Global Headlines: Argentina, Philipines, Switzerland,

Argentina: Waiver of Reciprocity Fee for Canadians. Effective January 1, 2018, Argentina will waive the visa reciprocity fee for Canadian citizens entering the country for tourism or business purposes. Following the cancellation of the reciprocity fees for US citizens in 2016 and Australians in 2017, the latest fee exemption for Canadians officially overturns Argentina’s former 2008 policy in an effort to facilitate travel and tourism at lesser costs for temporary visitors (up to 90 days).

Philippines: Employment Permit Rules Amended. The Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has amended several rules governing employment permits to foreign nationals. The revised rules affect:

  • Additional Documentation: Employers must provide additional documentation in support of an Alien Employment Permit (AEP);
  • Renewals: Applications for AEP renewals must be submitted no more than 60 days before the expiration date;
  • Denials: Employees working with an expired AEP for over a year and applying for a renewal with an expired visa, or, with a temporary visa are new grounds for denial;
  • Penalties: Employers who have submitted fraudulent AEP applications three times will face a five-year bar from re-applying. Employers will also face fines in the amount of PHP 10,000 for employing foreign nationals without an AEP.

Switzerland: 2017 Quotas Reached for L and B Permits.  The Swiss Immigration Authorities recently announced that the 2017 quotas for EFTA have been exhausted. New permits will be available for EU/EFTA nationals on January 1, 2018 (subject to variations based on region).

Please note that this does not affect applicants for the local-hire B permit, 120-day permit, or the four-month short-term permits.