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Sep 28, 2023

Global immigration news round

11 October 2023 This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa.

11 October 2023

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa.

Effective 1 October 2023, the shortage occupation list in Wallonia has been updated, with seven occupations removed: carpenter, cook, chef cook, credit analyst, fountain maker, glass maker and speech therapist.

Applicants for work permits in occupations on the list are not required to fulfil labour market testing requirements.

The new list will be in effect until 30 September 2024.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), effective 1 October 2023, applicants for permanent residence via Express Entry are no longer required to undergo an immigration medical exam (IME) before submitting their application.

Instead, applicants who have never completed an IME must:

Applicants who have already completed an IME as part of a previous application (e.g., for work or study) within 5 years before submitting a new application and are currently living in Canada, may not need to complete another IME.

They should provide a copy of the documents (information printout sheet and IMM 1017B Upfront Medical Report form) given to them by the panel physician at their previous IME, or their IME number (or unique medical identifier number) from their previous IME, when they apply online.

If IRCC cannot use the old results, they will send instructions on how to arrange an IME after the application is submitted.

An IME from a panel physician is a requirement for permanent residence. The applicant’s family members must also have a medical exam, even if they aren’t accompanying the applicant to Canada.

SIRI has updated the Positive List for people with a higher education. The updated job titles on the list are based on the Regional Labour Market Councils additions. The new list is applicable from 1 October 2023.

The Positive List is a list of professions experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals in Denmark. Those offered a job included in the Positive List can apply for a residence and work permit in Denmark based on the scheme. To qualify, applicants must have a suitable educational background.

A job title can appear in the list, if there is a regional or national shortage of qualified professionals for the position. A job title can be added to the Positive List if:

The added job titles on The Positive for people with a Higher Education are added by the Regional Labour Market Councils and they will be on the list until at least 30 September 2025. The profession specific unemployment insurance funds has not added any job titles to the list that will be applicable from 1 October 2023.

The job titles will only apply for the geographical area (municipalities) each council covers. No job titles are taken off the Positive List for people with a Higher Education as a result of this update.

Another list – the Positive List for Skilled Work – is updated twice a year, on 1 January and 1 July.

The Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of 27 September 2023 “Programming of legal entry flows into Italy of foreign workers for the three-year period 2023-2025” was published on 3 October 2023 in the Official Gazette.

The decree establishes a three-year immigration plan with a quota of 452,000 non-EU nationals permitted to enter for work between 2023 and 2025. In the past, quota decrees have been issued annually.

The 2023-25 quota (“Flussi”) decree increases the entry quotas for work and extends the professional categories and production sectors involved. Moreover, the quotas increase in each of the three years.

The 2022 quota decree allowed 82,705 entries: The proposed decree allows for 136,000 entries in 2023, 151,000 in 2024 and 165,000 in 2025.

For the 2023 quotas, applications may be submitted as follows:

For 2023, the 136,000 quotas are to be allocated as follows:

On 9 October 2023, the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa will open, with a simplified points system that sets a clear skills threshold for residence and offers several ways for applicants to demonstrate their skill level. Under the new system, applicants will need six points to be granted residence.

Applicants who wish to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa can claim three to six points from one of the following skill indicators:

If applicants do not gain enough points through one of these skill pathways, they will need to gain additional points through having skilled work experience in New Zealand.

All applicants will need a skilled job offer in New Zealand, and most applicants will be required to spend time working in New Zealand before becoming eligible for residence.

Under the new settings, there will be no cap on the number of people who can gain residence if they meet the skills threshold. This, along with simpler settings, means applicants can expect faster decision times (where complete information is provided to Immigration New Zealand).

Employers can continue to bring skilled workers to New Zealand on a temporary work visa, such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa, or employ migrants on other work visas such as the Working Holiday Visa, even if they do not meet the residence criteria.

Recently, additional changes have also been made:

The ballot draws for the Pacific Access Category (PAC) and Samoan Quota (SQ) to select who will be invited to apply for residence in New Zealand will happen on 6 October 2023.

The PAC and SQ residence pathways recognise the special relationship between New Zealand and Samoa and the Pacific Access Category countries of Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Fiji.

Sufficient registrations will be drawn to allow up to 1650 Samoan citizens, 500 Tongan, 500 Fijian citizens, 150 Kiribati and 150 Tuvaluan citizens to be granted residence.

These places are how many people will be granted residence under each category. Registrations for the ballots can contain more than one person, for example if a family have applied under the same registration.

Immigration New Zealand will publish successful registrant reference numbers online by the end of October 2023.

Successful applicants will be sent an invitation to apply letter after the reference numbers are published. This letter will include information about how to apply for the residence visa.

You must apply for New Zealand residency within 8 months of receiving an invitation to apply.

New income threshold

The minimum income requirement for those applying for residence under PAC and SQ with dependent children will increase to $51,734.80 from 20 October 2023.

This will apply to those who are invited to apply for residence following the ballot draw. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that parents can adequately support children in New Zealand. The income of a secondary applicant partner may also be taken into account as long as both applicants have an acceptable offer of employment in New Zealand.

On 2 October 2023, an updated Critical Skills list was published in the Government Gazette. Two new occupations have been added to the list:

Foreign nationals are now able to apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa in these occupations.

The Critical Skills list is a list of occupations that the South African government considers to be in high demand and essential to the country’s economic growth and development, and is updated regularly.

If you need support with any aspect of global immigration, Smith Stone Walters is here to help.

To speak to a member of our global immigration team, please contact us today.

removedNew income thresholdremovedNew income thresholdremovedNew income thresholdremovedNew income thresholdremovedNew income thresholdBelgium: Updated shortage occupation list in WalloniaremovedCanada: No upfront medical exam required for Express EntryandDenmark: Updated Positive List for people with a higher educationItaly: 2023-25 quota decree passes into lawNew Zealand: New Skilled Migrant Category New Zealand: Pacific Access Category and Samoan Quota New income thresholdSouth Africa: Updates to the Critical Skills listExpert advice on global immigration