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LAST UPDATED:  24 November 2020

Disclaimer

Please be aware that information provided in this document has been gathered from Suppliers globally and through our own research using government resources. As the situation is unprecedented and changing rapidly we advise that Customers undertake their own research to be kept updated in real-time. It is imperative that Customers implement their own policies and plans in response to this outbreak and advise Topia accordingly.

As the situation continuously changes and has a global impact, there are delays and challenges booking services globally due to differing business, travel and government restrictions. Whilst we endeavour to provide as much information as possible to prepare for upcoming moves, we cannot guarantee that any of our global providers will be able or willing to deliver the service, in some cases restrictions will also prohibit us from initiating service. Separate from this, we have no control over any of our suppliers cancelling any pre-booked services with no notice if the supplier has introduced a COVID-19 company policy at their own discretion.

Immigration, Travel & Border Closures:

All immigration services globally are significantly impacted, with countries imposing restrictions on travellers from a number of countries and airlines reducing and cancelling flights world-wide. For the most up to date information regarding immigration delays and restrictions, please check the relevant government website.

The Americas:

Argentina  

The mandatory quarantine period has been extended until November 29th. Entry for all non-residents, the suspension of consular visa services for foreign nationals and the in-country immigration and registry services are also suspended until November 29th.

Citizens and foreign residents of neighbouring countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) are permitted to enter Argentina via Ezeiza international airport or the Buquebus (ferry) maritime terminal in Buenos Aires.

As of the 16th October, the Ministry of Transport has established the resumption of commercial domestic air transport services. At this stage, only persons considered “essential” who possess the Unique Enabling Certificate for Circulation may travel, while operators must have protocols and procedures developed according to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health.

Those permitted to enter Argentina must comply with the 14-day self-quarantine on arrival. Additionally, all arrivals in Argentina must download an app developed by the Ministry of Health for a quick check related to COVID-19 symptoms. Consequences for non-compliance are fine and/or imprisonment.

In addition, those who are allowed to enter or exit the country must complete an online Affidavit within 48 hours prior to travelling.

Minors or people with disabilities preventing them completing the form, may have a parent or guardian complete the form on their behalf. People over 70 years of age are exempt from the obligation to perform the DDJJ electronically.

Government agencies including the Immigration Office and the Registry Office have gradually been reopened. However, some applications with an appointment scheduled beforehand are allowed only. 

The extension of temporary residences can be requested online. 

  • Once documentation is uploaded onto the immigration platform, authorities issue the Certificate of Residencia Precaria together with a normal (i.e. nonexpress) appointment to complete the renewal process, at which the applicant will need to show original documents and biometrics will be taken. 
  • If appointments are rescheduled, the Certificate of Residencia Precaria will automatically be extended. 

Residence documents issued by the Immigration Office expiring from 17 March onwards are now automatically extended until 17 December. Foreign nationals in this situation will not be penalised since existing interviews will be rescheduled.

The Immigration Office Corporate Registry (known as “RENURE” = Registro Nacional Único de Requirentes Extranjeros) has allowed the submission of applications for initial registrations, and updates of the same, via email, as long as all necessary documents are fully provided as legible scans and the support letters are signed by the local companies’ President or Legal Representative. Once current restrictions have been lifted, it will be necessary to submit all original papers to the Immigration Office to complete the filing.

 

Brazil

Airports not permitted to run international flights are:

  • Mato Grosso do Sul
  • Goiás; Roraima
  • Rondônia
  • Rio Grande do Sul
  • Tocantins.

Health insurance must be presented by a foreign passenger entering for a short stay of up to ninety days. It must meet the below requirements:

  • Validity period corresponding to the scheduled period of the trip
  • Minimum coverage of BRL 30,000
  • Must be in Portuguese or English.
  • Must be presented to the transport company, before boarding.

Entry by air is permitted for up to 90 days for foreign travellers of any nationality who meet immigration requirements.

Entry by land, sea or waterway remains suspended for foreign travellers of any nationality.This entry restriction does not apply to:

  • Brazilian citizens 
  • Permanent or temporary foreign residents of Brazil (who have registered with the Federal Police).
  • Foreign employees of the Brazilian government or international organisations
  • Foreign national spouse, partner, child, parent or guardian of a Brazilian citizen Passengers in international transit (not leaving the airport transit zone) to a destination country that will admit them; foreign nationals authorised to enter Brazil by the Brazilian Government in the public interest; or foreign national holders of RNM (Foreign ID card). 

These entry restrictions do not prevent the disembarkation, authorized by the Federal Police, of maritime crew members whose entry is required by the maritime agent to the Federal Police, for medical assistance or for connection with a flight to their country of origin, or the termination of an employment contract. Responsibility for expenses must be agreed and signed by the relevant maritime agent, with the prior consent of the local health authorities and on presentation of the corresponding air tickets. o There are entry restrictions for foreign nationals coming from Venezuela

 

Canada

All travellers to Canada (other than for some essential services) are subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine (if asymptomatic) or isolation (if symptomatic). 

Air travellers whose final destination is Canada are required to submit their quarantine plan and contact and travel information electronically through the ArriveCAN website or app before they board their flight. 

  • In the event that on arrival, the submission of the required information cannot be verified by an officer, enforcement action may be taken, including fines of up to $1000 (and entry to Canada may be disallowed).

Travellers entering Canada by land or sea are strongly encouraged to continue ArriveCAN by downloading the mobile app or signing in online to provide the mandatory information before they arrive to avoid additional delays for public health questioning and to limit points of contact at the border. Travellers can show their ArriveCAN receipt to a border services officer when seeking entry into Canada. 

Travellers arriving by air, land or sea (unless exempted) are also required to submit information through ArriveCAN or by calling the 1-833-641-0343 toll-free number during their quarantine or isolation period. 

  • Within 48 hours of entering Canada, travellers must confirm they have arrived at their place of quarantine or isolation and those in quarantine must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during their quarantine period.
  • Travellers who don’t use ArriveCAN to submit their information before entering Canada will be required to call the 1-833-641-0343 toll-free number on a daily basis throughout their quarantine or isolation period to provide their postborder information. They will not be able to revert to using ArriveCAN.

Travellers entering Alberta at select border crossings can take part in a border testing pilot program allowing early release from quarantine duty. 

  • Travellers must:  Be returning Canadians, returning permanent residents or foreign nationals not restricted from entering Canada
  • Stay in Canada for a minimum of 14 days, or enter and depart Alberta directly for a period of less than 14 days
  • Arrive at Coutts land border or Calgary International Airport. 
  • Have an acceptable 14-day quarantine plan
  • Be free of COVID-19 symptoms on entry
  • Have had no contact with a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
  • Take a test on entry and another 6 or 7 days after entry at a designated testing location
  • Follow all quarantine measures until they receive a negative test result.

The suspension of non-essential entry for foreign travellers who arrive from a country other than the United States is extended until 30 November 2020. Exemptions exist for:  

  • Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days. Immediate family members here include spouse or common-law partner; dependent child of the person or of their spouse or common-law partner; dependent child of a dependent child; parent or step-parent of the person or of their spouse of common-law partner; guardian or tutor.  
  • Certain essential and emergency service workers and transport crew members.  
  • Temporary foreign workers currently living in Canada with a valid work permit
  • Temporary foreign workers coming to work in Canada for the first time to begin work, with a valid work permit or work permit approval letter and proof of employment at an operating Canadian business.

All discretionary/optional entry remains prohibited. Immediate family members of temporary residents in Canada, such as those on a student or work visa, cannot enter Canada.

Foreign nationals arriving from a country other than the United States must prove that they are listed as being exempted from travel restrictions (including immediate family members); that they entering for an essential purpose; that they are not presenting signs or symptoms of COVID-19; and that they have a plan to quarantine for 14 days, unless exempted.

The suspension of non-essential entry for foreign travellers who arrive from the United States is extended until 21 November 2020. Entry may be permitted for:  

  • Temporary foreign workers currently living in Canada with a valid work permit  
  • Temporary foreign workers coming to work in Canada for the first time to begin work, with a valid work permit or work permit approval letter and proof of employment at an operating Canadian business. 
  • Temporary foreign workers eligible to apply for a work permit at a port of entry and with proof of employment at an operating Canadian business. 

All discretionary/optional entry remains prohibited. Foreign nationals arriving from the United States must prove that they are entering for an essential purpose; that they are not presenting signs or symptoms of COVID-19; and that they have a plan to quarantine for 14 days, unless exempted.

All arrivals must quarantine for 14 days unless they obtain an exemption.

Visa centres in several locations have resumed operations for limited services and open hours. Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates are operating but with delays. If the visa application centres or other biometrics collection sites in the applicant’s country or region are still closed, and their extension to give biometrics is ending, they won’t have to give biometrics until the biometrics collection sites reopen. This applies, even if the biometric instruction letter (BIL) says that the deadline is 30 or 90 days. No application in progress will be closed or refused because of documents that are missing due to COVID-19. Applicants should keep checking online to see when the VACs and other biometrics collection sites start to reopen. Once they are able, they should complete the steps, including making an appointment to give biometrics, as soon as possible to avoid delays.

Foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens, permanent residents who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and who have no reason to believe they have COVID-19, are exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days. Immediate family members and foreign nationals admitted into Canada must quarantine for 14 days. 

No foreign national may enter Canada from the United States if they have been in a country other than the United States (or Canada) in the 14 days prior to seeking entry.

Foreign nationals seeking to come to Canada from anywhere other than the US will need a work permit or approval letter before seeking to travel. An approved LMIA or IMWU opinion does not permit a foreign national to travel. Spouses with work permits should be allowed to accompany a foreign worker. Those on visitor records only will require a letter from a consular officer to allow for travel.

Passengers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board planes destined for Canada. International flights will only be permitted to land in four Canadian airports – Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Domestic flights and flights from the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon will not be impacted.

The government has issued additional guidelines for employers of foreign workers in light of the COVID-19 situation. These include that employers comply with all applicable requirements vis-à-vis the employee (salary, etc.) from time of arrival, not conclusion of the 14-day self-isolation period. Please find the guidance using the below link:

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/foreign-workers/employer-compliance/covid-guidance.html

Foreign nationals who were formerly workers, students and visitors in Canada but whose immigration status expired after 30 January 2020, and who remained in Canada, now have until 31 December 2020 to restore their status (instead of 90 days as previously).

Social insurance number applications are no longer available in person. Only urgent requests will be processed by mail/courier. Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates are operating but are experiencing delays. Most Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed, meaning biometrics processing is on hold.

Additional guidance has been issued by the Canadian government for employers of foreign workers. Employers must comply with all applicable requirements regarding the employee, such as salary requirements, from the time of arrival, not on completion of the 14 day isolation period.

New work permit applications are permitted in various circumstances: 

  • For visa-exempt foreign nationals entering Canada from the United States (not only US citizens or permanent residents), work permits can still be sought essentially as they were pre-COVID. Information should be provided to stress the importance of the work in Canada). 
  • For those seeking work permits from any country other than the United States, an application must be online, and only those relating to work in ‘essential services’ will be processed, based on procedures in place. Essential services are defined to include work in sectors including health, food, transportation, utilities, manufacturing and others.

The border with the US is restricted for all non-essential travel.

Immigration Concessions

Foreign national visitors in Canada who arrived in Canada before 24 August 2020, have a job offer and apply for an employer-specific work permit no later than 31 March 2021 can now, if the work permit is approved, receive the permit without having to leave the country. 

  • Prior to this temporary policy change, a person applying as a temporary resident would usually need to apply for their initial work permit before they came to Canada. If they were already in Canada with visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would need to leave Canada and return before their work permit was issued to them.  
  • Any type of visitor who meets the criteria is eligible to apply under this new public policy, including super visa holders, business visitors and those who entered Canada through a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption. 
  • Foreign nationals who arrive in Canada as visitors after August 24, 2020, are not eligible under the public policy. 
  • Applicants who meet these criteria and who had a valid work permit in the past 12 months can begin working for their new employer before their work permit application has been fully approved. 

Foreign workers already in Canada holding valid immigration status, an existing work permit or work permit exemption and a job offer with a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment are able to seek approval to begin work while their permit application is being processed. Requests must be sent by the applicant to IRCC for review. The review can take up to 10 working days, if approved the applicant will be able to start working.

Foreign workers already in Canada whose status has expired more than 90 days can seek a temporary resident permit, or a change of status, and will need to explain the need to remain. 

The timeframe for completion of biometrics is extended to 90 days instead of the normal 30 days (Service Canada has temporarily stopped collecting biometrics). 

Canadian citizenship applicants who are unable to travel to Canada can reschedule their knowledge tests, retests, interviews, hearings or Oaths of Citizenship for a later date. 

Permanent resident visa holders can request an extension of their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) if their visa will expire within the next 90 days and they are unable to travel to Canada. No application in progress will be stopped. applicants have 90 days to comply with document request and procedural requests. Landing appointments will be held by telephone. 

Applicants for visitor visas, work permits, study permits or permanent residence who cannot complete the next steps in their application will be given an automatic extension. Visitors, international students and foreign workers whose legal status in Canada will soon end, can apply for an extension, if eligible.

 

Chile

Foreign travellers are currently not allowed to enter Chile until at least 22 November.  Only Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with valid residency visas are permitted to enter.

Effective 23 November: 

  • Non-resident foreign nationals are permitted to enter Chile via Arturo Merino Benitez Airport in Santiago city. 
  • All foreign nationals are required to have a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel, health insurance covering COVID-19 and a sanitary passport. 
  • All foreign nationals arriving from countries with a “high community circulation” of COVID-19 are subject to a 14-day self-isolation. 
  • Resident foreign nationals and Chilean citizens travelling or returning to Chile are exempt from the pre-departure test requirement if they undergo 14-day self-isolation. If they obtain a negative test result during self-isolation, they can leave self-isolation early.

All arrivals are subject to a mandatory quarantine period and must submit a passenger information form prior to departure.

All in person services provided by the Migration Department are suspended. Online payments, visa stamps and applications are available. Online applications are still accepted by the Chilean authorities, however, the applicant must be in Chile for the process to begin.

All foreign nationals holding ID cards that expired in 2019 are automatically extended until 31 December 2020. Similarly, Foreign nationals with ID cards which have expired or will expire in 2020 are extended for one year from the expiration date. Foreign nationals who have recently requested a change of status or a visa extension must have their immigration status certified through the vouchers provided by the Department of Immigration and Migration or by a Provincial Government.

 

Mexico

Mexico is still on maximum alert however they are starting to open up with strict sanitary measures. Use of masks in the city is essential. Commercial flights are now operating to and from Mexico, however the land border between Mexico and USA is still closed until 21 October.

Appointments can now be booked, online or via telephone, to obtain ordinary Mexican passports at ten offices in Mexico City, and ten offices in other states. Four more offices will reopen from 1 July. Appointments for proven medical, family or work emergencies can also be made. Appointments may not be available for some time due to the demand.

The Migration Institute (INM) is operating with a limited capacity. Foreign nationals are able to attend their fingerprinting appointments. Residence cards continue to be delivered, however, there are delays. Similarly, visa authorisation requests for job offers and to obtain or update Employer Enrolment Proof are also being accepted.

 

Panama

The National Curfew restrictions:

Panama City and Panama Oeste – Unless you are under 14-day quarantine following a return to Panama or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 , you can now leave your home/accommodation between the hours of 5am and 11 pm on Monday to Saturday. Gender-based movement restrictions are no longer in place. ‘Salvoconductos’ are only necessary for those occupations that require movement during curfew hours.

The periods when you can leave your accommodation are no longer restricted to time. 

You are allowed to exercise with no limitations on distance from your accommodation, although restrictions on travel between provinces still apply.

Elsewhere, a daily curfew, including weekends, is in place and you must remain in your homes/accommodation between 7pm and 5am unless you fall under one of the exemptions (eg to access emergency medical care, to travel to a flight or if you work in an exempted industry).

From 12 October, all travellers to Panama will be able to enter with a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate. The certificate must be obtained no more than 48 hours before you travel. Airlines require proof of the test result prior to boarding, including those in transit.

Entry is suspended to all individuals other than citizens and foreign residents of Panama.

The suspension of commercial international flights to and from Panama continues, other than for transit, departure and the controlled entry of citizens and foreign residents.

Effective 17 August, all passengers must present a negative COVID-19 test certificate issued no more than 48 hours prior to boarding, sign an agreement to comply with the government’s health protocols and provide contact details.

Deadlines between 13 March and 7 June for submitting additional documents to immigration authorities are extended for an additional three months.

Work permits that expired between March and June 2020 are extended as follows:

  • Permits that expired in March are extended until 21 July
  • Permits that expired in April are extended until 21 August
  • Permits that expired in May are extended until 21 September
  • Permits that expire in June are extended until 21 October

Only women are permitted to leave their homes/accommodation on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and only men are permitted to leave their homes/accommodation on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. No one should leave their homes/accommodation on Sundays. On those days, you are allowed to leave your homes/accommodation to shop for food and medication during one hour (with a half hour grace period either side) according to the last digit of your passport. You should not leave your accommodation outside of these times unless it is an emergency or you fall under one of the limited exemptions.

The time is established as follows:

ID Document ending in 1 – 1:00 p.m.(will be able to leave their house from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm)

ID Document ending in 2 – 2:00 p.m. (will be able to leave their house from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm)

ID Document ending in 3 – 3:00 p.m. (will be able to leave their house from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm)

ID Document ending in 4 – 4:00 p.m. (will be able to leave their house from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm)

ID Document ending in 5 – 5:00 p.m. (will be able to leave their house from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm)

ID Document ending in 6 – 6:00 p.m. (will be able to leave their house from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm)

ID Document ending in 7 – 7:00 a.m. (will be able to leave their house from 6:30 am to 8:30 am)

ID Document ending in 8 – 8:00 a.m. (will be able to leave their house from 7:30 am to 9:30 am)

ID Document ending in 9 – 9:00 a.m. (will be able to leave their house from 8:30 am to 10:30 am)

ID Document ending in 0 – 10:00 a.m.(will be able to leave their house from 9:30 am to 11:30 am)

 

Any adult over 60 years old, regardless of their ID number ending may complete their shopping between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Residents should not leave their accommodation outside of these times unless it is an emergency or you fall under one of the limited exemptions. 

 

The United States of America

The US government has removed requirements for all flights carrying passengers arriving from, or who have recently visited, certain countries to land at one of 15 designated airports, and halted enhanced entry health screening for those passengers.

The US, Mexico, and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on nonessential travel across their shared borders until at least 21 December. 

The Department of State (DOS) has issued new guidance clarifying its interpretation of the national interest exceptions for H-1B and L-1 entry as follows:

The Department has returned to its previous system of country-specific travel advice levels. Many countries remain at Level 4 (Do Not Travel), including Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Russia.

For more advice please use the following links: 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

https://newlandchase.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/24-August-PM-COVID19-Update.pdf

The Department of State provided updated information on the availability of exceptions to the travel ban on certain categories of immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Some travellers and visa applicants who are affected by the Proclamation may qualify for an exception if the purpose of their travel to the United States is for humanitarian reasons, public health response, or national security. Other exceptions include: 

  • Applicants who are subject to aging out of their current immigrant visa classification
  • Certain H and J visa applicants who are traveling to the United Sates to work in support of a critical US foreign policy
  • Dependents of applicants who are excepted from, or not subject to, the Proclamations.

Travelers who believe they qualify for a national interest exception may request a visa appointment and a decision will be made at the time of the interview. Applicants should provide a description of the specific circumstances of their travel and appropriate documentation to demonstrate that they qualify for the exception.

US embassies and consulates can now begin a phased resumption of routine visa services, depending on local conditions. Restrictions on visa issuance and entry remain in effect. 

Canadian nationals entering as H, L or J non-immigrants are exempt from the travel ban. Guidance has been provided to local CBP ports of entry regarding this.

The suspension of entry for first-time immigrant via applicants is extended until 31 December and also extended to include foreign workers seeking to enter the US pursuant to certain nonimmigrant visa categories, who do not already hold valid visa stamps in their passports. 

The US has banned the entry of all foreign nationals who have travelled to China, Iran, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland or Brazil 14 days before their arrival.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have reopened some of its local offices and Application Support Centers for in-person interviews and appointments. Office reopening dates will vary by location, so applicants must check the USCIS website for the latest information on a particular local USCIS office. Foreign nationals with green card interviews, naturalization interviews/ceremonies or biometrics appointments that were cancelled during the temporary closure can expect the appointments to be automatically rescheduled after their local office reopens. . 

Additionally, visa services in other countries are also suspended, with all routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments cancelled globally. MRV fees remain valid for a visa appointment in the country where it was paid within one year of the date of payment.

 

Asia-Pacific (APAC):

Australia

Travellers from New Zealand can travel to Australia quarantine free.

  • They must not have been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hotspot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days. There are currently no COVID-19 hotspots in New Zealand. 
  • So far, the Australian states of New South Wales and Northern Territory have agreed to this quarantine-free travel arrangement with New Zealand. 
  • Normal visa requirements will apply and travellers returning to New Zealand from Australia will be required to comply with New Zealand’s travel requirements. 
  • This scheme is also expected to free up about 325 additional quarantine spaces per month in Sydney.
  • The safe travel zone does not apply to New Zealand citizens who are outside New Zealand or who have not been in New Zealand for the last 14 days or more.
  • Travellers must print and complete a COVID-19 Declaration form and present it at airline check-in at the airport, otherwise they may not be able to board their flight. This form will be used to determine if they can travel and for contact tracing purposes by relevant state and territory governments. 
  • Travellers arriving in either NSW or the Northern Territory on a quarantine free flight will not need to enter mandatory quarantine. Those arriving at any other location or who are not on a quarantine-free flight will be subject to mandatory quarantine.

The ban on international travel has been extended until December 17th.

Australia’s border is closed, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members. All arrivals are required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at an Australian government provided, designated facility. Some states require the arrival to bear the full cost of the quarantine.

