EIG Week in Review (Jan 3, 2014)


  • UK Grants Work Authorization to Romanian and Bulgarian Nationals
  • Updated Visa Processes for U.S. Consulates in India
  • Additional Documentation Required for Investments in Saudi Arabia 
  • New Zealand Residence Now Available for Successful Entrepreneurs 

UK Grants Work Authorization to Romanian and Bulgarian Nationals

On December 31, 2013, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals’ restricted access to the UK labor market expired, and they now are able to work in the UK as any other national from the European Economic Area (EEA).  This means prior authorization from the Home Office is no longer required for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals to stay in the UK for longer than 3 months, if they are exercising treaty rights as a worker, student, self-employed or self-sufficient person.

Job seekers have the right to reside in the UK if they are actively seeking work and have a genuine chance of getting a job.  Once they have resided in the UK for three months, they will be able to satisfy the Habitual Residence test and get access to Jobseeker’s Allowance, a small stipend granted to individuals seeking work who meet the rules for eligibility.  There is, however, a six-month cut-off for Jobseeker’s Allowance unless the individual can show that they have a genuine prospect of work.  Romanian and Bulgarian Nationals may also exercise treaty rights as students, self-employed, or self-sufficient individuals if they meet appropriate requirements.

EEA nationals who exercise the right to move freely into and within the UK must abide by UK laws as well as the responsibilities set out in the Free Movement of Persons Directive.  Failure to do so may result in removal or deportation.

For more information on treaty rights with regards to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, please visit: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/.

Updated Visa Processes for U.S. Consulates in India

U.S. Consulates in India have recently shifted toward greater use of technology.  Starting December 23, 2013, individuals completing immigrant visa applications are now required to complete the Form DS-260 online immigrant visa application instead of the former paper Form DS-230.  Some of the differences between the two forms are stricter requirements regarding places of residence and employment since reaching the age of 16 as well a requirement to list all prior visits to the U.S. instead of only those within the past five years.

Additionally, optional passport and other document courier service ended on November 30, 2013.  As of this date, Stanley and Blue Dart provide facilities where passports and other documents are held for pick-up.  Please note, however, that failure to pick up documents within 14 calendar days from the respective Stanley service center, or 7 working days from the respective Blue Dart location, will result in documents being returned to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where they were issued or reviewed.

For more information on these changes, please visit: http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/in.

Additional Documentation Required for Investments in Saudi Arabia

Investment in Saudi Arabia now requires more documentation for license renewal.  In addition to the previous document requirements, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) now requires investors to provide copies of: (1) their last two financial statements; (2) a municipality license for the main entity; (3) a Saudization certificate available through the Saudi Ministry of Labor; (4) a printout from the Passport Department (Jawazat); (5) the associated lease contract; (6) the three largest contracts entered into by the company; and, (7) the license/permit issued to practice investment activity, if needed.

While the above additional documentation requirement means gathering more information at the front end of obtaining an investor visa, these new requirements are expected to streamline the process and create more defined expectations for investors.  Through this updated process, SAGIA is aiming to speed up the completion of licensing requests and allow for added investment through more standardized means.

For more information on renewing investment licenses in Saudi Arabia, please visit: http://www.sagia.gov.sa/en/Investor-tools/Remote-Services-/.

New Zealand Residence Now Available for Successful Entrepreneurs

In March 2014, New Zealand will be replacing its Long Term Business Visa, which was discontinued on December 20, 2013, with the Entrepreneur Work Visa as means of allowing individuals to reside in New Zealand and operate their own business.  A new point system will be introduced for applicants, and a fast-track, entrepreneur-plus provision will exist for applicants who have (1) successfully established a business; (2) operate it for at least six months; (3) invested at least $500,000 in it; and, (4) created full-time ongoing employment for at least three New Zealand nationals.  The New Zealand government will provide full details in February 2014.

For more information on the new Entrepreneur Work visa, please visit: http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/visas/visas-to-invest-here/entrepreneur-visa.