ECS

Global Reach

The Entry Clearance network spans over 80 countries with true global Immigration support capabilities, offering expertise in deployment of employees throughout the world.

With over 15 years experience we lead the market in delivering expert support to employers wishing to relocate employees either temporarily or permanently.

Our solid experience enables us to provide support and guidance through the most challenging immigration processes.

With our highly trained and experienced staff,  Entry Clearance Services is perfectly placed to provide successful global immigration solutions in an efficient, compliant and professional manner.

Depending on your destination or that of your employee we will either assist you directly or put you in touch with one of our network partners,

DESTINATIONS MOST ENQUIRED ABOUT:

The summaries below are to provide basic information about business visit and work permission requirements and processes. The information is of a general nature and does not constitute legal advice.

For up to date and detailed information including documentary requirements, processing times, application forms, supporting an invitation letter templates, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs or that of your employee, please contact your global immigration professional.

AUSTRALIA

Australia is such a wonderful country that it really is no surprise that it ranks so highly amongst those emigrating from the UK when it comes to applying for a visa.  Australia offers a plethora of different visas that are applicable for a variety of personal circumstances. It is therefore crucial that applicants choose the right Australian visa that fits their your own situation. It is for this very reason that most people who plan to emigrate from the UK to Australia will seek the advice and expertise of immigration professionals in order to guide them in the right direction for their visa.

 

Australia – Permanent Residence visas

The visa categories that lead to permanent residence provide the best options for living and working in Australia, giving flexibility on location and employment.

These are the following main categories of entry:

* Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) visa
* Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) visa
* Skilled – Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa

All of these categories are assessed on a points based system.

 

Australia State Sponsored Visas

State governments in Australia are able to sponsor migrants to settle in their state through “State Migration Plans”. These are becoming an increasingly important method of securing Australian residence through the following subclasses:

Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) visa

Skilled – Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa

 

Australia – Residence visas for Spouses and Partners

There are several visa categories that can lead to Australian residence based on a relationship with a partner, married spouse, prospective spouse etc.. The following are some of the main categories of entry:

• Partner Visa: Offshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 309 and 100)

• Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)

• Partner temporary visa (subclass 820) and permanent visa (subclass 801)

If you have any questions, please contact our partner ‘Commonwealth Immigration’ by completing their online assessment form.

 

INDIA

As a general rule foreign nationals will require an employment permit (know as E visa) to work legally in India.

Whether or not an employment permit will be required depends on the activities to be carried out in India.

The activities permissible as an INDIAN BUSINESS VISITOR (B Visa)

 A business visit is usually a short-term trip taken to conduct business activities, which do not constitute employment.

However if the activities to be carried out are regarded as work, an employment visa will be required regardless of the length of the visit.

In India, business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

▪    Attending business meetings or discussions

▪    Attending seminars, conferences, exhibitions or trade fairs

▪    Establishing, or exploring opportunities to establish, an industrial/business venture in India

▪    Purchasing or selling commercial or industrial products

▪    Recruiting labor

▪    Receiving in-house training

▪    Monitoring work progress and providing high level technical guidance

It is important to note that even when activities are limited to those listed above, if the foreign national will generate profit for the host entity, receive compensation from the host entity, and/or take direction from the host entity, an employment visa is likely to be required.  For instance the Business Visitor status is not appropriate for short-term visits to install or repair machinery, computer software or equipment, or to perform other technical duties at either an affiliated company or at a client site. If the foreign national will be performing hands-on or productive work with measured deliverables, an employment visa is required.

Foreign nationals must apply for a Indian Business visa to the Indian Embassy in their country normal residence / citizenship, rather than their country of domicile unless they can show that they have resided there as a permanent resident for at least two years.

To find out whether you or your employee qualifies for an Indian Business Visa, please contact us.

INDIAN EMPLOYMENT VISA (E Visa)

As a general rule employment visas are typically issued to highly-skilled specialists, managers and executives only. When assessing an application for an Indian employment visa, the Indian authorities will consider the applicant’s qualifications, the level of specialism required to fill the role and in some instance, the Indian resident labour market.

All E visa applications must be sponsored by a registered Indian company. In most cases, employers are required to pay employment visa holders a minimum annual salary of more than US$ 25,000. Sponsoring employers will usually be required to certify that the E visa holder will comply with all applicable tax requirements, including the timely filing of tax returns in India.

To find out whether you or your employee qualifies for an Indian Employment Visa , please contact us.

IRELAND

Working in Ireland without a work permit taking advantage of the Van der Elst visa route.

As a general rule a non-EEA national will require an employment permit to take up employment in Ireland (the EEA comprises the Member States of the European Union together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein).