Additionally, Australian citizens and permanent residents are not allowed to travel overseas.

There is currently a cap on international passenger arrivals of 4000 per week. Individual travel restriction exemptions may be granted for individuals in critical sectors or with critical skills: 

  • Non-citizens travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response 
  • Those providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • Non-citizens with critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services (such as in medical technology, critical infrastructure, telecommunications, engineering and mining, supply chain logistics, agricultural technology, food production, and the maritime industry)
  • Non-citizens working in a critical sector in Australia (such as financial technology, large scale manufacturing, film and television production and emerging technology), where no Australian worker is available
  • Non-citizens sponsored by an employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
  • Non-citizens whose entry would otherwise be in the national interest, supported by the Australian government or a state or territory government authority
  • An individual can submit a request for a travel exemption under this category or a business can submit a request on their behalf. The applications of multiple travellers within the same group/business can be linked, so that the requests are considered together. 

A visa and an exemption must be obtained in advance of travel. 

  • An exemption application must be submitted online at least two weeks, but not more than three months, prior to the intended travel
  • If an exemption is granted, evidence of the exemption decision must be presented at the airport
  • If an exemption is not granted, the travel plans should be cancelled.

Biometrics collection services at Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) and Australian Biometrics Collection Centres (ABCCs) have resumed, dependent on in-country COVID-19 restrictions. 

  • In addition, collection centres will offer enquiry and assisted online lodgement services
  • Applicants can use their original Requirement to provide personal identifiers (biometrics) letter to book and attend an appointment. Applicants who have applied for a visa online have a copy of this letter in their ImmiAccount.

Australian embassies, high commissions and consulates are still operating, where possible, in line with local regulations and restrictions. Priority is given to Australian citizens overseas. Offshore applications are on hold, particularly for permanent visas. Temporary visa holders unable to enter Australia while restrictions are in place will have their visa cancelled. Once border restrictions are lifted, arrangements will be to reinstate visas where appropriate. 

Services at immigration offices are still operational. Applications can be submitted online and via post, however, processing of these applications are delayed or being placed on hold.

Temporary Skill Shortage and subclass 457 visa holders who have been stood down, but not aid off, will maintain a valid visa. Businesses will still have the opportunity to extend employees visas through the normal process. Additionally, businesses are able to reduce their employees’ hours without breaching conditions of their visas or employer obligations.

Additional time will be allocated to overseas visa applicants who need to provide documents, health checks, and police certificates to account for closers and restrictions.

 

China

Entry to China is suspended for all foreign nationals, except certain holders of valid visas, residence permits and APEC Business Travel Cards. All visa waiver programs are suspended. Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected. Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after the announcement on 26 March will not be affected.

Foreign nationals holding valid residence permits (including for work, family reunion, or personal purposes) are permitted to enter China without applying for a new visa.

  • Foreign nationals from certain countries holding valid visas or residence permits issued before 3 November 2020 may be denied entry (see below)
  • Holders of residence permits in these three categories which have expired since 28 March can apply for a new visa (for the same purpose) by presenting the expired residence permit among other documents to the Chinese consulate.

China has suspended the entry of foreign nationals from several countries holding valid visas and residence permits issued before 3 November 2020. Affected countries include Bangladesh, Belgium, Ethiopia, France, India, Italy, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

According to the Chinese embassies, they will no longer issue Certified Health Declaration Forms for these people. Entry by holders of diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected. Foreign nationals visiting China for emergency needs may apply for visas at the relevant Chinese embassy or consulate. Entry by non-Chinese nationals with visas issued after 3 November 2020 will not be affected.

All travellers to China from the listed countries are required to present both a negative COVID-19 NAT/PCR test certificate AND a negative IgM antibody test certificate, from tests taken within 48 hours of boarding, in order to obtain a green health code or a health declaration with an HS logo. 

  • Passengers on non-direct flights will require these test results both from the country of origin and from the country of transit. 
  • IgG antibody tests do not meet the new requirement. 
  • Travellers to China are advised to fly direct if possible, to avoid having to undergo both tests twice or being stuck in a transit airport where the required tests are not available. In this case, the date of the first test should be used for the health code request. 
  • As COVID-19 IgM antibody tests are not currently available in New Zealand, travelers departing from New Zealand on China-bound flights from 7 November should obtain the green health code or Health Declaration Form by providing two separate COVID-19 NAT/PCR test reports from tests taken within 2 days before boarding by two different laboratories, or from the same laboratory on two subsequent days. 
  • Direct flight passengers from Singapore can board the airplane with the standardised negative certificates of nucleic acid and IgM antibody tests and Declaration Form for Direct Flight Passengers to China, and do not need to apply for a green Health Code with the “HS” mark or green Health Declaration code with the “HDC” mark from the Chinese Embassy in advance

All travellers entering China from certain countries (or transiting via these countries) must provide a negative COVID-19 NAT (PCR) test certificate from a test taken within 72 hours of departure. The test must be issued from a recognized medical organization/clinic as designated by the relevant Chinese Embassy/Consulate. 

  • Foreign nationals: must obtain a Health Declaration from the relevant Chinese Embassy/Consulate by presenting a negative COVID-19 test certificate.
  • Chinese citizens: must upload a negative COVID-19 test certificate to the health code portal (international version) prior to their travel. They will obtain a health code upon upload. 
  • All travellers should ensure that they have sufficient time to arrange for the test and to receive the results, in time for their departing flight. 
  • The passenger must present the printed, certified health certificate (or health code), within the validity period of the NAT test certificate, during check in or before boarding and is advised to also to carry any visa to China, or Green/Fast Lane Letter of Invitation (where applicable).

Chinese embassies and consulates are starting to require that foreign national travellers to China (including Fast Lane passengers) present an Electronic Health Declaration Form at boarding, rather than emailing a scanned copy of the health declaration form, test certificates and passport information page to the relevant embassy or consulate. 

  • Check the relevant Chinese embassy website for the exact implementation date. This has so far been announced by Chinese missions in Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. 
  • Foreign passengers can complete their information here, declare their health status and upload their COVID-19 test certificate(s), which will then be examined and verified by the Chinese Embassy. Upon approval, they will receive the Electronic Health Declaration Form, in the form of a QR code with the “HDC” mark. They must present the electronic or printed code and follow the procedures for inspection by relevant airlines during boarding. 
  • Chinese passengers (including the Hong Kong SAR, the Macao SAR and the Taiwan region) can still apply for the green health code with the “HS” mark via the WeChat Health Code app. 

Shanghai Arrival Process

Travellers arriving in Shanghai from overseas can spend half of their quarantine time at home, if certain conditions are met. 

  • All inbound passengers to Shanghai will be required to undergo nucleic acid tests before being sent to 14-day quarantine at a designated facility, or into a medical facility if the result is positive. 
  • For those who have residence in Shanghai, live apart from family members who do not have to be quarantined, or live with people who agree to be quarantined along with them, they apply to be sent home to continue their quarantine on the eighth day if their nucleic tests on the fifth day are negative. 
  • On the eighth day, qualifying persons will be transported directly from the designated quarantine facility to their homes by the authorities. 
  • Those transferring to Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces will also be transported to their destinations by the relevant authorities on the eight day, if their nucleic tests on the fifth day are negative. 
  • Conditional home quarantine is still available for senior citizens, underage people, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with restricted mobility, those caring for family members and those with certain diseases

Beijing Arrival Process

All incoming international flights to Beijing will first land at one of 16 “first entry point” airports (Chengdu, Changsha, Hefei, Lanzhou, Tianjin, Taiyuan, Hohhot, Shijiazhuang, Jinan, Qingdao, Nanjing, Shenyang, Dalian, Zhengzhou, Xi’an or Wuhan) where passengers will be screened. Those with fever or other respiratory symptoms will be sent to local hospitals for medical treatment. Those categorized as close contacts or with infection risks after epidemiological investigation will be taken to local sites for a 14-day quarantine. Passengers who are cleared will then be permitted to re-board the plane, which will take them on to Beijing. 

On arrival in Beijing, passengers will have their health checked again. and then be sent to the New China International Exhibition Centre for processing. Those who live in Beijing will be handed over to working groups from their home district stationed at the centre and then be sent to designated sites for a 14-day quarantine. Those who do not live in Beijing will be handed over to working groups from their home provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities. The working groups will arrange group trips for them to go home on planes or trains. After arriving at their home destination, they will also be quarantined for 14 days. 

Given that the process may take a long time, immigration authorities remind travellers of the possible need to make changes in their flights transferring at Beijing. Transfer passengers are advised to take into consideration the time needed for completing the entry procedures and health check-ups. In light of the pandemic situation overseas, immigration authorities also require all inbound travellers to truthfully report information including contact persons, destination addresses and personal contact information. Entry will be denied to those who do not meet the requirements or fail to truthfully fill in their health declaration forms or honestly answer inquiries from the border inspection authorities.

Immigration Restrictions

Shanghai SAFEA has made permanent the suspension of the submission of physical documents for work permit applications (including initial, renewal, transfer, and cancellation). 

  • The online process with commitments from Chinese employers has been fully implemented, and companies are exempt from submitting paper documents at the authority. 
  • Processing times can be reduced by two working days. 
  • Category B work permits can now be granted for up to two years, provided all the requirements are met. 
  • Shanghai SAFEA has also simplified the required application documents to facilitate a change of employer – the new employer does not need to submit a certificate of no criminal record, certificate of physical examination, or work qualification certificate. 

Labour authorities have suspended the submission of physical documents for work permit applications (including initial, renewal, transfer, and cancellation). Instead, all applications will be processed online only during this period, with a commitment letter provided by the Chinese employer. The commitment letter should affirm the authenticity and validity of their online submission and original documents should be kept for further check.

Immigration Concessions

Foreign nationals who wish to work in China are encouraged to enter with a Z (work) visa after having obtained the notification letter of work permit, rather than trying to obtain the notification letter of work permit while in China on a business (M) or tourist (L) visa. Anyone who is unable to enter within the validity of their Z visa because of restrictions are able to enter with another visa type. An explanation letter will be required by the Chinese employer, stating support in the use of an alternative visa.

New work permit applications can still be submitted through the standard online application process and original, along with a commitment letter provided by the Chinese employer. This commitment letter should affirm the authenticity and validity of their online submission. Original documents should be kept in case further checks are needed.

Foreign nationals whose temporary visas or residence permits have expired during the period of disruption, will either be exempt from penalties or receive a lighter penalty, depending on the circumstances.

In Shanghai, the processing time for work permit cancellation will be reduced from 10 to 3 working days. E-signature on employment termination letters or emails as well as WeChat messages can be accepted as evidence in support of the termination of employment relationship between the Chinese employer and foreign employee during the epidemic control period.

Additionally, in Shanghai the authority will accept the tax payment evidence uploaded online by th Chinese employer. The foreign employee does need to go to the tax authority to get a printout of their tax payment record, as previously required by the SAFEA authority. The requirements on salar/IIT commitment will also be relaxed while foreign employees, who have committed to the above earlier, renew their work permit during the epidemic control period. Foreign employees are also able to submit their online application for renewing their work permit before its expiry date during this period. 

Foreign nationals in Shanghai with expired visas or residence permits during this time, and are unable to exit China can have their visas or residence permits automatically extended for two months. During the extension, they are also able to apply for a work permit.

In Beijing, immigration authorities are asking foreign nationals and Chinese citizens to delay submitting their visa/stay/residence permit applications in person unless urgent. It is now possible to submit applications and commitment letters for work permit renewals and cancellations online. 

In Shenzhen, immigration authorities have opened green channels for expedited applications for emergencies and urgent requests.

 

Hong Kong

From November 22nd, under the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) agreement, travellers who have remained in Hong Kong for the previous 14 days before travel can apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) at no charge between 7 and 30 days before their intended date of entry into Singapore.

Prior to departing for Singapore, visitors holding an ATP must have a flight ticket from Hong Kong to Singapore on one of the following flights designated by the Singapore Government and the Hong Kong Government: 

▪ On 22 November 2020 (inaugural flight) CX759 (HKG-SIN) operated by Cathay Pacific Airways

 ▪ From 23 November 2020 onwards CX759 (HKG-SIN) operated by Cathay Pacific Airways or SQ891 (HKG-SIN) operated by Singapore Airlines.

As of October 26th, France and Russia have been added to Hong Kong’s list of high risk countries. Belgium will also be included in this list on November 3rd.

Hong Kong and Singapore have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral Air Travel Bubble (ATB). The launch date and full details are to be confirmed.

  • There will be no restrictions on purpose of travel
  • Travellers will need to present mutually-recognised negative PCR test results
  • Travellers will not be subject to any quarantine or Stay-Home Notice or controlled itinerary
  • Travellers will be required to travel on dedicated flights, carrying no transit or non-ATB passengers.

The Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC) has been moved from Asia World Expo to a restricted section of the international airport.

Arrivals from high-risk places (currently Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test certificate completed within 72 hours prior to departure, as well as confirmation of a 14+ day hotel booking in Hong Kong.

The following are subject to 14-day quarantine: 

  • Travellers from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan, including Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong residents
  • Hong Kong residents who have been in any overseas countries or areas in the previous 14 days.

All travellers entering Hong Kong, including Hong Kong residents are required to take a test for coronavirus. All travellers must also wear a wristband that monitors their location during their 14 day isolation period.

The borders between Hong Kong and Mainland China are closed except for Hong Kong International Airport, The Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

Air transit/transfer services have now begun to resume gradually at Hong Kong International Airport.

Entry is only permitted for Hong Kong citizens and permanent residents, with the exception of those from the Mainland, Macao and Taiwan. Non-Hong Kong residents entering from the Mainland, Macao and Taiwan will not be permitted entry if they have been to any overseas countries and regions in the past 14 days. Additionally, anyone holding a visa with validity of less than 14 days will be denied entry.

Quarantine procedure: 

  • Travellers arriving at Hong Kong International Airport in the morning will stay at the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC) of the Department of Health located in the airport to wait for test results after collecting their deep throat saliva samples there. They will receive the test results on the same day. As the test results for. 
  • Travellers arriving in the afternoon/evening/night will be taken to the Holding Centre for Test Results (HCTR) of the Department of Health (DOH) by coaches arranged by the Department of Health for one night to wait for their test results. 
  • If the test results are negative, travellers will be allowed to leave the hotel and go home or to a designated place immediately to continue completion of the 14-day compulsory quarantine. 
  • Confirmed cases and their close contacts will respectively be arranged for admission to hospital and sent to designated quarantine centres direct. 

Exemptions from the quarantine measures include cross-border students, as well as travellers from mainland China who have manufacturing operations or business activities, or provide professional services, and their travel is considered to be in the interest of Hong Kong’s economic development. The full list of quarantine exemptions is here.

All arrivals are required to submit a Health Declaration. Where possible, the Department of Health is encouraging travellers to complete this online via http://www.chp.gov.hk/hdf Once submitted, a QR code will be generated and will remain valid for 24 hours. The QR code screen should be captured and shown to the Department of Health authorities upon arrival. 

All border crossings between Mainland China and Hong Kong remain closed apart from Hong Kong International Airport, The Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong KongZhuhai-Macau Bridge. 

All persons entering Hong Kong are required to complete and submit a Health Declaration Form on arrival. To be environmentally friendly, the Department of Health is encouraging travellers to complete the form online which can be accessed via http://www.chp.gov.hk/hdf After the online submission, the system will generate a QR code which is valid for 24 hours. The QR code screen should be captured and shown to the Department of Health authorities upon arrival in Hong Kong

The Immigration Department has resumed normal services. The Employment and Dependant Visa has resumed normal services. Processing timeline may continue to be impacted for some time despite resumption of normal services. Employment and Dependant Visa extension applications can only be submitted within one month of visa expiry date under the General Employment Policy (GEP) and under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talent & Professionals (ASMTP).

Visa renewal applications can currently be submitted maximum one month prior to visa expiry date. Approval notification will be sent approximately within 2 to 4 weeks of application filing date.

 

India

Entry is permitted for all overseas citizens of India (OCI) and persons of Indian origin (PIO) card holders as well as all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa, by air or water through authorised airports or seaports.

All international travellers to Tamil Nadu must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate (taken within 96 hours prior to arrival) and undergo 14-day home quarantine.

  • Indian nationals returning to Tamil Nadu, and their employers, must schedule the PCR test to ensure the result is received within 96 hours prior to departure. 
  • International passengers arriving in the State of Tamil Nadu are also required to obtain TN e-Pass which can be obtained online using https://tnepass.tnega.org/ and download Arogya Setu App on mobile (available at https://www.mygov.in/aarogya-Setu-app/). This should remain active at all times through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. 

UAE residents travelling to India are no longer required to register with the Indian consulates in UAE before booking their tickets.

Certain categories of foreign nationals from a “travel bubble” country (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States), are permitted to enter India via non-scheduled commercial/chartered flights. The following are the applicable categories: 

  • Foreign nationals coming to India on any sub-categories of employment visa, along with their dependents holding dependent visas.  
  • Foreign journalists holding J-1 visas and their dependents holding J-1X visas (suspended visas are reactivated)
  • Business travellers with a business visa (other than B3 visa for sports)
  • Healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers and technicians for technical work at Indian health sector facilities, subject to a letter of invitation from a recognised and registered healthcare facility, registered pharmaceutical company or accredited university in India
  • Engineering, managerial, design or other specialists travelling to India on behalf of foreign business entities located in India, including all manufacturing units, design units, software and IT units as well as financial sector companies (banking and non-banking financial sector firms).  
  • Technical specialists and engineers travelling for installation repair and maintenance of foreign-origin machinery and equipment facilities in India, on the invitation of a registered Indian business entity.  
  • OCI Cardholders, minor children or students with at least one parent who is an Indian citizen or OCI Cardholder, spouses of Indian citizens, single parents of minor children who are Indian citizens or OCI Cardholders.  
  • Dependent family members of foreign diplomats and official/service passport holding service staff accredited to foreign diplomatic Missions, consular offices or accredited International Organizations in India.  
  • Foreign nationals who are persons of Indian origin, who wish to come to India on account of family emergencies like critical medical conditions of immediate family members or death. For this purpose, the person of Indian origin means someone who or any of whose parents had held an Indian passport or such parent (s) is/are or had been a citizen of India earlier.  
  • Foreign nationals stranded in the close neighbouring countries and seeking to exit to their destination country through India. (xii) Foreign nationals coming on Medical grounds for treatment in India (including one Attendant, if so requested).

All existing visas remain temporarily suspended and are not valid for entering India.

  • Travellers in the above categories must first obtain a fresh visa, as applicable, from the relevant Indian consulate.  
  • This requirement does not apply to those holding valid visas of diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment and project categories. 
  • Foreign nationals holding a valid long-term multiple-entry business visa issued by an Indian consulate must have these visas re-validated by the relevant consulate.

Arrival protocols: 

  • All international arrivals must complete and submit a self-declaration form at least 72 hours before travel and undergo universal health screening at the designated health counters at all points of entry
  • Travellers may be exempt from institutional quarantine by submitting on arrival a negative COVID-19 PCR test, conducted within 96 hours prior to travel
  • If a negative PCR test result is not presented, travellers are subject to a 7-day institutional quarantine at their own expense followed by a 7-day home quarantine. In exceptional cases, receiving states may permit home quarantine for the entire 14-day period. In such cases, those under home quarantine will have to download India’s domestic health monitoring and tracking mobile application known as ‘Arogya Setu’.

Visa free travel for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) is currently suspended. This does not affect foreign nationals or OCI holders who are already in India. The Indian Government has published FAQs for foreigners who are worried about overstaying their visa. Visit the FRRO website to find more information. 

Existing visas issued to nationals of any country who have not yet entered India are suspended until the restriction on international passenger services has lifted. This excludes diplomatic, UN/international organization, employment and project visas.

All arrivals, including Indian nationals, must submit a self-declaration form and undergo universal health screening at the designated health counters at all points of entry, and will be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days.

Some visa centres have resumed limited operations.

 

Indonesia

Indonesia and Singapore have agreed to establish a travel Corridor Arrangement (TCR) for essential travel for business and official purposes between the two countries. 

  • The TCR will be referred to by Singapore as the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL). 
  • Operational details are to be confirmed. 

The suspension of visa on arrival and visa exemption continues. Foreign nationals can enter Indonesia using a Single-Entry Visa for: 

  • Business
  • Emergency and urgent work
  • Purchase of goods in Indonesia
  • Expertise testing for prospective foreign workers; o Medical and food assistance
  • Crew on a vessel. 

The visa for social purposes is not yet available foreigners outside Indonesia. Multiple-Entry Visas are also not yet available. 

Stay permits (ITAS) are available for work, spouse, investment and retirement. 

  • Note that for a work ITAS, a recommendation from the investment authority (BKPM) is required in addition to a work permit from the Ministry of Manpower. 

For single-entry visa and stay permit applications: 

  • The sponsoring entity must submit: 
    • A negative COVID-19 test result
    • A letter stating that the foreign national is willing to enter quarantine at their own expense if tested positive in Indonesia
    • A letter stating that the foreign national is willing to have their health monitored during quarantine
    • A letter stating that the foreign national is willing to cover their own health costs in case of COVID-19 infection. 
  • The sponsoring entity must show proof that it has at least USD 10,000 (or equivalent in another currency) in its bank account. Previously, this was USD 1500. This requirement does not apply to single-entry visitors for medical and food assistance or crew on vessels. 

Both the single-entry visa and the limited stay visa (required for ITAS), are issued in the form of an eVisa. This eVisa is issued electronically and this means that foreigners are no longer required to pick up their visa sticker at the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate abroad. Foreigners who have received their eVisa for their single-entry visit visa, can use this eVisa as proof of their permission to stay in Indonesia. Foreigners have obtained their eVisa for their ITAS/ITAP, they will need to report to local immigration to process the ITAS/ITAP.

Special travel corridor arrangements have been established between Indonesia and both South Korea and United Arab Emirates to facilitate travel for business, employment, diplomatic and official purposes.

