Start your week off right by staying up to date with these key changes in immigration.

Featured Update

BRAZIL | Amendment to Conditional Permanent Residency Process

The Brazilian immigration authorities have confirmed several changes to the Conditional Permanent Residency process. First introduced in late-2012, the Conditional Permanent Residency process was established for Temporary-V (RN#99) visa holders to renew their stay in Brazil: instead of renewing their Temporary-V visa, these foreign employees are now required to undergo the Conditional Permanent Residency process which will grant an additional two (2) years of work and residence authorization.

As of July 2015, several changes were implemented:

• Applications are now filed directly with the Ministry of Justice in Brasilia rather than the Federal Police.
• Processing times have been significantly affected: instead of the previous 10-12 months of adjudication, applications will now take an average of 24 months to process.

Please note that the processes to renew registration cards and CPTS Work Booklets have not changed.

Immigration Changes from Around the World

CHILE | Non-Married Partners of Same- and Opposite-Sex Couples Eligible for Dependent Status

With the roll out of a new visa category, non-married partners of both same- and opposite-sex couples will be eligible for dependent status if their partner is a Chilean citizen, permanent resident, or temporary resident. We see the new visa category – titled Temporary Residence by Civil Union – as a very positive step for dependent immigration in Chile. Previously, unmarried partners were not eligible for dependent status and were required to undergo the lengthy process to obtain residence authorization on their own.

You must be over the age of 18 and have your union recognized by your home country or through a Chilean Civil Union Agreement in order to be eligible for the new Temporary Residence by Civil Union.


 

SOUTH AFRICA / UNITED KINGDOM | South African VFS Centers Opened in Three Major U.K. Cities

In an effort to improve their visa services in the United Kingdom, the South African authorities opened three new Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) Centers on August 6, 2015. The three centers – located in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh – will now accept all types of visa applications on behalf of the South African High Commission, as well as offer online/mobile application tracking for free and certain premium services for additional fees. In turn, the South African High Commission in London is no longer accepting any visa applications at this time.

The VFS Centers will not be jurisdictional in nature; in other words, applicants will be able to file at the VFS Center that is most convenient for them regardless of their residential address. At this point, applicants will be required to schedule an appointment with a VFS Center in order to file their applications.

Overall, this is a very welcome announcement. Previously, all visa applications were required to be filed in-person at the South African High Commission in London only. Providing VFS Centers in these three major cities will allow for more convenient filing locations for many applicants.

Please note that, while South African visa applications must now be filed with these new VFS Centres, the South African High Commission in the London has retained their authority over the actual adjudication/decision process for all visa applications. The South African High Commission will continue to process other consular services, including services for South African citizens living in the U.K.


 

VIETNAM | Major Meeting Between Government Offices Results in Draft Decree – Finalized Decree Expected in Late 2015

After a major meeting between the Vietnamese Business Forum, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and MOLISA, a draft decree has been issued to amend the current work and residence permit laws. Although the draft decree isn’t expected to be finalized until late-2015, many believe it will include faster work permit processing times, additional work permit exemptions (including for very short-term assignments), and other measures to further streamline the Vietnamese work and residence permit process. Watch this space for continued updates on this development. 


 

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Counsel and Knowledge Management teams.

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