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.


Canada: New Travel Requirements to Canada—Electronic Travel Authorization

  • Effective March 15, 2016, all visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or transiting through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to arriving in Canada. Lawful permanent residents of the United States, Israeli passport holders, Hong Kong SAR passport holders, holders of passports issued by the United Kingdom to a British subject or British national, and Taiwanese holding an ordinary passport containing their personal identification number will also need an eTA.
  • Foreign nationals exempt from this new eTA requirement prior to traveling to Canada include the following:
    • United States citizens;
    • Visitors, students and workers who traveled solely to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon;
    • Foreign nationals whose plane makes an emergency stop in Canada or lands solely for the purpose or refueling;
    • Foreign nationals transiting through Canada under either the Transit Without Visa or China Transit Program; and
    • Foreign nationals entering Canada solely to carry out duties as a member of the armed forces.


China: Beijing to Ease Entry/Exit and Permanent Residency Rules for Overseas Chinese

  • On January 12, 2016, the Ministry of Public Security announced plans to ease entry/exit and permanent residency rules for certain foreign nationals working in the Zhongguancun Science Park. The new rules, scheduled to take effect March 1, 2016, include the following:
    • Overseas Chinese who hold citizenship in another country and who hold a PhD or have worked in Zhongguancun for four years may apply for permanent residency;
    • Overseas Chinese who establish a company in Zhongguancun may apply for a work permit with a validity period of up to five years;
    • Establishment of a points-based system for determining which foreign nationals qualify for permanent residency;
    • Allow foreign students to undertake short-term internships and establish start-up companies in Zhongguancun;
    • Foreign nationals who have obtained two work permits valid between two and five years, each, will be eligible for a subsequent work permit valid for five years; and
    • Foreign nationals who earn 600,000 yuan (approx. US$91,100) per year and have paid 120,000 yuan (approx. US$18,219) in taxes each year for the past four consecutive years will be eligible for permanent residency.


Turkey: New Online System for Visa Applications

  • Beginning January 5, 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an online filing system for consular processed visas. The system will allow those applying for Assembly, Maintenance and Service (AMS) visas and work permits to complete the application and upload any required supporting documentation to the system prior to appearing at the consulate for their visa appointment. The duly signed application and original copies of the supporting documents must still be presented to the Turkish consulate during the appointment.

United Kingdom: China to Issue Two-Year Multiple-Entry Visas to British Nationals

  • On January 11, 2016, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the United Kingdom began issuing two-year multiple-entry visas to eligible British nationals traveling to China for business or tourism purposes.

Middle East

Israel: 2016 Base Salary Increases for Foreign Experts

The National Insurance Institute announced a new monthly average salary effective January 1, 2016, of 9,334 NIS (approx. US$2,356). This raises the gross base monthly salary for foreign experts to 18,668 NIS (approx. US $4,713), up from 18,246 NIS (approx. US$4,606) in 2015.