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

Featured Update

TAIWAN | Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rolls Out New Online Visa Application System
As of January 12, 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced the implementation of the online visa application process in Taiwan. Foreign nationals traveling for tourism, to conduct business, or visit relatives are eligible for an eVisa if they meet relevant criteria and hold citizenship from any of the following countries: Belize, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kiribati, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Turkey and Tuvalu.

Applicants must fill out the eVisa application form, submit the application, and pay the visa fee online. If an application is approved, the applicant receives a confirmation email and prints out the eVisa. The eVisa can then be presented at the immigration checkpoint for verification by the National Immigration Agency upon arrival in Taiwan. As with consular visas, immigration officers have the right to deny entry to eVisa holders as they deem necessary.

The eVisa is issued valid for three months for a single-entry of no more than 30 days, and cannot be extended. The online application is expected to be processed within one to two days, but it is recommended to apply at least seven days prior to needing the visa. Paper applications will still be accepted at Taiwanese consular posts.

Finally, it is important to note that eVisas are currently only offered for eligible foreign nationals entering Taiwan for business or tourism; foreign nationals entering Taiwan for work purposes are not eligible for these new eVisas.

Immigration Changes from Around the World

GLOBAL | Additional Countries Announce Changes to 2016 Minimum Salary Requirements
Further to last week’s Monday Dispatch, additional countries have announced changes to their minimum salary thresholds for local and foreign employees. The following minimum salary changes have been made and are effective as of January 1, 2016:

France
French authorities have increased the national minimum wage to EUR €1,466.62 per month (€17,599.44 annually). This change affects several classifications of expatriates in France, including holders of the following:

• Salarié en Mission Permit Holders – must earn at least EUR €26,399.16 annually;
• Salarié Détaché Holders – must earn at least EUR €17,599.44 annually;
• EU Blue Card Holders – must earn at least EUR €53,331.00 annually; and
• Local Hires – must earn at least EUR €17,599.44 or the equivalent of a local hire in the same position, if a higher wage.

Romania
Romanian authorities have increased the national minimum wage to RON 2,681 per month (RON 32,172 annually). This change affects several classifications of expatriates in France, including holders of the following:

• All foreign employees must earn at least the gross monthly salary minimum; and
• EU Blue Card Holders – must earn at least RON 10,724 monthly (quadruple the gross monthly salary minimum).


RUSSIA / TURKEY | Political Tension Leads to New Immigration Restrictions for Turkish Nationals
As the political tension between Russia and Turkey continues, new immigration regulations between the two countries are now being implemented. Watch this space for a full Global Brief regarding the new restrictions on Turkish nationals living and/or entering Russia.

Reminders: Recent and Upcoming Immigration Implementations

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

• February 1-5, 2016: All Pro-Link GLOBAL offices will be engaged in our company-wide meetings. During this time our response to emails will be delayed. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

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. We worked with our PLG | KGNM Taiwan Offices “Asian Tigers Mobility” and “Formosan Brothers Attorneys-at-Law” to provide you this update.

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.