Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration dispatch – Chile, Israel, Poland and Russia
Discover key changes to immigration regulations in Chile, Israel, Poland and Russia.
Russia – changing procedures for certain highly qualified specialist work permit applicationsWhile the process of abolishing the former Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) and incorporating its functions into the Ministry of Internal Affairs was officially completed on 1 June 2016, the Russian immigration processes and requirements currently remain in a state of frequent change (see also 21 July Dispatch). The latest announcement from the MIA changes the process for certain companies submitting Highly Qualified Specialist Work Permit applications in Moscow, Russia.Beginning 19 August, companies who are members of the Association of European Businesses (AEB) or the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham) must appear on the official membership lists and provide proof of such when filing for Highly Qualified Specialist Work Permits or Letters of Invitation through the Head Migration Department (HMD) in Moscow. After 19 August, such applications will not be accepted from AEB or AmCham companies whose names do not appear on the published lists.Affected companies seeking to employ foreign workers in Russia are urged to verify that their membership is up-to-date and their company name appears on the applicable membership lists of the organisations. Both organisations are currently in the process of contacting their members to ensure that their membership lists are complete and that members are aware of the upcoming process changes.Companies are reminded that the HMD in Moscow only accepts applications submitted by companies registered in Moscow. Companies registered in other regions should submit their applications to the HMD office with jurisdiction over the territory in which they are registered.Immigration processes and requirements are always subject to frequent changes, but the process in Russia appears to be in a heightened period of flux. Companies with foreign national employees in Russia would be wise to keep in close communication with their immigration advisors. Pro-Link GLOBAL will continue to monitor the changes in Russia and provide updates here when available and to advise its clients how to best respond to them.
Immigration changes from around the world
Chile – apostilled documents to be accepted beginning 31 AugustOn 31 August, Chile becomes the 113th nation to join The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (more commonly referred to as The Hague Apostille Convention).Under the Convention, the 113 member nations agree to accept public documents issued by another member nation as valid if affixed with an Apostille certification, bypassing the lengthy and oftentimes complicated process of legalisation. For immigration processes, this greatly reduces the processing times of applications by streamlining the document gathering and finalisation phase.Chile will be the final nation of South America to begin accepting the Apostille, making it now universal across the continent. Brazil officially joined the Hague Apostille Convention on 14 August.
Israel – plans for relaxed immigration to attract foreign high-tech workersIn the upcoming weeks, a special commission, appointed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will announce its plans for immigration reform to attract foreign high-technology specialists to Israel. The PM’s Cabinet has already voiced strong endorsement of the commission’s recommendations ahead of any official announcement. Given this strong support already being expressed within the government, the measures will likely move toward implementation rapidly.The commission, made up of high-ranking officials of the Ministry of the Economy and Industry and the Ministry of the Interior, have been working since February to address Israel’s critical shortage of workers in the technology sector, which accounts for 12 per cent of the nation’s GDP.Israel has traditionally been one of the most difficult countries for many foreign nationals to obtain work authorisation. However, Israeli economists have warned for years that without these foreign engineers and technology specialists Israel’s booming high-tech industry may drown or stagnate in the country’s shallow pool of high-tech labour. Analysts estimate that Israel now has immediate need of up to 10,000 more workers in its rapidly expanding high-tech and cyber companies. Now the immediate fear is that Israeli companies will begin to outsource these jobs to other countries, and that fear is outweighing the traditional concerns of trade unions in preserving jobs for locals.
Key recommendations expected in the forthcoming commission report include
- “Specialist visas” for foreign high-tech specialists with initial two year terms and possible extensions of up to an additional three years, available through a streamlined application process
- Derivative visas for spouses and children of high-tech specialists, which will allow them to work in Israel without a separate sponsor
- A special government database of 1,500 technology companies that will receive priority processing of foreign employees’ work and residence authorization applications
- Minimum salaries for foreign tech workers set at a level twice the average local wage
- Removal of immigration quotas or country restrictions for foreign tech workers
Poland – new law for employers of posted or seconded foreign workersThe Polish Act on the Posting of Workers came into effect 18 June as required by the EU Posted Worker Directive (2014/67/EU). Similar laws are already in place in other EU member nations. The new Polish law is meant to protect foreign national employees sent from another EU country to work for a limited time in Poland. It requires that such posted or seconded employees are given working conditions in line with those available to local employees as required by the Polish Labour Code – notably, minimum salary (including overtime) requirements, working hour restrictions, rest periods, holidays, health and safety standards, protections for pregnant workers and maternity leave, equal treatment and non-discrimination rights, and the statutory rights of temporary workers.
By the starting date of the posted employee’s duties in Poland, the Polish entity must provide a statement to the Polish Labour Inspectorate (PIP) containing
- The number of posted employees and their personal data
- The start and end dates of the posting
- A description of the duties performed which justifies the employee’s posting in Poland