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| 5 minutes read

ICYMI: May 15-28

To help keep you aware of changes, challenges and activities that could impact your global mobility programs, here's a global list of updates from the past two weeks:

  1. Germany: Our friends at ReloQuest shared that Germany expects heightened security and disruption in urban centers across Germany during the European Football Championship, taking place between June 14 and July 14. The event will be held across the cities of Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Gelsenkirchen (all North Rhine-Westphalia state), Frankfurt (Hesse state), Hamburg (Hamburg state), Leipzig (Saxony state), Munich (Bavaria state), and Stuttgart (Baden-Wurttemberg). The authorities will be increasing their security presence in and around host cities during the tournament. Additionally, Envoy Global shared that Germany’s current skills shortage and an aging population have led the country to pursue immigration law changes to attract foreign talent. Launched under Germany’s Skilled Immigration Act, the Opportunity Card (“Chancenkarte”) is one of the government’s solutions for combatting these challenges. It is open to applicants from countries located outside of the EU as a pathway for skilled professionals to explore career options in Germany. Finally, we have an update on rents for unfurnished and furnished properties from Packimpex.
     
  2. France: We're about 2 months out from the Olympic Games in Paris, taking place from July 26 to August 11. The Paralympic Games will then be following from August 28 to September 8. With these events, expect major challenges with anything related to relocation and assignments! Home Conseil shares an update, explaining: “Our partners specialized in household goods shipments have warned us of the very low possibility of conducting delivery of goods during the Olympic period in those areas as well as a potential impact on moves into other parts of France. Ports are at a high risk of being overwhelmed by activity. The impact on short-term housing options during and before the games will be very high. Expect costs, should anything be available, to be 4 to 5 times the normal price.”
     
  3. Italy: The Italian government announced the list of documents required for the new digital nomad visa and a new online application process for non-quota intra-corporate work permit applications. According to BAL, the new visa is designed to attract more highly specialized workers and is a welcome change for foreign nationals who qualify and wish to work remotely in Italy. The government has announced the document requirements to provide additional guidance to applicants and streamline the application process for digital nomads and remote workers.
     
  4. Ireland: Per Fragomen, as of May 15, 2024, eligible partners of various Irish employment permit holders (including General Employment Permits, Critical Skills Employment Permits, and Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits) can now work without the need to obtain a separate employment permit. This reform applies to spouses or partners with a valid Stamp 3 Irish Residence Permission granted under the non-European Economic Area Family Reunification Policy. These changes are likely to both increase the attractiveness of Ireland to foreign workers in the long term while also increasing the pool of currently available foreign talent.
     
  5. Bulgaria and Romania: CIBT Visas shares that these 2 countries joined the Schenghen Zone as of March 31, which streamlines cross-border movement in Eastern Europe.  Travelers flying or sailing from other Schengen countries into these new member states will soon enjoy the convenience of passport-free entry.
     
  6. Canada: Envoy Global shares that the government of Canada will allow Hong Kong permanent resident applicants to apply for an open work permit while waiting for the resident permit to be adjudicated. These measures went into effect on May 27. 
     
  7. Brazil: Data from Brazil’s Ministry of Health shows that the country surpassed 5 million dengue fever cases in 2024, an all-time record event higher than the government's most pessimistic forecasts. Dengue is a risk in many parts of Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Many countries are reporting increased numbers of cases of the disease. Travelers to the Americas can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
     
  8. South Africa: The South African government has implemented a Digital Nomad Visa which allows foreign nationals who earn a sufficient minimum income  to work in South Africa. Valid work includes freelancing and work for employers outside of South Africa, and more details are available from Fragomen. This is effective as of May 20.
     
  9. Australia: AIRINC shares with us that tax changes are coming to Australia superannuation and explains what that means for global mobility programs. Expect to budget more as increased employer contributions will impact company costs. This may affect outbound as well as inbound employees and assignees. Now is the time to prepare for Payday Super rules and ensure that systems are ready to remit Super contributions every pay period.
     
  10. United States: As layoffs continue, BAL shares that there are additional options for laid-off nonimmigrant workers other than leaving the country within 60 days. For foreign nationals who are laid off in the U.S. and want to stay, the “alphabet soup” of visa options might appear daunting. But solutions, whether temporary or permanent, may be possible. Then, there are currently 19 countries on the “Do Not Travel” list from the U.S. Department of State, and a May 17 Security Alert for Americans to use increased caution they are aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events. Then, while rents dropped for the ninth straight month at the national level in April, three cities in the Midwest reported record highs: Indianapolis (up 4.5%), Milwaukee (up 3.8%) and Minneapolis (up 2.5%). For all the three cities, these were the highest median asking rent levels since March 2019.
     
  11. China: Severe weather conditions in many parts of Asia are causing congestion and vessel delays. In recent weeks, port congestion has gradually worsened at China’s main ports. Expect delays with sea shipments. In China, fog is the main issue, specifically in Ningbo and Shanghai. Additionally, per our friends at Relo Network Asia, rental pricing for permanent housing is slowly decreasing in the mid-level category while rent for temporary housing remains constant.

And to close, we wanted to make you aware of a few resources and opportunities:

  • Plus Spotlight webinar: This Thursday we host Anupam Singhal, President and CEO of WERC. We'll take a detailed look at the current state of global mobility and discuss what corporate mobility leaders need and want for effectively managing their mobility programs right now and in the future. Anupam will also share how WERC is transforming and innovating to support the changing needs of mobility programs around the world. Sign up here! 
  • Mercer: The North America Domestic Temporary Assignment Policies and Practice Survey is now open for participation. Invest your time and effort in survey participation and get the solutions you need when approaching assignments for a temporary relocation. Also, check out their new 2024 Global Talent Trends Report.
  • WERC: Turning 60 this year, the relocation industry's biggest association is looking to celebrate and is requesting your assistance by creating and sharing a recording with them. Follow the instructions in this link to submit a video recording that they may use in their anniversary celebrations. Focus on what WERC means to you? How you see WERC influences the talent mobility community? Biggest change you have seen in talent mobility over the years etc.! Also, new webinar June 6 from WERC on “Permanent Pathways: How NIWs Are Helping Employers Overcome PERM Challenges”.
  • GTN & AIRINC: Ready to take your understanding of tax issues within global mobility? Then tap into this Mobility Tax 201 session and get a better understanding of tax approaches, how to manage international tax costs, how tax applies to STAs, EBTs and remote workers and how tax treaties apply!
From hooligans to potential terrorist attacks and even cyberattacks, the European Championship organisers will be looking to ward off a range of threats. Security forces will be charged with protecting some 2.7 million fans, 24 team base camps spread across the country and ten stadiums where 51 matches will be played between June 14 and July 14.

Tags

icymi, germany, saftey, reloquest, global mobility, berlin, security, france, ireland, work permit, partners, lega, italy, bulgaria, romania, canada, brazil, south africa, australia, united states, china, immigration, tax compliance, travel, disruption, olympics, digital nomad, hong kong, dengue, rent, housing