Foreign nationals entering Indonesia must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate in English, issued no more than 7 days previously. 

  • Individuals who present a negative test result: 
    • are given health clearance, which will be forwarded to the local health office via their national representative for monitoring during quarantine
    • will be issued a Health Alert Card (HAC) on arrival
    • can continue to travel to their destination
    • must undergo self-quarantine at home for 14 days. 
  • If travellers cannot provide an adequate, valid negative COVID-19 test certificate, health officers at the airport will take the individual to a hospital or quarantine facility to perform a PCR test. While awaiting the results (3-5 days), the individual must remain in quarantine at one of the designated hotels, at their own cost. 
    • If the result is negative, the individual is permitted to continue to their destination city, and must conduct self-quarantine at home for 14 days
    • If the result is positive, the individual must remain in quarantine until a negative result is recorded.

Entry and transit are suspended for foreign national visitors who have spent any time in the previous 14 days in countries affected by COVID-19. Exemptions exist for: 

  • Children of dual citizenship with a foreign passport and registered in the immigration system as an Indonesian citizen
  • Holders of Single-Entry Visas. 
  • Holders of Temporary Stay Permit and Permanent Stay Permit (Permanent Residents/KITAS and KITAP) with a valid Multiple Re-entry Permit. 
  • Holders of Diplomatic Visa and Official/Service Visa, 
  • Holders of Diplomatic Stay Permit and Official/Service Stay Permit. 
  • People engaged with Medical Services and Delivery of Supplies (humanitarian assistance), 
  • Airline and Maritime Crews including Land Transports. 
  • People whose travel is associated with essential work for National Strategic Projects such as infrastructure or construction with approval from the DirectorGeneral of Immigration. 
  • Holders of Temporary Stay Permit/Permanent Stay Permit(Permanent Residents/KITAS and KITAP) and Multiple Re-entry Permit that has expired and is still abroad, only through certain airports

New work permit applications by Foreign Investment Companies (PT PMA) which are not related with National Strategic Projects, can be approved by the Ministry of Manpower as long as there is a recommendation letter from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

 

Israel

Pre-approval by the relevant Ministry of the proposed necessary work is no longer required for work permit applications for foreign experts.

The Israeli authorities have announced foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter unless they are citizens or residents of Israel. Limited exceptions do apply. If you’re eligible for entry, you will need to complete an entry form. Travellers from countries on Israel’s ‘Green list’ will not be required to self-isolate, unless they have visited a country on Israel’s ‘Red list’ in the past 14 days

The Ministry of Economics, Health and Interior has issued a new regulation permitting business visitors (“business VIPs”) to enter Israel. 

  • The process permits entry for up to 7 days for business visitors from green countries. 
  • There is currently no option for business VIPs who have been in a red country in the previous 14 days. 
  • A stay of up to 12 hours in an airport terminal of a red country does not count as a stay. 
  • Authorized business activities include transfer of knowledge; support of business continuity; business development and maintaining foreign investments in Israel; sales and marketing.
  • The company must provide detailed information about the necessity for travel, the activities, the place of stay etc. 
  • The business VIP needs to complete an online application stating that the visit is for business purposes only (no work allowed) and that they will abode by the health guideline. 
  • On arrival, the traveller must present a medical insurance policy covering COVID-19 treatment.

All travellers arriving in Israel must

  • obtain entry approval from the relevant Ministry
  • complete an online inbound passenger statement form no more than 24 hours before the time of departure to Israel
  • present adequate health insurance. 

Travellers arriving in Israel who have, in the previous 14 days, only been in “green” locations will not be subject to 14-day quarantine.

Green Locations:

Australia, Canada, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Rwanda, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay

Travellers who have visited any other country in the previous 14 days must complete and submit an online form with details of their 14-day quarantine

location.

Employers for foreign experts who were already working in Israel but are not currently in Israel can apply for “Entry During COVID-19” at the local Ministry of Interior with jurisdiction over the company. The foreign expert must hold a valid work permit, B-1 work visa and re-entry visa/multiple-entry visa; No other special ministry-specific permit is required (as was previously the case). 

The Israeli Ministry of Interior has clarified the requirements for an exceptional foreign national entry permit. Those who may be eligible include: 

  • Foreign experts performing work necessary for national infrastructure and/or functional continuity of the economy, with a recommendation from the relevant government office. After obtaining the foreign expert’s necessity approval, the company should apply for a work permit through the Work Permit Unit of the Ministry of Interior. The final stage will be approval to travel to Israel, granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign experts arriving for more than 72 hours must remain in isolation for 14 days from the date of arrival. The employers of new or returning foreign experts must provide housing in apartments rather than hotels for the isolation period. 
  • A foreign national married to an Israeli citizen or permanent resident. The application should be submitted at either the Ministry of Interior in Israel or at the Israeli Consulate abroad, depending on the circumstances. If both spouses live abroad, the foreign national’s entry will be subject to presentation of health insurance (including a section relating to COVID-19 coverage). 
  • Foreign students who have started their studies in Israel and are currently abroad. 
  • Married Yeshiva students. 
  • Medical tourists. 
  • Permanent or foreign residents, whose “centre of life” is in Israel for purposes of attending a wedding of immediate family members (including that of grandchildren). o Immediate family members and their spouses attending a funeral.

 

Japan

Borders remain closed to non- essential travel unless special government approval is provided to travel. Most cities currently have a curfew where all shops close and individuals need to be home between the hours of 10pm – 5am.

The Government of Japan is phasing in a Business Track/Residence Track framework of special measures for resuming cross-border travel on the condition of additional quarantine measures. 

  • Foreign nationals intending to enter or re-enter Japan under this framework need either a new visa; or a re-entry confirmation letter (holders of a Japanese residence status returning from Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam on the residence track) or neither (holders of a Japanese residence status returning to Japan having travelled to Singapore on the Business track). 
  • On top of the current border control measures (i.e. undergoing PCR testing, refraining from using public transport and 14-day self-quarantine), applicants must take additional quarantine measures: 
    • Present on arrival: 
      • A copy of the written pledge, and schedule of activities  
      • a certificate of the result of pre-entry PCR testing  
      • a questionnaire including details of health monitoring for 14 days prior to departure
      • Obtain private medical insurance

Install LINE, COVID-19 contact tracing and map apps to record and report their health, location and contacts data for 14 days after entry into Japan.

The “Residence Track”:

    • This applies to holders of a Certificate of Eligibility for work or long-term stay who are nationals of Brunei (effective 8 October), Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore (effective 30 September), Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.  
    • Effective 1 October, entry is permitted under the Residence Track for holders of a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for any type of status of residence, as well as cross-border travellers (short-term stay for business) from any country or region, on condition that the person is hosted by a company / entity that can assure observation of quarantine measures. However, the number of people to be permitted to enter Japan under this new provision will be restricted.  
    • If the applicant presents an expired Certificate of Eligibility issued on or after 1 October 2019, the applicant is required to show a document issued by his/her accepting organization in Japan that states the organization will still be able to accept the applicant to have him/her engage in the activities described on the application for the Certificate of Eligibility. 

The “Business Track”:

    • This allows business travellers from Singapore to conduct limited business activities during their 14-day stay at home period immediately after arrival, with a total stay of up to 30 days.  
    • In order to reserve a pre-departure test in Singapore, the traveller must first submit a written pledge and schedule of activities to the Japanese embassy in Singapore and obtain from them a Cover Letter, and a new visa (except holders of a Japanese residence status returning to Japan having travelled to Singapore using the Business Track).

Re-entry is permitted for holders of a residence status who left Japan before the country where they are currently staying came under the entry ban. Relevant residence statuses include: 

  • “Permanent Resident”, “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”, “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” or “Long Term Resident” (including the spouse or child of a Japanese national without these residence statuses); 

Upon re-entry, these foreign nationals are requested to present a Re-entry Confirmation Letter issued by the relevant Japanese mission overseas, as well as a pre-entry PCR test certificate (issued within 72 hours of departure). Foreign nationals with the above residence statuses intending to enter or re-enter Japan with special exceptional circumstances who stayed in Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines or Peru in the previous 14 days are subject to the new requirement to present, upon entry, the Reentry Confirmation letter and pre-entry PCR test certificate.These documents must be presented by all foreign nationals with the above residence statuses intending to re-enter Japan

Travellers of any nationality who have in the previous 14 days visited any of the travel ban countries are subject to a PCR test on arrival, and all nationals arriving from all regions must self-isolate for 14 days at a location designated by the quarantine station chief and must refrain from using public transportation. 

Until further notice, entry is suspended for travellers of any nationality who have in the previous 14 days visited the following countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican, Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Botswana, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, GuineaBissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe. 

Entry is also suspended for foreign nationals who have Chinese passports issued in Hubei Province or Zhejiang Province of China.

The Immigration Bureau is accepting applications for Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) for medium to long-term stays, and other applications such as extension or change of status.

 

Macau

Effective 26 October, all individuals who have been in Kashgar Prefecture of Xinjiang within the past 14 days prior to entry to Macau must, at the discretion of the health authorities, undergo medical observation for 14 days at a designated venue.

All individuals who have been in Qingdao City in Shandong province in mainland China within the past 14 days prior to their entry to Macau must, at the discretion of the health authorities, undergo medical observation for 14 days at a designated venue.

Entry is suspended for all visitors from foreign countries.

Visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan are permitted to enter: o Those who have visited a foreign country in the previous 14 days are not permitted to enter. o Those who have visited Hong Kong in the previous 14 days must hold a certificate showing a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within the previous 24 hours and will need to go to a designated place for a 14-day medical observation. o Those who have visited Taiwan in the previous 14 days must hold a certificate showing a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within the previous 7 days and will need to go to a designated place for a 14-day medical observation. o Those who have visited mainland China in the previous 14 days must hold a certificate showing a negative result or a certificate of specimen collection for a COVID-19 PCR test issued within the past 7 days.

Malaysia

Foreign nationals who are citizens or residents of countries with more than 150,000 COVID-19 cases, or who are travelling from those countries, are no longer permitted to enter Malaysia. The current list is as follows:

  • Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.

Exceptions are made for: 

  • All long-term pass holders
  • Diplomats and dependants based in Malaysia who have been issued with the Exemption Order. Otherwise, an entry approval must be obtained by the Malaysia Immigration Department.  
  • Seafarers (where entry is for sign on or joint ship activities only  
  • Pilots and cabin crew of commercial and private airlines are entering as crew or passengers but must provide a General Declaration for the next flight operation.  
  • Professional crew and workers in the Oil & Gas industry who already hold a valid Malaysian issued Pass and have been granted with Entry Approval by the Director General of Immigration. 

Transit is allowed provided passengers have a confirmed connecting flight and do not pass immigration clearance. 

Malaysian citizens travelling from the 23 countries are permitted entry but must enter 14-day quarantine at government-appointed hotels and testing at their own expense. The Malaysian Embassies in the 23 countries will suspend the issuance of all visa types and Travel Notice/Travel Permission until further notice. It is not clear whether pending or renewal applications for nationals of these 23 countries will be processed or put on hold. There is no clarity as to how long this entry ban may last.

MSC/ICT status companies are no longer required to obtain a support letter from MDEC in support of an Entry Approval Letter (EAL) application, as enforced previously. After completing the Pass Approval stage, companies may proceed to apply directly for Entry Approval and Exit/Re-Entry Permission via MYEntry.

Singapore and Malaysia have introduced entry facilities between the two countries to certain types of travellers: The Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) enables cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes for up to 14 days.  

  • Travellers of any nationality who have legally resided in Singapore for at least 14 days before travelling to Malaysia.  
  • A medical certificate must be presented showing a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within the previous 72 hours before departure.  
  • Entry is permitted through direct flights only to KLIA, KLIA2, Penang International Airport and land border crossings (i.e. Causeway and Second Link).  
  • Travellers must remain under temporary self-isolation until the result of an on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test is confirmed. 

The Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) allows Singapore nationals and permanent residents with valid Malaysian work authorization to cross the border.  

  • Eligible travellers utilizing the PCA should remain in the other country for work for at least 90 days, after which they are permitted to return to their home country for a short period of time, and then re-enter their country of work for at least an additional three months.  
  • Eligible travellers utilizing the PCA should remain in the other country for work for at least 90 days, after which they are permitted to return to their home country for a short period of time, and then re-enter their country of work for at least an additional three months – no daily commuting is allowed.  
  • Entry is permitted through land border crossings only i.e. Causeway and Second Link.  
  • Travellers must enter a 7-day modified Home Surveillance Order (HSO) until the result of an on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test is available.
  • The sponsor organisation in Malaysia is advised to file an application 10 working days before the traveller’s proposed travel date, via MyTravelPass (MTP) portal. 
  • MTP approval is expected to be issued 24 hours before proposed departure date. 
  • The traveller must pre-install the MySejahtera app before entry and agree to bear the cost of a COVID-19 test on arrival.

An online system called MYEntry should streamline the process of applying for an Entry Approval Letter. MYEntry is accessible via the Expatriate Services Division online system. MYEntry is applicable for all Malaysian passes issued via ESD, MDEC and MIDA. 

Arrival Procedure:

There is mandatory PCR testing and a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals.

  • This will be carried out at designated quarantine facilities only. Centres will either be hotels or quarantine centres. 
  • Arrivals are required to bear the full cost of the entire stay.
  • At least three days before departure, returning travellers must download and complete a Letter of Undertaking (LOU), and submit it at a Malaysian mission in their home country. 
  • Subject to the approval of the Malaysian mission, a Letter of Approval (Entry Permit) is issued via email. This must be presented during flight check-in, and again to the authorities on arrival. 
  • Travellers must download MySejahtera mobile app at least 1 day before departure date and update essential information. 
  • Travellers are not required to undergo a COVID-19 test in their home country before departure but are advised to check directly with airlines if there is any requirement to produce COVID-19 test results before boarding their flight (most airlines are requesting COVID-19 test results at check-in.) 
  • On arrival, travellers must go through health screening – those showing COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated and referred to hospital for treatment – and COVID-19 PCR tests will be performed in the arrivals hall at the traveller’s expense (RM 250 per person). 
  • The travellers will be transported by the authorities to the designated quarantine facility. 
  • During quarantine, the traveller must conduct daily self-health assessments and report to Quarantine Station personnel. Those who subsequently test positive for COVID-19 will be transferred to hospital for treatment. A negative result of an Antigen Rapid Test (RM 120) is required for discharge.

Holders of expired Employment Pass (EP) Category 1, Residence Pass – Talent (RPT), their accompanying dependents holding a Dependant Pass (DP) and domestic helpers can return to Malaysia but must first obtain prior Entry Approval from the Director General of Immigration (DGIM).

Holders of already approved Employment Pass (EP) Category 1, Residence Pass – Talent (RP-T), and their accompanying dependents holding a Dependent Pass (DP) and domestic helpers are now able to return to Malaysia without needing to obtain prior approval from the Director General of Immigration (DGIM).

  • Holders of EP/DP approval that are yet to be endorsed on the passport in Malaysia are now permitted to enter without DGIM entry approval.
  • Applicants are advised to check with Malaysian Embassy or Consulate in their home country on entry visa requirements before travelling to Malaysia.
  • Holders of EP II, EP III, Professional Visit Pass (PVP) and Long-Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP) must still obtain Entry Approval from the Director General of Immigration (DGIM).
  • The foreign national will be required to complete a COVID-19 test three days before departure and return a negative result. They must also download the ‘MySejahtera’ app and register themselves. A 14 day quarantine may be required, depending on the results of the health screening at the airport upon arrival. 

Quarantine is not required for arrivals from the current “Green Zone Countries”:

  • Australia, Brunei, New Zealand and Singapore

Transit through Kuala Lumpur International airport, without going through an immigration checkpoint, is allowed.

All holders of long-term passes (Employment Pass, Professional Visit Pass, Dependant Pass, Long-Term Social Visit Pass), along with their dependents and/or foreign maids, must apply for Entry Approval to enter Malaysia. Employers may also apply to the relevant approving agency for new immigration pass approvals for foreign nationals abroad. 

  • There is no longer any exemption for Employment Pass (EP) Category 1 holders, Residence Pass (RPT) holders and their respective dependents. 
  • Long-term pass holders are exempt from the travel ban on 23 countries. 
  • Prospective entrants must obtain a Support Letter from the respective approving agency (ESD or MIDA – no longer required from MDEC), which typically takes 3-7 working days, depending on the agency. 
  • They must then apply to taskforce_esd@imi.gov.my for entry approval from the Director General of Immigration (DGIM). If accepted, an Entry Approval Letter will be issued within 14 working days. 
  • Entry Approval issued before 7 September 2020 is still valid and holders are advised to return to Malaysia within 60 days from issuance. 
  • Visa-required nationals with existing passes which have expired, or with new immigration pass approvals, must submit the Entry Approval Letter with other relevant documents at a Malaysian embassy, consulate or high commission. Subject to approval, the Malaysian mission will issue an entry visa which must be presented to the airline at check-in and to the immigration checkpoint on arrival. 
  • The foreign national must undergo a PCR COVID-19 test within 3 days of entry and must present a negative result on check-in and on arrival. 
  • The permitted entry points are Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), the Immigration Checkpoint in the Sultan Iskandar Building (BSI) in Johor and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (2nd Link), Johor. 
  • On arrival, the foreign national must present their Entry Approval Letter and negative test results, and download the MySejahtera app. They will be subject to a health screening and may have to undergo a COVID-19 swab test. Arrivals who test negative must undergo quarantine at a designated quarantine center. Arrivals who test positive will be transferred to hospital.

A Permission to Exit and Return Letter (PERL) allows eligible foreign residents to exit and re-enter within 60 days of the approval letter being granted. 

  • Business and official visits are now also eligible. 
  • Social visits and tourism are still not allowed. 
  • Expatriates who wish to exit Malaysia and not return during the RMCO will not need to apply for Exit Permission. 
  • Permission to Exit and Return issued before 7 September 2020 is still valid and holders are advised to return to Malaysia within 60 days from issuance.

All new and renewal applications for Employment Pass (EP) and Dependent Pass (DP) at the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) must now be submitted online via the Expatriate Services Division (ESD). The Immigration Unit at MIDA will no longer process any EP or DP applications. 

  • Note that registration for ESD services can take 1-2 months. 
  • Pre-approved Expatriate Posts (key posts and term posts) are still required. 
  • However, an advertisement must be placed in Jobs Malaysia for 30 days before the application for Expatriate Posts is submitted. 
  • Certain applications can still be submitted to the Immigration Unit at MIDA: Transfer of endorsement; take-up balance of approved period; cancellation; special pass; DP applications of EP holders already holding MIDA-issued EPs.

Exit Restrictions

All categories of pass holders who wish to exit and return to Malaysia must obtain exit and re-entry permission, and must return within 60 days. All categories who wish to exit for good must cancel their pass or obtain a special pass if required.

Immigration

Effective 14 to 27 October, certain states will be put under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO): 

  • This applies to Kuala Lumpur, Selangor (where the Immigration processing authority is located), Putrajaya (where the Immigration Department and Units are located), Klang and Sabah. 
  • The Immigration Department HQ and Expatriate Services Division (ESD) Immigration Office in Putrajaya, and the Immigration Units at MDEC Cyberjaya and MIDA will be closed throughout this period. 
  • It is not yet clear whether the MYXpats Centre and MDEC processing authorities will remain open or if online processing will continue. 

The Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) is extended until 31 December.

 

New Zealand

Effective 7 November, it is no longer permitted to transit New Zealand to China.

Effective early October, two new border exceptions are planned. Both will include managed isolation or quarantine: 

Temporary work visa holders

Work to residence visa or essential skills visa (mid-skilled or higher). 

  • Visa does not expire before the end of 2020 – if the essential skills visa expires before the end of 2020, the holder must have applied for a new visa to remain in the same job when they left, and before 10 August 2020. 
  • Must have been resident in New Zealand for at least two years, departed New Zealand on or after 1 December 2019 and are returning to do the same job or run the same business. 
  • Temporary visa holders who were ordinarily living in New Zealand in the last 12 months, and who left New Zealand on or before 19 March 2020 will not have to pay isolation or quarantine charges. Individuals who left after 19 March 2020 will be charged for their time in managed isolation.
  • Partners of NZ citizens and residents.
    • Evidence of a genuine and stable relationship.
  • Holders of a passport from Australia or a visa waiver country.
  • Dependent children can be included in the same border exception request. 
  • Australian partners will be charged NZ$45 for the travel request and will typically be granted a resident’s visa on arrival. 
  • Partners from visa waiver countries will be charged NZ$45 for the travel request fee, along with a subsequent partnership visa application fee.

From the 10th November 2020, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is no longer accepting any offshore visa applications via the INZ online portal, unless an individual has been granted one of the limited exceptions to the border closure.

Exceptions include: Relationship-based visas for dependants of NZ citizens or residents; Visas for diplomats, consular and official staff, and their dependent family members; Antarctic work and traveller visitor visas; and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) limited visas.

The border is currently closed to all except New Zealand citizens and residence visa holders (if they have previously travelled to New Zealand on this residence visa), immediate family of New Zealand citizens or residents, if travelling with their New Zealand citizen or resident family member, Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand, and holders of visitor visas who are the dependent family member of a temporary or student visa holder currently residing in New Zealand. 

All arrivals permitted entry must self-isolate in accommodation provided by the government for a period of 14 days and may be required to bear the cost of this.

All transit passengers must transit New Zealand in less than 12 hours, must remain airside, and cannot enter New Zealand. They can only transit Auckland International Airport. 

New fees apply to border exception Expression of Interest (EOI) requests. 

  • NZD 380 for employers who request exceptions for ‘other critical workers’ (or organisations or agencies that sponsor requests)
  • NZD 45 for individual requests under all critical purpose categories.
  • Employers will be able to request an exception for ‘other critical workers’ online, rather than manually. 

