Discover key changes to immigration regulations in Austria, Ireland, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | New Requirements for Police Clearance Certificates, E-Channels, Emirates IDs, Arabic Translations, and TECOM Companies
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), authorities have recently made numerous significant changes to the requirements and processes of employing foreign nationals. The Ministry of Labour (MOL), the Ministry of Interior (MOI), and some free zone authorities have all made changes that affect how employment applications and work authorizations are processed in the UAE.
Police Clearance Certificates
Effective February 4, all new employment applications for jobs in the UAE must be supported by a “good conduct certificate” (otherwise known as a police clearance certificate), written in Arabic and attested by the UAE embassy. Details of this new policy include the following:Employees born and resident in the UAE do not need a good conduct certificate unless they have spent some time in another country.
- If the employee has been resident in any other countries for more than 5 years, a certificate must be issued from and attested in each of these countries, followed by attestation in the UAE.
- If the employee has been inside the UAE for five or more years, the good conduct certificate will be issued from the UAE, and bear a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) attestation.
- If the employee has been resident in the UAE for less than five years, this will be issued from the employee’s home country and attested by the UAE embassy there, followed by attestation in the UAE.
- Students, tourists, holders of medical or mission visas and dependent family members of foreign workers do not require a certificate of good conduct.
The Ministry of Labour (MOL) in Abu Dhabi has recently replaced the online visa FAWRI system with the new E-Channels system. Like FAWRI, E-Channels now serves as the portal for immigration visa and permit applications for the MOL. Companies operating in Abu Dhabi and employing foreign nationals that have not yet registered with E-Channels are urged to do so as soon as possible to avoid potential future immigration process delays.
The Ministry of Interior (MOI) now requires the sponsor’s original Emirates ID to create, cancel, or modify any dependent applications. This includes the process of creating and submitting the application and stamping the visa in the passport. Renewal applications for dependents over the age of 18 also require the dependent’s original Emirates ID.
All documents (including degree certificates, marriage certificates and birth certificates) submitted in support of applications lodged with the MOI and MOL or any free zone authorities must be in Arabic. If these documents were issued in another language, a legal translation must be included along with the original document.
TECOM Companies Update
For companies operating under the umbrella of TECOM (DIC/DCCA/DSP), there have been numerous updates to the processing times and requirements for all applications. The most notable update is that the option for Internal Visa Transfer has now been removed and is now covered by the Government Transfer process, which requires a medical test and security check. All applications have been streamlined by moving most of the application process online, with minimal original documents now required.
Immigration Changes from Around the World
AUSTRIA | New Police Clearance Requirement for Residence Permits in Vienna
New for 2018, applicants for residence permits in Vienna are required to submit police clearance certificates from every country in which they have resided for more than six months at any time in their lives. So far, only Vienna has adopted this new guideline. All police clearance certificates must have been issued less than six months before the date of application submission, and may have to be legalized or apostilled, depending on the country of issuance. All other regions – for the moment – are still requiring police clearance documents covering only the last two years.
Even in Vienna, this new practice is seemingly being applied somewhat unevenly, with some immigration authorities occasionally accepting applications supported by police clearance certificates only from the applicant’s home country and current country of residence. Foreign nationals seeking residence permits in Austria are encouraged to be in close contact with their Immigration Specialists to ensure that they have the most up to date requirements for their applications.
IRELAND | Major Delays in Booking Irish Residence Permit Appointments in Dublin
As of January 4, non-EEA nationals are experiencing extensive delays in securing appointments for Irish Residence Permit (IRP) registrations in the Burgh Quay registration office in Dublin (formerly the Garda National Immigration Bureau) via the online booking system. Currently, appointments are being released for dates at least nine weeks out. These appointments are issued daily at 10.00am.
Cancelled appointment slots are being automatically released as they become available. Other appointments for closer dates are being released periodically as the office has extra capacity. These appointments are typically being released online from 2.30pm-5.00pm.
The Irish immigration authorities have assured applicants that any gaps in immigration permission due to these delays in securing appointments will not prejudice the applicants’ immigration records provided they secure appointments as soon as available.
Recall that, in December 2017, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) replaced the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) Card with a new registration card called the Irish Residence Permit (IRP). For more details, see our Immigration Dispatch of December 18. However, current GNIB card holders should not apply for a new IRP Card until their GNIB Card is expired, lost, or stolen. The IRP Card, like the GNIB, applies to all non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals, aged 16 years or over, who will remain in Ireland for longer than 90 days.
ROMANIA | Work Permit Quotas Increase for 2018
Romania’s work permit quotas for 2018 have now been set by Government Decision No. 946/28.12.2017 and published in the Official Gazette (Part I, No. 1040 of 29 December 2017). The new quotas represent an overall increase to 7000 total permits that can be issued to non-EU nationals permits in 2018, up from 5500 in 2017.) The total quota breaks-down to allotments for the following categories:
- Local hires – 4000 (up from 3000 in 2017);
- Assignees – 1200 (up from 700);
- Intra-company transferees – 700 (no change);
- Highly skilled workers (EU Blue Card) – 500 (no change);
- Seasonal workers – 400 (no change);
- Trainees – 100 (no change);
- Cross border workers – 100 (no change).
Romania’s work permit quotas run from January 1 to December 31 each year and are set annually by the government based on proposals from the Ministry of Labour. This year’s increase in quota over the 2017 figures should be welcomed news for employers of foreign nationals in the country, as the quotas for local hire and secondments were exhausted last year in November. For more information, see our Immigration Dispatch of November 27. Companies in Romania looking to utilize foreign in their workforce in 2018 are invited to reach out to their Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialists for an assessment of how these new quotas may impact business plans for the year.
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 at 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. We worked with our PLG | KGNM Austria partner offices, “Relocation Services Strohmayer” and Recom Relocation”, our PLG Ireland partner offices, “Eugene F Collins” and “Corporate Care”, our PLG UAE partner office “Sesam Business Consultants”, Newland Chase, and Peregrine Immigration Management to provide you this update.
Information contained in this Global Immigration Dispatch is prepared using information obtained from various media outlets, government publications and our KGNM 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 (email@example.com) with any additional requests for information or to request reproduction of this material.