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EIG Dispatch – January 9, 2015

January 9, 2015

Highlights

  • ACR Holders in the Philippines Required to Appear in Person by March 1, 2015 
  • Malaysia Institutes New Income Requirements for Sponsoring Dependents
  • Vietnam No Longer Issuing Multiple-Entry Business Visas on Arrival 
  • South Africa Allows ICT Work Visa Holders to Apply for Two-Year Extension

ACR Holders in the Philippines Required to Appear in Person by March 1, 2015

All foreign nationals who are authorized to work in the Philippines under either an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) paper-based card or I-Card are required to appear in person and report to the Bureau of Immigration within the first sixty (60) days of the calendar year. March 1, 2015 is the deadline for ACR holders to report to the Bureau of Immigration Main Office in Intramuros, Manila if residing in Metro Manila, or any other office participating in the 2015 Annual Report. Those who do not appear will be deemed “undocumented.” The Bureau exempts certain foreign nationals in the ACR I-Card category such as 9(a) tourist visa holders, Multiple-Entry Special Visa Holders, and Special Non-Immigrant 47(a)(2) visa holders. Failure to comply shall result in administrative fines or imprisonment, at the option of the Commissioner of Immigration.

Malaysia Institutes New Income Requirements for Sponsoring Dependents

Malaysian immigration authorities, in joint decision with its Multimedia Development Corporation, will now require that foreign nationals holding an Employment Pass have a monthly income of 5,000 Malaysian Ringgits (approximately $1,400 USD) in order to sponsor spouses or children on a Dependent Pass. This new requirement is being implemented immediately and will cause those whose monthly income is less than 5,000 MYR per month to be ineligible as sponsors. This requirement affects both ICT and MSC Malaysia status companies and employees. Immigration authorities will permit Dependent Pass holders to remain until their current passes expire, at which time a renewal request will be granted only if the sponsoring Employment Pass holder has the requisite monthly income.

Vietnam No Longer Issuing Multiple-Entry Business Visas on Arrival

As of January 1, 2015, business visitors traveling to Vietnam will no longer be able to receive a Multiple Entry Visa upon arrival. Instead, all business visitors must apply and obtain their Multiple Entry Visa at a Vietnamese Consulate abroad with jurisdiction over their region of residence. Business visitors must be sponsored by a company located in Vietnam and must provide a detailed schedule of activities or work to be conducted while in Vietnam in their application. Those applying for Multiple Entry Visas should anticipate at least two weeks to allow for processing time. To date, the Multiple Entry Visa will still be issued on arrival for tourism purposes.

South Africa Allows ICT Work Visa Holders to Apply for Two-Year Extension

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs issued a new directive, confirming that if a foreign national is currently in South Africa on a two-year ICT Work Visa, they may apply for a new two-year extension from within South Africa. Foreign nationals holding ICT Work Permits issued prior to May 26, 2014, will now be allowed to apply for a new ICT Work Visa rather than being required to exit South Africa in order to apply. ICT Work Visa holders will also be able to continue working as long as they have not exceeded four cumulative years of work within South Africa. This directive helps clarify a law that was passed May 26, 2014 stating that all ICT Work Visas would be issued for four years and could not be renewed, but was silent as to the status of visas issued prior to the change.