People outside New Zealand will not be able to apply for temporary visas for three months. The following offshore temporary entry class visa applications are not affected:  

  • Relationship-based visas for partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents;  Visas for diplomatic, consular and official staff and accompanying dependents;  Antarctic Traveller Visitor visas and Antarctic Work visas;  Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited visas. 
  • Those intending to apply for a temporary class visa should not undergo a medical examination unless advised to do so by Immigration New Zealand.
  • This suspension does not apply to residence class visa applications as these applications 

Immigration offices have reopened and will begin processing more visa applications, in accordance with the following priority system. For residence visas, priority will be given to applicants already in New Zealand with a job offer, earning an hourly wage equivalent to or higher than twice the median wage (currently $51.00 per hour or $106,080 per year); or who hold current occupational registration (where required). 

 

Philippines

All passengers who meet the following criteria are not permitted to enter the Philippines: 

 

  • Travellers from China (including Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR) and visited China (including Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR) in the past 14 days. 
  • Travellers with approval to enter the country will need to undergo 14 day self isolation and undertake a COVID 19 test.

Foreign national parents of minor Filipino nationals are now permitted to enter the country, provided they secure or possess the appropriate visas. 

Effective 1 August, entry will be permitted for foreign nationals holding valid and existing long-term visas. Eligible visa categories include immigrant visas under section 13 of Commonwealth Act No.613; immigrant visas issued under Republic Act No. 7919 or the Alien Social Integration Act of 1995; immigrants under Executive Order 324; and native-born foreign nationals.

No new entry visa applications will be accepted. Entry is subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry. 

Foreign nationals must secure a pre-booked COVID-19 testing provider and accredited quarantine facility. Entry is subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

The suspension of non-essential outbound travel for Philippines citizens has been lifted, and a terminal at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila has been reopened. 

The suspension of visa issuance and visa-free privilege, and the suspension of entry for holders of most previously-issued visas, including permanent residence visas, continues until further notice, despite the easing of community quarantine requirements. Entry is allowed for foreign crew members of airlines, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), foreign spouses and dependents of Filipino citizens, and foreign diplomats.

Entry is restricted to Bali Territory for Philippine citizens and foreign nationals except for work in government or private institutions providing certain services, for emergency medical treatment or in the case of serious illness or death in the immediate family.

Bali airport will only permit travellers to arrive or leave if they have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from the previous 7 days and complete an online data collection form. All foreign nationals arriving at an airport are subject to quarantine and testing.

Those arriving from a high-risk place of origin or lay-over (as identified by the latest WHO guidelines) and those identified as having influenza-like symptoms by a Quarantine Medical Officer at the port of entry are subject to RT-PCR COVID-19 testing and stringent quarantine under the supervision of the Bureau of Quarantine until the test results are released. If negative they are subject to 14-day home quarantine. If positive, they are subject to hospital treatment followed by 14-day home quarantine.

 

Russia

The suspension of entry is extended indefinitely. Exceptions are for the following:

  • Close foreign national family members (spouses, parents, children), guardians or trustees of Russian citizens with proof of relationship, travelling with their Russian citizen family member
  • Permanent residents
  • Diplomats and other officials and their family members
  • Persons holding private visas related to the death of close relatives
  • Anyone transiting through air border checkpoints without crossing the Russian border
  • Participants in the state program for relocation of compatriots living abroad, provided they have valid ID documents recognized by the Russian Federation, and a certificate of participation (and their family members)
  • Those participating in the installation and technical support of foreign equipment, defined in an application made to the respective government agency, and approved by the Federal Security Service

Entry restrictions are lifted for citizens and permanent residents of Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Serbia, Seychelles, South Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

  • These individuals are eligible to obtain invitations and visas of all types. 
  • Entry to Russia is not permitted for citizens and permanent residents of these countries travelling from other countries. 
  • Note that the decree does not lift the current restrictions on obtaining invitations and work permits for foreign nationals who are currently abroad. To obtain these documents, it is still necessary to include such foreign nationals in the state approved lists. 
  • Entry into Russia remains limited to air travel.

The inviting entity (company or individual) must: 

  • Provide the foreign national with its contact details
  • Guarantee to provide financial, medical and accommodation security according to letters of guarantee provided during the arrangement of invitation letters
  • Perform the stipulated actions to assist the foreign national to fulfil their purpose of entry (i.e. arrange business meetings, sign an employment or services contract and a workplace, arrange for studies, carry out migration registration or accommodation rental etc.) 
  • Inform the MIA of Russia, within 2 business days, if it loses contact with the foreign national.

Foreign nationals permitted to enter Russia must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a test done no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. 

  • The post-arrival COVID-19 testing option has been removed. 
  • If it is impossible to present test results in English or Russian language, they can be issued in the official language of the country where the medical institution is registered. In this case the translation must be certified by a Russian consular officer. 
  • Before crossing the border, foreign nationals are required to complete the questionnaire for arrivals. A questionnaire example is available on the official website of Rospotrebnadzor. 
  • 14-day quarantine is still required for all persons arriving in Russia for work. 
  • Employers are required to inform their foreign employees of these requirements and ensure that they comply. 
  • Russian citizens must undergo examination within 3 days of their return to the country and upload the results to the official State Services website. 
  • Russian citizens must register as arrivals on the official State Services website (before flight check-in), and also complete a paper application (before crossing the border).

Entry of foreign nationals is still limited to certain categories. 

Entry is now permitted for highly-qualified specialist (HQS) employees approved to enter by the respective Ministry and by the Federal Security Service and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. Obtaining a work permit and visa invitation letter for HQS employees approved in this way is now possible. HQS employees must present a valid labour or services contract with a Russian employer or customer on entry, and will be subject to a 14-day home quarantine. Their dependents are currently not permitted to enter Russia. 

Applicants for a work permit, work patent, temporary residence permit (TRP) or permanent residence permit (PRP) (but not for a HQS work permit) must submit a negative COVID-19 test results (in addition to the test results that are already required).

All international flights are suspended. Foreign nationals are permitted to exit Russia, but will not be allowed to re-enter. Visa issuance is suspended at Russian consulates, except for diplomats, officials, transport crews and those travelling with their Russian citizen family members. Previously lodged applications may be issued or may be returned without issuance, depending on the consulate and the date of submission. Electronic visa issuance is also suspended.

Immigration

Employers in Moscow are required to send 30% of their staff and contractors at any one time to work from home. 

  • All workers over 65 years old or with chronic illnesses must work from home, and do not count towards the 30%. 
  • Workers whose presence in the office is essential are exempt. 

Effective 12 October, employers in Moscow must report online every Monday to the Moscow Mayor’s office regarding staff sent to work from home. Failure to do so can attract fines of up to RUB 30,000 for citizens, or up to RUB 300,000 for companies.

The Migration office is not accepting or issuing visa applications or documents at this time, with the exception of exit (transit) visas. Likewise, the issuance of visas at Russian consulates are also suspended, with exceptions to diplomats, officials, transport crews and those travelling with their Russian citizen family members. Depending on the consulate and date of submission, previously submitted applications may be issued or returned without issuance. Electronic visa issuance is also suspended.

Migration documents for HQS work permit, standard work permit; corporate work permit; work patent, visa (all types), address registration, migration card, temporary residence permit (TRP), permanent residence permit (PRP), documents, confirming refugee status, status of the mandatory moved persons, and participants in the state program for relocation of compatriots living abroad that expire between 15 March and 15 June are extended until 15 June.

Extension applications for work permits, visas and visa-free stays for up to 90 days are currently accepted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

 

Singapore

From November 22nd, under the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) agreement, travellers who have remained in Hong Kong for the previous 14 days before travel can apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) at no charge between 7 and 30 days before their intended date of entry into Singapore.

Prior to departing for Singapore, visitors holding an ATP must have a flight ticket from Hong Kong to Singapore on one of the following flights designated by the Singapore Government and the Hong Kong Government: 

▪ On 22 November 2020 (inaugural flight) CX759 (HKG-SIN) operated by Cathay Pacific Airways

 ▪ From 23 November 2020 onwards CX759 (HKG-SIN) operated by Cathay Pacific Airways or SQ891 (HKG-SIN) operated by Singapore Airlines.

Singapore and Indonesia have agreed to establish a Reciprocal Green Lane for essential travel for business and official purposes between the two countries. 

  • The RGL will also be referred to by Indonesia as the Travel Corridor Arrangement (TCA). 
  • Pre-departure (up to 72 hours) and post-arrival COVID-19 swab tests from mutually recognised health institutions will be required. 
  • Operational details are to be confirmed.

Singapore and Hong Kong have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral Air Travel Bubble (ATB). The launch date and full details are to be confirmed.

  • There will be no restrictions on purpose of travel
  • Travellers will need to present mutually-recognised negative PCR test results
  • Travellers will not be subject to any quarantine or Stay-Home Notice or controlled itinerary
  • Travellers will be required to travel on dedicated flights, carrying no transit or non-ATB passengers.

From 19 October, short-term visitors who require a visa to enter Singapore can apply for visas through a local contact, Singapore overseas mission, or authorised visa agent. Visitors who have already been issued with visas which are still valid, as well as those who are eligible for the visa-free transit facility, do not need to re-apply/ apply. 

Note that possession of a valid visa alone does not guarantee entry into Singapore. All short-term visitors must still seek prior approval via appropriate COVID-19 travel channels (e.g. obtain a Safe Travel Pass under Green/Fast Lane arrangements, or Air Travel Pass) before they can enter Singapore. More information will be available at ICA’s website (https://www.ica.gov.sg/covid-19).

From 15 October, all travellers entering Singapore who have visited Sabah, Malaysia, in the previous 14 days are required to serve their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.

  • This does not apply to Malaysia-based travellers under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), who will continue to be subject to existing RGL health measures (i.e. pre-departure test, on-arrival test, pre-declared controlled itinerary). 
  • This also applies to returning Singapore-based travellers under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), as well as Malaysian Citizens and Permanent Residents entering Singapore under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement;
  • For now, travellers from all other parts of Malaysia (except Sabah), will continue to serve a 7-day SHN at their place of residence.

Travellers from Macau, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong (from 14 October) and Malaysia (except Sabah from 15 October) are required to serve a reduced SHN of 7 days at their place of residence. A COVID-19 test will be administered before the end of the 7-day SHN.

Travellers entering Singapore who have remained in either Australia (excluding Victoria State) or Vietnam in the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry can apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) at no charge between 7 and 30 days before their intended date of entry into Singapore (on or after 8 October). This route was already open to travellers from Brunei and New Zealand. 

  • The Air Travel Pass is valid for single entry into Singapore anytime from the visitor’s intended date of entry and up to seven calendar days after. 
  • Visitors who hold a visa-required passport must separately obtain a valid visa prior to departure for Singapore. Such visitors are strongly encouraged to apply for their Air Travel Pass early. 
  • If the visitor already has an existing valid visa which has been suspended due to COVID-19, ICA will lift the suspension and there is no need to obtain a new visa. 
  • Air Travel Pass holders must submit their health, travel history, and accommodation declarations electronically via the SG Arrival Card, no earlier than three days prior to his/her date of arrival in Singapore. 
  • When checking in at the departure airport, the visitor must present to the airline staff:  
    • a valid Air Travel Pass approval letter (electronic or physical copy) for the specified period of entry into Singapore
    • a valid visa (for visa-required passport holders) 
    • a mobile device with the TraceTogether app downloaded. 
  • They are not required to serve a Stay Home Notice (SHN). Instead, they will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport and only be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore after waiting in isolation (1-2 days) to receive the test result. They must book accommodation in advance to serve this isolation period. 1 Children aged 12 years old or younger in that calendar year are not required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport upon arrival in Singapore.
  • Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders returning from Brunei or New Zealand do not need to apply for an ATP. However, Long-Term Pass holders will still need to apply for Entry Approval / Approval Letter of Entry (ALE) and undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival

The government has announced a pilot Business Travel Pass. 

  • Senior executives based in Singapore with regional or international responsibilities who need to travel regularly for official and business purposes can apply for a business travel pass. 
  • Travellers on this pass can be required to abide by a strict, controlled itinerary when they travel overseas for work. 
  • Upon return, the traveller will be given the option of a COVID-19 test in lieu of a Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) and self-isolate until the test result is received. 
  • The number of these passes issued will be strictly limited during the pilot phase.

Effective immediately, the Entry Approval granted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) must be cancelled if the pass holders (including their dependents) are unable to enter Singapore within the approved period. The request for cancellation of MOM Entry Approval must be submitted at least seven days before the approved entry period expires, otherwise the requestors must still pay the full cost of the pass holders’ COVID-19 test and stay at the dedicated Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facility (if applicable). 

Singapore and Japan have reopened the border between the two countries to residents of each country for short-term essential business and official purposes via a Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL). 

  • Travellers of any nationality, resident in Japan, who have remained in Japan for at least 14 days prior to departure for Singapore, must be sponsored by a Singapore government agency or Singapore-based company, which will file an application for a SafeTravel Pass. 
  • Once the SafeTravel Pass is issued: Visa-required applicants can apply for a visa through the usual channels; Visa-exempt applicants do not need to obtain a visa;  If the applicant already has a valid visa, the visa suspension will be lifted when the SafeTravel Pass is approved. 
  • Pre-departure, the approved SafeTravel Pass traveller will have to:  electronically submit pre-trip health and travel history declarations and declare his/her accommodation in Singapore via the SG Arrival Card, before departing for Singapore. Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure. 
  • On arrival, the travellers will undertake a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival at their own expense and remain in accommodation, sourced by the receiving enterprise or government agency, for 1 or 2 days until they receive their test results

Singapore and South Korea’s border between the two countries is open  to residents of each country for short-term essential business and official purposes via a Fast Lane.

Travellers of any nationality resident in South Korea who have remained in South Korea for at least 14 days prior to departure for Singapore must be sponsored by a Singapore government agency or Singapore-based company which will file an application for a SafeTravel Pass.

Once the SafeTravel Pass has been issued: Visa applications can continue through the usual channels. If the applicant already has a valid visa, the visa suspension will be lifted when the SafeTravel Pass is approved.

Pre-departure, the approved SafeTravel Pass traveller will have to:

  • Electronically submit pre-trip health and travel history declarations and declare his/her accommodation in Singapore, before departing for Singapore.  
  • Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure. o On arrival, the traveller will undertake a COVID-19 PCR test at their own expense and remain in accommodation sourced by the receiving enterprise or government agency for 1 or 2 days until they receive their test results.

Travellers entering Singapore who have remained in either Brunei or New Zealand in the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry will not be required to serve a Stay Home Notice. Instead, they will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport and only be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore after receiving a negative test result.  Prior to travelling to Singapore, visitors from Brunei and New Zealand will need to apply for an Air Travel Pass between 7 and 30 days before their intended date of entry into Singapore. Individuals will be responsible for their medical bills should they require medical treatment. 

Exit declaration forms are no longer required for the cancellation of a Malaysian employee’s pass.

All incoming travellers, including Singapore Citizens, Singapore PRs, Student Pass holders, Work Pass holders and their related dependants (including IPA holders) entering Singapore, and who will be serving their SHN outside of SHN dedicated facilities (SDFs) will need to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout the 14-day SHN.

This also applies to travellers who have spent the last 14 days in Australia (except for the State of Victoria), Brunei, China, Germany, Macao, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan or Vietnam. Those aged 12 and below will be exempted from this requirement.

As of the 10th August, Singapore and Malaysia have reopened the border between the two countries to certain types of travellers: Travellers must be sponsored by a Singapore government agency or Singapore-based company (from the end of August), which will file an application for a SafeTravel Pass. 

All arrivals into Singapore, excluding those stated above, are required to complete a mandatory 14 day self-isolation period in a government provided Stay Home Notice (SHN) facility (designated hotels). All incoming travellers who are not citizens or permanent residents of Singapore will be required to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities.

Long term pass holders can serve their SHN at a place of residence that they or their family members own or are the sole tenants, or in suitable accommodation at their cost. 

All persons under SHN must remain in their place of residence at all times. 

Long term pass holders are still required to obtain pre-approval before entering.

Additionally, arrivals are expected to submit a Health Declaration using the SG Arrival Card e-Service in the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA) website at SGAC  e-Service up to 3 days in advance of their travel to Singapore. Singapore citizens and long term pass holders must select “Residents” on the e-Service page.

Changi airport is open for passengers to transit.

Everyone entering Singapore from the UK or US is required to serve their SHN isolated in a hotel room or similar accommodation provided by the Singapore government.

All new and existing Singapore long-term pass holders planning to enter or return to Singapore from any country are required to obtain entry approval from MOM prior to beginning their journey. This can be requested online by employers and must be done at least three days before arrival. Please be aware that approval is not guaranteed. Approval must be received in advance of arranging entry into Singapore.

Anyone with a long term visit pass, issued by the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA) or Student passes issued by the Ministry of Education, including those granted In-Principle Approval (IPA), are required to obtain Entry Approval from the relevant authority before beginning their travel to Singapore. It is advised that they do this before making any travel arrangements. If granted, these people will receive an approval letter and must present this to airline staff on check-in and the immigration officer on arrival.

 

Republic of South Korea

Effective 17 August, stricter social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area include possible fines of up to USD 2450 for not wearing a face mask in public – note unpaid fines or taxes can disqualify ARC holders from applying for ARC extension.

Those found to have violated quarantine rules who are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, the government will not only suspend support for medical fees, but also impose heavy penalty fees, immigration restrictions, and lodge a complaint with the court.

India and Russia are now considered to have a high COVID-19 infection rate.

All foreign nationals boarding flights from countries with a high COVID-19 infection rate (currently Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan) are required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, issued within 48 hours. These people are still required to self-quarantine for two weeks at designated facilities or at home, depending on their visa status, and undergo another test within three days of their arrival.

Visa issuance is now suspended for Pakistan and Bangladesh nationals, with flights from these countries also suspended.

The waiver for re-entry permits for long term visa holders is temporarily suspended. Anyone holding long-term visas other than A1, A2, A3 or F4 visas are required to apply for a re-entry permit through a local immigration office, prior to leaving Korea should they want to maintain their status and period of stay. Failure to obtain a re-entry permit will result in their alien registration cancelled, and they will have to obtain a new long term visa to re-enter Korea.

ARC holders leaving Korea temporarily must apply for a re-entry permit at the district immigration office, having booked an appointment online at www.hikorea.go.kr or at the airport immigration office on the departure date. From mid-June online applications will be available.

Foreign nationals that are granted a re-entry permit, and would like to re-enter Korea, must complete a medical examination within 48 hours of the departure date and provide a written diagnosis, written in either English or Korean, and signed by a medical examiner and issued by an authorised medical institute. These will be requested by a transport operator and/or immigration officer. The diagnosis must state the presence or absence of fever, cough, chills, headache, breathing difficulty, muscle pain or pulmonary symptoms. A COVID-19 test result does not need to be included. However, a medical certificate listing a negative COVID-19 test result will also be valid provided the test is conducted within 48 hours before boarding flights. Those foreign nationals holding a quarantine exemption certificate issued by a Korean embassy or consulate, and holders of A1, A2, A3 or F4 visas, do not need to complete a medical examination and provide written medical diagnosis. 

All those permitted entry are required to undergo a free COVID-19 test, submit a Health Condition Declaration Form, contact details, and download a smartphone app allowing them to log their symptoms for 14 days. Short term visitors must complete the free COVID-19 test on arrival at the airport. They will also be required to complete their 14 day quarantine in a government designated facility. Anyone staying in a government designated facility will be subject to a charge of KRW 100,000 per day.

Long term visa holders, who do not yet have an ARC, and who do not have suitable accommodation for home quarantine will be sent to a designated government facility. However, this facility may not be at the airport as short term visitors are prioritised. These people will instead be moved by bus to the public health centre of the district where the host company is located, to complete their COVID-19 test. If negative, they will be sent to a district quarantine facility. As an alternative, they may be able to quarantine in a host-company accommodation, provided the host company has obtained a quarantine-exemption certificate from the district government office prior to the foreign employees arrival.

Long-term visitors with a quarantine exemption certificate and South Korean citizens who visited China under the special-approval track and who stayed in China for 1-7 days must also complete a free COVID-19 test at the airport on arrival. If the test result comes back negative, arrivals may leave the airport and will not be required to self-isolate. They will be required to answer daily phone call checks from KCDC, as well as record physical conditions on the app.

Citizens of South Korea and long-term visitors arriving from the US or Europe without a quarantine exemption certificate must get tested for COVID-19 within 3 days of arrival. South Korean citizens and long-term visitors arriving from all other countries without a quarantine exemption certificate, and any South Korean citizens who visited China under the special approval track and stayed longer than 8 days will need to be tested within 14 days of arrival. Anyone staying at a government facility will be tested there. Those staying with direct family members or at their host company’s accommodation are advised to visit the closest public health centre.

A-1, A-2 and A-3 visa holders with negative COVID-19 tests are subject to active monitoring instead of 14-day quarantine.

Quarantine exemption certificates can be requested for important and urgent business purposes.

Those who refuse to follow quarantine procedures and health guidelines may be subject to heavy penalties, including up to three years imprisonment, fines up to KWW 20 million, a compensation claim lodged by the city government, visa and ARC cancellation, deportation and future entry bans.

Visa waiver entry is suspended for nationals of countries which prohibit the visa-free entry of South Korean nationals. This applies to the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Eswatini, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, UAE, Uruguay.

All nationals seeking entry, including visa waiver nationals, are advised to obtain a visa issuance number and a visa in advance of travel. Consular visa applicants must complete a medical test at a designated hospital and interview within 48 hours after the application has been submitted.

C1 and C3 visas issued at any Korean consulate before 5 April are cancelled if the holder has not yet arrived in South Korea. Holders of C type visas that have been invalidated need to contact the South Korean Embassy in their residential country to check the re-application process. Online applications for visa issuance confirmation have also been suspended, as the system did not require a health or COVID-19 status check. A visa issuance confirmation application can still be submitted at a South Korean immigration office. 

