Denmark passes bill simplifying hiring of third-country nationals
Many professionals are attracted to Denmark for the opportunity to combine a professional career with comfortable living conditions and family-friendly working hours. In several surveys, the Danes rank as one of the people with the highest life satisfaction scores in the world. Perhaps the Danish word ‘Hygge’ sums this up meaning cosiness, relaxing, having a good time in a safe and secure environment!
In order to meet the future need for well- qualified labour, Denmark is keen to attract more talented people from abroad, many Danish private and public companies are keen to recruit highly skilled foreign workers. They make great efforts to ensure that their international employees settle well into their life in Denmark and the laws have recently changed to help support just that.
On 23 March 2023, the Danish Parliament passed a number of amendments to the Danish Aliens Act with the purpose of strengthening international recruitment. The amendments came into effect from 1 April 2023. We share a summary here:
Supplementary Pay Limit and new Pay Limit
The new rules include lowering the amount required for the Pay Limit Scheme, allowing companies with at least ten full-time employees to apply for a Fast-track certification, expanding the list of professions on the Positive List and the rules for establishing a company in Denmark.
- The new Scheme will allow third-country nationals to apply for Danish work and residence permits if their annual salary is a minimum of DKK 375,000 as opposed to DKK 465,000.
- In addition to meeting the minimum salary requirement, the salary level must still be according to Danish standards.
- The position in question must have been posted on Jobnet and the EURES portal for a minimum of two weeks prior to the time of applying.
- The validity of a residence and work permit is 5 years instead of 4 years.
- If more than 15,000 applicants obtain a residence and work permit via the new Scheme, the supplementary Scheme will be discontinued.
- Access to being able to apply for residence and work permits via the new Scheme will be closed in periods when the unemployment rate over a three-month period rises to over 3.75%. The unemployment rate is currently 2.8%
Fast-Track certification expanded
- Companies with a minimum of 10 permanent full-time employees, as opposed to 20 previously, can get certified to use the Fast-Track Scheme. With a fast-track certification, residence, and work permit applications can be expedited quicker, and the employee is subject to more flexible terms, such as alternating between working in Denmark and abroad without the permit lapsing. In addition, the employee is exempt from the requirement to register at a Danish address with the local authorities in Denmark.
Expansion of the Positive List
The positive list categories of workers will be expanded and will be updated twice a year. However, if an acute shortage of a certain type of labour, it can be added to the list in the intervening period.
- The Scheme opens up for a broader range of positions where there is a shortage of employees in Denmark.
- Positions on the Positive List will remain on the list for at least two years, as opposed to the six months previously.
Foreign students finishing their education in Denmark are offered better opportunities
- Foreign students who finish their bachelor, master or PhD programme in Denmark will automatically be granted a job seeking permit with the right to work for three years after having completed the educational programme. With the introduction of this, the Establishment Card Scheme will be discontinued.
Expansion of the Start-up Denmark Scheme
- The expansion allows third-country nationals, who already own a business in Denmark or a company outside of Denmark and wish to start a new branch in Denmark, will be included in this Scheme. Before, only third-country nationals planning to establish a new business in Denmark at the time of submitting the application were included.
UAE issues additional guidance on the determination of tax residency for individuals
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently issued Ministerial Decision No.27 of 2023 which provides additional clarifications regarding certain provisions of Cabinet Decision No. 85 of 2022 on determining tax residency.
- Additional details have been introduced regarding the conditions needed for a natural person to qualify as a UAE tax resident.
In November 2022, the UAE Government issued Cabinet Resolution No. 85 (pdf) which introduced provisions to determine tax residency for natural and legal persons. For background, see EY’s Global Tax alert, UAE issues resolution on tax residency, dated 16 November 2022.
According to Cabinet Resolution No. 85, effective 1 March 2023, individuals can be considered tax residents in the UAE if they meet any one of the following conditions:
- Their principal place of residence and the center of their financial and personal interests are in the UAE.
- The individual has been physically present in the UAE for 90 days or more over a consecutive 12-month period and is a UAE citizen, UAE resident, or Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) national who either has a permanent place of residence in the UAE or performs a job or business in the UAE.
- The individual has been physically present in the UAE for 183 days or more in a consecutive 12-month period.
If a tax treaty outlines specific conditions to be eligible for tax residency, Cabinet Resolution No. (85) of 2022 specifies that the provisions of the tax treaty shall be applicable for purposes of tax treaty application.
Additional details regarding the conditions in determining tax residency for natural persons
Ministerial Decision No. 27 of 2023 provides additional clarifications on each of the conditions mentioned above:
1. An individual whose principal place of residence and the center of financial and personal interests is in the UAE (irrespective of the number of days spent in the UAE).
For the above condition, all the following requirements must be met:
- The principal place of residence must be in the UAE. The place where the individual habitually resides or normally resides. This is the jurisdiction where he spends most of his time when compared to any other jurisdiction as part of his settled routine in a way that is more than transient.
