By Mark Woefel, GMS, Vice President, Global Client Services
The CapRelo Insider provides a glimpse at news, trends and happenings in the global mobility industry and those affecting the industry. Our experienced and tenured client services team provides updates and analysis direct to our clients, along with policy and program recommendations that are best for your company and employees. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.
What you need to know now...
United States: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has extended the remote I-9 concession in place until August 19. However, further extensions are unknown, and it is recommended to complete in person checks at the earliest opportunity whenever possible. This is to ensure that any backlog is avoided, and all remote document inspection can be replaced with in person inspection within the 3 days window if this requirement is reinstated at short notice.
Posted Worker Directive: Further revisions to posted worker employment conditions frequently known by the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’, applicable to postings from inside the EU+, were due to be transposed into national law by July 30, 2020. Practically this change means that employees posted with the EU+ area need to have revised policies and assignment letters to ensure protection of most of the employment conditions in force in the hot country. Companies who have yet to review their policies are advised to do so as soon as possible.
Travel Corridors: Despite appearing to provide a possible solution for the return of business travel, these have not provided the stability required to be feasible. The fast pace of change in national and state travel guidelines, which can change daily, means that a couple of days business travel can impact an individual for several weeks. A recent example of this can be seen in Europe where there is much confusion with respect to travellers into the UK. Holiday makers and business travellers relying on the corridor into Spain have been caught out and will have to self-quarantine upon return to the UK for 14 days or face a fine.
Increased Health Restrictions: As previously noted, mandatory health checks for travellers, both inbound and outbound, are in place in many locations. A recent survey indicates that approximately 12% of countries currently have COVID-19 testing upon arrival or upon departure. One notable initiative in Oman, in addition to the use of a tracking app, is the introduction of a tracking bracelet in Oman for all arrivals.
What you should keep in mind...
Viva Barbados: According to the Barbados government’s website[i], Barbados has introduced a 12-Month Welcome Stamp Visa, which allows foreign nationals to relocate to and work remotely from Barbados for up to 12 months as long as they expect to earn an income of USD $50,000.00 or more in that period and/or have the means to themselves and their family during their stay in Barbados.
Slimming EU: The European Council has reduced their list of advised EU countries to allow entry to residents from the original 15 and advised that this list will continue to be reviewed and updated regularly making planning challenging.
Hong Kong Tensions: Following China’s new national security law the relationship with many countries is changing rapidly.
Australia: The Prime minister Scott Morrison granted a range of visa holders from Hong Kong a five-year extension and suspended an extradition treaty with the city in addition to offering a pathway to permanent residency.
United Kingdom: In relation to those wanting to move to the UK, the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa will be open for applications starting January 2021. In addition, the UK government will be able to consider granting Leave Outside the Rules for six months to BN(O) citizens and their accompanying dependents who wish to travel sooner with BN(O) citizens who are currently in the United Kingdom able to apply and switch to the Hong Kong BN(O) visa from within the United Kingdom starting January 2021.
United States: The Presidential executive order on July 14 has eliminated the different and preferential treatment for Hong Kong nationals on the basis that “Hong Kong is not sufficiently autonomous to justify treatment under a particular law of the United States, or any provision thereof, different from that accorded to the People’s Republic of China” and thereby suspend application of the law.[ii]
Green Lane – Singapore and Malaysia: The two countries continue to move closer to the realistic introduction of a green lane to enable the reopening of the world’s busiest border crossing. Applications by eligible travellers can be submitted by Aug. 10, and they have to abide by public health measures in both countries. We anticipate that operational details will be published soon.
Clarifying Visa Apps – United States: Further clarification on the June 22, 2020 presidential proclamation, banning the entry of certain non-immigrant visa workers and extending the previously issued ban on the admission of certain immigrant visa applicant, was provided. Split families, those working in the healthcare professions and work in the national economic interest are all potentially covered as part of this exception.
Partner Resource: Global Travel and Immigration Impact
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[ii] 22 U.S.C. § 5722.