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immigration updates

Welcome to the February 2015 edition of our global immigration updates news bulletins. These bulletins provide readers with the latest global immigration news and developments. Questions and comments are always welcome and can be directed to Angie Volz, Global Immigration Program Manager,

Hong Kong

Government fee increase for Hong Kong visas

The Hong Kong Immigration Department has implemented government fee increases for 24 visa categories and services, effective immediately. This update comes after an eight year period without a review. Applications submitted prior to February 9, 2015, will be charged at the old pricing. Current fees can be found on the Hong Kong Immigration Department website.

Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES) is suspended with immediate effect

The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES) was implemented in 2003 to attract capital investment into Hong Kong during its period of economic recession. In view of the latest economic situation, the Hong Kong government is now placing more emphasis on attracting talent and professionals. As a result, on January 14, 2015, the Hong Kong Chief Executive announced that CIES is suspended with immediate effect until further notice. The Hong Kong Immigration Department has stopped accepting new CIES applications. Applications submitted on January 14, 2015, or before will still be processed.


Person of India Origin (PIO) Cards will be phased out

The Indian Government has announced that Person of India Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) Schemes have merged as of January 9, 2015, with the aim to phase out the PIO.

With immediate effect, PIO card holders will automatically be granted OCI status and entitled to OCI benefits, such as receiving lifelong multiple entry with multi-purpose visa with exemption from registration with the local police authority. All pending PIO applications will be treated as OCI applications.

Eligibility for OCI cards:

  1. Spouses of Indian citizens or OCI card holders whose marriage is legally registered and has lasted for not less than two years
  2. Children under the age of 16 whose parents are both Indian citizens
  3. Grandchildren or great-grandchildren of OCI card holders
  4. Nationals of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Iran, Nepal and Sri Lanka may be eligible provided other criteria are met

The Indian Immigration authority may return PIO applications that are still processing. Applicants who are pending results for their PIO applications at the time of official announcement may need to re-submit their application as an OCI card application.


Establishment Card offers working opportunities to foreign students in Denmark

Companies in Denmark wishing to hire foreign graduates and researchers can benefit from the newly introduced Establishment Card in Denmark. As of January 1, 2015, foreign nationals who have completed a Danish master’s degree or a Danish PhD degree can now be granted a Residence Permit under the Establishment Scheme with the aim of remaining in Denmark to work after completing their academic qualifications. Establishment Card holders are exempt from applying for a Work Permit for a period of two years after completing their studies and can also work as entrepreneurs running their own business.


New requirement for Russian Nationals entering Ukraine

With effect from March 1, 2015, Russian Nationals will only be permitted entry, stay and travel within Ukraine if they hold a valid international passport. The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, formalized a resolution on January 30, 2015, which voids an intergovernmental agreement dating back to 2007 that previously enabled Russians to enter and travel in Ukraine using Russian internal passports and birth certificates for children under the age of 14. The purpose of the new resolution is to ensure enhanced border controls for the benefit of national security. As an exception under the existing 2007 agreement, individuals with diplomatic passports, maritime ID cards and aircraft crew ID cards will also continue to be permitted entry and stay in the Ukraine.

Disclaimer: The information contained in the immigration updates alert is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further enquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact the Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA Ben Sookia:


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