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

Featured Update

CANADA | Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Soon to be Mandatory for Visa-Exempt Nationalities
Effective March 15, 2016 the Canadian government will make the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) program mandatory for all visa-waiver nationals. First introduced in August 2015, the program requires that visa-waiver nationals traveling to Canada by air obtain an eTA prior to their travel. A list of foreign nationals requiring an eTA can be found here. Note that the eTA requirement does not apply to US citizens and is not needed if a traveler is entering Canada at a land or sea port.

In order to obtain an eTA, applicants complete an online application and pay a small processing fee of CAD $7.00. Every traveler must submit a separate application; if a child(ren) is noted on a passport a separate eTA application must be completed for each traveler.

Once issued, the eTA electronically links to a passport (no physical visa stamp will be issued) and is valid for five years, or for the remaining validity of the applicant’s passport (whichever period is shorter). Applicants must travel with the passport used to apply for the eTA; getting a new passport requires a new eTA.

Most often, applicants receive a confirmation email within minutes; however, due to the new system there may be some technical difficulties. Applicants are advised to apply as soon as they know they are traveling to Canada.

Immigration Changes from Around the World

TURKEY | Authorities Announce Changes to 2016 Minimum Salary Requirements
Turkish authorities increased the minimum wage by 30% to TRY 1,647 per month (TRY 19,764 annually). The increase is much higher than expected and will be in place for one year as opposed to six months. This change affects several classifications of expatriates in Turkey, including the following:

• Senior management, board members – must earn at least TRY 128,472 annually;
• Managers – must earn at least TRY 79,056 annually;
• Experts, specialists – must earn at least TRY 59,292 annually;
• Sales assistants – must earn at least TRY 29,64, annually;
• Tourism and entertainment – must earn at least TRY 39,528 annually; and
• Household employees – must earn at least TRY 29,652 annually.


UNITED KINGDOM | Migration Advisory Committee Published Recommended Changes to Tier 2 Immigration Route
Stemming from fears of significant overuse, the UK authorities recently commissioned an independent review of the popular Tier 2 Immigration Route. The review, undertaken by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), was published on January 19 and contained significant recommendations for changes to the Tier 2 stream. Stay tuned here for a full Global Brief covering all you need to know about this report.

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.
February 7-13, 2016: All Chinese government offices and many private businesses will be closed in observance of the Chinese Spring Festival, including Pro-Link GLOBAL’s China Offices. Companies sending employees to China for work or business travel should take close note of these closures as no immigration-related filings will be accepted and processing times will be delayed.

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.