What is the change? Additional procedures will be implemented for foreign nationals applying for special work permits (SWPs) and provisional work permits (PWPs), which allow for temporary work while in tourist status.

What does the change mean? Applicants should anticipate greater scrutiny of applications for these permits and longer processing times due to the additional steps.

  • Implementation time frame: To be announced.
  • Visas/permits affected: Special work permit and provisional work permit.
  • Business impact: Employees applying for the above permits should expect longer processing times and greater monitoring of the petitioning employer.

Background: The Bureau of Immigration issued an operational order that establishes new procedures to more strictly regulate SWPs and PWPs because of the increasing number of companies using these permits.

Under the new procedures, the bureau offices will assess and verify the application for:

  • The existence of the petitioning company.
  • The company and applicant’s address.
  • The nature of the business according to the SEC certificate.
  • Existence of a valid government-issued license to operate the business.
  • At least 20 days of validity on the applicant’s tourist visa.

The bureau office must then refer the application to the agency’s commissioner with a recommendation on whether it should be approved. If approved, the commissioner will order the printing of an SWP or PWP ID card. The SWP will have an initial validity of three months with one possible three-month extension. The PWP will be valid for a non-extendable six-month duration.

Analysis & Comments: The order signals that the Bureau of Immigration is concerned about the abuse of SWPs and PWPs and will be vetting applications more closely. Petitioning employers should ensure that they are in compliance with application requirements. Employees should be reminded that they should carry their SWP or PWP ID cards at all times. If they fail to produce the card upon request by a Bureau of Immigration officer, the permit will be canceled.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.