What’s New in Global Immigration?
This week, the Smith Stone Walters Global Immigration team would like to highlight the following recent updates from Bahrain, Canada, Ireland, Poland and Portugal.
Bahrain: multiple entry electronic visa
The Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) has announced the introduction of an electronic multiple entry visa for training purposes which allows its holder to stay in the Kingdom for six months.
The visa can be extended for another six months. Applications can be submitted on line for an amount of BD60. The candidate must attach a letter from a host organization detailing the details of the training.
Canada: New Measures to Streamline Application Processing
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced new online services and other measures to streamline application processing.
Applicants for permanent and temporary residence already in Canada who meet certain criteria will be exempt from the immigration medical examination requirement.
The department has resumed in-person interviews with sponsors and applicants at Canadian and international offices for family reunification applications. Virtual interviews will continue to be available where possible and will be expanded in overseas offices, including through a pilot project allowing spousal sponsorship and other clients to participate in virtual interviews at select centers visa application rather than having to go to a visa office.
On September 23, 2022, IRCC will begin the transition to 100% digital applications for applicants for permanent residence.
In February 2022, IRCC also launched a new application status tracker that made it easier for permanent residence applicants, sponsors and their representatives in the spouse, partner and dependent child categories to check the status. of their online application. By spring 2023, this application status tracking will expand to include seven additional permanent residence and temporary residence programs. IRCC also introduced a citizenship application status tracker for clients in May 2021, which will be expanded to include access to representatives this month.
Starting in fall 2022, IRCC will publish forward-looking estimates of how long it will take to process an application.
IRCC also plans to expand its online citizenship application tool to minors under 18 by the end of 2022.
Ireland: Electronic work permits and new authorization for doctors
From September 1 to October 31, 2022, the Department for Business, Trade and Employment began issuing all work permits in electronic form with the addition of the signature of a senior official on behalf of the Minister , as well as a unique permit number. There is no need to exchange current permits for this updated permit format and all existing permits issued will remain valid.
Also from 1 September 2022, non-EEA doctors who have already been in Ireland for 21 months or more on a general work permit can apply for a new authorization granting them the right to work without a permit. Their spouses or partners will also receive an authorization allowing them to work.
The Stamp support letter form request 4 must be completed and returned, along with a recent payslip, to [email protected] mark topic title Doctors Stamp 4 Request. An acknowledgment email will be sent shortly after the form is submitted. No further action is required from the applicant.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment will notify applicants once applications have been approved and will send applications on behalf of applicants to the Department of Justice. The Ministry of Justice will then process the applications and issue the Stamp 4 authorization directly to the doctors concerned. Applicants should ensure that their address and contact details held by the Ministry of Justice are correct.
Poland: extension of the Poland Business Harbor (PBH) program
Poland has expanded its Poland Business Harbor (PBH) program to cover nationals of all countries working in strategic industries. Originally, the program was only available to nationals of Belarus, and in 2021 it was expanded to include nationals of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Under this program, individual IT specialists, start-ups and mature companies sponsored by a Polish partner company can obtain a special visa allowing the holder to work without a work permit, establish a business activity and bring his immediate family in Poland.
Portugal: new mobility agreement for nationals of Portuguese-speaking countries
Under a recently approved mobility agreement, Portugal will expedite visa processing for nationals of other Portuguese-speaking countries.
The member states of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) are Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sāo Tomé and Principe.
Portuguese consulates can now issue short-stay, temporary or residence visas to citizens of these countries without prior notice from the Borders and Immigration Agency (SEF).
Other changes introduced recently include:
- A new jobseeker visa, issued for a stay of 120 days, renewable for an additional 60 days. If the holder finds a job during this period, they can apply for work-based residency status from within Portugal, rather than having to go out and apply from abroad.
- The possibility of granting a temporary stay and residence visa to professionals who work remotely outside Portugal (digital nomads).
- The EU Blue Card is now valid for an initial period of two years, renewable for three years at a time. Previously, it was valid for one year and renewable for two years at a time.