Immigration updates

British Virgin Islands

BVI exempts certain categories of people from work permit requirements
  • British Virgin Islands
  • September 08 2017

The government recently enacted the Labour Code (Work Permit Exemption) Order 2017, which excludes certain categories of people from the need to obtain work permits. In particular, the exemption for directors visiting the British Virgin Islands for board meetings supports the territory's position as the leading corporate domicile in the global economy.


Contributed by Savva & Associates Ltd
Citizenship-by-investment programme – a legal overview
  • Cyprus
  • May 25 2018

Cyprus's immigration policy and legal framework enable EU and non-EU applicants to obtain Cypriot citizenship on an expedited basis. The government has formulated a fast-track citizenship scheme aimed at high-net-worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. This allows successful applicants and their families to hold a Cypriot passport and enjoy all of the benefits afforded to Cyprus and EU nationals.

Citizenship by investment – the fastest route to EU citizenship
  • Cyprus
  • March 23 2018

The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment programme is considered among the world's most successful immigrant investor programmes, offering high-net-worth individuals and their families the fastest route to EU citizenship. The government is expected to announce new measures shortly by means of a regulation committee, which will oversee and vet real estate developers and other immigration service providers in order to ensure that all parties concerned adhere to a code of conduct.

Cyprus is EU leader in CBI Index
  • Cyprus
  • September 01 2017

In its recent study of citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes, the Financial Times' Professional Wealth Management ranked Cyprus ahead of other EU countries for its highly attractive travel and residency requirements. The Cyprus CBI programme was first introduced in 2002 at a premium investment of €15 million. The existing scheme became more competitive in 2013 and even more so following the Council of Ministers' September 2016 revisions.

New start-up visa for third-country nationals adopted
  • Cyprus
  • July 07 2017

Cyprus recently adopted the start-up visa for third-country nationals interested in residing and investing in innovative businesses in Cyprus. The scheme allows talented entrepreneurs from non-European Economic Area countries to reside in Cyprus and establish, operate or develop their own innovative start-up companies with high growth potential, provided that they meet certain criteria.


Expulsion of foreign employees due to non-compliance with collective agreements
  • Sweden
  • November 25 2016

Foreign employees may face expulsion if their employers fail to comply with certain employment terms in collective agreements. The Aliens Act stipulates that a foreign citizen who has been offered employment in Sweden can be granted a time-limited work permit, provided that the employment enables the employee to provide for him or herself. The permit will be revoked if the legal requirements are no longer met – for example, if the employment terms are inferior to the relevant collective agreement.


Contributed by Suter Howald Attorneys at Law
Job registration requirement – priority of local workers
  • Switzerland
  • February 02 2018

The Federal Council recently decided on how to implement a new admission system to exercise immigration control without conflicting with the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the European Union. The new regulations introduce a job registration requirement for job types in which the unemployment rate throughout Switzerland has reached a specific threshold. The change aims to optimise and exploit the potential of national workers.

Number of quotas to be increased for 2018
  • Switzerland
  • December 22 2017

The Federal Council has announced that the total number of work permits submitted to quotas for 2018 will be increased from 9,750 (in 2017) to 11,500 (in 2018). The decision follows political debate and aims to allow Switzerland to hire enough qualified workers and specialists from both the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) market and the non-EU and non-EFTA market.

Invocation of safeguard clause for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals
  • Switzerland
  • May 26 2017

The Federal Council recently invoked the safeguard clause contained in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between the European Union and Switzerland. This clause allows Switzerland to implement unilaterally a quota system for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals from June 1 2017 to May 31 2018.

Swiss mass immigration – what next?
  • Switzerland
  • March 17 2017

In February 2014 the Swiss people adopted a popular initiative aimed at stopping mass immigration. The new constitutional text requires the Federal Council and Parliament to introduce a new admission system for all foreign nationals within three years that restricts immigration by means of quantitative limits and quotas (and gives priority to local workers). Parliament recently voted on the law's final draft.

Agreement on Free Movement of Persons extended to Croatia
  • Switzerland
  • January 20 2017

Switzerland recently ratified Protocol III, which extends the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons to Croatia. Croatian nationals now have restricted access to the Swiss labour market. Priority will be given to local workers, and the checking of work and salary conditions as well as quotas will apply up to December 31 2023. Croatian nationals can now also apply for a border commuter permit in Switzerland, provided that the work location in Switzerland is within the Swiss border zone.


New law for foreign workers enacted
  • Turkey
  • November 25 2016

Parliament recently enacted International Workforce Law 6735, which governs the employment of foreign individuals in Turkey. The law aims to set the rules and principles regarding work permit applications and exemptions for foreign individuals and determine the rights and obligations of government authorities to implement and monitor work permit policies for foreign nationals.