EEA and international migrant workers in the UK labour market

EEA and international migrant workers in the UK labour market

In July 2017, the Government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the European Union and also on how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy.

The areas outlined below provide a general indication of the information the MAC is reviewing:

Part 1 - EEA Migration Trends

Part 2 - Recruitment Practices, Training & Skills

Part 3 - Economic, Social and Fiscal Impacts

EU workers reluctant to relocate for a UK job

Employers in the UK are finding it harder to fill jobs after the steepest decline in candidate availability for 16 months, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

The REC report which compiled data from 400 recruitment companies shows Brexit influence on the jobs market as workers become more reluctant to move jobs and EU nationals less likely to relocate to the UK due to uncertainty over future immigration rules.

Panama: New Consular Visa Exemption Eliminates Exemption for EU and Schengen Visa Holders

A new decree replaces the current Consular Visa exemption with a new one only for those holding a valid Australian, Canadian, UK or U.S. multiple-entry visa valid for at least one year from the date of entry and used at least once, for stays up to 30 days initially, renewable twice for 30 days each stay through an in-country process. The previous exemption, allowing EU or Schengen country visa holders to qualify for the exemption as well, has been eliminated.

Luxembourg: EU Intra-company Transferee Work Permit Forthcoming

To comply with the EU Directive on intra-company transferees (ICTs), a proposed law that is set to be implemented in the coming weeks will introduce the new EU ICT Work Permit for non-EU foreign qualified managers and specialists and graduate trainees with at least a Master’s degree sent from a company outside the European Union to an entity in the same corporate group in Luxembourg for a period of more than 90 days.

Belgium: New minimum salary levels announced for Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia

On January 1, 2017, the minimum base salary for several work permit categories will increase in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia.

• The minimum base salary for highly-skilled foreign workers applying for Type "B" work permits will increase to EUR 40,124 annually, up from EUR 39,824.

• The minimum base salary for senior management and executives will increase to EUR 66,942, up from EUR 66,442.

• The minimum base salary for EU Blue Card holders will increase to EUR 51,882, up from EUR 51,484.

EU: Travel Information and Authorization System proposal published

Following the European Commission report issued in September regarding strengthening the EU’s external border control systems, the European Commission has published a proposal for an electronic European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

EU Legislative Process

The proposal will now be debated by the European Parliament and the Council. The formal adoption of the Regulation is expected in 2017. Once adopted, the technical implementation phase will begin and the system is expected to be fully operational by 2020.

Netherlands: EU Intra-company Transferee Permit to be implemented on November 29

On November 29, 2016, an EU Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit will become available for qualified foreign managers, specialists and trainees who are sent from a company outside the European Union to a company in the Netherlands in the same corporate group.

Companies will no longer be able to use the Knowledge Migrant Scheme for such transfers, but the Scheme will still be available for local hires and transferred employees under a Dutch employment contract.

Foreign nationals who hold an EU ICT Permit in one EU Member State will more easily be able to work in other EU Member States under the permit.

Switzerland: Third quarter quotas exhausted

The third-quarter quotas for L- and B-Permits for European Union nationals on assignment lasting more than four months have been exhausted. Employers who wish to send EU nationals on assignment to Switzerland will need to wait until October 1, 2016, when fourth-quarter quotas become available.

Eurpoean Union: Visa waiver policy for U.S. and Canadian citizens sustained

The European Commission has decided not to suspend the visa waiver policy for U.S. and Canadian citizens, according to a communication released yesterday.

UK: Home Office announcement clarifies rights of EU nationals in the United Kingdom

A joint statement by the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office has revealed that the government “fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected”.  

Netherlands: EU service providers now subject to Dutch labour laws

Employers based in the European Union who send workers to the Netherlands to provide services, transfer workers within a multinational company or who send workers through an employment agency must now comply with Dutch labour laws, according to a new law. The purpose of the law is to prevent companies from setting up fake service provision agreements to avoid Dutch laws.

Brexit – What will this mean for UK immigration?

Following the result of the UK’s EU referendum, which the Leave campaign won with 52% of the vote, there are many questions and uncertainty about the future UK immigration landscape.

The landmark result, which saw more than 30 million people vote, the highest turnout since 1992, has raised a number of concerns for EU nationals living and working in the UK.

Our UK immigration partner is confident that any outstanding or ongoing immigration applications presently with the Home Office for consideration will be unaffected.

European Union: European commission adopts proposal for EU blue card scheme improvements

In order to attract highly-skilled foreign workers to the European Union (excluding Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom), the European Commission has adopted a proposal to improve the EU Blue Card scheme. The new provisions must pass through the European Union’s standard decision-making process before adoption by the European Parliament and the Council.

Switzerland: Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to be exempt from labour market rules

On or after June 1, 2016, nationals of Bulgaria and Romania under a local Swiss employment contract will no longer be subject to Swiss labor market rules such as a labor market test, salary and working condition checks and the foreign national quota system.  Instead, they will be subject to the same registration formalities that apply to EU nationals.

Turkey: Proposal would exempt Turkish nationals from Schengen visa requirement

The European Commission has proposed to the EU Parliament and Council to remove the tourist and business visa requirement for Turkish nationals travelling to EU member states and associated Schengen states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) except for Ireland and the United Kingdom.  Until the proposal is approved (which is expected to happen June 2016), Turkish nationals will require Schengen visas.

EU: Temporary border controls introduced and extended

Due to the introduction and continuation of border controls in the European Union, travellers to Denmark, Belgium and other EU countries will need to present travel documents to enter from another Schengen country.

New border controls and asylum application volume causing delays in EU

Travellers into, out of and within the European Union and the Schengen Area will be subject to general travel and immigration service processing delays due to the influx of refugees, particularly to Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.  Importantly, Germany introduced border controls yesterday that caused significant delays at entry and exit ports and other countries are continuing to implement controls.  This is particularly relevant to rail and road border crossings; air travel is unlikely to be affected at this time.

Delays and Suspensions

Trains between Germany and Austria were suspended in both directions from Sunday until Monday morning. It is currently not clear how long other border controls will remain in place.

Foreign nationals should be prepared for immigration document checks on roads and trains throughout the European Union.

Foreign nationals seeking permits and visas at immigration offices in EU countries are experiencing long lines and processing delays due to the volume of asylum applications.  Foreign nationals are advised to arrive at immigration offices well in advance of opening hours and should file renewal and other immigration applications well in advance of the deadlines to avoid additional delays.

What This Means For Foreign Nationals

All travellers, including EU nationals, are strongly advised to carry a valid passport and, as appropriate, residence permit or visa if crossing any international border within the European Union, even if passport-free travel is currently permitted. Train and road travel is likely to be significantly delayed and foreign nationals seeking immigration services in EU countries should account for delays and long lines.