This week recent updates from Bahrain, Denmark, the European Union, Luxembourg, New Zealand and the United States.
Bahrain: Residency and work permit renewals
The Ministry of Interior has announced that residence and work permits will soon be renewed from outside Bahrain.
The new service, applicable to foreigners working in the commercial and government sectors, registered workers and domestic workers, will be provided by the Ministry of Citizenship, Passport and Residence (NPRA) and the Labor Market Authority (LMRA). Currently, no implementation date has been announced.
Denmark: New Health Agreement in Greenland
As of September 6, a new health agreement comes into force in Greenland, affecting “carers” (people with health training) who have been offered jobs in the health system. Greenland International.
Applicants for a residence and work permit under a medical agreement are not required to submit permits or documents for previous study or work.
The change in documentation requirements only applies to healthcare workers employed in the Greenland healthcare system, where the position is covered by a Greenlandic collective agreement.
Denmark: New requirement for family members to sponsors in the Faroe Islands
On September 2, 2023, a new request for support for family members traveling with the sponsor in the Faroe Islands will be launched.
These changes mean that accompanying family members must now demonstrate that a sponsor in the Faroe Islands can support them.
All family members accompanying the sponsor to the Faroe Islands are subject to this requirement. However, this rule does not apply if the person resides within the scope of the Sports Agreement.
- All first-time applications submitted on or after 2 September 2023 are subject to the changes. The permit will state whether it is a condition for the residence permit that the sponsor can support the accompanying family member. The requirement for support will in these instances also apply to applications for an extension of a residence permit.
- For applications for a residence permit or for an extension of a residence permit submitted before 2 September 2023, the requirement for support does not apply.
- For applications for an extension of a residence permit granted before 2 September 2023, the requirement for support does not apply.
Applicants must present their sponsor’s current contract of employment in the Faroe Islands and, if they have started work in the Faroe Islands, must have their pay checks for the last three months.
The documents must show that the sponsor has:
- 34,716.12 kr. in gross income each month, for a spouse or a cohabiting partner.
- 39,797.37 kr. in gross income each month, for a spouse or a cohabiting partner and for a child under the age of 18 that is also traveling to the Faroe Islands, as an accompanying family member. 1,248.25 kr. is added for each additional child, for a maximum of 4 children.
- 28,317.70 kr. In gross income each month, for a child under the age of 18. 3,186.58 kr. is added for each additional child, for a maximum of 4 children.
The fixed amount applies for the whole year 2023. This amount is partly adjusted by the wage developments in the collective agreement of the Føroya Arbeiðarafelago (Faroe Islands trade union) for general workers and a government-specified percentage each year, effective January 1. , established according to Løgtingslóg um javningarprosent til almannaveitingar (Lag law on social welfare adjustment).
European Union: Proposed steps to make it easier for Europeans to live, work and travel abroad
The European Commission has proposed measures to make it easier for European citizens to live, work and travel abroad by making it faster and easier for them to access cross-border social security services.
The Commission’s Communication lays out suggested actions for Member States to further digitize the coordination of social security systems, including the following:
- Accelerate the national implementation of the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI) so that it is fully operational by the end of 2024 across Europe. EESSI digitalises the exchanges among national social security institutions, to move away from paper-based, time-consuming and cumbersome procedures.
- Deliver more social security coordination procedures fully online, to make it even easier for people to move and work abroad, and ensure they get fast access to their eligible benefits. Member States can build on the Single Digital Gateway Regulation, which foresees a fully online delivery of some important administrative procedures to citizens and businesses by 12 December 2023 at the latest.
- Fully engage in the European Social Security Pass (ESSPASS) pilot activities, which explore how to simplify the issuance and verification of citizens’ social security entitlements across borders.
- Work towards introducing EU Digital Identity (EUDI) wallets, which will allow EU citizens to carry digital versions of entitlement documents, such as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), making it easier for social security institutions, labour inspectorates and healthcare providers to instantly verify these documents.
The Commission invites the European Parliament and the Council to endorse the approach set out in this Communication and calls on Member States and all relevant stakeholders to work together to implement their actions. Promoting the digitalization of social security coordination is also relevant in the context of ongoing negotiations between co-legislators on amending the EU social security coordination rules. The Commission encourages the European Parliament and the Council to modernize the legal framework by reaching agreement on amendments.
