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

Featured Update

IRELAND | September 1, 2015: Amendments to Employment Permit Regulations Come into Force
The Irish Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation (DJEI) has confirmed that the scheduled amendments to the Employment Permit Regulations came into force on September 1, 2015. Many of these changes have been made in response to Ireland’s current labor market needs and general maintenance to the Employment Permit scheme.

There have been both additions and removals to the Ineligible Occupations List (i.e. those occupations for which an Employment Permit will not be granted):

• Occupations Removed: IT Engineers, Chiropractors who are members of the Chiropractor Association of Ireland, Mobility Instructors for the Visual Impaired, and limited number of Meat Boners.
• Occupations Added: Healthcare Practice Managers, Senior Social Services Managers & Directors, Dispensing Opticians, and certain Managers (betting shop, graphic design, library, plant hire, production, property, housing, estate).

The DJEI has expanded the Highly Skilled Occupations List in order to address current labor market needs, especially within the medical industry.

• The following occupations have been added to the Highly Skilled Occupations List: Radiation Therapists, Orthotists, and Prosthetists.

Watch this space for a more in-depth look at these changes and more in our upcoming Global Brief.

Immigration Changes from Around the World

BELGIUM | New Regulations Introduce Favorable Conditions for EU Long Term Residency Status Holders
Non-EU nationals holding long-term (unlimited) residency status in another EU country have been granted new, more flexible work permit regulations in Belgium. As of July 1, 2015, should these individuals work in Belgium under a Work Permit B for twelve (12) uninterrupted months, they will be exempt from having to renew this work permit, regardless if they will stay with the same employer or switch employers. In addition, such individuals will also be subject to extremely short processing times (5 business days) for an initial Work Permit B application, should they be hired in Belgium for a shortage occupation.  Note that the normal Residence Permit process in Belgium applies to this group of non-EU nationals – the long term residency status in another EU country does not provide the right to that same status in Belgium.


EUROPEAN UNION | Deadline to Submit Comments on EU Blue Card Scheme Extended to September 30
The European Commission has extended the deadline for public comment on a proposal to overhaul the EU Blue Card throughout the region to September 30, 2015. This proposal, outlined in a Migration Agenda issued in May of this year, spotlights the region’s upcoming need for Non-EU/EEA skilled, legal migration in order to promote continued economic growth throughout the EU. This agenda specifically focused on significantly expanding and revising the under-utilized EU Blue Card scheme. Proposed changes to the program include increasing the number of Blue Cards available, easing the travel between EU nations for Blue Card holders, and possibly extending the Blue Card eligibility to entrepreneurs investing in EU nations.

Employers, business associations, trade unions, non-EU employees working and living in the EU (or those who have worked and lived in EU nations previously), and key immigration stakeholders are encouraged to provide comments through an online form (accessible here).


NIGERIA | Suspension of Immigration Service Comptroller-General
The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), David Shikfu Parradang, has been suspended indefinitely. Citing a “deliberate disregard to the extant laws, insubordination to constituted authority and improper behavior to the Service that is unbecoming of a public officer,” the Nigerian Director and Secretary of the CDFIPB board issued the letter of suspension in late August. Among other accusations of wrongdoing, Parradang allegedly hired 1,600 inspectors and assistants without proper authorization to do so.

Parradang’s suspension in combination with the recent discovery that the NIS had granted Ahmad al-Assir, a leader of ISIS, a Nigerian visa from a Consulate in Lebanon, will most likely lead to further scrutiny of and delays to Nigerian visa, work, and residence permit applications.

Martin Kure Abeshi, former Deputy Comptroller-General of the NIS, has been named as Parradang’s interim replacement.

Reminders: Recent and Upcoming Immigration Implementations

The following are reminders of recent or upcoming implementation dates that you should know:

• KENYA | September 1, 2015: e-Visas required for single-entry business visitors, tourists, and foreign nationals transiting through Kenya.


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.

Information contained in this Weekly Update is prepared using information obtained from various media outlets, government publications and our KGM network of immigration professionals. Written permission from the copyright owner and any other rights holders must be obtained for any reuse of any content posted or published by Pro-Link GLOBAL that extends beyond fair use or other statutory exemptions. Furthermore, responsibility for the determination of the copyright status and securing permission rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Interested parties are welcome to contact the Knowledge Management Department (km@pro-linkglobal.com) with any additional requests for information or to request reproduction of this material.