renewing an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to enter the United States will be issued an ESTA valid for only one year instead of the standard two years. Currently valid two-year ESTAs issued to Greek nationals will remain valid until the end of the two-year period.
Work and Holiday Visa and Multiple-Entry Visa Established for Singaporeans
- Australia and Singapore have agreed to implement a Work and Holiday Visa between the two countries, which will allow nationals of each country between the ages of 18 and 30 to travel, live, work and study in the other country. 500 visas will be available to nationals of each country every year.
- Australia has also proposed the introduction of a multiple-entry, longer-term validity visit visa, beyond the current one-year limit for Singaporean nationals. This visa will be aimed at frequent short-term travelers to Australia.
New Rules Make Travel Easier for Chinese Nationals
- Several changes designed to make travel to New Zealand easier for Chinese nationals were announced in April 2016. These changes include:
- Doubling the length of multiple-entry visas from one to two years;
- Introducing a new three-year multiple-entry business visa;
- Introducing a complete Chinese language application process; and
- Allowing applicants to pay the application fee online.
Fast Track Program Quota Likely to be Reached
- The Ministry of Industry and Trade expects that the quota for the Fast Track Program will be reached in summer 2016. The program allows foreign nationals who are employed by qualifying employers and who require a work permit to seek expedited processing of their applications. The Fast Track Program only has 100 spaces available per year.
European Commission Recommends Lifting Visa Requirements for Turkish Nationals
- On May 4, 2016, the European Commission recommended to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union that visa requirements be lifted for nationals of Turkey as long as Turkey completes the final requirements of the visa liberalization roadmap. If the proposal is implemented, Turkish nationals will be able to travel to all countries of the European Union (except Ireland and the United Kingdom), as well as the four associated Schengen countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, without a visa for up to 90-days in any 180-day period for purposes of tourism or business.
- The deadline for this proposal to be approved is the end of June.
Rules Relaxed for Kenyan Nationals Traveling to South Africa
- Several new measures are being introduced to ease travel for Kenyan nationals to South Africa. Some of the measures include:
- A new three-year multiple-entry visa for frequent travelers;
- Issuance of study visas for the duration of a foreign student’s study period and extending permanent residence to those student’s studying in critical skill categories;
- Removal of the transit visa requirement for travelers stopping at a South African airport before continuing on to another country; and
- Issuance of a 10-year multiple-entry visa for frequent business and academic travelers.