EU citizens have the right to travel, work and live in another EU country. EU regulations (Regulation No. 883/2004 and Regulation No. 987/2009 relating to its application) protect the social security rights of people when they move within Europe, e.g. to child care, health, family and retirement benefits, and ensure they have access to qualifying benefits. benefit as quickly as possible across the EU.
Luxembourg: New law to tackle skilled worker shortage
Effective September 1, 2023, the new law aims to address the skilled labor shortage by helping businesses hire skilled foreign workers. The main changes are described below.
Third-country national family members of third-country residents are now allowed to work without needing to apply for a separate work permit.
- Third-country nationals who have a ‘family member’ residence permit now have free access to the Luxembourg labour market as soon as they arrive on the basis of a temporary authorisation to stay. However, they must take the necessary steps to obtain a residence permit as soon as possible.
- Third-country nationals holding a ‘family member’ residence permit issued before 1 September 2023 were only authorised to work in Luxembourg if this was explicitly stated on their residence permit and under the conditions set out therein. Since 1 September 2023, they are authorised to work in Luxembourg, regardless of any observations stated to this effect on their residence permit. There are no plans to replace these residence permits which will only cease to be valid on their expiry date. It is only the note or observation on the back of the permit that ceases to be valid from 1 September 2023.
Temporary employment approval procedures for applicants for international protection will also be accelerated. For asylum seekers whose proceedings have not been completed after six months, as well as for those whose removals have been postponed or canceled, the National Employment Agency (ADEM) will no longer carry out market checks. labor market when granting temporary jobs.
The validity period of a residence permit issued from this date for the purpose of finding a job or establishing a business is extended from nine to twelve months.
The certification process allowing the recruitment of third-country nationals will also be simplified.
Companies wishing to hire third-country nationals must report the job offer to ADEM and request a certificate authorizing them to hire people of their choice.
- For professions listed as shortage professions, ADEM will no longer be required to conduct a job market test. In such cases, the certificate will be issued within five days of receiving the application.
- For positions not listed as shortage professions, the job market test will still be conducted, but with shortened deadlines.
- ADEM now has seven working days to assess the availability of job seekers with the required qualifications for the reported position.
- If no suitable candidate can be proposed, the certificate will be issued within five working days after the seven-day period has expired.
- However, if ADEM can suggest candidates with the desired qualifications, they have an additional 15 working days to provide the employer with placement suggestions.
New Zealand: New median wage
A new median wage of NZD 31.61 per hour will be adopted into the immigration system from February 2024.
Many work and residence visa categories have wage thresholds or criteria that are based on the median wage, and most of these will be updated. This includes the Accredited Employer Visa (AEWV), the Skilled Migrant Category, and some occupations covered by Sector Agreements and the Green List.
Parent category wage thresholds are updated separately and the tourism and hospitality wage threshold will also be updated separately in April 2024.
In 2022, a standard process was set up to update the median wage in the immigration system in February the following year. This gives businesses around six months to prepare for the change from the time it gets updated by Statistics NZ.
United States: MRV fee update
The US Department of State has confirmed that all receipts for payment of Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fees issued before 1 October 2022 will expire 30 September 2023.
There will be no extensions of fee validity. Applicants must schedule an appointment or submit an interview waiver application before 30 September 2023 to avoid paying a new fee. Please note that the interview itself does not need to take place before 30 September 2023, but an interview appointment needs to be made in the system, even if it is scheduled months into the future.
Furthermore, applicants using MRV fees paid before 1 October 2022 to book an appointment are cautioned not to attempt to change their appointment dates on or after 1 October 2023. Doing so will result in forfeiture of both the original appointment slot and the MRV fee receipt. The applicant will be required to pay a new fee and submit a new application package.
Under a temporary COVID pandemic policy, all receipts for payment of MRV fees issued before 1 October 2022 were extended until 30 September 2023.
All MRV fee payment receipts issued on or after 1 October 2022 are valid for 365 days from the issuance date.