All schools and universities are closed and restrictions are in place for anyone entering 

that has been to other affected countries such as China and Italy. There are current restrictions on travellers with passports from China’s Hubei Province, as well as anyone who has visited that region in the last 14 days. Visa free entry to Jeju Island for all foreigners, and visa free entry for Chinese nationals are also suspended.

Taiwan

Effective 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, all passengers entering or transiting through Taiwan airports, regardless of nationality or purpose of travel, must provide a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR/RT-PCR/NAA/NAT test (not antigen or antibody test) issued within 3 working days before boarding. 

  • The test report must be issued by a medical institution approved by the government agency of the place of departure; 
  • The test report should be written in Chinese and/or English. Documents in languages other than Chinese or English, such as French and Spanish, are accepted if they are in the “official language of the place of departure” and the ground staff can confirm the contents of the report.

All travellers who are permitted to enter are required to undergo 14-day home quarantine, to log into the Quarantine System for Entry and fill out a health declaration form.

Indonesian migrant workers are required to undergo quarantine at group quarantine facilities and entry is suspended for migrant workers whose work is arranged by certain Indonesian employment agencies. 

Asymptomatic arrivals from the Philippines are required to observe 14-day home quarantine and 7-day self-health management measures. 

  • They are no longer subject to the requirement to be tested on arrival, quarantine for 14 days at a group quarantine facility, and then to undergo another test before exiting the quarantine period. 

Travellers who have symptoms on arrival or who have experienced symptoms in the last 14 days are required to undergo a test at the airport or at a hospital after arrival. 

  • These travellers must stay at a group quarantine facility to await their test result.
  • Those who obtain a negative test result will undergo another test at least 24 hours after the first test. 
  • Those who obtain two negative test results and whose symptoms have improved may return to home or proceed to a quarantine hotel to complete the subsequent home quarantine period.

Most travellers are required to present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken up to 3 days before boarding. The following are exempt: 

  • Taiwanese nationals; 
  • Alien Registration Card (ARC) holders; 
  • Students approved by Ministry of Education; 
  • Visitors with special humanitarian reasons, emergency situations or crewmembers on vessels.

Entry is permitted for: 

  • Taiwanese nationals. 
  • Foreign nationals. 
    • ARC holders for any purpose of entry (migrant workers must also hold a re-entry permit). 
    • Non-ARC holders. 
    • Visitors approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for reasons other than tourism or regular social visits (permitted reasons include internship, training, participation in international conferences and exhibitions, international exchange, volunteering, missionary work, working holidays, youth exchange, job seeking, visiting relatives, fulfilling contractual obligations, inspection, after-sales service, technical guidance and training and contract signing. 
    • Visitors approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to receive medical care. 
    • Special entry permit is required. 
  • Hong Kong/Macao residents 
    • ARC holders for any purpose of entry (students must be approved by the Ministry of Education). 
    • Taiwan Entry Permit holders. 
    • For special humanitarian reasons or emergency situations; 
    • To fulfil contractual obligations or as part of internal transfers within multinational enterprises; 
    • Medical personnel approved by Ministry of Health and Welfare, visitors to receive medical care (including their companions) approved by Ministry of Health and Welfare 
    • Students approved by the Ministry of Education. 
  • Mainland Chinese nationals 
    • ARC holders 
    • Spouse of Taiwan national; 
    • Child under 6; 
    • Student approved by Ministry of Education (including (vocational) high school students and their companion parents who are not ARC holders).
    • Taiwan Entry Permit holders 
    • Child under 6 visiting relatives; 
    • Parent of child under 6 joining family; 
    • Students approved by Ministry of Education (including (vocational) high school students and their companion parents. 
    • Visitors approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to receive medical care.

Certain short-term (up to three months) business travellers, of any nationality, entering Taiwan may apply for a reduced home quarantine period: 

  • They must be arriving from a country or region with a low risk of infection (currently Bhutan, Brunei, East Timor, Fiji, Laos, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Thailand, Vietnam) or a medium risk of infection (currently Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea); 
  • They must have no travel history outside these regions in the previous 14 days before boarding; 
  • They must be intending to stay for no more than three months for business activities such as inspection, after-sales service, technical guidance and training, contract signing, etc. 
  • Qualifying business travellers should prepare relevant supporting documents at the time of visa application, schedules and epidemic prevention plans at the time of application and must present a COVID-19 negative nucleic acid test report issued less than 3 working days before boarding. 
  • For travellers who do not meet the above application conditions, if there are special business needs or other necessary activities, a special case can be submitted; 
  • A traveller arriving from a low-risk area can apply to the local health authority where the epidemic prevention hotel is located for self-paid COVID-19 screening on the fifth day; A traveller arriving from medium-low risk area can screen at their own expense on the seventh day after entry. 
  • After obtaining a negative test result report, the traveller can apply to the local health authority to change to self-health management until 21 days after entry. 
  • Note that, although Macau is in the list of low-risk countries, the online EEP is still suspended and therefore holders of passports from Macau are still prohibited from entering Taiwan.

Foreign nationals may apply for special entry permits to enter Taiwan for reasons other than tourism, general social visits and study. Permitted purposes of travel include internship, training, participation in international conferences and exhibitions, international exchange, volunteering, missionary work, working holidays, youth exchange, job seeking, visiting relatives, fulfilling contractual obligations, inspection, after-sales service, technical guidance and training and contract signing. Special entry permits may be issued regardless of the traveller’s nationality, country of origin or travel history.

The office hours at the various Taipei Economic & Cultural Offices (TECO) have been affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Some TECO offices have been closed temporarily. Travellers must check with TECO in their respective countries first if requiring services. 

Foreign nationals who have been issued a work permit but have not yet entered Taiwan and have not been issued an Alien Resident Card (ARC) can apply for a visa at the relevant Taipei Economic & Cultural Office (TECO but must also obtain a “Special Entry Permit” stamp in their passport, also from the TECO. Without both a valid entry visa and a Special Entry Permit stamp, entry will not be allowed. 

When applying for a visa, foreign nationals must provide additional documents, including: a full travel history for the previous 14 days; a certificate of a health checkup conducted in the previous seven days showing that the applicant does not have a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or higher and is not suffering from respiratory tract or lung infections; and a signed affidavit stipulating that the applicant shall immediately notify health authorities in Taiwan when experiencing any symptoms detailed above. 

Applications for temporary entry stays (landing visas and online visas) and the online application system for foreign nationals for Hong Kong and Macau residents have been suspended.

 

Vietnam

Vietnam Airlines will resume international flights from Honoi and HCMC to Tokyo, Japan. Regular flights from the approved airports into Vietnam will not become available until 25 October at the earliest

Flights are permitted between Vietnam and Guangzhou (China), Taipei (Taiwan), Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Vientiane (Laos). 

  • The maximum number of flights on each route is initially two per week. 
  • Permitted travellers include experts, investors, business managers, high-tech workers and their family members; and Vietnamese citizens returning home. 
  • Travellers must still obtain special entry permission and arrange quarantine at an approved hotel or government facility. 
  • Arriving travellers must present a negative PCR test result issued 3 to 5 days prior to travel and are subject to a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival and government quarantine period of 14 days. 
  • If a second test after the sixth day after arrival is negative, the remainder of the 14-day government quarantine period may be replaced with self-quarantine. Any plans to work, attend business meetings with others or other travel during the remainder of the 14 days must be approved by the health department. 
  • Travellers who are transiting via one of the approved airports but originated elsewhere do not qualify for the reduced quarantine. 
  • Travellers must install the “Bluezone” contact tracing app. 
  • Travellers staying for fewer than 14 days are exempt from quarantine. 

In HCMC: 

  • Quarantine in HCMC will only be approved for those incoming foreign workers whose sponsoring entity is located in HCMC. 
    • Foreign workers sponsored by entities in Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Long An, and Tien Giang need to obtain approval from the HCMC CDC (Center for Disease Control) in parallel with approval from IHQC (International Health Quarantine Center) to allow them, upon arrival in HCMC, to be transported and quarantined in another province. 
    • For those provinces that are more remote than those in the above list, or that may not have proper quarantine facilities located within the province, the authorities will consider the option for the incoming traveler to stay in HCMC quarantine, with additional approvals from the People’s Committee in HCMC and HCMC CDC.  
    • Note that for those incoming travelers who already have their quarantine stay approval in HCMC (even if their sponsoring entity is in another province) there are no required changes to their current plan or additional steps necessary.

New guidelines were announced on August 31st regarding short term visits of less than 14 days. The new guidelines now allow (with strict guidelines) individuals to carry out specific meetings and tasks outside of their quarantine hotel. These guidelines are: 

“Any movement outside of the hotel must be arranged, approved, and overseen by Provincial centres for disease control and prevention (CDC). Further, short term travellers must still make a reservation at one of the designated quarantine hotels and are not allowed to travel freely during their stay in Vietnam. o As of today, after consultation with the Hanoi and HCMC centres for disease control and prevention, it remains uncertain whether the centres will approve all requests for meetings outside the quarantine hotel, what the criteria are for decision making, under which conditions the traveller may meet with others, and how long it will take to receive approvals. There is still much to finalize on the authorities’ side regarding how this will work on the ground and we are awaiting further clarification”. 

Pre-approval letter for visa on arrival is again available for all foreign experts, specialists, managers and technicians authorized to enter Vietnam. 

The visa exemption scheme remains suspended for all foreign nationals. Travellers need an immigration approval and a visa sponsored by their host company.

Visa renewal and work permit applications, processing and issuance for all foreign nationals has resumed. 

All authorized international arrivals must undergo a mandatory health check and be quarantined for 14 days in a designated hotel, resort or quarantine zone, at their own expense, with ongoing health monitoring tests during quarantine.

For foreign experts, investors, managers and diplomats staying less than 14 days the 14-day quarantine may be waived. However, all special entry processes and approvals apply.

 

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA):

European Union

EU countries have agreed on a coordinated approach to travel measures and developed common criteria for measuring risk. 

  • Using data provided weekly by member states, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will publish a weekly map of EU member states, broken down by regions as follows:
    • Green: if the 14-day notification rate is lower than 25 and the test positivity rate below 4%  
    • Orange: if the 14-day notification rate is lower than 50 but the test positivity rate is 4% or higher or, if the 14-day notification rate is between 25 and150 and the test positivity rate is below 4%  
    • Red: if the 14-day notification rate is 50 or higher and the test positivity rate is 4% or higher or if the 14-day notification rate is higher than 150  
    • Grey: if there is insufficient information or if the testing rate is lower than 300.
  • Travelers from other EU countries should not be refused entry but could be asked to submit passenger locator forms. 
  • Green areas: 
    • No restriction of free movement of persons can be applied. 
  • Orange and red areas: 
    • Restrictions to free movement of persons could be applied
    • Possible requirements for travellers: quarantine/self-isolation, COVID19 testing after arrival or prior to arrival
    • Measures should take into account the epidemiological situation in their own territory
    • Inform other affected EU countries 48 hours before applying measures.
  • There should be exceptions from any quarantine requirement for travellers with essential function or need while performing that function. 
  • Member states should inform the public at least 24 hours in advance of introducing any new measures.

Austria 

Entry to Austria without the need for a COVID-19 test or quarantine is now possible from the UK. The previous requirement for a COVID-19 test or quarantine was removed on 27 July 2020.

Entry to Austria without the need for a COVID-19 test or quarantine is also possible for UK nationals travelling from a country on the Austrian government’s “list of countries where COVID-19 is sufficiently controlled”, who have not travelled outside of these countries in the 10 days before arriving in Austria.

Entry is also permitted for residents of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Uruguay without a negative COVID-19 test or self quarantine.

The landing ban for flights from the following countries is lifted: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Iran, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine and the UK.

Travellers who are residents of the following countries or Austrian citizens, and have not visited any country not in this list in the previous 10 days, do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test or commit to quarantine:

  • Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic (except Prague), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (except Ile de France and ProvenceAlpes-Côte d’Azur), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal (except Lisbon and Norte), San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain (Canary Islands only), Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vatican City.

This applies only to people who are residents in the listed countries or Austrian citizens, who have not been in any country other than Austria or those European countries in the past ten days. 

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens arriving from a high-risk area are required to present a medical certificate proving a negative COVID-19 PCR test (from a test taken in the last 72 hours before arrival). If the traveller cannot get tested before entering Austria, they must be tested within 48 hours after arrival, and have to self-quarantine until the test results arrive. High-risk areas are:

  • Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China (Hubei province), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic (Prague), Ecuador, Egypt, France (Ile de France including Paris, and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur), India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal (Lisbon and Norte), Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain (except Canary Islands), Turkey, Ukraine and USA.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens arriving from a country in neither of the above lists are required to present a medical certificate proving a negative COVID-19 PCR test from a test taken in the last 72 hours before arrival or undergo a ten-day quarantine. 

Entry is prohibited for third-country nationals arriving from states outside the Schengen area. Exemptions apply. Third-country nationals travelling from inside the Schengen area have to carry a medical certificate proving a negative COVID-19 test result within the last 72 hours and are subject to a 10-day self-quarantine. 

Travellers transiting through Austria are required to complete a declaration and may not be permitted to stop over. 

Cross-border commuters from some neighbouring countries which have signed agreements with Austria are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement if carrying proof of employment. 

Austrian/EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their family members living in the same household, as well as holders of a D visa or a residence permit issued by Austria entering Austria by air from outside the Schengen area will be subject to a 14-day home quarantine, unless their immediate departure to another country (e.g. by car or train) is ensured or they provide a medical certificate confirming a negative molecular-biological SARS-CoV-2 test.

First-time residence permit applicants can submit further required documents by email or post, but should expect delays. D visa applications for applicants outside Austria are not possible until the relevant consulate has reopened. D visa holders may be able to enter Austria but should note that they have six months to collect their residence permit in Austria, from the date of the notification by the Austrian consulate that they can apply for a D visa. 

First-time residence permit applicants in Austria whose permission to stay in Austria has expired should be notified by the authority of the requirement to make an additional application under § 21 (3) of the Settlement and Residence Act. Residence permit renewal applications can be submitted by email or post to the relevant branch office. Delays should be expected. A personal appearance is not required until the authorities resume normal operating hours. Holders of work and residence permits who have applied for renewal before their current permit expires can continue to work during processing of the renewal application. 

Residence permits cannot currently be collected in person. Applicants should contact the authorities by telephone, email or post to arrange collection or delivery.

 

Bahrain

Effective 4 September, entry is restricted to Bahraini citizens, GCC citizens who do not require a visa, travellers eligible for visa on arrival, travellers with a valid eVisa, diplomats, military personnel, airline crew and holders of official, service or UN passports.

Visas on arrival are reintroduced for citizens of eligible nationalities.

All arrivals into Bahrain will be tested and are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Anyone showing symptoms or have visited Iran, Iraq or Lebanon in the last 14 days will be subject to further quarantine measures. Visa on arrival is suspended at all ports.

 

Belgium

The suspension of the requirement for travellers entering from red zones to undergo COVID-19 testing on arrival is extended until 15 November. However, depending on their answers to the self-assessment questionnaire attached to the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) they may be required to undergo 10-day quarantine. and take two COVID-19 PCR tests (one on arrival and one after nine days). 

Red zone countries include: 

All countries outside the EU and Schengen; 

Andorra, Austria 

Bulgaria

Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic

Denmark

France (Except French Guyana)

Georgia, Germany (Berlin, Bremen, Stuttgart, Darmstadt, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Fribourg, Tübingen, Upper Bavaria, Lower Bavaria, Upper Palatinate, Lower Franconia, Swabia, Hamburg, Giessen, Kassel, WeserEms, Münster, Detmold, Arnsberg, Koblenz, Trier, Saarland, Dresden, Upper Franconia, Middle Franconia, Brandenburg, Hanover, Lüneburg, Rheinhessen-Pfalz, Leipzig, Thuringia, Chemnitz), Finland (Helsinki-Uusimaa), France (French Guyana), Greece 

Hungary

Iceland, Ireland, Italy

Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg

Malta, Monaco

Netherlands, Norway (Oslo and Viken)

Poland, Portugal (except Azores and Madeira)

Romania

San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (Asturias, Basque Country, Navarre, La Rioja, Aragon, Madrid, Cantabria, Galicia, Castille and León, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Valencia, Murcia, Ceuta, Melilla; islands of El Hierro and Tenerife), Sweden (Stockholm, East Middle Sweden, Småland and the islands, South Sweden, West Sweden, North Middle Sweden), Switzerland.

Tunisia

United Kingdom (London; North West England; North-East England; Yorkshire and Humber; East Midlands; West Midlands; Wales; Southern Scotland; Eastern Scotland; West Central Scotland; Highlands and Islands; Northern Ireland; East of England; South East; Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Devon (South West)) 

Vatican.

Travellers arriving from green zones are not subject to quarantine or test. Green zones include all other zones in the EU, Schengen and the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.

The Belgian government no longer imposes any measures on arrivals from orange zones. All persons returning to Belgium, and all persons travelling through Belgium who are staying at least 48 hours, must complete and submit a Passenger Locator Form. People who have been physically separated in recent months because they come from different countries and who can provide proof of a lasting relationship but are not married will be able to cross the border.

Third-country nationals holding residence cards or long term visas issued by a member state are also permitted entry. Arrivals from outside the Schengen area must stay home for 7 days, monitoring their health and practicing social distancing.

Visa processing and issuance is currently suspended. Government ministries are working from home, leading to an expected delay in all processing.

Residence rights of non-EU citizens who are unable to travel to their countries will be extended if their residence permit is expired and no renewal was submitted because a repatriation to their home country was scheduled, if their short term C visa is expiring, or if the maximum 90 day period allowed under Schengen rules is expiring. Anyone in these situations is advised to visit their local town hall to present their travel insurance, passport and proof that they are unable to travel back to their country.

 

Bulgaria

Effective 30 July, entry is permitted for tourists from Ukraine, with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Effective 28 July, entry is permitted for tourists from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, is required. 

 

Czech Republic

Until 20 November, entry is permitted only for essential reasons. Entry for tourism or visiting friends is not permitted. Hotels are limited to business travellers, foreigners stranded in the country by restrictions on travel, and employees required for essential services as defined by the emergency law.

Entry is permitted from any country for urgent health, family, business and work reasons for up to 24 hours without completing a Public Health Passenger Locator Form prior to entry or undergoing a PCR test after entry.

The government has divided countries into low risk (green and orange) countries and high risk (red) countries.

Effective 16 November: Low-risk countries include

  • Australia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal (Azores and Madeira only), Singapore, South Korea, Spain (Canary Islands only), Thailand, Vatican. 

High-risk (red) countries include:

  • Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (except Azores, Madeira), Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (except Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
  • Foreign national employees/students travelling from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Iceland and Norway (orange countries) and from all red countries cannot enter the workplace / educational institute until they have submitted the result of a PCR test taken in the Czech Republic to their employer/institution.

All arrivals who have spent more than 12 hours in the last 14 days in red countries must submit an online form before entry and undergo a PCR test within 5 days after entry.

If they do not submit a negative result to the relevant hygiene station within 7 days of entry, they are subject to quarantine.Until the PCR test result is submitted or for the duration of the necessary quarantine measure, there is a free movement ban within the Czech Republic and an obligation to wear facemasks.

Alternatively, Czech citizens, EU citizens and third-country nationals with a long-term or permanent residence permit in the Czech Republic or another EU country can submit to the relevant hygiene station, on arrival, a negative PCR test result issued by another EU member state no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. This does not apply to: 

  • International transport workers
  • Citizens of the European Union and foreigners with long-term or permanent residence in the European Union, who are transiting via the Czech Republic for no more than 12 hours who travel to the Czech Republic for urgent health, family, business or work reasons for a period not exceeding 12 hours.
  • Citizens of the Czech Republic, European Union citizens and their family members with residency in the Czech Republic and foreign nationals with a permit to stay for 90 days issued by the Czech Republic, who stayed only in regions specifically marked in the list of green countries as part of a vacation with a tour operator or through a travel agency (in this case there is a free movement ban, and an obligation to wear facemasks, for ten days)
  • Cross-border workers, pupils and students who for the purpose of work performance or education on a regular basis at least once a week justifiably cross the state border with the Czech Republic from or to the neighbouring state.
  • Persons under 5 years of age.

Entry is permitted for Czech/EU/EEA/Swiss/UK/microstates citizens and third country citizens who are citizens of a low-risk third-country or who hold a residence permit issued by the Czech Republic or an EU member state or a low-risk country.

  • Third-country citizens resident in Czech Republic require a temporary, long term or permanent residence permit; a long-term visa; or a short-term visa issued after 11 May 2020. 
  • Citizens of third countries in a low-risk country require permission to enter the Czech Republic (visa-free travel; or a residence permit issued by another EU state; or a visa issued by Czech Republic or another EU member state); 
  • Third-country citizens resident in an EU member state require a long-term or permanent residence permit from an EU member state (a long-term or short term visa is not sufficient). 
  • Third-country citizens resident in a low-risk third country require BOTH a: 
    • long-term or permanent residence permit from a green third country (a long-term or short-term visa is not sufficient); 
    • AND permission to enter the Czech Republic (visa-free travel; or a residence permit issued by another EU state; or a visa issued by Czech Republic or another EU member state). 

Entry is suspended for third-country citizens and residents of red countries, with the exception of: 

  • Holders of a long-term or permanent residence permit issued by a low-risk country
  • Holders of a valid long-term visa, long-term, temporary or permanent residence permit issued by the Czech Republic
  • Holders of a short-stay visa by the Czech Republic after 11 May 2020
  • Foreigners with a long-term or permanent residency permit in the European Union
  • Family members of citizens of the Czech Republic or of citizens of the EU resident in the Czech Republic
  • Entry in the interest of the Czech Republic
  • International transport workers
  • Accredited members of diplomatic missions in the Czech Republic, including private service members, holders of diplomatic passports travelling to the Czech Republic for up to 14 days for service purposes and official of international organisations registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs o Urgent emergency situations
  • Those with a proven long-term relationship with an EU citizen who has a certificate of temporary residence or permanent residence permit issued by the Czech Republic. To obtain an authorisation, a declaration of honour of partnership must be downloaded.

