As the Mobility industry prepares for its upcoming busy summer season, immigration authorities around the world rolled out a flurry of major changes. Australia announced significant amendments to their employment-based immigration system including the removal of the Subclass 457 Visa in early 2018, China implemented an innovative new work permit policy throughout the country, and India began requiring Aadhaar Cards for all foreign nationals staying in the country for more than six months. The top global immigration updates for this month are all in the APAC region.
Top 5 Global Immigration Updates for April 2017:
- AUSTRALIA | Immigration Overhaul Reducing Eligible Occupations, Eliminating 457 Visa, Introducing New TSS Visa, and Changing Citizenship Rules
Effective April 19, Australia announced huge changes to its employment-based visa streams - including the coming elimination of the popular but controversial 457 Visa. With immediate effect, 200 occupations were removed from the eligible occupations lists, and visa validity periods were decreased for other occupations. Numerous additional changes are slated over the coming year, culminating in the elimination of the 457 Visa and its replacement with a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa in March 2018. Numerous significant changes are also coming to Australia’s citizenship rules. Our Registered Migration Agent, Zack Ristov, presented a live webinar reviewing the changes. Watch it here. Read more in our in-depth blog post here.
- CHINA | New Work Permits System Debuted Nationwide April 1
In pilot mode since November in eight provinces, China’s new work permits processing system went live nation-wide on April 1. Changes in application requirements and processes – as well as technical system challenges – continue as the transition comes into full effect. Read more in two of our recent blog posts published April 3 and May 1.
- NEW ZEALAND | “Kiwis-First” Immigration Policy to Bring Changes in August
New Zealand announced a new “Kiwis-First” immigration policy to tighten the country’s work visa rules and give more preference to local workers. The announcement signals a general move toward immigration reform. Actual implementation of the changes is expected sometime in August of this year. Read more.
- INDIA | Aadhaar Cards Now Required for All Foreign Nationals in India Over Six Months
In order to file Indian domestic income tax returns, foreign nationals residing in India for more than 182 days must now obtain an Aadhaar Card - India’s sophisticated new national ID. Obtaining an Aadhaar Card requires an in-person application at one of the in-country application centers where biometric information – including photos, fingerprints, and eye scans – is collected. Read more.
- INDIA | Expanded Opportunities for Business Visas and New E-Business Visas
Effective April 1, business travelers to India now have the option of either a five-year multiple-entry business visa available through an increasing number of Indian overseas posts or a 60-day single-entry e-Business visa available online to citizens of 160 nations. Read more.