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EIG Dispatch | September 16, 2016

September 19, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • South Africa Announces Change in Visa Validity Date Determination
  • Immigration Processing Delays Expected in Bangalore, India Due to Violent Protests
  • Italy Introduces New Provisions for Employers of Posted Workers
  • Peru Announces Visa Waiver Program for Qualifying Chinese Nationals

South Africa Announces Change in Visa Validity Date Determination

The South African Government has announced a change in the manner visa validity dates are determined for the Temporary Resident Visa category. Before the change was announced, the visa starting validity date was based on the “issue date” of the visa. In many instances, applicants would have their visa issued weeks or months in advance of the date that they actually arrived in South Africa, and as such, their time in South Africa was shortened. Effective August 1st, applicants can designate their desired visa validity start date on their visa application form. If the application is approved, the applicant’s visa start date will be as listed in the application and thus will accommodate the applicant’s desired travel plans. The effect of this change is twofold: visa applicants will now be able to take advantage of longer stays in South Africa, and the visa extension process will be smoother, as applicants can designate the start date of the new visa to be the expiration date of their current visa.


Immigration Processing Delays Expected in Bangalore, India Due to Violent Protests

The Supreme Court of India recently issued a decision mandating the State of Karnataka to hand over more water to the State of Tamil Nadu. This decision sparked violent riots on Monday in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. Foreign nationals currently in Bangalore should take precautions to ensure their safety and refrain from travel if possible. In addition, anyone seeking assistance from Consulates and other immigration service providers should prepare for heavy processing delays and lengthy government response times. EIG recommends applicants to contact the relevant government entity to confirm appointments.


Italy Introduces New Provisions for Employers of Posted Workers

Effective July 22, 2016, employers in Italy must abide by new notice and document retention requirements in order to comply with EU Directive 2014/67 related to the posting of foreign workers. The new obligations apply to foreign companies and European Union placement agencies transferring workers to entities based in Italy on a temporary basis. The new obligations will help ensure that foreign employers remain compliant with Italy’s labor laws.

The new notice of posting obligations require the foreign entity to notify Italy’s Ministry of Labor of the positing prior to initiation of the same. The notification must contain the following information:

  • Identity of the foreign entity;
  • Number of and information about the posted workers;
  • Duration of the posting assignment, as well as the beginning and end dates of the same;
  • Locations where posted workers will render their services;
  • Nature of the workers’ services; and
  • Information about the designated local representative and domicile in Italy.

Similarly, foreign entities must notify the Ministry of Labor of any subsequent changes to the assignment of foreign workers within five days of the change.

In addition to new posting requirements, the decree requires employers to follow additional document retention requirements.  As a result of the decree, the foreign entity must now maintain all documents (with copies in Italian) pertinent to the posting during the entire duration of the assignment and for two years following its conclusion. Documents that must be maintained by the employer include:

  • Employment contract;
  • Pay slips;
  • Proof of payment of salary;
  • Confirmation of start, end, and duration of work;
  • Public documents confirming the employment relationship; and
  • Certificate related to the applicable social security legislation.

The foreign entity must also designate a representative domiciled in Italy. Finally, the provisions also impose joint liability to the host and posting entities for any violations of the decree obligations.


Peru Announces Visa Waiver Program for Qualifying Chinese Nationals

Effective September 21, 2016, Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that certain Chinese nationals will be exempt from Peru’s visa requirements when traveling for business or tourism. The visa exemption will apply to Chinese nationals who hold permanent resident status or who hold valid visas for at least six months for the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, or any country in the Schengen Area. Visa-free visits by qualifying individuals will be limited to 180 days within a six-month period.