Please note: while we address some country-specific updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the below contains information regarding global restrictions and closures as they stand today. Given the constantly changing nature of this situation, we highly recommend reviewing any global mobility inquiries on a case-by-case basis, including any consulate-specific or immigration authority resources, in “real-time” before traveling internationally. Please reach out to our Global Mobility Team in advance of any international travel.

Ireland - Further Automatic Extension Announced

The Irish Ministry for Justice announced an additional automatic temporary extension for permissions until May 31, 2022. The extension applies to all permissions that will expire between January 15, 2022 and May 31, 2022, including those that were also extended by the previous temporary extensions since March 2020. Permit holders intending to remain in Ireland after May 31, 2022 should ensure they renew or extend their permits prior to that date. Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card holders who have not yet received new IRP cards may continue to use their expired cards to travel internationally and return to Ireland based on the holiday travel allowances until January 15, 2022. Please see the Ministry’s announcement here for more information.

Japan - New Entry Requirements and Certificate of Eligibility Validity Period Update

In efforts to control the spread of new COVID variants, the Japanese government has implemented new quarantine requirements for travelers from certain countries. The quarantine period required at a government facility upon arrival is now extended for travelers from some countries such as Canada, the US (certain states), Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Georgia, Poland, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg. New changes and additional origin countries are announced on a daily basis, please see here for up-to-date information.

Additionally, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan has announced updates to the validity period for Certificates of Eligibility to be accepted for work visa applications. Certificates of Eligibility issued between January 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021 will be considered valid until April 30, 2022. Certificates of Eligibility issued between November 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022 will be considered valid for 6 months from the date of issuance.

Netherlands - Minimum Salary Requirements for 2022

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has published the minimum salary amounts for foreign national employees, including Highly Skilled Migrants, Graduates, and Blue Card holders for 2022. The minimum salary amounts are the following:

  • The minimum monthly gross salary threshold for applicants 30 years and older is currently set at €4,752 - excluding 8% holiday allowance, and will be indexed to €4,840
  • The minimum monthly gross salary threshold for applicants younger than 30 years is currently set at €3,484 - excluding 8%8% holiday allowance, and will be indexed to €3,549
  • The minimum monthly gross salary threshold for graduates from a higher Dutch educational institution taking up employment within one year after graduation is currently set at €2,497- excluding 8% holiday allowance, and will be indexed to €2,543
  • The minimum monthly gross salary threshold for Blue Card applications is currently set at €5,567- excluding 8% holiday allowance, and will be indexed to €5,670

All salary amounts are calculated on a monthly gross basis, excluding holiday allowances, and must be paid directly to the bank account of the individual. Allowances and benefits may only be included under certain conditions. The new salary amounts are applicable for new applications and extensions filed with the IND on or after January 1, 2022.

Turkey - Minimum Salary Requirements for 2022

The Turkish authorities have published the minimum salary amounts sponsoring employers must meet for work permit holders in 2022.

The general minimum salary threshold is as follows:

  • Gross minimum monthly salary of 5.004,00 Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • Net minimum monthly salary of 4.253,40 Turkish Lira (TRY)

Additionally, salaries paid to foreign national work permit holder employees must also be comparable with other salaries for the industry and position. The minimum salary thresholds for specific industries and positions include:

  • High level managers and pilots must be paid at least 6.5 times the minimum wage (or 32.526,00 TRY gross/month)
  • Department managers and engineers/architects must be paid at least 4 times the minimum wage (or 20.016,00 TRY gross/month)
  • Employees who will work in a position requiring “expertise” and teachers must be paid at least 3 times the minimum wage (or 15.012,00 TRY gross/month)

Salary requirements above may not include benefits of any kind (i.e. housing allowances, bonuses, etc.) and salary requirements must be maintained throughout the validity of the work permit. Work permit applications filed in 2021, but still pending at the start of 2022, are subject to the 2022 minimum salary requirements.

United Kingdom - Red List Removed, Visa Processing and ID Verification News, and Right to Work Update

UK COVID Travel Red List Removed:

All countries were removed from the COVID-19 red list at 04:00 am on December 15, 2021. Most countries were added to the list in response to the spread of Omicron variant including 10 African countries. In line with the lift of red list restrictions, UK Visas and Immigration have resumed processing visit visa applications in all countries now that they are no longer on the red list. However, priority and super priority visa services will remain temporarily suspended across all routes in the countries recently removed from the red list. The Home Office indicated they will continue to review the situation and services will be reinstated as soon as possible.

Visa Processing Delays:

Due to continued high global demand, standard UK visitor visas are currently taking significantly longer than the typical 15 business day processing time. Messages informing applicants of extended processing times for visitor visas are available on the visa decision waiting times GOV.UK page, the websites of the overseas commercial partners (TLS Contact ad VFS Global), and are provided as a service update at the start of the visitor visa application process.

In the meantime, the vast majority of super priority and priority visa applications are being assessed within their service standards, where these services are available. Non-visitor visa applications (including student and work visas) are still being processed within published service standards.

Priority Visa Services on the UK Immigration: ID Check App

On December 14, 2021, priority visa services were extended and became available for in-country, non-EU national adults over the age of 18 including partner dependents, applying under the Skilled Worker and Student routes via the UK Immigration ID Check app. The UK Immigration ID Check app was also made available to non-EU national holders of BRP cards who are applying in the UK under Skilled Worker and Student routes. For applications made via the ID Check app, the priority processing time is usually 5 working days. The processing time starts on the beginning of the next business day (not including weekends) once the applicant has completed all actions (including the ID verification) and has uploaded all supporting documents.

UK Online Right to Work Checks: