Global Immigration Updates
Guatemala: Annual Report Deadline
The deadline to comply with the obligation to submit the Employer’s Annual Report to the Ministry of Labour expires on 26 February 2021 (for paper submission) or 28 February 2021 (for electronic submission).
Non-compliance with this obligation constitutes a labour fault and it may be sanctioned with the imposition of a fine of between 5 and 10 monthly minimum wages.
Indonesia: Changes to Visa and Stay Permit Requirements
Effective 2 February, a new regulation makes several changes to current visa and stay permit requirements.
Purpose of Visit Visa
The new regulation has added the “pre-investment” purpose of visit to both the single and multiple entry visit visa.
Issuance of Visit Visa
Single Entry Visa: Currently the single entry visa is issued for maximum 60 days and can be extended for 4 times for 30 days per extension. Under the new regulation the single entry visa is issued for a period of maximum 180 days and is no longer extendable.
Multiple Entry Visa: Currently the multiple entry visa is valid for a period of up to 12 months. Under the new regulation, the multiple entry visa is valid for maximum 180 days and can be extend for another period of up to 180 days.
Visa on Arrival: Currently the visa on arrival is valid for 30 days and can be extended for another period of 30 days. Under the new regulation it is no longer possible to extend the visa on arrival. The maximum period is 30 days.
Purpose of Stay Visa/Permit (ITAS/ITAP)
The new regulation has replaced the retirement purpose of visit with “second home” purpose of visit. This purpose of visit is broader and can apply to foreigners who have not reached retirement age yet as well. Foreigners can apply for the second home limited stay permit (ITAS), after staying 5 years in Indonesia. The permanent second home stay permit (ITAP) is available to foreigners who stay for more than 10 years in Indonesia. However, the exact requirements of second home ITAS are not clearly stated yet in this regulation and require further explanation in implementing regulations from the directorate general of immigration or the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
Issuance of ITAS
Under the current conditions the working ITAS for both short term (6 months or less) and long term (more than 6 months) ITAS are issued at the immigration checkpoint at the airport of arrival. Under the new regulation only short term ITAS (6 months or less) are issued at the immigration checkpoint at the airport of arrival. Long term ITAS holders are required to report to the local immigration office for further processing of the ITAS, within 30 days as of the date of arrival.
The new regulation also explains that the ITAS can be issued for a maximum period of 5 years. It is however not clear how this will be implemented in practice, as the there is no mention to the minimum period of passport validity for 5-year ITAS applications.
The new regulation is effective as of 2 February 2021 (even though it has just been published). Further implementation will be regulated by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights and the Directorate General of Immigration in the near future.
Indonesia: Changes to Work Permit Application Procedure
Effective 1 April 2021, a new regulation makes several changes to current work permit application procedures.
Types of RPTKA
The new regulation sets the following types of RPTKA (expatriate utilization plan): 1. 1-6 months RPTKA, for foreign workers who will work for up to 6 months in Indonesia. This type of RPTKA is not extendable; 2. 7-24 months RPTKA, for foreign workers who will work for up to 24 months in Indonesia. The RPTKA is extendable in case extension of the assignment is required; 3. 7-24 months RPTKA for foreign workers who are exempted from the requirement to pay DKPTKA (DPKK); and 4. 5 year RPTKA for foreign workers who work in the special economic area (Kawasan Ekonomi Khusus).
Notification will be replaced
Under current conditions, a foreign worker must have an RPTKA and Notification from the Ministry of Manpower. The Notification will be replaced by an “Attestation of the RPTKA”. This attestation is basically the same as the notification and serves as the basis to apply for a working visa (eVisa) and stay permit (ITAS) from immigration.
Exemptions for work permit requirement
Foreigners do not require a work permit in the following cases: 1. Directors or commissioners with a certain amount of share ownership in an Indonesian company or shareholders of a company. These foreigners are categorized as investor and can apply for an investor stay permit (ITAS). 2. Diplomats and consular workers 3. Foreign workers who come to Indonesia for a certain period for the following reasons: a. Vocational purpose for up to 3 months; b. Technology start-up companies for up to 3 months; c. When the company requires them urgently to fix machinery and to start up production; d. Business visits; or e. Research.
Obligations of the sponsor company
To employ foreign workers and to get the work permit of the foreign workers approved by the Ministry of Manpower: 1. Appoint an Indonesian companion for knowledge transfer from the foreign worker to the Indonesian companion 2. Provide education and job training to the Indonesian companion 3. Facilitate Indonesian language training to the foreign worker 4. Repatriate the foreign worker after the employment ends 5. Provide insurance to the foreign worker: a. Foreign workers with a work permit up to 6 months: company (private) insurance which at least covers accidents at work b. Foreign workers with a work permit for more than 6 months: the national social security program (BPJS)
The obligations under point 1 – 3 above do not apply to: 1. Directors and commissioners; 2. Chief of representative office; 3. Patrons (Pembina), Supervisors (Pengawas) and Management (Pengurus) of Indonesian Foundation; and 4. Foreign Workers who are employed for a maximum 6 months
The sponsor company of the foreign worker is required to report annually the following to the Ministry of Manpower: 1. The use of foreign workers – workers hired / cancelled during the preceding year; 2. Progress on the training and education provided to the Indonesian companion of the foreign worker; and 3. Progress on the knowledge transfer by foreign workers to the Indonesian companion of the foreign worker.
