EMEA

SOUTH AFRICA – A proposed critical skills new list has been published by the Department of Home Affairs for Consultation

FRANCE – “ICT Seconded Employee” visas remained banned for entry

GREECE – Immigration update on quotas for 2021-22

APAC

CHINA – Chinese Consulates additional requirements and further travel restrictions


EMEA

SOUTH AFRICA – Draft of new critical skills list published by the Department of Home Affairs for Consultation.

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa released a draft of the critical skills new list with a note inviting interested persons, communities and companies in South Africa to submit written comments on the Technical Report for the 2021 Critical Skills List before the 31 March 2021.

The draft of the new critical skills list is the result of local businesses efforts to have a broader list to address labor shortages in South Africa. Current Critical Skills List has not been updated since 2014.

Impact: Critical Skills Visas. The critical skills list affects which occupations companies in South Africa are eligible to recruit foreign employees without the need to complete a labor market test.

The proposal for the new critical skills list is received as positive news for South Africa. The draft contains a more extensive list of skills. The draft includes more than 125 jobs across a number of economic sectors, including information technology, financial services, healthcare, construction, higher education and arts.

FRANCE – “ICT Seconded Employee” visas are still banned from entry.

French Consulates are revising the lists of visa holders that can travel to France on a frequent basis. However, “ICT Seconded Employee” visas remain banned while only holders of a long-stay “Talent Passport” visas are currently authorised to enter.

French citizens and citizens of the European area must specify a personal or family-related, or health or professional compelling reason for entering France from a country outside the European area

This route may be seen as more challenging than simply holding the right type of visa, since the examination of the compelling reason invoked could fall within the sole discretion of the airline and/or the border police officer.

Impact: Travelers to France.  We recommend every traveler wishing to enter or exit France to first check any possible last minute’s change on the official website

GREECE – Announcement of Quotas for 2021–22.

Quotas for 2021-22 are limited to 380 spots for EU Blue Card in the Attica region instead of the 280 offered in the previous publication. Other Greek areas are granted additional 226 spots for EU Blue Card, distributed among the regions.

The EU Blue Card Quota is published every two-years.

Impact: EU Blue Card. If the EU Blue Card quota is filled, and the government does not issue additional quota spots, applications will be suspended until the new quota is published leaving companies with the option to apply for other work authorizations that are not subject to a quota.

APAC

CHINA – Chinese Consulates additional requirements to issue Health Codes and further travel restrictions

Since 18 February 2012, Health Codes will no longer be issued to passengers from the U.S. going to China through a third country or to travelers from other countries that have direct flights to China.

Passengers from third countries without direct flights to China must first obtain the Health Code from their country of residence, and then apply for a second Health Code at the Chinese Embassy and Consulate at the place where they will board the direct flight.

Impact: Travelers to China.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK issued a notice stipulating specific requirements for testing at designated institutions for persons departing from or transferring to China via the UK. The notice also provide the process for Chinese and foreign citizens to apply for the Health Code.

Countries with direct flights to China, such as France, Singapore, Portugal, the UAE, Belarus, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and Iran, Chinese embassies and consulates have issued notices on Health Codes. Health Codes will no longer be issued to local residents who go to China via a third country, and people from a third country with direct flights to China.

Travelers from a third country without direct flights to China should follow the “transit once only” rule, obtain the Health Code from the Chinese Embassy and Consulate in their habitual residence, and then apply for another Health Code at the Chinese Embassy and Consulate in the place where the direct flight departs. Some embassies and consulates require the transit passengers to carry out “cross double tests”.

Travelers with COVID-19 vaccination certificate: Green Health Codes have started to be issued to those travelers that have received the vaccine and provide a vaccination certificate including traveler full name, vaccine manufacture, date, and issuing institution.

For more information on MSI’s Immigration Services please contact us at msi.immigration@msiimmigration.com

Information for this update has been provided by our global network of immigration partners. Given the nature of and speed at which online communications are developed, we will make every effort to maintain the accuracy of the information provided. However, materials contained in this alert are subject to change at any time without any notice.