Immigration: news of the month - may 2024

Immigration : news of the month - May 2024

Immigration norms evolved in May. Here is a little round up of the key facts you should have in mind when organizing your teams' international mobility. In focus : visas in the Shengen area, employment law in Ireland, EU blue card in Estonia and immigration requests in Kenya...



Visa Fees Increase



From June 11, 2024, Schengen visa fees will rise from 80 to 90 euros for adults and from 40 to 45 euros for children aged 6 to 12. This increase is part of the three-yearly revision of the fees, and is based on the rate of inflation within the European Union, as well as on the evolution of national civil servants' salaries over the last three years.





Work Rights Automatically Granted To Partners Of Irish Employment Permit Holders 




As of May 15th 2024, the partners of Irish employment permit holders can work without having to obtain an employment permit themselves.

This reform affects the spouses or partners with a valid Stamp 3 Irish Residence Permission granted under the non-European Economic Area Family Reunification Policy, if their spouse or partner:

  • Holds a General Employment Permit, an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit, or a Critical Skills Employment Permit, or a Reactivation Employment Permit for any of these permits;
  • Holds a Researcher on a Hosting Agreement, or a Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor on a Multi-Site General Employment Permit;
  • Previously held any of the permits quoted above, and now has a Stamp 4 permission;




New Rules Regarding The European Blue Card Introduced




New, more flexible rules, effective on the 15th of April have been implemented in Estonia and they are in compliance with the 2021 European directive.

From now on, candidates can be eligible if they have 5-year experience in a relevant field. A university diploma is not necessary anymore.

The minimum duration of the contract has been reduced to 6 months instead of the previous 12-month minimum.

In the event of unemployment, a distinction now exists between those who held their EU Blue Card for less than two years, for whom the rule doesn’t change and who keep their visa for 3 months, and those who held their EU Blue Card for over two years who can now keep their visa for up to six months.

It is also easier now to change employers for EU Blue Card Holders who have worked in Estonia for at least a year, the change can happen without any labor market testing. A change of employer notification is still required.




Temporary Suspension Of Processing And Inssuance Of Immigration Applications




The Department of Immigration Services has suspended the processing and issuance of all immigration applications, including permanent residence, work permit, passes and citizenship applications, for two weeks, in an effort to reduce the backlog of passport applications. During this time period, immigration offices will not be accepting new applications, and pending applications will not be processed or issued. However, border services and Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) applications for business and tourism are not affected.




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