Start your week off right by staying up to date with these key changes in immigration.
SENEGAL | Visa Requirements Eliminated for Business Visitors and Tourists
Business Visitors and Tourists to Senegal will no longer be required to obtain a visa to enter the country for periods of up to 90 days. While the planned deregulation was announced in the spring, the government has fully implemented the change and eligible travelers are now permitted to enter the country using only their passports. The change eliminates the burden of some travelers needing to file consular applications for advanced permission to enter.
While this change will have positive impacts for business travelers and tourists, there remains some uncertainty surrounding the enforcement:
• The government has made a particular effort to note that tourist and business travelers from countries with “known terrorism activities and/or drug smuggling” may be required to obtain consular visas. However, the government has yet to confirm which countries will be included on that list.
• In addition, there are no official published guidelines for permissible business activities in Senegal.
Please reach out to your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist for a case-specific assessment should you or your employees plan to travel visa-free to Senegal.
Immigration Changes from Around the World
GERMANY | Federal Registration Act Comes into Force – Changes to Town Hall Procedures
Effective November 1, 2015, the new Federal Registration Act came into force and brought several changes to town hall registration/de-registration requirements and timeframes. Traditionally, these registration requirements were governed by local, state-level authorities; however, the Federal Registration Act will bring these procedures under federal jurisdiction.
Notably, the rules now require registration and de-registration to take place within two weeks from the date of entry or date of departure from Germany. Failure to comply with these new requirements will subject foreign nationals to fines.
In addition to the new time period required for registration and de-registration, the authorities will now require a confirmation form (Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung) to be issued by the applicant’s landlord relative to the procurement of a physical residence and the applicant’s confirmed move-in and move-out dates. Landlords failing to comply with this requirement will be subject to fines. The confirmation forms will be available at the local town halls and its anticipated those forms will be available online soon.
INDONESIA | Increased Focus on Immigration Compliance throughout Indonesia
The Indonesian labor authorities continue to launch unannounced, on-site immigration audits throughout the nation looking to ensure immigration compliance. Foreign workers must have their work permit (IMTA) and stay permit (KITAS) authorizations on their person at all times while working. In addition, Indonesian companies sponsoring foreign workers should maintain copies of the employees’ IMTA and KITAS documentation as further evidence of immigration compliance. The recent trend of these inspections has caught some employers by surprise in light of the labor authority’s previous practice of providing several days advanced notice of intent to inspect immigration documentation on-site.
Furthermore, the nation has also implemented new immigration rules in Bali in an attempt to combat increasing complaints of foreign nationals illegally working in the province. Thus, effective immediately, foreign nationals who have entered Indonesia more than twice in a year or, alternatively, those who have been in-country for four (4) consecutive months or more as tourists or visa-exempt nationals will be denied entry into the country through Bali. Those foreign nationals entering Bali from other regions of Indonesia will not automatically undergo these formal immigration checks, but may be subject to these restrictions regardless. The regulations have no impact on business visa holders or those with valid temporary residence permits.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | New Entry Requirements for GCC Residents & New Transit Options for Visa Nationals
Expatriates holding valid residency permits from Gulf Cooperation Council member states (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman), will now be required to obtain an e-Visa prior to their travels in order to enter the UAE. Expats can apply for these e-Visas online and the approval is generated electronically via email. It is important to note that entry clearances will not be provided to family members if the sponsor is not traveling with the family. The GCC Residents Entry Permit is valid for 30 days from the entry date and is extendable for an additional 30 days.
The UAE has also created a new “96 hour transit visa” that provides advanced entry permission for foreign nationals who are not eligible for a visa-on-arrival but who must transit through the country. The visa approval process takes approximately 2-3 business days compared to the 10-15 business day process for tourist visas. It is anticipated that the creation of the new visa category will provide relief to those foreign nationals needing to connect to outbound destinations without the hassle of procuring a tourist visa.
Reminders: Recent and Upcoming Immigration Implementations
The following are reminders of recent or upcoming implementation dates that you should know:
• November 2: Schengen Member States have rolled out their Visa Information System (VIS) to all embassies and consulates of Schengen countries in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The VIS will require that all Schengen Visa applicants submit their biometric data in-person as part of their visa application process.
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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