July 30, 2015
These important immigration updates are brought to you by Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Counsel and Knowledge Management teams.
RUSSIA | Work Permits to be amended within 7 days of changes to name or passport details
Employers in Russia have been given a strict, 7 business day deadline to request modifications or amendments to work permits when an employee’s name or passport information has changed. The regulation is effective as of June 30, 2015, and is the first time there has ever been a deadline of this nature. Violation of the new procedure will subject the employer via the employee to fines ranging from 4,000.00 to 5,000.00 Rubles (approximately $70.00 to $90.00 USD). It remains to be seen whether the employer can legally recover any fines from the employee imposed as a result of the employee’s negligence to disclose name changes or changes to the information contained in the employee’s passport. As a best practice, emphasis must be placed on training new foreign hires on immigration compliance.
Immigration Changes from Around the World
CANADA | Employers to become subject to strict penalties for immigration non-compliance as of December 1, 2015
In response to public feedback and governmental inquiries, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced it will impose harsh penalties to deter even minor violations of the country’s immigration regulations under the proposed Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) scheme. Under its current regulatory scheme, employers are subject to revocation of their work permits, 2 year bans on work permit sponsorship and are added to a publicly available list of all the country’s employers found to have committed such infractions.
As of December 1, 2015, additional fines may be imposed of up to $100,000.00 CAD (approximately $77,000.00 USD) per violation, and capped at $1,000,000.000 CAD associated with the most egregious violations. Additionally, employers may be subject to work permit bans in excess of two years (with the possibility of the government imposing permanent work permit bans on those employers with excessive and considerable violations). Until the new regulation goes into effect, the ban remains capped at 2 years.
Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the AMP will be administered by CIC in tandem with the Ministry of Employment and Social Development (ESDC). The two agencies will categorize an infraction into 3 separate categories (A, B, or C) and thereby attribute points (1-4 with 4 being the harshest penalty). While employers may inevitably find themselves subject to this additional scrutiny, the regulatory scheme has in fact carved out due process procedures providing employers opportunities to self-report violations, offer mitigating evidence, and 30 days to contest any findings reported via investigative reports. Rulings issued by this joint committee will administratively be considered final with only limited legal avenues for appeals.
INDONESIA | Indonesia to require 90% localization on employers who seek to hire foreign nationals.
In a victorious move for Indonesian nationals, the government has now codified a previously unwritten rule that required employers to employ ten (10) local nationals for every (1) foreign national the company seeks to hire. The regulation was officially issued by the Ministry of Manpower, but contains several (advantageous) exceptions for employers. The 10:1 employment ratio will not apply to:
• Foreign nationals working in temporary jobs;
• Emergency or Urgent need positions for which a foreign national is hired;
• Foreign nationals appointed as Directors or Commissioners; or
• Temporary positions for athletes or artists.
Further, the Ministry of Manpower has not elaborated on how it will define temporary jobs but insists it will utilize the company’s Mandatory Manpower Report to assess the number of local nationals employed by the organization.
UPDATE: There is also a new regulation which requires that all foreign directors and commissioners obtain work permits, regardless of whether the foreign national ever works inside of the country. While the regulation was enacted just a few weeks ago, there is uncertainty at this time with regards to the law’s implantation as it conflicts with several other provisions currently enacted; particularly the requirement that work permit holders have a local residential address in-country.
SINGAPORE | Minimum salary requirements increased for foreign nationals seeking to sponsor dependent visas
The Singaporean government has re-visited the minimum salary qualifications for foreign nationals looking to sponsor dependent visas. As of September 1, 2015, work pass holders will be required to earn a fixed monthly salary of $5,000.00 Singaporean dollars (approx. $3,700.00 USD) to remain eligible to sponsor a spouse and children for dependent passes. That amount is doubled ($10,000.00 Singaporean dollars) for those work pass holders who wish to sponsor their parents for a dependent pass.
Currently, eligible employees must earn minimum fixed monthly salary of $4,000.00 Singaporean dollars to sponsor immediate family members and $8,000.00 to sponsor parents. The move was anticipated by many and the minimum salary requirements are likely to be regularly updated and reviewed to ensure foreign nationals are financially able to support dependents while working in-country. Employers will have to account for this increase from an HR standpoint for all pending assignments set to take place after September 1st.
UNITED KINGDOM | Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship once again exceeded for month of July 2015
For the second consecutive month, the monthly limit for Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship has been exceeded. Only those applications scoring 45 points were successfully granted the certificates during this month’s round. As the cap was also previously exceeded in June, a backlog has developed and applicants scoring fewer than
45 points (corresponding with a salary of £32,000 GBP) during the month of July fell victim to application denials. While the situation remains difficult, it is seen as a positive development from last month when applications with salaries below £45,000 GBP were rejected.
As Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship affect all Tier 2 (General) visa applicants earning less than £155,300 GBP per year, the backlog is likely to increase estimated processing times by several weeks especially for lower paid positions. In addition, employers should take into consideration possible delays to assignment start dates if applications require resubmission in subsequent months.
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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