Canada, Azerbaijan, Indonesia and Uganda: Pro-Link GLOBAL Dispatch

Key changes to immigration regulations in Canada, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, and Uganda.

Canada Day in Ottawa

Featured Update

Canada – Clarifications to ‘Implied Status’ published by IRCC

Implied status in Canada allows foreign nationals to reside in the country while their work permit renewal/extension application is in process, regardless of whether their current permit expires during adjudication. Foreign nationals on implied status may continue to work in Canada as long as their renewal application was filed prior to the current permit’s expiration. Recently, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published several resolutions stemming from the Federal Court decision of De Brito v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration). At its core, the decision confirms that a foreign national retains implied status until their renewal application is adjudicated.Most significantly, the publication clarifies the regulations surrounding when a foreign national on implied status exits Canada and then seeks re-entry into the country:Temporary Residents holding implied status who exit Canada and seek re-entry while their application remains in process will be granted entry to continue residing in the country, but will not be permitted to continue work activities until their renewal is approved. This is applicable to all foreign nationals regardless of whether they will require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada; however, it is important to note that for TRV-required nationals, their re-entry is subject to their ability to obtain a visa to return.Foreign nationals from a TRV-required country and who hold implied status may exit and re-enter Canada without obtaining a new TRV if and only if their travel abroad is limited to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon.Foreign nationals holding implied status who exit Canada, but who are eligible to file work permit applications at a Canadian Port of Entry (POE), will be able to file a second work permit application upon their re-entry. It is strongly recommended that foreign nationals opting to submit this second application carry a copy of their original renewal application for the border officer’s reference.In short, the above new clarifications do not significantly change implied status in Canada. It remains advisable for foreign nationals on implied status to remain in Canada until their renewal application is adjudicated; however, should an unforeseen circumstance require that they exit and seek re-entry into the country, the new guidelines provide Canadian border officers, global mobility teams, and immigration practitioners alike a much clearer understanding of the immigration options for affected foreign nationals.

Immigration Changes from Around the World

Azerbaijan – New Work Permit Exemptions implemented and a new visa online system forthcoming

Azerbaijan recently announced additional work permit exemptions and plans to roll out a new visa application system.

Work Permit Exemptions for Directors and Eligible Shipbuilders

In a June 4 amendment to the Migration Code, two new work permit exemptions were implemented. Effective immediately, foreign national directors and deputy directors of locally-incorporated companies in Azerbaijan will no longer require a work permit in Azerbaijan. It is important to note that the Azerbaijan company must have at least one foreign national shareholder in order for these foreign employees to be eligible for the new exemption. Previously, only directors and deputy directors of foreign-incorporated companies or those with brand/main offices in Azerbaijan were eligible for this exemption. Foreign employees seeking this exemption will still be required to obtain Azerbaijani Residence Permit. Details of this application process have yet to be confirmed by the immigration authorities.In addition, certain eligible shipbuilding specialists will also be granted work permit exemption status. The foreign shipbuilder must have at least one (1) year of hands-on, professional experience in the industry, a university degree (or acceptable professional qualifications), and the inviting company must either be resident in the Garadagh Industrial Park or contracted to work for a resident of this zone.

ASAN Visa System

In another recent announcement, Azerbaijan authorities confirmed that they will begin developing a new visa application system. The ASAN Visa System will provide the issuance of visas to citizens of pre-approved countries via a single, streamlined online application system. As the project is still currently pending with the Azerbaijan Parliament and remains in its initial development stages, it may be several months before the system is ready for implementation.

Indonesia – Heightened security checks for foreign nationals during Ramadan

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began on June 6 this year and will be is celebrated until around July 5. During this religious celebration, Indonesian authorities often increase the number of random immigration checks. Although always a requirement, foreign nationals in Indonesia should be especially certain to always carry their passport, visa, work and stay permits (KITAS or KITAP) during the Ramadan and subsequent Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

Uganda – Local hire requirements for oil and gas sector to be closely observed

As the Ugandan government continues to push for heavy investment in the oil and gas industry over the next several years, they have recently announced intentions to more closely observe local hire requirements for industry companies sponsoring foreign employees. Aimed at protecting the local workforce and encouraging foreign oil and gas companies to hire local residents, these “Local Content” laws were first introduced in 2013 but have not been strictly enforced by the Ugandan authorities. Recently, however, more attention has been placed on enforcing local hire minimums and ensuring that the Ugandan labour force is ready to step into these job opportunities.Not only may sponsoring companies be required to provide additional corporate documentation regarding the number of foreign nationals currently employed in Uganda, but under the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act and the Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission and Midstream Storage) Acts, they may also need to provide training and preferential employment to Ugandan workers. It remains to be seen exactly how the Ugandan immigration authorities will begin enforcing these laws.Oil and Gas sector companies operating in Uganda should anticipate the enforcement of these “Local Content” requirements in the upcoming weeks and months. Companies in this industry should be in compliance with these regulations and expect to be more closely monitored in their hiring practices.

Reminders: Recent and Upcoming Immigration Implementations

The following are reminders of recent or upcoming implementation dates that you should know:June 6-July 7, 2016: In observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, many government offices and private businesses in many Islamic countries in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and parts of Asia will have reduced business hours. Immigration applications still in process or filed during Ramadan and the subsequent Eid al-Fitr holidays may be subject to delays due to the reduced working hours. Note that the exact days of observation will vary by country.July 1, 2016: Several increases in levies for Work Permit and S-Pass holders will come into force in Singapore.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 contact a 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 Azerbaijan Offices “Alibi Professional Legal & Consulting Services” and “PIR Group,” our PLG | KGNM Canada Offices “Kranc Law” and “Rekai LLP,” our PLG | KGNM Indonesia Offices “Asian Tigers Mobility” and “PT Rami Formality Services,” and our PLG | KGNM Uganda Office “Shonubi, Musoke & Company Advocates” 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 (km@pro-linkglobal.com) with any additional requests for information or to request reproduction of this material.

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