Global Headlines: Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and the UN

Ireland Introduces New Immigration Registration Cards. With effect from December 11, 2017, the ‘GNIB card’ has been replaced by the new Irish Residence Permit (IRP). The IRP has exactly the same legal status as the GNIB card. The same rules and responsibilities apply. For example, the holder is still required to carry the IRP at all times and present it to an immigration officer or the police if requested. Current GNIB cardholders are not required to apply for an IRP until their existing GNIB card is due to expire. Current GNIB cards remain valid for the time specified on the card.

New Blue Card Regulations in Luxembourg. Effective immediately, Luxembourg has implemented lower Blue Card salary minimums for certain groups of professionals in IT related fields. Professionals in these categories such as developers, system analysts, programmers, designers, administrators, and mathematicians now qualify for a Blue Card with a lower annual salary threshold of 59,198.40 euros gross per annum, nearly 15,000 less than the previously mandated amount. The payroll must still remain in Luxembourg.

Higher Salary Thresholds Announced for the Netherlands. Companies planning on sending employees to the Netherlands in 2018 should be aware of changes to the minimum budget salaries required in the new year. Starting January 1, 2018, the minimum gross monthly wages will be as follows:

  • Highly skilled migrants aged 30 and older: € 4,404.
  • Highly skilled migrants aged 29 and younger: € 3,229.
  • Individuals who graduated in the Netherlands: € 2,314.
  • EU Blue Card: € 5,160.

New applications that do not meet the new wage levels will be automatically rejected.

US Pulls Out of the UN Global Compact on Migration. On Sunday, December 3 President Trump announced that the U.S. will no longer participate with the UN Global Compact on Migration (GCM). The General Assembly created the GCM plan in 2016 with the intention of creating a more human global strategy on migration. The plan calls for a non-binding political declaration which pledges to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle, and ensure they have access to education and jobs.

The Trump Administration, led by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, maintained its position, declaring that the GCM “contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies,” and that “our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.”