- Center of financial and personal interests must be in the UAE. UAE shall be the state where the personal and economic interests are the closest or of the greatest significance to the individual. Occupation, familial and social relations, cultural or other activities, place of business, place from which the property of the individual is administered, and any other relevant facts and circumstances should be considered.
2. An individual who has been physically present in the UAE for 90 days or more over a consecutive 12-month period; and the individual is a UAE citizen, UAE resident, or Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) national; and the individual either has a permanent place of residence in the UAE or performs a job or business in the UAE.
For this condition, the requirements are:
- Individuals must present an entry and exit report from the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship or a local competent Government entity confirming number of days spent in the UAE.
AND one of the following:
- Proof of permanent source of income or salary certificate or other proof of carrying on a business in the UAE,
- Proof of permanent place of residence such as title deed or certified tenancy contract (EJARI) or another long-term rental contract. Utility bills will also be helpful.
3. Individuals who spend 183 days or more in the UAE
- Individuals must present entry and exit report from the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship or a local competent Government entity.
The new Ministerial Decision also clarifies that all days or parts of a day in which an individual is physically present in the UAE will be counted as UAE days.
The days do not need to be consecutive in determining the 183-day or 90-day period. However, any day that was spent in the UAE due to exceptional circumstances may be disregarded by the authorities. An exceptional circumstance is an event beyond the individual’s control occurring while he is already in the UAE, which he could not have predicted, and which prevents him from leaving the UAE as initially planned.
Application process for Tax Residency Certificates (TRC)
TRC applications can be submitted by individuals online on the Federal Tax Authority portal.
When applying for a TRC for domestic tax purposes, individuals will need to select one of the three options relating to the conditions outlined above and upload the corresponding required documents.
For each TRC application, the fee is currently AED50 for submission plus one of the following fees:
- AED500 for all tax registrants
- AED1,000 for non-tax registrant individuals
Individuals and businesses should review the conditions for determining UAE tax residency for individuals to establish whether any of the conditions apply to them or to their employees, respectively. Where applicable, it should be verified whether such individuals can meet the relevant requirements under the applicable condition.
Attention should also be given to the days when an individual is considered as physically present in the UAE, particularly when arriving in or departing from the UAE.
Source: Ernst & Young
Czech Republic extends visa ban for Russian and Belarusian nationals until 31 March 2024
On 22 March 2023, the Czech government extended its ban on the issuance of new visas and residence permits to Russian and Belarussian nationals until 31 March 2024.
In March 2022, Czech embassies worldwide suspended the issuance of new visas and residence permits to most Russian and Belarusian nationals until 31 March 2023. This ban has now been extended by a year. Some categories of Russian and Belarusian nationals may continue to file new visa and residence permit applications, including family members of EU nationals who reside in the Czech Republic. In general, existing valid Czech (short- and long-term) visas and residence permits held by Russian and Belarusian nationals may be used to enter or reside in the country. Furthermore, holders of long-term visas and residence permits may still renew these documents from within the Czech Republic, provided they meet all requirements for renewal. Russian nationals who hold valid Schengen Visas issued by any EU Member State for tourism, sports or cultural purposes remain prohibited from entering the Czech Republic. This prohibition does not currently apply to Belarusian nationals.
Employers that seek to attract/deploy Russian or Belarusian business travellers or workers to the Czech Republic may consider nationals of other jurisdictions to minimise business disruptions.
Source: Ernst & Young
After the failure of at least three US banks and UBS’s forced takeover of Credit Suisse, there is nervousness surrounding the banking sector. However, the situation differs from 2008 in that recycling junk debt was a dangerous game of Musical Chairs. No one who bought the junk understood what they were buying until it was too late. The recent failures have different causes. In the case of the US banks, they were swamped with cash that the banks invested into long-term US government securities. The rapid rise in interest rates hit the capital value of these assets as the banks had immense demands for cash as depositors withdrew. As the banks turned the bonds into cash, they realised colossal capital losses.
In Credit Suisse’s case, the bank had made almost every banking faux pas for a long time. They had too enormous pressure on withdrawals. Nothing would end that until the Swiss government and National Bank forced UBS to take it over with massive financial guarantees and almost complete lines of credit.
According to the UN, Global inflation, which reached a multi-decade high of about 9 per cent in 2022, is projected to ease but remains elevated at 6.5 per cent in 2023.
According to the IMF, the January 2023 World Economic Outlook Update projects that global growth will fall to 2.9 percent in 2023 but rise to 3.1 percent in 2024. The 2023 forecast is 0.2 percentage point higher than predicted in the October 2022 World Economic Outlook but below the historical average of 3.8 percent. Rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine continue to weigh on economic activity. China’s recent reopening has paved the way for a faster-than-expected recovery. Global inflation is expected to fall to 6.6 percent in 2023 and 4.3 percent in 2024, still above pre-pandemic levels.
We have to wait until tomorrow for the latest prognostications. But it’s clear, notably after Opec Plus announced that they would restrict oil output, that inflation is with us for the foreseeable future.
Holding cash has become a mug’s game, and spending is imprudent. We all need to seek safe havens if we are lucky enough to be sitting on cash. Gold, anyone?