Mayer Brown’s Global Directions is a summary of recent immigration and mobility trends arising in key jurisdictions around the globe. This high-level overview alerts recipients to select changes in law and practice that may affect their global mobility programs.


Thailand: Update to List of Business Activities that No Longer Require a Work Permit

  • Effective March 13, 2015, the following activities will no longer require the work permit previously mandated for even short-term business activities, known as the “urgent work permit”:
    • Attending a conference or seminar
    • Visiting businesses or engaging in discussions with customers
    • Attending exhibitions and trade shows
    • Attending lectures, educational forums, training programs and seminars as an audience participant
    • Attending board of directors meetings in his/her own company
  • Providing training, speaking at a conference and representing a company at a trade show, however, will still require an urgent work permit.


Canada: New Requirements for LMIA-Exempt Work Permit Process

  • Effective February 21, 2015, employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which includes intra-company transfers, are now required to submit form IMM 5802, Offer of Employment, and pay a US$230 compliance fee before a work permit application is submitted.  If this is not completed prior to the submission of a work permit application, the foreign national will not be able to receive an employer-specific work permit.
  • The compliance fee requirement does not apply if an employer hires a foreign worker with an open work permit.  However, if the foreign worker later applies for an employer-specific work permit, the employer must then pay the compliance fee and submit the Offer of Employment form as detailed above, prior to submitting the actual work permit application.


Ukraine: New Work Permit and Renewal Processing Time Frame

  • As of February 2015, the processing time for a work permit application is seven days and renewal applications can be filed 20 days from the date of expiration. Previously, the processing time for work permit applications was up to 30 days and renewal applications needed to be filed at least 30 days from the date of expiration.
  • Specific to companies, the state duty fee for the issuance of a work permit must now be paid within 10 days of a permit’s approval, and employment contracts must be submitted within seven business days from the execution of the contract.
  • This acceleration in processing is expected to increase the opportunities available to information technology workers in Ukraine.

Slovenia: One-Year Wait for Dependents of Non-EU Work Permit Holders

  • Effective January 2015, Non-EU Work Permit Holders must now work for one year in Slovenia before their dependents can join them. Prior to the change, dependents could accompany the Work Permit Holder upon the commencement of employment.
  • The one-year requirement does not apply to dependents of EU Blue Card Holders or some Highly Skilled Workers.

Ireland: Revised Requirements for Critical Skills and Green Card Employment Permit Holders Applying for Stamp 4

  • Effective April 1, 2015, there will be additional requirements for Critical Skills and Green Card Employment Permit Holders applying for Stamp 4.  Receiving Stamp 4 allows the holder to work in Ireland without a Work Permit for a specified period of time.  Stamp 4 can be renewed as long as all conditions continue to be met by the holder.
  • In order to be eligible for Stamp 4, a person must have worked in Ireland for a full two-year period.
  • Before applying for Stamp 4, applicants will need to complete a form from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation, and submit both a letter confirming their employment and documentation confirming payment.
  • If the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation finds that the applicant has fulfilled the full term of his/her existing Employment Permit, and has complied with all terms and conditions therein, the Department will issue a letter to the Employment Permit holder. This letter should then be used in support of the Stamp 4 application.
  • Along with the letter from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation, an applicant should present all currently required documentation to the Garda National Immigration Bureau office nearest his/her place of residence for registration renewal.
  • A Stamp 4 granted by the Garda National Immigration Bureau will be valid for two years and is renewable so long as the holder has continued to comply with all terms and conditions.
  • If a Stamp 4 application is denied and the applicant instead receives a Stamp 1, a work permit will continue to be required.
  • Further details and instructions can be found here:

Middle East

Saudi Arabia: Changes to Family Visitor Visa Validity and Application Process

  • As of February 1, 2015, dependent visitor visas will be issued for a maximum of 180 days and cannot be extended. Overstaying the visa may result in a fine or the loss of the ability to apply for a visitor visa in the future.
  • Foreign work visa holders applying for a dependent visitor visa will now need to do so in person at an Istiqdam office.