The sponsor company is also required to report to the Ministry of Manpower in case: 1. The work contract of the foreign company has expired, and the employment of the foreign worker comes to an end; or 2. The employment of the foreign worker is cancelled before the expiry date of the work contract.
Sanctions for non-compliance
The new regulation has set new sanctions for sponsor companies that are violating the regulation: 1. In case the sponsor company employs foreign workers without RPTKA or Work Permit, the sponsor company is required to pay a fine of IDR 6 million per month, up to 6 months. After 6 months, the Ministry of Manpower may impose stricter sanctions. Once the fine is imposed, the company must pay it within 2 weeks to avoid suspension of the ability to apply for work permits. 2. Suspension of the ability to apply for work permits if the sponsor company: a. has not facilitated Indonesian language training to foreign workers b. has not enrolled foreign workers in company’s insurance (foreign workers working for 6 months or less at the company) or the social security program (BPJS) (foreign workers working for more than 6 months at the company) c. has not complied with the annual or ad-hoc reporting requirement (explained above) 3. In addition, the Ministry of Manpower may decide to revoke work permits of foreign workers working at the company. Revocation of work permits of foreign workers will be imposed if: a. Foreign workers are employed or performing jobs which are not in line with the work permit; b. Foreign workers occupy multiple positions within the same company; c. The position of the foreign workers involves a HR / personnel function d. The sponsor company has not paid the mandatory DKPTKA / DPKK in the amount of USD 100.00 / month
Kenya: New ePermits and ePasses
Effective 12 February 2021, the Directorate of Immigration Services (DIS) has launched e-permits and e-passes to replace paper-issued permits and passes.
On payment of Government fees, the e-permits and e-passes will be processed and accessed through the eFNS portal.
To eliminate malpractice and fraud, the e-permits and e-passes will contain a unique barcode number tagged to each application, which shall be verifiable at any point of entry and the DIS.
The physical endorsement of immigration authorization remains unchanged.
Delays may be experienced due to system downtime.
Russia: New Requirements for HIV Certificates Issued by Foreign Clinics
Effective 16 February 2021, the Ministry of Health has clarified the requirements for HIV certificates issued outside Russia in support of visa applications for stays over 3 months.
A certificate issued by a foreign medical institution and submitted to a Russian consular office together with the visa application must contain the following information about the applicant: • Full name without abbreviations • Details of passport (or other ID document valid for Russia) without abbreviations • Country of permanent residence • Full date of birth • Details on the conducted blood sample test for presence of antibodies to HIV with negative result, including the date when the test was conducted • Full name, address and phone number of medical institution which conducted the medical test and signature of a doctor who conducted it
Saudi Arabia: New temporary work visit visa category launched
The Saudi government has launched a new temporary work visit visa category, with details published on the Qiwa platform.
• The temporary work visit visa will be issued with a validity of 90 days in one year; • The holder can perform hands-on work activities for the sponsoring entity. • The sponsoring entity should be registered and secure their quota through the Qiwa platform;
However, KSA embassies and consulates are yet to update their systems with this new visa category.
In 2019, the Saudi government suspended work visit visas, effectively preventing short-term work assignments for foreign nationals.
South Africa: Draft Critical Skills List Published
The Department of Home Affairs has published a draft of a new Critical Skills List for the Critical Skills Work Visa category and applications for Permanent Residence Permits based on Extraordinary Skills.
The draft is open for public comment on or before 31 March 2021, after which the Department will consider any comments and subsequently publish the final list.
Until the final new list is published, the current list remains in force and foreign nationals may continue to apply in the relevant categories if they qualify.
Foreign nationals who are preparing to apply for their Critical Skills Work Visas (including renewals) and Permanent Residence Permits are advised to apply before the final new list is published, if possible.
Turkey: Changes to Residence Permit Applications in Istanbul
Effective 15 February 2021, residence permit applications sent by post will not be processed, and foreign nationals must appear in person at the provincial/district directorate of migration management based on an appointment.
Applications sent by post before 15 February will be evaluated and these applicants do not need to visit the directorate in person.
United States: Suspension of New Immigrants Revoked
On 24 February 2021, President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation revoking former President Trump’s proclamation suspending the admission of new immigrants (permanent residents with green cards).
President Biden’s proclamation notably does not revoke the Trump restriction on most new H-1B, L, and J temporary workers and exchange visitors. That restriction remains in place until 31 March 2021. Most applicants seeking a visa or admission in these classifications continue to require a National Interest Exception (NIE) to be issued a visa or admitted to the United States until at least 1 April 2021.