Ireland currently has four main employment lead immigration schemes, namely: – the Green Card Permits; – the Work Permits; – the Intra-Company Transfer Permits; and the Graduate Scheme Permit.

The Van der Elst exception: Holders of a Van der Elst visa can work in Ireland without an employment permit.  To qualify for an Irish Van Der Elst visa you must be lawfully employed in another EU Member State and wishing to travel to Ireland to provide services on behalf of your employer.

Whether you are deploying a non-EEA national employee to Ireland to work on a temporary project or transferring them to your Irish branch,  we will be able to assist you with the entire visa process and the registration with the Garda Garda National. For more information, please contact us.

FRANCE

In May 31, 2011 a government circular instructed labor authorities to apply greater scrutiny in considering work permit applications and to interpret the regulations strictly and restrictively, with the aim of reducing the number of foreign nationals being admitted to France for professional purposes.

Among other things, the labor authorities have been asked to assess if a foreign worker is under or overqualified for the role offered. If he is found under-qualified, the application must be denied. On the other hand if he is found overqualified, the advertisement must be modified and run again.

The Immigration authorities also must satisfied themselves that:

-       the compensation meets appropriate thresholds as determined by collective bargaining agreements, the market, and minimum salary laws; and

-       the candidate has an adequate knowledge of French; and

-       the candidate is provided adequate housing.

The restrictive measures have increased processing times for work permits considerably.

The measures do not apply to intra-company transfers, secondments and seasonal workers.

French EU Blue Card

On a more positive note, France has now introduced its version of the EU Blue Card (Carte Bleue Europeenne or also referred to as CBE) pursuant article L. 313-10. 6 of CESEDA, which transposed the European Directive 2009/50/CE.

The Blue Card allows highly skilled third country nationals to live and work temporarily in France, and ultimately obtain long-term residence right within the European Union.

Nationals of the EU or Island, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Algeria (who come under the French/Algerian agreement of the 27th of December 1968) are not concerned.

The Blue Card may also be issued to a third-country national who already holds a Blue Card issued by another member state and wants to accept employment in France after 18 months of residence under the initial Blue Card.

The application is made within one month of arrival in France. The non visa national applicants need not present a long-stay French visa.

The French authorities have up to 90 days to adjudicate the Blue Card application and up to six months to adjudicate the accompanying spouse’s residence permit.

The advantage of the blue card over other French immigration routes are as follows:

- Intra-company prior employment is not required

- Higher mobility within the EU

- Easier / possible access to long-term residency status.

QUALIFYING CRITERIA

The main requirements to qualify for a French European Blue Card are:

-       a three year degree awarded by an institution recognized by the government of the country where the institution is located, OR

-       5 years of  demonstrable work experience in a similar role as the one offered; AND

-       an employment contract for a highly qualified role of at least 12 months; AND

-       an annual salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum salary set by the government ( this is determined each year by the Minister of Interior in – according to the current reference salary which is € 34,296, this annual salary threshold is € 51,444)

VALIDITY

The card is valid for 3 years or for the duration of the contract plus 3 months whichever is the shorter. The card is renewable.

During the initial 3 years the holder of the card is only allowed to switch to another employer as long as the new role meets the main criteria and is in the same sector.

Having completed 3 years in France under the auspices of a European Blue Card, applicants will be free to take any employment without restriction.

FAMILY MEMBERS

Family members will be issued with residence permit (carte de sejour) ‘private and family life’ without having to follow the family reunion process. The permit will be issued in line with the main applicant’s blue card. Holders of the said card will be allowed to work whilst in France.

EU LONG-RESIDENCE PERMIT

After 5 years of continuous residence in the EU the applicant and his accompanying family will be granted with EU long-residence permits (“résident de longue durée-CE “  or RLD-CE ) as long as the last 2 years of their residence in EU were spent in France. The applicant will also need to demonstrate his intention to settle in France (article L.314-8-1 du CESEDA). The long-residence permit will be valid for 10 years and be renewable. When calculating the continued residence, the authorities will ignore absences of less than 12 consecutive months and aggregated absences of less then 18 months in total over the 5 year period. At the expiry of the RLD-CE, the applicant will be entitled to apply for permanent residency card.

RESIDENT MARKET TEST

Although strictly speaking the resident market test is not applicable (i.e .in theory employers are not required to demonstrate that there are no qualified workers willing to fill the role on the French labour market), some experts are still advising to carry out a search of the market. It is anticipated that the adjudicators are likely to exercise their discretion less favorably when considering applications for which the French labour market has not been considered.

