Worldwide: Global Directions: Mobility Trends In Mid-October 2018


United States

United States, Canada, and Mexico Agree to New Trade Deal

US, Mexican, and Canadian leaders have reached an agreement on a new trade deal, the US- Mexico-Canada Agreement ("USMCA"). The new agreement, if approved by Congress, would replace the current trade deal that has been in effect since 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"). While the new agreement introduces several changes-including allowing Mexican workers to join labor unions, protecting workers from unsafe work conditions, and increasing efforts to curb discrimination against women in the workforce, and no longer allowing Canadian businesses to challenge US government policies-the agreement provides very few changes to the immigration provisions under NAFTA. Importantly, the TN category will remain in place for qualifying Mexican and Canadian nationals.



Singapore Testing New Electronic Arrival Card for Foreign Visitors

The Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority ("ICA") recently started a three-month trial of an electronic arrival card for foreign nationals visiting Singapore, whether for business or tourism. Foreign nationals can submit their personal information through the ICA website prior to arriving in Singapore, thereby omitting the need to complete a paper disembarkation/embarkation card, which foreign nationals have been required to complete upon arrival in Singapore. Foreign nationals traveling with their families or as a small group may have the option of completing a group submission. In addition, individual data will be saved for future visits to Singapore. Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and employment pass holders are not required to complete an arrival card. It is believed that the new electronic arrival card system will make the process of entering Singapore more efficient for foreign nationals.


Thai Government Eases Requirements to Hire Foreign Nationals into Certain Positions

The Thai Board of Investment ("BOI") recently announced that all BOI-registered companies can continue to sponsor qualifying foreign nationals for an approved position without having to first apply for a pre-position approval as long as the employer does the following: files an application to cancel the work visa and work permit for the outgoing foreign national employee more than 90 days before the position expires in the Single Window System. This change is to help facilitate the mobility of employees by allowing employers to bypass the initial step of applying for a pre-position approval.

However, the replacement employee's work visa and work permit will only be valid for the same period as the previous position. In instances where the work visa and work permit are canceled with less than 90 days validity of an approved position, the Single Window System will automatically cancel the position. When this occurs, employers must file a new pre-position approval application, which takes approximately three weeks to process. 


European Union

Smart Borders System Proposed for Schengen Area

The European Commission recently announced its proposal for a "smart borders" system for foreign nationals traveling within the Schengen area. The new system would provide electronic tracking of non-EU nationals traveling within the Schengen area, an electronic pre-authorization system for citizens of visa waiver countries, and stricter border checks within the EU territory. Specifically, the following changes have been proposed:

  • The implementation of an entry-exit tracking system to ensure that foreign nationals do not exceed the permitted period of stay for 90 days in any 180-day period. The new system would scan passports and fingerprints to track the dates foreign nationals enter and leave the European Union. Individuals who overstay the allotted 90-day period may be subject to sanctions or barred from entry into the Schengen territory altogether. 
  • A registered travelers program designed to automate border checks and significantly reduce the amount of time needed to screen foreign nationals seeking entry into the Schengen area. 
  • Prescreening and registration of citizens of visa waiver countries through the European Travel Information and Authorization System ("ETIAS").

To move forward with the Smart Borders system, the European Commission, Parliament, and Council would need to agree to all terms of the program.


Portuguese Government Streamlines Immigration Processes

Effective October 1, 2018, the Portuguese Foreign Affairs Ministry adopted Regulatory Decree no. 9/2018, which attempts to simplify and digitize visa application and residence permit procedures. Along with the amended law, the government has also implemented a new visa information portal where foreign nationals can file visa applications, schedule appointments to have biometric data captured, apply for new and extended residence permits, and schedule appointments to retrieve residence permits. In addition, native Portuguese speakers can apply online for student visas and are waived from the interview requirement. In addition to making the application process more convenient, the online system should also reduce the processing time for these applications. 

United Kingdom

Theresa May Announces Immigration Policy Plans for EU Nationals After Brexit

On October 1, 2018, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the United Kingdom will not continue to give EU nationals preferential immigration treatment after Brexit. The UK government will decide what the immigration requirements are for EU nationals. Speculation on whether Britain will adopt "US-style" visas for travel and work has been considered, and May herself has indicated that waivers of visa requirements may continue on a reciprocal basis with countries (or regions) with which Britain agrees to these requirements.

Beginning in 2021, EU nationals will need to apply for formal admission requirements in advance of living or working in the United Kingdom and may also face visa or pre-registration requirements. What these requirements will ultimately translate to will depend on continued negotiations and the input of key business sectors and stakeholders such as the UK Migration Advisory Committee. 

In the interim, the UK government has confirmed its commitment that all of the nearly 3 million EU immigrants currently living in Britain can remain even if the United Kingdom leaves the EU bloc with no agreement in place. It includes citizens' rights protections for EU nationals who are resident in Britain as late as December 31, 2020, provided they register for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settled status) or Leave to Remain (pre-settled status) by June 2021.

Visit us at

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2018. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions