According to the Financial Times, inflation has started to show signs of easing from the multi-decade highs reached in many countries over the past year. However many countries are still experiencing high prices on a variety of items, from energy to food to housing. High inflation remains geographically broad, even if it is lower in many parts of Asia.

AIRINC has been watching the top locations where companies send their key talent - check out their interactive Goods & Services Inflation Tracker, which has been updated for this quarter based on the listed countries’ most recently published data. Some highlights are:

  • The United Kingdom retains first place on this list, dropping from 11.1% in the previous quarter to 9.7% in this update.
  • Brazil has now dropped to fourth place with inflation at 7.7%, down from its recent peak of 13.3%.
  • Mexico comes in second at 8.7% and Germany is close behind at 8.3%
  • The bottom of the list has shuffled around: Japan (4.3%) was reporting the lowest inflation for multiple quarters but has now been displaced by China (3.0%) and Saudi Arabia (3.5%).

It is likely that with inflation all over the headlines, you're probably fielding questions from your assignees regarding their COLA calculations (Cost of Living Allowance) in these locations or elsewhere. AIRINC's COLA Change Report can help you with those conversations. It's a transparent personalized report that reflects changes in an assignee’s specific COLA and visually explains the reasons behind the change.

Great resources like these help mobility professionals stay aware of what is happening all over the world and to better manage their mobility programs. With that noted, let's continue looking around the world at some recent changes:

  1. United States: Travel season is upon us, and according to Fragomen, foreign nationals who are planning to internationally travel and return to the U.S. need to be sure they have all of their necessary documentation. Updated passports, a valid U.S. visa, and advanced travel permission (if necessary) are some of the key requirements. Be prepared for delays if needing to apply for your visa abroad as the U.S. consulates are “busier than ever,” and expect screening when reentering the United States. Also, beginning Thursday, June 1, PERM submissions must be made through the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG).
  2. Germany: Erikson Immigration Group (EIG) has reported that Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior has drafted a new law resulting in easier and faster citizenship. The law still needs to be ratified by the German Parliament and states, but this law would reduce the residency time necessary for obtaining citizenship. “The proposed law would shorten the required residency time to 5 years from 8 years, and could be shortened to 3 years for those who can prove they are well integrated into German society through language mastery, professional contributions, and even volunteer work.” Additionally, dual citizenship would be available to all, which is a change from the current policy of renouncing original citizenship to gain German citizenship. This current policy does not apply to those who have at least one German parent or hold an EU passport.
  3. Italy: Also from EIG, paper residence permits in Italy will no longer be valid as of August 3, 2023. Accordingly, family members of EU nationals who have paper residence cards must apply for a new residence card, which will contain a chip. Applications may be submitted at an Italian police station or post office.
  4. Montenegro: If any employees are searching for a Baltic getaway, Montenegro has implemented a new digital nomad permit. Foreign nationals can seek this permit for remote work purposes and while the visa is only good for two years, it can be renewed for an additional two years. While more regulations will be required to qualify, the announcement of these could be delayed as Montenegro is currently forming a new government.
  5. Hong Kong: Hong Kong has expanded their talent list, increasing their previous 13 qualified professions to 51. This change is expected to attract more “high quality talent” to come to Hong Kong and continue career development. The Secretary for Labour and Welfare in Hong Kong stated that their KPI set is to attract at least 35,000 people both this year and next. The full list of talents now accepted can be found here.
  6. Canada: A new Verified Traveler Program is being implemented in Canada to replace the current Trusted Traveler Program. This new program will go into effect next month and allows for shorter wait times and more efficient screening of travelers, making travel in and out of Canada more efficient. This program is available to members of NEXUS, Global Entry, active members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the U.S. Military, and more.
  7. Singapore: The Singaporean Government has introduced a new platform called eServices which has replaced their previous immigration service platform, Employment Pass Online. This new platform now includes the option for employers to submit digital copies of their notification letters, employees can submit passport change details, and more. This will simplify the process for immigrants, since Singapore has been working to increase immigration by introducing their Overseas Network & Enterprise Pass. This initiative, introduced last month, is intended to attract highly skilled individuals to Singapore.
  8. Norway: Norway has increased the minimum salary requirements for work related residence permits. Employees with a master’s degree require a salary of NOK 480,900/year (~USD 43,344) and those with a bachelor’s degree require NOK 448,900/year (~USD 40,460). Applicants can receive lower salaries if they can verify this is standard compensation for their role.
  9. United Kingdom: The UK’s Home Office has introduced new remote work regulations. Businesses must now provide additional information regarding the location and working arrangements of their employees. The changes aim to ensure compliance with tax and immigration laws, while also addressing concerns related to remote work and its impact on tax liabilities and immigration status. Per EIG, the UK Home Office announced restrictions for international students to bring family members on all but post-graduate research routes. The overview said it was “banning people from using a student visa as a backdoor route to work in the UK.”

Check out our next webinar!

We are gearing up for a fantastic live webinar session with Jack Griffin, the Chairman and CEO of Atlas World Group Inc. It will be the second in our "Spotlights" series and will be held at 11am on Tuesday, June 6th. If you want to catch up on household goods shipping and current changes in the moving world, this one's for you!

Sign up here!