Foreign nationals applying for a residence permit for economic or educational activity must submit a document guaranteeing the above obligations of the sponsoring entity.

  • Applications for visas and temporary and permanent stays are only to be accepted at consular posts in low-risk countries, with the following exceptions: 
    • Short-stay visas for the purpose of seasonal employment or for the purpose of employment if the foreigner is employed in food production, health care or social services, or short-stay visas for the purpose of employment, if they are filed in Ukraine by Ukrainian nationals, provided they do not exceed the maximum number of such applications stipulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs upon discussion with the Ministry of Health, 
    • Short-stay visas for scientific, key and highly qualified staff, provided that the conditions set out in the Key and Scientific Staff Programme and the Highly Qualified Staff Programme, and critical infrastructure service staff are met, 
    • Family members of citizens of the Czech Republic or of citizens of the EU resident in the Czech Republic; entry in the interest of the Czech Republic; international transport workers; accredited members of diplomatic missions in the Czech Republic, including private service members, holders of diplomatic passports travelling to the Czech Republic for up to 14 days for service purposes and official of international organisations registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; or urgent emergency situations; 
    • long-term visas for the purpose of seasonal employment; 
    • Extraordinary work visas; 
    • Temporary residence, if they are submitted by foreigners included in government programmes in order to achieve an economic or other significant benefit for the Czech Republic; 
    • Permanent residence, if they are submitted by foreigners included in the government program according to Government Resolution No. 1014/2014; 
    • A blue card, long-term residence permit for the purpose of scientific research and applications for residence permits for over 90 days for the spouses and minor children of scientific workers or persons applying for a blue card; 
    • Long-term visas and long-term residency permits for the purpose of study; 
    • Long-term or permanent residence permits for the purpose of joint family cohabitation in the country and applications for long-term visas for family purposes, in the case of spouses or minor children of a foreigner with a long term or permanent residence permit in the Czech Republic; 
    • Long-term visas for the purpose of picking up a residence permit in the Czech Republic; 
    • Long-term visas for the purpose of culture, sports or a working holiday; 
    • Residency permit, if the entry of these foreigners is in the interest of the Czech Republic.  

Immigration

Individuals are able to exit the country if they have received government permission based on “reasonable grounds”. On re-entry, they must either present a negative PCR test certificate (tests may be undergone on Czech territory) followed by free movement limitations for 14 days or undergo “necessary quarantine measures” as ordered by the regional hygiene station. 

 

Denmark 

Border checks are in place at all entry points. If you are not a Danish national and/or resident in Denmark, the rules on entry into Denmark depend on whether you are arriving from an ‘open’ country or a ‘banned’ country. A country’s status can change depending on its infection rate for COVID-19. Only travellers who can prove they have a ‘worthy purpose’ will be allowed to enter Denmark or the Faroe Island

The list of banned countries are: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Germany (including Schleswig Holstein), Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, parts of Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, all of Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and most third countries (except those listed below as open countries).

The list of high-risk countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

The list of open countries includes the remaining EU and Schengen countries and European microstates, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.

To be “open”, a country must have fewer than 20 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants per week.

For travellers from “banned countries”, entry will be suspended unless they have a worthy purpose. Residents of Norway, Schleswig Holstein in Germany, or Scania, Halland or Blekinge in Sweden may enter Denmark by simply producing proof of residence. If the region does not meet the above criteria, it will be mandatory to present a negative test performed no later than 72 hours before entry into Denmark.

All SIRI’s branch offices (in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Aabenraa and Bornholm) have reopened. The online booking system has reopened and it is now possible to book appointments online. Longer processing times can be expected in all cases (30-45 days for initial cases and 90-100 days for extensions). 

Employers must inform SIRI if their assignees’ employment terms have changed, regardless of the reason (including government-approved reduced time/salary packages). This also applies if the salary (including a possible reduction) still meets minimum salary requirements. The minimum salary threshold overrules collective agreements and must be met regardless of any support package. 

The immigration Service’s Citizen Service is open, but it is only possible to get personal service if you book an appointment in advance. You can book an appointment for the following types of service: 

  • Biometric features for residence permit o New passport o Re-entry permit o Short term visa extension 
  • Laissez-passer (pick up). 

The Immigration Service will continue to process all types of cases to the extent possible. Certain parts of the case processing can be delayed or limited because it among other things was not possible to appear in person at the Citizen Service for a limited period of time.

Immigration Concessions

The deadline for recording of biometric features for residence permit applications has been extended until 31 October 2020. The Danish Immigration Service will begin processing of applications without biometrics but will not reach a final decision until biometrics have been recorded. SIRI will contact applicants for biometric appointments. Biometric recording is possible in some countries outside Denmark. 

 

Residence permit holders who cannot enter Denmark within the first 6 months of their residence permit’s validity due to coronavirus measures can apply for dispensation from their residence permit lapsing. Residence permit or short-stay visa holders whose status has expired but cannot leave Denmark on time due to coronavirus measures will not be penalised for late departure. 

 

International House in Copenhagen will issue CPR numbers for Copenhagen-based assignees on the basis of an application form and the applicant’s power of attorney and will send health cards directly to assignees’ homes. In-country biometrics recording not will not be possible, but work permit applications will still be processed.

 

Egypt 

Effective 15 August, certain foreign nationals arriving at some airports will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued at most 72 hours before arrival.

Arab and foreign tourists flying to the resort cities of Sharm Al Sheikh, Taba, Bhurghada, Marsa Allam and Matruh are exempt from the test requirement but are banned from travelling to other parts of Egypt, 

The suspension of international flights and of entry for foreign nationals will be gradually lifted from 1 July. 

Immigration Restrictions: 

The Work Permits Authority will resume operations from 9 July.However, the Immigration Authority, Civil Authority and Notary Public are closed.

 

Finland

A 10-day period of self-isolation is recommended for travellers arriving in Finland from a higher incidence country. 

  • Travellers can shorten their self-isolation period at their discretion if they take two voluntary COVID-19 tests. It is recommended to take the first test in the country of origin no more than 72 hours prior to travel. Alternatively, the first test can be taken at the airport on arrival , but the traveller may have to queue for several hours for this and may have to wait days for the result. 
  • The second test should be taken no sooner than 72 hours after arrival. 
  • If a traveller is staying in Finland for less than 72 hours, they do not need to self-isolate or take a second test

Unrestricted entry is permitted from countries with a COVID-19 infection rate of up to 25 per 100,000 population in the previous 14 days (green category).

Unrestricted entry (‘green’) is possible from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and the Vatican.

Restricted entry (Category 1: ‘red’) is in force fromAndorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Self-isolation for 10 days upon arrival from these countries is recommended. 

Restricted entry (Category 2: ‘grey’) is in force from all other countries. Self-isolation for 10 days upon arrival from these countries is recommended.

Category breakdown:

Entry is permitted from restriction category 1 countries for: 

  • Return to Finland:  Finnish nationals and their family members;  EU/Schengen national residents of Finland and their family members,  Third-country nationals resident in Finland with a residence permit. 
  • Return to or through other EU or Schengen countries:  EU/Schengen nationals and their family members;  Third-country nationals resident in another EU or Schengen country. 
  • Work-related or essential travel, including that based on employment or assignment.
  • Traffic across border crossing points between Finland and Sweden and between Finland and Norway will be permitted between local border communities. 

Entry is permitted from restriction category 2 countries for:

  • Return to Finland:  Finnish nationals and their family members; EU/Schengen national residents of Finland and their family members,  Third-country nationals resident in Finland with a residence permit. 

Return to or through other EU or Schengen countries:  

  • EU/Schengen nationals and their family members;  Third-country nationals resident in another EU or Schengen country. 
  • Essential reasons.

The Finnish government has again started to grant first residence permits for applications submitted from abroad that become valid on the day the application is decided. However, for the time being, consulates cannot hand over residence permit cards as usual. New residence permit applications can be prepared, but not fully submitted if the applicant is still abroad. 

The deadline for residence permit applicants to prove their identity at a Finnish consulate or service point has been extended until 31 December. Normally, it is necessary to visit a service point or Finnish mission within three months of application submission. The police may extend the validity of a visa in the event that flight cancellations, for example, prevent the visa holder from leaving Finland before their visa expires.

 

France

France shall begin a national lock down for at least 4 weeks on Friday, October 30th. People will require a certificate to move around. Non-essential businesses, restaurants and bars will be closed. Schools and workplaces will remain open, and care homes visits will be allowed. However people will only be allowed outside to go “to work, to go to a medical appointment, to care for a relative, to shop for essential goods.

Current entry restrictions that may be subject to change:

Travellers arriving in France from the UK, European Area, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay are no longer required to self-isolate, or to demonstrate their travel is essential.

Arrivals by sea and air routes will need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with Covid19 and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. This is available in English on the site of the French Embassy London.

Arrivals from countries other than those specified above will still need to complete an international travel certificate, which certifies that your journey is essential and confirms that you have not been suffering from a set of listed symptoms associated with Covid-19 or in contact with confirmed cases in the 14 days prior to travel. 

Please use the attached link for further advice:https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france/entry-requirements.

Effective 18 August, a new version of the certificate is available which includes new categories of travellers:

  • Students with long-term visa (VLS)
  • Short-term visa (VCS) in order to study or to do an internship, or coming for less than 90 days.
  • Teacher or researcher employed or invited by a French educational institution or research lab.

On the 13th August, it was announced that COVID-19 testing is mandatory for travellers aged 11 years or older arriving from an additional 16 high-risk countries. The affected countries are: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, India, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Serbia, South Africa, Turkey, UAE and USA.

Travellers from Bahrain, Panama, UAE and USA must be tested in their country of origin no more than 72 hours before travelling, and negative test results must be presented at the airport, or they will be denied boarding.

Entry is permitted without COVID-19 restrictions for travellers arriving from Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Budget airlines are expected to resume operations in and out of France from June 15, albeit on a limited schedule. Strict measures will be in place, including the mandatory requirement for all passengers to wear masks and there will be no food served.

Travellers arriving by air from at risk countries will be systematically tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, at no cost.

All previous entry restrictions on Schengen countries have now been lifted. Travellers from EU member states, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican are now able to enter France without needing to present an international travel certificate. These arrivals will also not need to complete a quarantine period. However, arrivals from Spain and the UK will still need to complete a 14 day quarantine upon arrival.

Entry into France from all other countries remains suspended.

Visa issuance is suspended until further notice, this includes all visa requests such as, Schengen short-stay visas, long-stay visas for France, and visas for overseas France. It also applies to those applications that have already made appointments.

The issuance of all visas is currently suspended. Long stay visas, residence permits, provisional residence permits (authorisation provisoire de sejour) and receipts for residence permit applications with an expiry date between the 16th of March and the 15th of May, are extended by a further 90 days from their expiration date, as previously announced, totalling an extension of 180 days.

Similarly, long-stay visas, residence permits, provisional residence permits and receipts for residence permit applications that expire between 16 May and 15 June are also extended by 180 days from their expiry date.

The Paris Prefecture of Police have created a web portal that enables foreign nationals to apply for postal delivery of their residence permits, if they were expected to be delivered during the lockdown.

Additionally, holders of short stay visas that are due to expire and who cannot return to their home country, in case of justified urgency, will be permitted an extension of up to 90 days or a provisional residence permit. These people are asked to contact the prefecture in their area of residence to receive this.

All schools have now reopened. However, many top hotels are expected to remain closed due to a low demand.

 

Germany 

Travellers to Germany who have been in a risk area in the previous 10 days are required to register online prior to entry and present proof of this registration on entry.

Germany’s four week national lock down will commence on Monday 2nd November. Germany’s non-essential businesses will also close and individuals are being advised to stay at home, avoid travel and to keep their contacts to a minimum.  

Travel from increased risk areas

Travellers to Germany who have been in a risk area in the 10 days prior to entry must:

  • Register online prior to entry and present proof of this registration on entry
  • Self-isolate at home for 10 days.

Depending on the regulations of the Länder, the self-isolation may end after 5 days if a test for Coronavirus carried out on the fifth day after entry to Germany or later is negative.

The obligation to self-isolate at home does not apply in the case of transit through Germany. In this case, however, travellers are obliged to leave Germany immediately. The specific regulations of the Länder apply.

Travellers returning to Germany will be offered free COVID-19 tests up to 72 hours after entry. 

  • Those returning from risk countries will be tested at the airport, while those returning from non-risk countries will be offered an optional test from their local health authority. 
  • Persons who do not want to get tested or those who test positive will be obliged to go through two weeks of mandatory quarantine. 

Before traveling to Germany one should double check on the website of the competent federal state of entry regarding the specific regulations there. If the state of entry is not the destination (residence) state at the same time, then the traveller should refer to the website of the destination.

At risk countries are as follows:

  • Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria (Targovishte), Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia (Grad, Zagreb and Medimurska), Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Finland (Ostrobothnia, Uusimaa), France (all mainland France and Martinique), Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece (Central Greece), Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary (Veszprem), India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland (Mid-West, South-West, Mid-East, West and Midlands), Israel, Italy (Campania and Liguria), Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic, North Korea), Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania (Kaunas), Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands and constituent countries), Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland (Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Małopolskie, Podlaski, Pomorskie and Świętokrzyskie), Portugal (Norte), Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia (Jugovzhodna Slovenija, Pomurska and Podravska), Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands (not the Canary Islands), Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden (Jämtland, Örebro, Uppsala, Stockholm), Switzerland (Fribourg, Jura, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Uri, Zurich und Zug), Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor Leste (East Timor), Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenista, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (East Midlands and West Midlands), USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Entry is permitted for travellers arriving from EU member states, Schengenassociated states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland), the United Kingdom, and the following non-EU countries: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay.

Entry restrictions do not apply to: 

  • German citizens
  • EU citizens and nationals of the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and their immediate family members (spouse, unmarried minor children, parents of minors)
  • Third-country nationals holding residence permits or long-term visas for an EU member state or a Schengen country, and their immediate family members.

Hotels and other accommodation providers may only provide accommodation to people whose travel is essential, and not for tourism purposes. 

  • Visas for tourism purposes will only be issued in exceptional cases. 
  • The Länder are responsible for implementing this decision. Whether a specific journey is possible thus depends on the rules of the destination Land.

Additionally, foreign specialists and highly qualified employees, whose employment is necessary from an economic standpoint and whose work cannot be postponed or completed abroad, are permitted entry regardless of their country of origin.

Some immigration offices in a number of cities have reopened, however they are operating with limited services and by appointment only. Alien offices in Berlin are also operating by appointment only. Immigration offices in other cities are closed or offering only limited or emergency services.

 

Hungary

Hungary has temporarily close its borders to foreign nationals.

The following travellers are exempt from this:

Persons with permanent residence cards (ÁTK, á llandó tartózkodási kártya). Persons holding a residence permit entitling them to stay more than 90 day.

Athletes, sports experts, sports associations’ delegated/assigned persons returning from foreign sporting events.

Hungarian citizens and their non-Hungarian citizen relatives.

Until 1 December, entry is permitted without quarantine for Hungarian, Czech, Polish and Slovak citizens travelling from Czech Republic, Poland or Slovakia (the Visegrad countries) who had already booked trips to Hungary for October prior to 7 October, if they provide a negative COVID-19 test result obtained less than 5 days previously.

Individuals entering Hungary from abroad (including Hungarian citizens) are required to self-quarantine for 10 days. Note that the following individuals will be allowed to leave self-quarantine before the end of the 10-day period if they are able to produce two negative test results taken two days apart after arrival in Hungary: 

  • Hungarian citizens. 
  • Persons who are employees or officers of foreign companies who are in business relations with a Hungarian company or are employees or officers of such a Hungarian company may enter Hungary.

Transit through Hungary within 24 hours via designated routes is possible. Transiting individuals may only stop at designated resting points.

Entry is permitted without quarantine for citizens of EU and EEA member states (not including the UK) arriving from any country. Entry is suspended for all other foreign nationals except: 

  • Permanent residence card holders who are family members of Hungarian citizens; 
  • EU/EEA citizens holding a permanent residence card (all subject to a 10-day quarantine). 
  • Foreign nationals arriving from Japan or South Korea for intracompany business trips. 
  • Serbian nationals can enter Hungary based on a reciprocity agreement. 
  • Ukrainian nationals can enter Hungary for up to 24 hours and up to 30km from the border. o Non-EU/EEA residents of Hungary who wish to return to Hungary but do not have a Hungarian family member, and non-EU/EEA residents of another EU/EEA country may make a special request to re-enter Hungary via an online portal provided by the Hungarian police. Documents need to be attached to the request to prove a court appointment, business travel, medical treatment, school exam, travel connected to transportation or the funeral of a close family member. 
  • Foreign nationals transiting through the airport must have a negative COVID19 certificate, no more than four days old, and signed by a medical professional (from any country). 

Passengers arriving at Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport (except business travellers from South Korea or Japan) will undergo a compulsory medical test upon arrival. Depending on the test’s result, they may be taken to hospital quarantine or ordered to stay in home quarantine for 14 days. 

Consular application submission and processing are suspended. 

Hungary has introduced rules to limit people’s social interaction with those outside their household. The police have powers to fine people breaking the rules.

Under these rules, people should stay at home as much as possible. The rules allow individuals to leave home only for essential purposes, for example work, shopping for essential products, banking and postal services, and to help people unable to provide for themselves. Between 09.00 and 12.00 each day, only people over 65 are permitted to shop in food stores, personal hygiene stores, markets and pharmacies. All restaurants must now offer takeaway services only.

Immigration

All immigration offices are closed and no appointments can currently be booked for in-person application submission. 

Driving licences and other official documents that are due to expire during the current state of emergency are automatically extended until 60 days after the end of the state of emergency. This includes documents whose validity was extended during the previous state of emergency. 

Residence permits that expire during the state of emergency are extended until 30 days after the end of the state of emergency. Residence permits and EU registration cards can be extended via a streamlined online process that reduces personal contact – this is recommended.

 

Italy

Travel restrictions have been extended until 13 November, and travellers arriving from Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK are also required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test.  

List A Countries – Are permitted with no limitations.

  • San Marino
  • Vatican City

List B Countries – Are permitted to enter for any reason and without self quarantine, unless the traveller has been to any locations over the last 14 days in list C,D,E or F. 

  • EU member states except Croatia, France (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Corsica, Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France, New Aquitaine, Occitane, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), Greece, Malta, Spain and Romania; Schengen states; the UK, Andorra and Monaco, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Gibraltar, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, British bases on the island of Cyprus, Azores and Madeira, Spanish North Africa
  • Entry is permitted from Belgium, Croatia, France (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Corsica, Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France, New Aquitaine, Occitane, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), Greece, Malta, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom with a molecular or antigenic COVID-19 swab test.
    • The test may be carried out within 72 hours prior to arrival; or upon arrival at the port of entry; or within 48 hours of arrival at the company local health reference, in which case they must self-isolate while waiting to take the test.

List C Countries – Are permitted entry unless the traveller has travelled to any locations in list D, E or F in the last 14 days. 

  • Romania

List D CountriesAre permitted entry unless the traveller has travelled to any locations in list  E or F in the last 14 days.

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

List E Countries – Entry is permitted from List E countries (the rest of the world) only for specific, essential purposes (or for any reason for Italian/EU/Schengen citizens and residents and their family members). 14-day self-quarantine is required.

  • Rest of the world

List F Countries – Entry is suspended from List F countries (Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Peru and Serbia) with the exception of EU citizens (including Italian citizens) and their family members, and transport crew members and transport staff, diplomatic and military officers and agents. 14-day self-quarantine is required.

Public offices throughout Italy remain closed to the public. Employers and assignees in Italy should be prepared for delays in the processing of immigration and work authorisation applications.

Immigration

Public offices throughout Italy remain closed to the public. Employers and assignees in Italy should be prepared for delays in the processing of immigration and work authorisation applications. 

All residence permits, work permits, family permits, study permits, entry visas, titles of travel with an expiration date between 23 February 2020 and 15 June 2020 were extended until 31 August 2020. 

Seasonal permits expiring between 23 February 2020 and 31 May 2020 will be extended until 31 December 2020. 

Deadlines for residence permit application and issuance are suspended for 30 days. Normally, initial residence permit applications must be submitted within 8 working days of arrival in Italy and renewal applications within 60 days of permit expiry.

 

The Republic of Ireland

Ireland will begin high level lockdown for 6 weeks as of midnight on Wednesday 21st October.

Irish borders remain open but all persons arriving in Ireland are required to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine.Travellers from green regions or those arriving from Northern Ireland are excepted from this rule.Also exempted are:

  1. International Transport Workers, including workers in aviation, maritime and road haulage sectors
  2. Travellers with an essential function or need as set out in paragraph 19 of the EU Council Recommendation, including: 
  • Passengers travelling for the purposes of an imperative business reason, only while carrying out that essential function;
  • Passengers arriving for imperative family reasons, only while pursuing that imperative reason.
  • Children aged 6 or under
  • Passengers arriving from an “orange” region, who have received a negative/’not detected’ PCR test result during the three days before arriving in Ireland. Passengers are requested to have supporting evidence of the negative test in their possession. 

Until further notice, passengers arriving into Ireland from Denmark are requested to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival, including those travelling for an essential purpose.

The Department of Justice and Equality has recommenced issuing decisions on certain long-stay visas in certain categories, including tertiary study, employment, and family reunion. 

The issuance of short-stay visas for non-emergency/priority travel remains suspended.

The list of emergency/priority exemptions now includes: 

  • Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals
  • Immediate family members of Irish citizens (who are returning to their ordinary place of residence in Ireland)
  • Persons legally resident in the State
  • Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive
  • Transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary
  • Frontier workers
  • Seasonal workers in agriculture
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well functioning of these organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions
  • Passengers in transit
  • Passengers travelling for critical family reasons
  • Seafarers
  • Persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons
  • Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study
  • Highly qualified third-country workers if their employment is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad.

