August 2022 Global Immigration Alert – Work Visas

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Note: While we are covering some country-specific updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the information below contains information regarding global restrictions and closures as they stand today. Given the ever-changing nature of this situation, we strongly recommend that you review all international mobility requests on a case-by-case basis, including any specific consulate or immigration authority resources, in “real time” before traveling abroad. Please contact our Global Mobility Team prior to any international travel.

Barbados – Introduction of Remote Work Visa

On June 30, 2020, the government of Barbados announced the introduction of a so-called “Barbados Welcome Stamp”, a visa that allows the holder to work remotely in Barbados for up to 12 months. It is important to note that this visa category does not allow an individual to work for a local company in Barbados. The application can be filed online, and for more information, please click here. The online application requires information about the employer and confirmation from the applicant that they expect an income of at least 50,000 USD/year or comparable financial means.

China – Changes to the visa application process

China introduced a new visa application process at many consulates starting July 1, 2022. Before the pandemic, the visa application could be filed by the applicant or an authorized party at the consulate. Today, many consulates have the following process in place:

  • Contact the visa section of the consulate that has jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence via a designated email address that is published on the consulate’s website. The applicant must provide crucial details so that the visa section can understand what type of visa is required and whether it has jurisdiction (among others, informing the purpose of the trip and attaching a copy of the driver’s license).

  • The visa section will send a checklist to the applicant with the request to mail the original documentation.

  • Assemble the visa application file.

  • Submit the application file to the Consulate by post/courier.

  • You can see the instructions issued by the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC as a good example of this new process here.

Russia – Travel restrictions lifted

Please note that as of July 15, 2022, all restrictions on entry and exit to and from Russia by Russian citizens and foreign nationals, regardless of nationality, as well as the purposes implemented under of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been lifted.

Singapore – Introducing a points-based system and raising the salary threshold for Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass (SP) applications

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will introduce a points-based system, the “Complementarity Assessment Framework” (COMPASS) and increase the qualifying wage. These changes will be implemented in stages beginning September 1, 2022.

Chronology

Changes will be implemented according to the following schedule:








Changes New applications Renewals
Higher qualifying salary From September 1, 2022 From September 1, 2023
Presentation of COMPAS From September 1, 2023 From September 1, 2024

Increase in EP qualifying salary

The EP qualifying salary will be benchmarked against the salaries of the top third of the local Professional, Management, Leadership and Technical Occupations (PMET) workforce to ensure the quality of EP holders. EP holders must meet a higher qualifying salary as of September 1, 2022.






Sectors Current Minimum Allowable Wage Revised Minimum Allowable Wage
All (except financial services) $4,500
(gradually increases with age, up to $8,400 for applicants in their mid-40s)
$5,000
(gradually increases with age, up to $10,500 for applicants in their mid-40s)






Sectors Current Minimum Allowable Wage Revised Minimum Allowable Wage
Financial services $5,000

(gradually increases with age, up to $9,300 for applicants in their mid-40s)
$5,500
(gradually increases with age, up to $11,500 for applicants in their mid-40s)

S PASS (SP)

MOM will also increase eligible wages and levies for S Pass holders; please see more details listed here.

The S Pass quota will change as follows:








Sector From January 1, 2023
  • Manufacturing

  • Construction

  • Shipyard

  • Treat

Increase from 18% to 15% of the total workforce

No change

Please also see the information published by MOM here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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