Navigating Business Immigration | March 2024

Topia’s Immigration News & Solutions Roundup - March 2024

Welcome to the sixth installment of 'Navigating Business Immigration,' our series featuring the latest global developments in business immigration, from visa program updates and policy changes to the evolving immigration landscape. Join our in-house immigration experts as they report on immigration updates and how Topia’s products and solutions reflect these new changes.

Canada: Nationals of Mexico No Longer Visa Exempt Except in Certain Cases

As of February 29, 2024, Canada now requires many Mexican nationals to obtain a visa before entering Canada for transit, tourism or business visits. 

Mexican citizens who hold a valid US nonimmigrant visa or have held a Canadian visa in the past ten years and are traveling by air on a Mexican passport will continue to be visa-exempt and can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to enter Canada. Those entering based on a study or work permit will also be exempt from obtaining a visa or ETA. Other Mexican nationals will require a visa to enter the country. 

How has Topia addressed this in its immigration solutions?

In our pre-travel risk assessment solution, we removed Mexico from Canada’s list of visa-waiver countries so they receive a Business Visa Required outcome by default for limited stays and allowable business visitor activities. We also added a notation indicating that Mexican nationals now generally require a visa for tourism, business or transit but that certain exemptions apply. 

Screenshot (363).CA

Screenshot (364).CA

China: 15-Day Visa Waiver Extended to Six More Countries

As of March 14, 2024, the nationals of six more countries are eligible to enter China without a visa for tourism or business for stays of up to 15 days. The six countries are Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The visa waiver is scheduled to be in place until November 30, 2024. 

A 15-day visa waiver was originally introduced for nationals of six other countries in December 2023, also valid through November 30, 2024. Those countries were France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Spain. 

How has Topia addressed this in its immigration solutions?

In our pre-travel risk assessment solution, we added the six new countries to the 15-day visa waiver group so that a Visa Waiver outcome is generated for nationals of these countries when they select allowable business visitor activities and a stay of 15 days or less.

Screenshot (365).CN

Screenshot (366).CN

Hungary: New Immigration Law Takes Effect

A new immigration law took effect on March 1, 2024, bringing several changes to Hungary’s work permit system. The Combined Work and Residence Permit (Single Permit) is no longer available in Hungary and two new permit categories have replaced it: the Guest Worker category and the Hungarian Card. 

The Guest Worker category has several sub-categories, the most relevant of which are the

Residence Permit for the Purpose of Employment for those who are on Hungarian payroll and have a position on the Hungarian Standard Classification of Occupations; and the Guest Worker Residence Permit for employers working on projects of significance to the Hungarian economy. The Guest Worker category has several limitations, including that there are roughly 300 positions for which foreign nationals cannot be sponsored; Guest Worker permits are valid for two years and can be extended for only one additional year; and Guest Worker permit holders cannot change status to another permit type.

The Hungarian Card is similar to the EU Blue Card, designated for highly-skilled workers who meet specific higher education requirements. It is primarily for occupations with skills shortages, especially in engineering or information technology, but can also be used by professionals in the fields of sport or the performing arts. The applicant must earn at least 80% of the average salary received by Hungarian nationals in the same position. This card is renewable indefinitely.

How has Topia addressed this in its immigration solutions?

In our Global Immigration Library entry for Hungary, under Work Authorization, we revamped our summary in the Work Permit Types subsection. We also made changes to the other Work Authorization subsections to reflect the discontinuation of the Single Permit and the addition of the new permits.

Screenshot (362).HU

Italy: Digital Nomad Visa Implementing Decree Signed

In March 2024, the relevant Italian ministries signed the implementing decree for a Digital Nomad Visa. The visa is for foreign nationals who are self-employed, freelancers, or employed by a company outside of Italy and who can perform their work remotely. To qualify, the applicant must have:

  • An annual income of at least three times the minimum level required for exemption from health care participation expenses (~ €28,000);
  • Health insurance for medical care and hospitalization valid throughout Italy for the entire period of stay;
  • Proof of accommodation in Italy; and
  • At least six months of work experience as a digital nomad or remote worker.

The applicant must also provide a declaration signed by the employer and an attestation regarding the absence of criminal convictions as part of the visa application. Once the consulate issues the visa, the applicant must travel to Italy and apply for a residence permit within eight business days of arrival. A spouse and children under 18, and parents in some cases, may accompany the applicant to Italy. The visa will be valid for up to 12 months and renewable annually as long as the requirements continue to be met.

How has Topia addressed this in its immigration solutions?

In our Global Immigration Library entry for Italy, under Work Authorization, we added a summary about the new digital nomad visa to the Work Permit Types subsection.

Screenshot (360).IT

Screenshot (361).IT


Topia’s Solutions for Immigration

 Global Immigration Library

Topia’s Global Immigration Library provides instant access to the most up-to-date domestic and global immigration information for almost 80 countries. This includes allowable business visitor activities, common work permit types and process steps, maximum durations of stay for both visitors and workers, and average visa and work permit processing times. The data that powers the library is provided by a network of the world’s top immigration experts. Learn more here.

Visa & Travel Risk Management

Topia’s visa and travel risk management tool allows business travelers and remote workers to perform their own pre-travel immigration assessments in real-time. The tool helps employees understand exactly which documents they will require to enter a country based on their nationality, duration of stay, and activities, i.e. a work permit, a business visa, an electronic travel authorization, or just a passport. Learn more here.

Topia’s immigration solutions enable assignees, remote workers, business travelers and their employers to stay compliant with global immigration requirements and to prepare for their immigration processes.

Want to know more about Topia’s immigration solutions? Reach out to to find out more.