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| 4 minutes read

ICYMI: The Olympics, strikes, and numerous immigration updates

Welcome to the first ICYMI post in the fourth quarter of 2023! 

A global mobility program may be really well aligned with key strategic talent management initiatives and business needs, have a set of cutting-edge well defined policies and programs, and may also be set up to consistently deliver tactically well executed support to their mobile employees, but...things happen! Even if your mobility program is properly focused and well run, it's important to stay up to date on what is happening around the world so you can pivot as needed.

So grab your pumpkin spiced drink of choice and check out what might potentially impact your global mobility program today or in the near future:

  1. France: Our friends at Home Conseil share that with less than a year to go before the Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games, things will get trickier for those relocating or going on assignment in and out of France, particularly Paris. Mobility programs should plan ahead, securing necessary visas on behalf of their transferees. Also expect a shortage of temporary accommodation, with much higher rates. Timing for household goods shipments will be uncertain, costs for travel and pet transport will increase, and finding and securing long-term housing for relocations and assignments will become much more difficult. 

  2. India: Per BAL, the Indian government suspended visa processing for Canadian nationals as part of escalating tensions between the countries. The move comes in response to Canada’s allegations that the Indian government was involved in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh activist and naturalized Canadian citizen. All categories of Indian visas have been halted for Canadians until further notice. Additionally, Canadian nationals are not permitted to apply for an Indian visa in a third country. India’s suspension of visa issuance to Canadian nationals will not apply to current visa holders, OCI card holders, or renewal applicants in India.

  3. Europe: Not long ago, we shared info on ETIAS saying that this was going to be the last summer for U.S. passport holders to travel to Europe without a new travel document known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).  However, Newland Chase explains this could now be delayed to 2025. Designed as a pre-screening tool for visitors to the European Union from countries with visa-waiver agreements, ETIAS was originally supposed to go into effect in 2021. But the system has faced numerous delays in its launch, with the latest date scheduled for “sometime in 2024”. Recent media reports are even saying ETIAS will now not launch until May 2025.

  4. Poland: Interior Ministers of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have expressed possible restrictions of movement or even closure of borders for travelers from Belarus and Russia due to instability in those regions. It is expected that, if borders actually close, they will most likely include land air border crossings with Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

  5. Italy: Climate activists plan to stage protests in several cities across Italy Oct. 6. Heightened security and transport disruptions are likely. Then, unionized transport workers in Italy are taking nationwide labor action on Oct. 9, moved from a previously scheduled event on Sept. 29. Ground transport disruptions are almost certain across the country, as explained by Crisis24.

  6. United States: The good news is that all the considerations we shared with you on how a federal government shutdown could impact your mobility program may not be needed, at least until November 17th. President Biden has signed a short-term spending bill that will fund the federal government – including immigration operations – through November 17, 2023. California is also about to become the first state to force large companies to report their carbon emissions. The new law, the California Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act, passed on September 12 and begins in 2026. Will this impact your mobility program? 

    Next, on Wed, Oct 4th, be prepared for your mobile phone to go off when FEMA and the FCC conduct a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert System at about 2:20 p.m. ET. Lastly, employers have just a few more weeks to file petitions for foreign nationals selected in the second FY 2024 H-1B cap lottery. USCIS must receive all cap petitions by October 31, 2023.

  7. Israel: According to Newland Chase, as of November 30th, Israeli citizens will no longer be required to acquire visas before traveling to the United States. Israelis may travel to the US for business or tourism for up to 90 days. For longer visits or visits for other reasons, Israelis may still need to get a visa.

  8. China, Japan, Philippines, and Taiwan: Per Crisis24, Typhoon Koinu is tracking northwest in the Philippine Sea early on Oct. 2. Landfall is likely over far southern Taiwan early on Oct. 5. The inclement weather could trigger localized business, transport, and utility disruptions and render some bridges or roadways impassable. Flight disruptions at regional airports and temporary closures of ports are also possible.

  9. United Kingdom: Also from Crisis24, unionized baggage staff at London Heathrow Airport, UK, plan to strike Oct. 6-9, causing airport and flight disruptions. Related demonstrations by striking workers are possible outside the airport during the strike period. Further industrial action is planned Oct. 20-30. And will more employees want the chance to go live and work in the UK? New research reveals that the UK is a top European country for work-life balance.

  10. Brazil: Seyfarth notes that as of October 2, 2023, Brazil is introducing two immigration visa categories based on citizenship. Eligible citizens of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) will be able to live and work in Brazil for up to two years. Please see further details here. The first visa category is a Temporary Visa which is issued by a Consulate and available for foreign nationals of certain professions or who will conduct certain activities in Brazil. The second category is an in-country Residence Authorization available to any citizen of a CPLP country.
As the world eagerly anticipates the 2024 Summer Olympics, set to take place in Paris, France, the event is poised to have effects on global mobility, ranging from international travel to temporary and corporate housing, and visa regulations to security. With athletes, spectators, and enthusiasts converging from around the globe, it's important for global mobility professionals to stay informed about potential implications on travel plans, accommodations, and entry requirements for your relocating employees.


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