5 countries with recently updated visa policies



In recent months, several countries around the world have made notable changes to their visa policies and requirements.

These updates can have significant impacts on citizens looking to travel abroad for business, leisure, education, or other purposes.

It’s important for travellers to stay informed about the latest visa developments in key destination countries, to ensure they have all their documents in place.

So, here is a list of 5 countries that have implemented notable visa changes.

1. Australia

As per the reports, Australia has announced a significant increase in student visa fees for international students, doubling from AUD 710 ($473) to AUD 1,600 ($1,068), effective July 1. Additionally, certain temporary visa holders, including those on Temporary Graduate, Visitor, and Maritime Crew visas, will no longer be able to apply for a student visa from within Australia. The minimum savings requirement for student visas has also been raised from AUD 24,505 ($16,146) to AUD 29,710 ($19,576). This will impact students, who are the second-largest group of international students in Australia.

2. New Zealand

On June 26, 2024, New Zealand revised its visa regulations, affecting certain foreign workers and their families. The changes aim to streamline the visa process and align it with economic and immigration priorities. The main change is that holders of Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV) at ANZSCO skill levels 4 and 5 without a residency pathway can no longer sponsor partners or dependent children for work, visitor, or student visas. However, partners and dependents can still apply for their own visas if eligible. Ongoing visa applications will be assessed under the old regulations.

3. Italy

Italy’s digital nomad visa recently opened for applications, which allows non-EU remote workers to live and work in Italy for one year, bypassing the 90-day stay limit. Italy joins more than 50 countries offering similar visas. Self-employed freelancers and corporate remote workers, deemed ‘highly-skilled,’ can apply if they meet criteria like having a remote job, earning a decent sum annually, no recent criminal record, valid health insurance, and documented accommodation.

4. Europe

The European Union also recently updated visa rules, wherein nationals can now apply for multiple-entry Schengen visas with longer validity. The European Commission adopted the ‘cascade’ regime for Schengen visas for nationals. This regime allows easier access to multi-year visas. Nationals who have lawfully used two Schengen visas within the past three years can now obtain a long-term, multi-entry visa valid for two years, followed by a five-year visa if their passport remains valid.

5. Germany

Germany recently updated its skilled worker visa rules to attract more talent in engineering, IT, and healthcare. If reports are to go by, the country needs around 400,000 skilled employees annually to address labour shortages. Starting June 1, 2024, the ‘Opportunity Card’ allows non-EU citizens to relocate to Germany for a year to seek jobs. Applicants need at least two years of vocational training or a relevant degree, and proficiency in German or English.