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

Featured Update

SINGAPORE | New Regulations Set Stricter Limitations on Work Pass Exemptions
The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore recently announced changes to work pass exemptions. Previously, those foreign nationals holding work pass exemptions were permitted to carry out limited activities for a maximum of 60 days with the ability file several “repeat” petitions through a one year period. Under the new rules, the authority has limited the ability for foreign nationals to hold work pass exemptions to a cumulative 90 days in one calendar year. This allows foreign nationals to apply for the maximum 60 day work exemption, with the ability to apply for another 30 day exemption at a later date in the year. Further, the Ministry of Manpower has eliminated “software installation” as a work pass exempt activity under the current category of “Specialized Services related to a New Plant / Operation / Equipment” under the current scheme. The changes are effective immediately.

Immigration Changes from Around the World

CANADA | Additional Nationalities Eligible for eTAs in 2016
As of March 15, 2016, eligible nationals of Mexico, Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania will be afforded more streamlined entry into Canada. Under the new rules, citizens of these nations will not be required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) if the individual meets either of the following eligibility requirements:

• The individual has previously held a Canadian TRV within 10 years preceding the date of entry; or
• Alternatively, the individual holds a current U.S. non-immigrant visa.

For those eligible, travelers will only be required to fill out the electronic authorization (eTA) prior to entering Canada by air. For those traveling to Canada by land or sea, valid passports and documentation establishing valid residency in the U.S. will be required.


COLOMBIA | Increase in Denials of Dependent Spouse In-Country Work Permit Applications
According to local reports, the Colombian immigration authorities are increasingly denying in-country change-of-status applications from dependent spouses of foreign workers seeking work authorization. While the Colombian immigration regulations do not explicitly prohibit in-country work permit applications from those holding non employment-based visas, the authorities are reportedly denying requests on the grounds that these foreign nationals will unfairly compete for jobs in the local labor market with Colombian citizens. In light of the inconsistencies with the application of the policy, it is recommended that you consult your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration specialist to discuss the factual circumstances of your matter.


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.