TECHNICALITIES AND PROCESS

Highly skilled third country nationals, who have hold a blue card delivered by another member state for at least 18 months and who wish to take employment in France must file a request for a French blue card within a month of entering the French territory. The role must require a highly skilled candidate.  In general terms the same conditions apply as if the candidate was applying for his first card, with the exception of having to hold a long-term visa.

Highly skilled third country nationals who hold a European blue card issued by another member state, and who wish to travel to France for less than 3 months, will not be required to hold a short term visa.

DOCUMENTATION

For the Initial application the applicant’s employer will be required to submit the following documentation:

-       A copy of the applicant’s passport (ID page and pages endorsed with French stamps and visas);

-       The relevant CERFA form and its corresponding annex;

-       A letter from the employer explaining in details the recruitment / selection of the applicant and the duties to be carried out;

-       K Extract;

-       Copy of last receipt showing contributions towards paid holidays and national insurance;

-       Applicant’s original qualification together with an official and certified translation into French and an attestation from the awarding body confirming that the qualification requires at least 3 years of superior studies (i.e. at least at under graduate level) or the applicant’s resume together with evidence that he has at least 5 years of relevant experience is a similar role ( i.e. work references which must be translated and certified);

-       If the job is regulated, evidence that the regulator’s requirements have been met;

-       If the applicant has hold a blue card issued by another member state for 18 months or more, the original card.

For the accompanying family:

-       A copy of the passport of each family member accompanying the main applicant (ID page and each pages endorsed with French stamps and French visas);

-       A copy of birth and marriage certificate or the family book with official and certified translation;

-       The main applicant’s European blue card if applying separately.

Below is a list of additional documentation that may be requested by the adjudicator:

-       A copy of the last 2 pages of the employer’s register of employees (‘registre unique du personnel ‘) or copy of the last 3 declarations of employees movements (déclarations des mouvements de personnel ) for business of more than 50 employees;

-       When the French employer has already requested for a work permit, the authorities may required the foreign employee’s together with evidence (bordereau de versement)that the NI has been paid  last three pay slips.

PROCESS

For the Highly Skilled Migrants residing abroad and their accompanying family members, an application must be filed at the SMOE (Service de la main d’oeuvre etrangere) with jurisdiction over the employer’s place of trade.

For the Highly Skilled Migrants residing in another member state under the auspices of a blue card for more than 18 months and their accompanying family members, an application must be filed with the town hall (prefecture) with jurisdiction over the applicant’s the place of residence in France.

Upon receiving the application the SOME will assess the contract and subsequently transfer the application to the DT (Direction Territorial) of the OFII (Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration). The decision will then be emailed to the French Consulate or a French foreign representative body in the applicant’s usual country of residence. The Consulate will then invite the applicant, and if applicable, their accompanying family members, to enroll their biometrics and apply for their long stay visa (long sejour).

When collecting his long stay visa (long sejour), the applicant should be handed his contract duly endorsed by the authorities together with the ‘demande d’attestation’ OFII form.

The applicant will be allowed to work upon arriving in France as long as he holds a long stay visa and his contract of employment endorsed by the French authorities.

The ‘demande d’attestation OFII form must be posted to the relevant OFII office, together with a copy of the applicant’s passport (ID page and page stamped by the French Immigration Officer on arrival in France and the long term visa.   The OFII will issue a receipt, which will enable the applicant to prove the legality of his status whilst the process is ongoing.

 

USA – Working in the US without a Work Permit

B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa

The B-1 in Lieu of H-1B visa is a visitor visa which  allows its holder to work in the US without having to file  a petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services like most work visas do.

There is no requirement to have a sponsor a US either.

As this may in rare circumstances cause problems when the holder enters the United States of America, it is advisable to contact a US immigration specialist before proceeding.

Can I use this visa to send one of my employees to work on my US client site?

The most common use of the B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa route involves an overseas  (non-US) company with a contract or agreement with a US client or customer to perform services in the US.

Which Employees Can Be Sent to the US on a B-1 in lieu of H-1B Visa?

This visa is for highly specialized and professional employees only. They must continue to be employed and salaried by the overseas company during their stay in the US. They must also intend to return to the country of usual residence to resume their employment.

How Long Can B-1 in lieu of H-1B Employees Stay in the US?

Generally, the visa will be issued for any period of up to 12 months.

How to Obtain a B-1 in lieu of H-1B Visa?

Visa applications must be adequately documented with supporting evidence proving that all legal requirements have been met. The relevant US Consulate or Embassy will then adjudicate the visa application.

 

FOR OTHER DESTINATIONS PLEASE CONTACT US.