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 Launches Global Skills Strategy Pilot Program

The Canadian government has launched the Global Talent Stream, a two-year pilot program aimed at helping innovative companies attract highly skilled foreign talent. There are two eligibility categories:

  • Category A is for companies that have been referred by a designated partner of Canada’s Employment and Social Development (ESDC) department and are seeking to hire unique and specialized talent.
  • Category B is for companies seeking to fill a position on the Global Talent occupations list that requires a highly skilled worker.

The government has promised a two-week processing time for the work permit application as well as the temporary resident visa/electronic travel authorization. Participating companies are required to work with ESDC to develop a Labor Market Benefits Plan to demonstrate the company’s commitment to making lasting, positive impacts on the Canadian workforce.

United States

Enhanced Security Measures Implemented for Flights to the United States

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will be implementing enhanced security measures for all commercial flights to the United States, including increased screening of passengers, personal electronic devices and other passenger possessions. The announcement also referred to enhancements in canine screening and the establishment of additional preclearance locations.

DHS specified that it has already begun rolling out these heightened security measures and expects all international airports with flights to the United States to comply with DHS security standards.

On a related note, on July 5, 2017, three commercial airline companies in the Middle East—Turkish Airways, Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airlines—announced that they are now exempt from a previous ban on laptops onboard flights inbound to the United States.

Supreme Court Partially Lifts Injunctions on Travel Ban

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court announced that next term it will hear the US government’s appeal from lower court orders enjoining the “Travel Ban.” The Court also granted the government’s application to stay the injunctions “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” thus allowing the Travel Ban to proceed with respect to such individuals. Importantly, the Court left in place the injunction barring implementation of the Travel Ban as it relates to individuals who do have a “bona fide relationship” with any individual or entity in the United States; as a result, the Travel Ban remains inoperative for the significant majority of affected individuals. (For more information on the Court’s decision, please see our Legal Update.)



Malaysia Makes eVisas Available to Nationals of 10 Countries

The Immigration Department of Malaysia recently made eVisas available to nationals of China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Serbia and Montenegro seeking to travel to Malaysia for business purposes. eVisas are single-entry, valid for three months and grant a maximum period of stay of 30 days for each visit. Upon approval, the eVisa must be printed on A4 paper to present upon arrival at any Malaysian point of entry. eVisas may not be extended.



Slovakia Becomes Latest EU Member to Implement EU Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) Directive

Recent changes to Slovakia’s Act on Residence of Foreigners and Act on Employment Services have resulted in the implementation of the EU ICT Directive and expedited processing of work and residence permits for individuals employed by innovative companies.

With the implementation of the EU ICT Directive, non-EU foreign national managers and specialists can obtain an ICT work permit and residence permit valid for up to three years. ICT work permit holders may work in other EU member states for a company within the same group for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. The adoption of the EU ICT Directive also allows foreign nationals with ICT work permits issued in another EU member state to work in Slovakia for a period of up to 90 days in a 180-day period.

In addition, the Slovakian government recently announced that it would expedite the processing of work and residence permits for individuals employed by businesses found to be innovative by the Slovakian Ministry of Economy. The expedited processing time is 30 days rather than 90 days. At the same time, the Ministry has reduced the requirement that companies demonstrate a proof of funds 100 times the minimum salary to 40 times the minimum salary.

United Kingdom

Preliminary Immigration Policies Announced for EU Citizens Residing in the UK

On June 26, 2017, the UK Home Office published a policy paper directed toward EU citizens explaining efforts being made to protect the legal status of EU citizens residing in the UK and UK nationals residing throughout the EU. The paper establishes that there will be no changes to the immigration status of EU nationals living in the UK while the UK remains part of the EU. EU citizens residing in the UK when it exits the EU will be required to apply for a residence document to continue to lawfully reside in the UK after the withdrawal. Specifically, it outlines that EU citizens who:

  • Have continuously resided in the UK for five years will be eligible to apply for an indefinite stay or “settled status.”
  • Arrived before the cut-off date (yet to be determined), but have not resided in the UK for five years at the time that the UK departs the EU, will be eligible to apply to stay until they have reached the five-year threshold and then can apply for an indefinite stay or “settled status.” 
  • Arrive in the UK after the cut-off date will be eligible to apply for permission to remain after the UK exits the EU.
  • Have dependant family members residing in the UK before the UK’s departure from the EU: Those family members will be eligible to apply for settled status after five years of residency in the UK, regardless of the cut-off date.

In addition, EU citizens lawfully residing in the UK will continue to have the same access to healthcare, education, benefits and pensions.