The online Registration Renewal System for immigration registration has been extended to all Dublin-based non-EEA nationals seeking to renew their immigration registration, who have less than 30 days left on their permission. 

  • The renewal registration process involves completing an online form, uploading supporting documents, paying a fee and then submitting the passport and current IRP Card via registered post to ISD Burgh Quay. No attendance at Burgh Quay is required. 

Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has temporarily stopped accepting visa applications. Online applications are available as usual, but applications will not be processed, apart from emergency visas for essential workers, and visas for immediate family members of Irish citizens, legal residents and EU citizens. Any application made online will remain valid until restrictions are lifted. 

Visa-required nationals, currently outside Ireland, with an expired IRP card are required to apply for an entry visa through their local consulate / VFS Global office.

Current valid permissions to reside in Ireland which are due to expire between 20 September 2020 and 20 January 2021 are automatically renewed until 20 January 2021. 

  • Holders of a valid permission should ensure they renew their registration in the normal way as soon as possible, and by 20 January 2021 at the latest. 
  • This is the fifth, the longest, and expected to be the final, extension of permissions implemented since the onset of the pandemic. 
  • A new IRP or permission letter will not be issued for this automatic renewal. 
  • The renewal of permission is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions attach. 
  • Any permission that was renewed by previous notices is automatically renewed by this notice.

Employees can present their previous Irish Residence Permit (IRP) Card and a copy of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) notice to their employers to show that they can continue to work.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (‘DBEI’) are still accepting and processing employment permit applications and related applications (Stamp 4, Trusted Partner and Reviews) and are issuing permits electronically, once granted. Expired employment permits do not need to be sent back to DBEI within four weeks of expiry during the COVID-19 emergency period.

Atypical Work Scheme (AWS) applications can now be submitted electronically via the Immigration Online Portal.

  • Applications and EFT payment of application fees must be submitted via the new online portal. 
  • The online application process includes important new documentation requirements. 
  • Requests for the re-issue of a letter of permission that has expired prior to use due to COVID-19 travel restrictions should continue to be submitted by email, including proof of postal return of any hard copy letter of approval.

If anyone holding an AWS is unable to travel during the validity period of their decision letter, this letter should be returned to ISD urgently for an amended letter of approval to be issued once revised travel plans have been made and ISD notified. 

Anyone holding an AWS who had to leave Ireland early because of travel restrictions/work shut down and needs to return once restrictions are lifted is advised to return their currently valid letter of approval to ISD. An amended letter will be issued once INIS has been notified of revised travel plans and confirmation from the Irish based host regarding the ceasing of operations and evidence of departure.

 

Kenya

All arrivals must present a negative COVID-19 test result and are subject to a mandatory 14 day quarantine at their own expense, unless they are arriving from countries listed here.

Effective immediately, the Kenyan government has expanded to 130 its list of countries from where travellers are exempt from quarantine. 

Scheduled commercial passenger flights are now permitted with the following restrictions:         

  • Passengers entering Kenya are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result produced not more than 96 hours before travel. 
  • There is no mandatory quarantine for arriving passengers unless they are symptomatic. 
  • Passenger Locator Cards (PLC, provided both on the flight and at the airport terminal) will be used to track passengers entering Kenya.
  • Passengers may be subject to quarantine restrictions if any passengers within two rows of their seat appear symptomatic. 
  • Passengers departing Kenya should follow COVID-19 requirements of the destination country. There is no COVID-19 test requirement to depart Kenya. 
  • At the airport, temperature checks will help identify passengers with a body temperature of 37.5°C (99.5°F) or higher. Any passenger with an elevated body temperature shall be referred for secondary assessment by Port Health staff present at the airport who will handle the passenger in accordance with public health guidelines. If a passenger is confirmed to have a fever, they will not be allowed to board their flight. 
  • Evidence of a flight is sufficient to exempt from any penalty drivers who are collecting or depositing passengers from flights arriving after curfew hours. 

The Directorate of Immigration (DIS) has partially resumed operations and has begun processing applications for permits, passes and citizenship, visitor visa extensions and multiple journey visas. The processing of these applications is expected to take an additional 2-3 weeks than normal. All pending applications are currently under review. Permit or pass issuance notification will suffice as proof of authorization to work. Endorsement and foreigner registration will be completed once full operations return.

Foreign nationals who have fallen out of status, or are about to, are advised to apply for a visa pending the renewal of their permits or passes, multiple visa extensions are possible to apply for. Anyone who holds a permit that is due to expire is able to continue work and remain in Kenya during this time without penalty. Online applications must be submitted prior to the expiration date. There will also be a drop box provided for hard copy applications to be submitted.

The Kenya-Uganda land border has been closed to all pedestrians and vehicles, with the exception of cargo trucks. 

 

Lithuania

Effective 26 October: 

Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Norway have been removed from the list of affected countries. All travellers who arrive from, or have travelled through, countries on the list of affected countries are subject to 14-day self-isolation.

Self-isolation is not required for:  Citizens and residents of Poland arriving from Poland for work, studies, agricultural activities or health care, as well as Lithuanian residents returning from visiting family graves in Poland;  Travellers arriving from Estonia or Latvia.

As of September 14th, the incidence rate threshold used for establishing the list of affected countries has been raised to 25 cases per 100,000 population in the last 14 days. No isolation is required for arrivals from Estonia and Latvia.

The list of affected countries has been updated. 

The following have been removed from the list of affected countries: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Gambia, Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Sweden.

All travellers who arrive from, or have travelled through, countries on this list are subject to 14-day self-isolation. Non-resident foreign nationals must present a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test obtained within 72 hours prior to entry. The test is not mandatory for Lithuanian citizens and resident foreign nationals. 

All arrivals may shorten the self-isolation period by taking a coronavirus test no earlier than after 8 days. In the case of a negative result, the self-isolation period can be shortened to 10 days.

Airport transit is permitted without testing or self-isolation.

All travellers arriving in Lithuania from abroad by air, sea or land are required to register online with the National Public Health Centre (NPHC) and present the QR code they receive on boarding their plane, ferry, bus or train.

 

Luxembourg

Effective 21 August 2020, individuals seeking to enter Luxembourg by air, whose travel does not originate from an EU member country or one of the countries exempted by the European Union (Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay), must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, administered less than 72 hours (previously 48 hours) before departure, at the time of boarding.

Those seeking to enter Luxembourg by air, whose travel does not originate from an EU member country or one of the countries exempted by the European Union (Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay), must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, administered less than 48 hours before departure, at the time of boarding. 

Entry is suspended for third country nationals, with the exception of EU, Schengen and UK citizens and their families in order for them to return to their place of residence. Exemptions will also be made for long-term residents, health professionals, cross-border workers from France Belgium and Germany, diplomats and employees of international organisations, transit passengers, and those travelling for urgent and justified family reasons. 

Exemptions can also be made for highly qualified third country nationals if their work is economically necessary and cannot be postponed or completed abroad. An express request must be sent by email (service.visas@mae.etat.lu) to the Passport, Visa and Legalization Office, in order to obtain a specific certificate to be permitted entry.

The Immigration Directorate is not accepting manual applications or any document submissions, with all reception desks closed. Appointments can only be made for emergency situations.

Short and long-stay visas, visa-free stays, temporary, permanent and other residence permits will have their validity extended for the duration of the state of crisis.

 

Morocco

From 14 July, entry is permitted by sea and air for Moroccan citizens and foreign residents of Morocco, as well as their families. Travellers must present a negative PCR test result taken less than 48 hours prior to departure and a serological test when boarding.

There are now chartered flights available with both Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia, as well as dedicated ferries departing from Genoa and Sète. Travelling to Morocco on these chartered flights and ferries is permitted for Moroccan citizens of any status, and foreign nationals holding Moroccan residence permits who are stranded abroad, and their families.

  • Passengers are required to present both a (negative) PCR virus test and an antibody test taken within less than 48 hours of the flight before boarding the planes (children under 11 don’t have to take the tests. 
  • Passengers may undergo a clinical exam upon arrival in case any symptom is suspected. 
  • Arriving travelers will have to remain at home for 7 days before taking another PCR test and getting a negative result. They will have to download, print and sign a sworn statement assuring that they’ll do so; the document can be downloaded via the Waiqaytna app. 

Leaving Morocco on these chartered flights and ferries is permitted for Moroccan citizens residing abroad, or with dual citizenship, and foreign citizens (with or without a Moroccan residence permit) stranded in Morocco.

  • Moroccan students recently admitted to foreign universities, Moroccan citizens living abroad with a type D long-stay visa, Moroccans seeking medical treatment abroad and people benefitting from a family reunion visa must obtain exceptional authorization in order to leave the country.
  • No test is required to leave the country. 

Employers are able to send a written request for work permit renewals to the Ministry of Labour and Professional Integration (Directorate of Employment). These must be signed and stamped by the employer and signed by the employee, a copy of the employment agreement, signed and stamped, must also be provided.

 

Nigeria

International flights will gradually resume as of August 29th at Abuja and Lagos airports. 

The Visa Application Centre in Riyadh is now accepting applications for National ID cards. Visitors and migrants with permits that expired outside of Nigeria on or after 20 March are permitted entry. The holder of any expired permits or their dependents should renew these within 30 days of arrival.

International flights into and out of Nigeria are currently suspended. Issuance of visas on arrival and temporary work permits is also suspended. 

Arrivals into Nigeria from any country must:

  • Test negative for COVID-19 in their departure country within 2 weeks prior to departure and ideally no less than 5 days before boarding
  • Complete a Health Declaration/Self-Reporting form and a Sample Collection Time Allocation from on board the flight
  • Complete a health screening on arrival
  • Self isolate for at least 14 days at home, passports will be retained until after the quarantine period is completed
  • Attend an arranged appointment within 72 hours of arrival at the Sample Collection centre in Lagos or Ajuba for a second COVID-19 test
  • Remain in Lagos or Ajuba in quarantine until their repeat test comes back negative and they have provided public health officials with their contact details
  • Complete an exit interview and collect passports

 

The Netherlands

Entry is permitted for business visitors from non-EEA countries to which the entry ban applies, whose visits make an important contribution to the Dutch business community, if all the following conditions are met: o The business visitor has an invitation for a confirmed appointment with or visit to a company registered in the Netherlands or from the Netherlands

The visit is urgent and it is necessary that the appointment takes place in person; The visit meets one of the following 3 requirements:  

The visit involves a potential direct foreign investment in the Netherlands of a significant size:  the creation of at least 5 jobs, or  an investment of at least €500,000.-.  

The visit involves a potential direct foreign investment in the Netherlands that contributes to  the strengthening of the Dutch innovation capacity, or  the sustainability of the Dutch economy, or  the digitalisation of the Dutch economy.  

The visit is of significant economic importance for a specific organisation located in the Netherlands:  This organisation must have at least 10 full time employees and/or an annual turnover of 2 million.  The importance of the visit becomes apparent, for example, when the visit is essential for the continuation of the daily functionality and/or preservation and/or creation of jobs or the preservation and/or growth of the turnover of the company

International arrivals from outside the EU, UK and the four non-EU Schengen countries remain subject to entry checks to prevent non-essential travel. There are some exempted countries, which can be found on the Government of the Netherlands website. UK and EU nationals will be able to enter the Netherlands from outside the EU, the four other Schengen countries or the UK but will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. Further information on travelling to the Netherlands from abroad is available from the Government of the Netherlands.

If you are travelling via Belgium or France, check FCDO Travel Advice for those countries.

Quarantine Requirements

The Dutch Government has a colour-coded system of high-risk (orange) and lower risk (yellow) countries and regions.

Arrivals from areas with orange travel advice should undergo a 10-day self quarantine.

Currently, this applies to:  

  • Aruba
  • Austria (Innsbruck and Vienna)
  • Belgium (Antwerp and Brussels-Capital Region, provinces of Liège and Walloon Brabant)  
  • Bonaire
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark (city of Copenhagen, Faaborg-Midtfyn and Slagelse)
  • France (Paris and the départements of Bouches-du-Rhône, SeineSaint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-et-Marne, Essonne, Val-d’Oise, Yvelines, Sarthe, Rhône, Gironde, Haute-Garonne, Gard, Var, Vaucluse, Hérault, Alpes-Maritimes, Loiret, Côte-d’Or, SeineMaritime, Nord, Corse-du-Sud, Haute Corse, l’Ain, Ille-et-Vilaine, Isère, Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Pas de Calais, Puy de Dôme, Pyrénées Atlantiques, Pyrénées Orientales, Tarn-et-Garonne, Aveyron, Bas-Rhin, Haute-Marne, Indre et Loire, Landes, Marne, Meurthe et Moselle, Seine Maritime, Tarn, Vienne, Ariège, Aube, Charente, Doubs, Gers, Haute Loire, Haues-Pyrénées, Haute Vienne, Oise, Somme and Saône et Loire)
  • Greece (all Greek islands only)
  • Hungary (Budapest)
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Portugal (Area Metropolitana de Lisboa and Leziria do Tejo)
  • Romania
  • Sint Maarten
  • Spain
  • Switzerland (cantons of Geneve, Freiburg and Vaud)
  • Any other country outside the EU, the Schengen area and the UK other than Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Travellers should self-quarantine even if they were tested before arrival with a negative result. This also applies if they were tested immediately after arriving in the Netherlands, at Schiphol Airport for instance, and the test result was negative. 

Certain travellers are exempt from self-quarantine unless showing symptoms: 

  • Transit passengers who are travelling via the Netherlands and do not leave the airport’s international transit zone
  • People who have travelled through a region to which the self-quarantine advice applies, in a private vehicle, without stopping for any amount of time, even just for fuel
  • Seafarers with a seaman’s record book (apart from those on commercial yachts and pleasure craft) o people with compelling reasons to visit their family in the Netherlands. This is only possible in exceptional cases, such as visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral. Family member is understood here to mean a first- or second-degree family member. Partners and children are first-degree family members, and grandchildren are second-degree
  • People in certain professions providing essential services, and people travelling for work:  
    • healthcare professionals, only if they are travelling to the Netherlands for work (including medical researchers and elderly care workers)  
    • cross-border commuters if they are travelling for work  transport workers if they are travelling for work  
    • diplomats if they are travelling for work  
    • staff and invitees of international organisations if they are travelling for work  
    • members of the armed forces if they are travelling for work  
    • humanitarian aid workers if they are travelling for work  
    • civil protection personnel if they are travelling for work.

Entry is permitted for EU citizens resident in the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba. Entry is also permitted for EU citizens (including UK nationals) and their family members, nationals of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and their family members, third-country nationals holding a residence card or permit, right to residence long-stay visa or temporary residence permit (MVV), transit passengers, cross-border workers and others working in essential functions. 

The suspension of entry remains for non-essential travel of persons from other non-EEA countries. 

Until further notice, the Dutch Immigration Services (IND) is only allowing appointments for collection of the first regular residence document. The IND will contact the applicant to schedule an appointment. Applicants who have received a positive decision on a first residence permit and entered the Netherlands without a temporary residence permit (MVV) should call the IND to schedule an appointment to provide biometrics.

Foreign nationals whose regular provisional residence permit (MVV) has been approved but are currently in the Netherlands and cannot travel to their country of origin to collect the MVV due to coronavirus do not have to collect the MVV if they meet all the following 5 conditions. 

  1. They were in their country of origin or country of continuous residence when they or their sponsor applied for an MVV. (Continuous residence means that they can lawfully reside in that country for more than 3 months. They have a valid residence permit there or are waiting for a decision on their application for a residence permit.)
  2. They travelled to the Netherlands with a short-stay visa. Or, if they did not need a visa, in the permit-exempt term
  3. They entered the Netherlands between 1 January 2020 and (before) 1 June 2020
  4. Their MVV application was approved when they were already in the Netherlands
  5. They could not return to their country of origin or continuous residence before 15 June due to travel restrictions.

Holders of issued MVVs which have expired and who could not travel to the Netherlands in time can apply to the consulate once it reopens for reissuance of their MVVs.

 

Norway

Entry remains suspended until 1 June 2021 for most third-country nationals without a residence permit, with some exceptions.

Travellers from the red list of EEA/Schengen countries and regions with a higher infection rate, may enter Norway but are subject to a ten-day quarantine. The list is as follows:

  • Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (except Faroe Islands and Greenland), Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Vatican and parts of Finland.

Test Certificate: Travellers from red countries/regions must present a certificate (in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, French or German) of negative result from a PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test taken less than 72 hours before entry. This does not apply to the following: 

  • Norwegian citizens, foreign residents of Norway or persons in transit. 
  • People regularly entering Norway for work (except heath personnel who have been outside Norway for more than 7 days). 
  • Foreign nationals with a family immigration permit. 
  • Personnel in critical functions when necessary to avoid danger to life and health. o Diplomatic and consular personnel accredited to Norway. 
  • Foreign nationals who have been invited by the Norwegian authorities to participate in international negotiations and similar, and foreign nationals who are part of delegations that are visiting Norway in accordance with Norway’s international obligations. 
  • Military personnel arriving in Norway by non-commercial transport. 
  • Asylum seekers and quota refugees. 

Travellers arriving from Denmark should get themselves tested again upon arrival in Norway, and inform the municipality they are visiting that they have been to Denmark.

Family members residing outside of Norway are able to travel to Norway. The usual visa and entry requirements apply.

This applies to the following groups:

  • Children and stepchildren over the age of 21 of a person resident in Norway
  • Parents and stepparents of children over the age of 21 residing in Norway
  • Grandparents and step-grandparents of a person residing in Norway
  • Grandchildren and step-grandchildren of a person residing in Norway
  • Children of your girlfriend/boyfriend if you are in an established relationship
  • Spouse, registered partner, cohabitating and children of Norwegian citizens who live abroad and who travels to visit Norway together with the Norwegian citizen
  • EU/EEA citizens and their family members residing in third countries.

Travellers from EEA/Schengen countries can enter Norway, without quarantine, provided that they live in a country or region where the infection level is acceptable. 

Entry is permitted for skilled workers holding work and residence permits, students and workers with technical competence that is exempt from the residence permit requirement. 

  • Home quarantine for ten days is required. 
  • The deadline for entry in the decision letter still applies. 
  • If the holder cannot enter before the deadline, an extended entry deadline must be requested from UDI. 
  • If the decision letter was issued after 20 April and stated that the holder cannot travel to Norway yet, they can travel to Norway from 1 July if they are visa-free, or if they require a visa and have a valid visa. If they require a visa and do not yet have one, they must book an appointment to submit a visa application at a VFS visa centre (if it is open). If they have already submitted their visa application, they only need to wait until contacted by VFS. 

EEA/Schengen residents going to Norway to work are allowed to leave quarantine early if they test negative for COVID-19. 

  • This exception also applies to workers from regions of Europe with a higher infection level. 
  • Two tests will be required after arrival in Norway, the second at least 48 hours after the first. The second test can be taken at the earliest on day five after arrival. Until a negative test result is received, a person must follow the quarantine rules. 
  • If the first test is negative, the person may work in Norway but must follow quarantine rules outside working hours. If the second test is also negative, the person is excepted from the quarantine rules both while at work and outside working hours. 
  • A person who receives a positive test result is required to go into isolation, and their employer or client is required to notify the municipality so that it can start tracking and tracing contacts. 
  • The employer in Norway is responsible for organising, carrying out and paying for these tests. 
  • It is up to employers to decide whether to make this system for shortening the quarantine period available to people who will be arriving from abroad to work for them. 

A 10-day quarantine is required for all arrivals from red countries or areas within the EEA/Schengen region, or countries outside the EEA/Schengen region. 

  • Those under quarantine duty who are not resident in Norway and do not have a home or holiday home in Norway must stay at a quarantine hotel during the 10-day quarantine period. 
    • People staying at a quarantine hotel must pay a set charge of NOK 500 per night for private individuals and NOK 1,500 per night for employers. The remaining expenses will be covered by the municipalities who in turn will be reimbursed by the state.  
    • People staying at a quarantine hotel will have the opportunity to be tested for Covid-19. However, even if the person tests negative for Covid-19 during the quarantine period, the duration of the quarantine period will not be reduced. This requirement does not apply to people who are in Norway to work and who can document that their employer has provided them with a suitable place to stay during the quarantine period. 
  • Time spent in transit through yellow countries or areas is counted as quarantine time. 
  • Transiting through red countries or areas does not trigger quarantine duty, provided the traveller does not use public transport, does not stay overnight in the area and keeps a distance to others than those they normally live with.
  • Stopping in transit in a red country as part of a flight itinerary does trigger quarantine duty. 
  • Anyone arriving in Norway from a red area/country need to complete their full quarantine period in mainland Norway prior to travelling on to Svalbard, including residents. 
  • Foreign national workers from countries classified as ‘red’ by the EU are no longer exempt from the 10-day quarantine requirement.

Some Norwegian missions and visa application centres abroad have resumed limited services. The UDI are processing applications for residence permits from persons who are abroad after these cases have been delayed for a few weeks. However, most people who receive a residence permit from 20 April onwards cannot travel to Norway yet, unless otherwise stated in the decision letter for the residence permit.

EU/EEA citizens who need an appointment with the Police related to registration must complete the online registration form and book an appointment in the application portal. 

It is not possible to issue residence permits, submit applications for residence permits or order residence cards. The police’s Immigration Office currently offers a limited service. Citizens of the EEA will not be able to register or have the registration certificate issued by the police. In-country biometrics recording is not possible; however, work permit applications will still be processed if immigration authorities keep working and no closure is implemented. Digital solutions are being implemented where possible. All paper applications (that cannot be delivered electronically) for temporary residence permit must be submitted by mail, rather than in person.

 

Poland

A new flight ban is effective until 24 November. The ban no longer applies to:

  • Albania, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Tunisia or the United Arab Emirates.
  • The ban applies to Argentina, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Georgia, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the United States (except Illinois and New York states).

International flights are permitted from EU, EEA and EFTA countries and microstates not on the above list, as well as from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay.

Entry is permitted from inside and outside the EU for the following: 

  • Polish citizens and their spouses or children;
  • Citizens and legal residents of EU/EFTA/EEA states, Switzerland or the UK;
  • Nationals or residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia;
  • Holders of a Pole’s Card;
  • People who have the right of permanent or temporary residence in Poland or a work permit; 
  • Foreign nationals who run a means of transport designed for the transport of persons or goods, and whose transit takes place as part of their professional activities consisting in the transport of goods or persons.
  • Pupils and students receiving education in Poland.
  • Athletes, journalists and staff entering to attend sports competitions in Poland.
  • Persons who cross the border of Poland based on a national visa for the purpose of repatriation in order to arrive in Poland as the repatriated person’s closest family member.
  • All travellers who are permitted to enter Poland, except for the categories mentioned below, must undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine at their place of stay in Poland

Polish consulates are restricting services for foreign nationals, this includes the cancellation of visa appointments until further notice. However, the restrictions vary by consulate.

Immigration offices are now allowed to issue negative decisions to immigration applications. It is also possible to submit acceleration requests to a higher authority (ponaglenie). 

Countdown to the deadline for completing immigration formalities, such as submitting missing documents for pending applications or to submit obligatory notifications have also resumed. Similarly, the countdown to the deadline to submit EU registration applications have also resumed. EU registration applications should be submitted by post before Immigration offices reopen. In person residence permit applications are currently suspended, but can still be submitted by post.

 

Portugal

Flights are permitted from and to the EU, the non-EU Schengen countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and the UK, and the following non EU/Schengen countries: Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Tunisia and Uruguay. Passengers on these flights are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test result certificate. Flights are also permitted from other countries for essential purposes only

The land border with Spain has reopened. Additionally, all flights from the EU and Schengen countries, including the UK will resume, as well as flights from Algeria, Canada, Corea do Sul, Morocco and Tunisia.

Arrivals by air (other than in the Azores and Madeira) are not required to self-isolate unless instructed to by the authorities after a mandatory health screening. 

All new arrivals to Madeira will no longer be subject to a mandatory quarantine. Those who arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours, will not be required to quarantine. If a traveller arrives without proof of a negative test, they will be required to take a test upon arrival. 

Similarly, all new arrivals to the Azores must either provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to arrival or take a test and await the results in isolation. Arriving passengers may await the test results in a private residence or contracted lodging of their choice. The results are expected to take no more than 12 hours. Travelers who wish to remain in the Azores for more than 7 or 14 days, will be required to test again on the 6th and 13th days.

Some VAC’s have resumed operations.

 

South Africa

Anyone travelling to South Africa will be required to produce a paper copy of a negative COVID-19 test not older than 72 hours from the time of departure. We advise that you carry multiple paper copies of your negative COVID-19 test. The South African authorities have said you must have travel insurance which should cover a COVID-19 test and quarantine costs in case you display COVID-19 symptoms whilst in South Africa. You will also need to provide proof of accommodation address upon arrival in case you need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.

Business travellers providing services across the borders between South Africa and the Southern African Development Community are allowed multiple entry subject to producing a certificate of negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours from the time of departure. This certificate is valid for 14 days.

Borders will reopen from 1 October for travellers from all but certain (as yet undefined) high-risk countries.

  • Travellers will only be able to use one of the land border posts that have remained operational during the lockdown or one of the three main airports: King Shaka, OR Tambo and Cape Town International Airport. 
  • All travellers must install the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app. 
  • Entry is permitted for leisure and business from all African countries and from countries not deemed high-risk. 

For travellers from certain high-risk countries, entry is not permitted for leisure or tourism purposes. 

Currently, high-risk countries include:

  • Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States.  
  • Any person from a high-risk country wishing to enter South Africa for business purposes may apply to the Minister of Home Affairs by email and demonstrate the reasons for their request.  
  • Seasonal visitors from high-risk countries in Europe who generally spend the summer months in South Africa during the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere may also apply for permission to enter the country.  
  • Holders of long-term visas who are located in high-risk countries may travel to South Africa without any prior approval. Those who wish to apply for long-term visas may also proceed to do so without prior approval.

The visa waivers/exemptions for the undermentioned countries which were withdrawn have been re-instated. This implies that citizens of these countries, subject to meeting admission requirements, may be issued with a Visitor’s Visa upon arrival in the country for the stated period of the exemption; however, please note that citizens of these countries who are currently resident in the high-risk countries listed above are still prohibited from travelling to South Africa without prior approval from the DHA: France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, United States, United Kingdom. 

South African citizens and permanent residence permit holders may exit the country without first applying for special permission. 

 

Immigration

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has resumed normal operations, which implies the full resumption of the processing of all visa, permit, passport and identity document applications at the central permitting hub in Pretoria. It has also started adjudicating applications for all categories of Temporary Residence Visas including, but not limited to, visitor’s, work, study, crew, medical treatment, relative’s, retired persons’, business, corporate, exchange visas, waiver requests and appeal and review requests in respect of adverse decisions taken. 

The South African Missions abroad and the provincial Visa Application Centres within South Africa have resumed accepting the above mentioned Temporary Residence Visa applications, waiver requests and appeal/review applications. 

The DHA remains officially closed for the acceptance and adjudication of new Permanent Residence Permit applications; therefore, foreign nationals wishing to apply will have to continue to wait and those with applications under adjudication should anticipate further delays. It is unclear whether the Permitting Hub in Pretoria is currently adjudicating applications which were submitted prior to the hard lockdown commencing in March. Applications for Lesotho Exemption Permits and Zimbabwe and Exemptions Permits have also reopened.

The special permit and visa dispensation introduced to address the difficulties arising from the Covid-19 lockdown has been extended to 31 January 2021.

A person who entered South Africa since 15 February, whose visa has expired and who has remained in South Africa during the state of disaster period will not be declared an undesirable person upon leaving the country up to and including 31 January 2021. Any declaration of undesirability that has been issued to any person who departed South Africa since 15 March is set aside. 

Visas which were revoked by the DHA during the state of disaster period are reinstated. The visas of foreign nationals already within South Africa are not revoked; they remain valid for the period for which they have been issued. All foreign nationals originating from countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, or those who have to transit through an affected country to return home, and whose visas have or will expire are allowed to re-apply for the same visa which may be issued for a period not exceeding 31 January 2021, subject to meeting all legal application requirements; however, this does not include applications to change status from one visa category to another or to change the conditions endorsed on an existing visa. 

Those whose visas expired after 15 February will be allowed to reapply via VFS Global without first having to apply to regularise their stay using “Form 20” (Authorisation for an illegal foreign national to remain in the country pending the outcome of an application for status.) Currently VFS Global is still closed but has opened its online booking system from the 4 May onward. Holders of work, business or study visas that have expired during the lockdown who have already submitted an extension application, are allowed to continue to work, conduct business or study.

 

Spain

Spain’s borders are open to European Union and Schengen-area countries.

Travellers arriving from the United Kingdom are not required to self-isolate on arrival in Spain.

Some restrictions on travellers from outside the European Union and the Schengen free-travel area remain in place.

On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate.

However, you will be subject to the following three requirements:

  • Provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with contact information and any history of exposure to COVID-19, 48 hours prior to travel. You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app. It is mandatory for all passengers travelling to Spain to fill out and sign the online form associated with your trip, regardless of your nationality or residency status. On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival
  • Temperature check
  • Undergo a visual health assessment

The autonomous community of Catalonia and Totana municipality (Murcia autonomous community) have re-implemented previous lockdown restrictions. Travel to these areas is not possible. 

Spain now allows entry for travellers from 12 of the 15 “safe” non-EU countries recommended by the EU. These countries are Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Entry is now permitted for highly-qualified workers whose work is necessary and unable to be completed abroad or postponed.

All international arrivals are required to complete a health form online in advance of travel, and present the issued QR code to the authorities on entry. Until 31 July, a paper version of the health form will be accepted on entry.

Anyone holding a temporary residence or work permit that expired during the state of emergency are permitted entry.

Entry is suspended for all travellers from outside the EU and Schengen area. Exceptions continue for nationals and residents of an EU or Schengen member state, or Andorra, who are travelling directly to their residence, and their family members; those holding long term visas issued by an EU or Schengen member state travelling to the country that issued the visa; cross-border workers; healthcare or elderly care professionals in the performance of their duties; transport of goods personnel; diplomats, international organizations, military personnel and members of humanitarian organizations in the performance of their duties; those traveling for imperative family reasons duly accredited; and those who can prove reasons of force majeure or situation of need, or whose entry is permitted for humanitarian reasons.

Arrivals are no longer subject to a quarantine. Consular services globally are suspended.

Private Businesses

Non-essential private businesses have been allowed to reopen since 13 April, this includes the industry and construction sector. Companies need to guarantee security measures though. Small businesses and hotels have been re-opened since May 11th, but social distancing remains in force.

All non-essential government services and offices have been closed and home confinement is still being enforced with police presence in the streets.

Hotels and some schools have also reopened, however, social distancing and number limits remain in place.

Public Transport: Facemasks are compulsory on all public transport.

 

Sweden

The suspension of entry from outside the EU, the EEA, the microstates, the UK and Switzerland is extended until 22 December 2020.

Exemptions from the entry ban include: 

  • Swedish citizens and their family members
  • Citizens of EEA member states (including UK), Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican, and their family members
  • Individuals with a long-term residence status, a residence permit or a national visa (3+ months) from Sweden or from another EEA state, and their family members
  • Residents of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.

Exemptions from the entry ban can also be made for foreign nationals with particularly urgent personal needs or who are to perform essential functions in Sweden, such as: 

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Frontier workers
  • Seasonal workers in agriculture, horticulture and forestry
  • Transport workers
  • People travelling for urgent family reasons
  • Transit passengers
  • People who work in international organisations or are invited by such organisations and whose presence is necessary for the organisations’ activities, military personnel, aid workers and civil defence staff
  • Highly-skilled workers, if the job cannot be postponed or performed remotely 

Sweden has now lifted the advice against non-essential travel to the following countries:

  • Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and Vatican City. 
  • For other countries in the EU, the EEA and the Schengen area (namely, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania) the advice against non-essential travel is extended up to and including December 2020. 
  • The advice against non-essential travel to third countries (outside the EU, the EEA and the Schengen area and the UK) is extended until 31 January. 

The Swedish Migration Agency will not accept work permit applications with start dates during the travel ban. 

Work permit holders who require entry visas are required, and those whose nationality is visa-exempt are recommended, to submit biometrics in the home country so they can show the residence card at the border. It is currently very difficult to have biometrics done at Swedish missions abroad, as many of them are closed due to national lockdowns. For visa-exempt nationals, it is very difficult to get appointments to provide biometrics in Sweden. This can delay the possibility of registering residency locally and hence be part of the Swedish Public Welfare Insurance scheme, Försäkringskassan, which allows medical care.

Some VAC centres have resumed limited operations.

 

Switzerland

Entry is permitted for travellers from the following “safe” countries: 

  • All states in the Schengen area; Andorra, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay and the Vatican.

Travellers from other countries can be permitted to enter Switzerland if they meet at least one of the following requirements: 

  • They also have Swiss citizenship. 
  • They hold a travel document (e.g. a passport or identity card) and a residence permit, i.e. a Swiss residence permit (L / B / C / Ci permits)
    • a cross-border permit (G permit; only for work-related purposes)
    • an FDFA legitimation card
    • a D visa issued by Switzerland
    • a C visa issued by Switzerland after 16 March 2020 in a valid exceptional case or in order to work on a short-term contract
    • an assurance of a residence permit from a cantonal migration authority or an entry permit with a visa issued by Switzerland (an employment contract is not sufficient to cross the Swiss border. Persons with an assurance of a residence permit may enter Switzerland at the earliest three days before the date on which assurance becomes valid.) 
  • They hold a refugee’s or stateless person’s travel document issued by Switzerland, a passport for foreign nationals issued by Switzerland, a valid residence or permanent residence permit or an F-Permit. 
  • They have rights of free movement. If they require a visa, a valid Schengen Cvisa, a valid D-visa or a valid Schengen residence permit
  • They are transporting goods for commercial purposes and have a goods delivery note. o In certain cases: They are simply travelling directly through Switzerland with the intention and possibility of entering another country. See “Is it still possible to travel through Switzerland?” under ‘Questions on travelling through and leaving Switzerland’. 
  • They are in a situation of special necessity (see below). The border control authority will assess the necessity of the situation. 
  • They are specialists in the healthcare sector who need to enter Switzerland for important work-related reasons and who hold a confirmation of notification, an assurance of a residence permit or an entry permit with a visa issued by Switzerland.

Anyone entering Switzerland who has in the previous 14 days spent time in the following ‘high risk’ countries is subject to a mandatory ten-day quarantine and must report their arrival to the cantonal authorities within two days. 

    • Effective 23 November, the list of high-risk countries includes Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Austria (Vienna, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria), Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, France (Bretagne, Centre-Val de Loire, Corse, Normandie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie, Pays de la Loire, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, French Polynesia, La Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte, SaintBarthélemy, Saint-Martin), French Polynesia, Georgia, Germany (Berlin, Hamburg), Gibraltar, Guam, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Italy (Liguria, Campania, Sardinia, Veneto), Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (with the exception of the Canary Islands), Tunisia, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands). 
    • There are also exceptions from the quarantine requirement for:  
      • Persons in transit
        • Professional transportation activity
        • Essential activities
        • Other professional compelling activities for less than 5 days
        • Medical reasons for less than 5 days
        • Return to Switzerland after sport, cultural or professional events where appropriate sanitary measures were in place. 

People on a visitor status, or holders of expired visas or permits are tolerated in Switzerland as long as the restrictions are in force and they cannot regularize their situation or leave Switzerland. Depending on nationalities, new or extended visas can be granted by the cantonal authorities. Overstay will not be sanctioned by the Swiss authorities.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE has resumed issuance of employment visas and entry permits for vital sectors. Employers must receive arrivals and quarantine them for 14 days. 

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has resumed the issuance of entry permits (tourist/business/visitor visas) for all emirates. 

All inbound travellers must hold negative COVID-19 PCR test results, issued at most 96 hours before departure. Inbound travellers may also be required to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival and undergo a 14-day self-quarantine, depending on the emirate/airport/airline. 

UAE residents no longer require an ICA travel permit to return to the UAE. Emirati citizens returning to Dubai from overseas no longer require a pre-travel PCR test result – instead they are only required to take a PCR test on arrival in Dubai. Dubai residents and visitors entering Dubai must first obtain a re-entry permit from the Dubai GDRFA by submitting a form online here. Holders of valid Dubai residence visas and GDRFA approval may re-enter Dubai after more than 6 months abroad. 

  • Entry must be via Dubai International Airport. 
  • Visitors flying into Dubai from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan must hold a valid round-trip ticket and a minimum of AED 2000. 
  • There is no requirement for a NOC letter issued by the employer or Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) authority to apply for the entry permit.
  • The re-entry permit should be obtained before booking airline tickets. o Flights must be booked through official airline websites
  • The GDRFA approval number must be entered on booking, and a copy of the GDRFA approval email must be presented on boarding
  • Every passenger flying to Dubai needs to fill in a health declaration form and a quarantine declaration form. Both forms need to be printed, completed and handed over to the Dubai Health Authority staff at arrival
  • All arrivals must register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app
  • A negative result of a PCR test taken no more than 96 hours prior to travel is mandatory for all travellers. 
  • Arrivals will be obliged to abide by the 14-day quarantine in case they test positive for COVID-19. 
  • No re-entry permit is required for other Emirates. 

All travellers entering Dubai need to fill in a health declaration form and a quarantine declaration form. Both forms need to be printed, completed and handed over to the Dubai Health Authority staff at arrival. All arrivals must also register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app.

The following entry rules apply to passengers entering Dubai from: Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives Islands, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States (New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Seattle): 

  • UAE residents have the option to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of the test before departure or take the COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai. 
  • Tourists must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of the test before departure – except for passengers coming from the UK and Germany who have the option to take a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Dubai. 
  • Transit passengers from these countries are not required to present a COVID-19 PCR test certificate unless it is mandated by your final destination. 

The following entry rules apply to passengers entering Dubai from Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United States (California, Florida, Texas), Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe: 

  • UAE residents must take two COVID-19 PCR tests: one before departure with a validity of 96 hours from the date of the test, and a second test upon arrival in Dubai. 
  • Tourists must take two COVID-19 PCR tests: one before departure with a validity of 96 hours from the date of the test, and a second test upon arrival in Dubai. 
  • Transit passengers from these countries must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate that is valid for 96 hours from the date of test, as well as any requirements for their final destination. 
  • Arrivals will be obliged to abide by the 14-day quarantine in case they test positive for COVID-19.

Travellers arriving in Abu Dhabi must: 

  • Present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or DP test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival
  • Take a PCR test on day 4 after arrival (if staying more than 4 days)
  • Take a PCR test on day 8 after arrival (if staying more than 8 days).

The UAE has relaxed its foreign travel guidelines, allowing citizens and residents to travel to all accessible destinations for ‘general’ reasons provided they adhere to all mandatory precautions and safety measures imposed to counter the spread of Covid-19. 

  • Returning travellers must complete a health declaration form before landing, download and activate the Al Hosn app, and follow UAE quarantine guidelines and test procedures, depending on the country from which they are returning.

Immigration

UAE authorities have resumed the endorsement of visas in original passports. An applicant who has previously secured a soft copy of a renewed residence permit must submit their original passport to the immigration or free zone authorities to have the visa endorsed on the passport. 

Transfer of visa sponsorship between certain free zones has been reinstated, depending on the operational procedures of the releasing free zone. If the applicant and employer are in the same free zone then intra company transfer within the same free zone is being processed as per standard process and procedures. 

Employers who have obtained a new entry permit for an employee already in UAE should proceed with the change of status step within the grace period to avoid fines. 

Individuals with expired visas who are eligible for renewal (within 6 months of the current visa’s expiry) and need to exit and re-enter the UAE are strongly advised to renew the visa before exiting the country.

 

The United Kingdom

The UK will be going into a countrywide lockdown for at least four weeks as of Thursday, 5th November.

The UK has now introduced a 3 tier system (low medium and high areas). If you are travelling to a high risk area, such as London, Manchester or Liverpool you will need to follow the new guidelines:

You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble. This includes private homes and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs. You must also not meet with people outside of your household or support bubble in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles. Find out more about childcare bubbles in the ‘Childcare’ section.

You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in groups of 6 or less in certain outdoor public spaces, such as:

  • parks, beaches, countryside, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments
  • outdoor sports courts and facilities, and playgrounds

When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. In England, this limit of 6 includes children of any age.

Meeting in larger groups is against the law. The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).

You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

When meeting friends and family you should also:

  • follow social distancing rules when you meet up
  • limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time

People arriving in England from Italy after 4am on 18 October will need to self-isolate upon arrival. 

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you need to complete a passenger locator form before you arrive in the UK. Passengers of all nationalities arriving in the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days and could be contacted regularly throughout this period to ensure compliance. Anyone failing to comply may face enforcement action. People should use personal transport, such as a car, to travel to their accommodation where possible. Once they arrive there, they should not leave their accommodation for 14 days.

Your passport or identity card will be checked when you arrive at a UK port or airport to make sure you’re allowed to come into the country. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.

The travel corridor list can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors#travel-corridors-countries-and-territories-exemption-list

Many UK visa application centres abroad have resumed operations.

Boris Johnson has announced the first, gradual steps towards loosening the coronavirus lockdown. The government has announced new regulations to be taking place in the near future alongside a comprehensive report with the UKs exit strategy over the upcoming months.

Gov Link: Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

It remains the case that anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms should isolate and avoid public contact.

 

Mobility Suppliers

Suppliers globally have put additional hygiene measures in place such as refraining from shaking hands, sharing of materials (pens, notebooks etc.) and any physical contact where possible. They are also assisting remotely and via online platforms as much as possible. In some cases, assignees may be required to submit documentation, such as a letter from their HR department confirming that, if they’ve been to any affected locations, they have completed the required quarantine period.

Destination Services:

As an alternative to physical programmes, DSP’s are offering virtual programmes as all client facing services are not operating. 

They are also ensuring that all assignees are given critical advice on the symptoms, seeking help and adopting good personal hygiene practices. Additional documentation stating an assignees health and travel history will be required in some instances.

Where service is able to go ahead, our providers have advised the following:

  • Landlords are delaying the arrangement of viewings until further notice.
  • Other service providers such as schools and businesses are closed and delaying integration for anyone who has recently travelled from affected countries.
  • Orientations in crowded areas and hospitals are no longer taking place.
  • Pre-relocation/Look-see trips and school visits have been suspended for the time being.
  • Only urgent services are being arranged.

With the closures of schools in many countries, school search assistance is currently on hold with further delays expected.

Temporary Accommodation:

Many of our providers have implemented a pre-arrival process regarding COVID-19 globally. Providers are requesting from Advocates and relocating employees any relevant information regarding incoming or in-house guests who have travelled from high-risk countries, such as doctors notes. Guests may also be asked to complete a risk assessment in line with Public Health Guidelines.  

Due to travel bans in certain areas globally, many of our providers are unable to access their offices. However, they are working remotely and reachable by email or phone. This also means that any other suppliers that provide services to the corporate housing industry will also be delayed.

Providers are advising that flexible accommodations, such as hotel stays, may be a better alternative to serviced apartments as some of these hold leases that will still carry commitments. Where possible, our providers will be flexible. However, many hotels and serviced apartments globally have advised that anyone with a travel history to high risk affected countries, may face challenges checking-in as providers are not willing to allow anyone to self-isolate in their properties.

Shipping:

There are currently delays being experienced for most shipping services. 

All Shipping services are operating on a case by case basis, as businesses are operating at a low capacity with the continued quarantine period. Flight cancellations and restrictions are also contributing to the delays.

Customs offices in many countries are either closed, or working at a very low capacity.

As the number of countries prohibiting flights in and out of all heavily affected countries continues to grow, there will be significant delays to all shipments, including pet relocations. 

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