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Each week we add immigration-related updates and other helpful information you can reference as often as you like!

 

Weekly Updates - May 13th, 2022

Ukraine Border
Argentina
European Union
New Zealand
Close Open Ukraine Border
  • Entry suspended.
  • Exit suspended for male Ukrainian citizens aged 18-60.
  • Airports closed for commercial passenger flights.
  • Belarus border closed in both directions.
  • Land borders remain open to Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Close Open Argentina

Effective 21 May 2022, visa-exempt foreign nationals employed outside Argentina can apply for a six-month “digital nomad” residence visa, allowing them to work remotely in Argentina without a local sponsor. This can be extended once for another six months.

Close Open European Union

The European Commission has published new guidance on the suspension of visa facilitation for some Russian nationals, and on general visa issuance in relation to Russian national applicants.

The visa facilitation agreement, suspended on 25 February 2022, enabled expedited processing and a reduction in fees.

The partial suspension targets specific categories of persons close to the regime: it applies to Russian citizens who are members of the Russian Federation's official delegations; members of the Russian Federation's national and regional Governments and Parliaments; the Russian Federation's Constitutional Court and the Russian Federation Supreme Court; citizens of the Russian Federation holding valid diplomatic passports; as well as business people and representatives of business organisations

The suspension means that these groups no longer have privileged access to the European Union. As an example, the documentary evidence to be issued ahead of a journey is no longer waived, and the fees for processing of visa applications are no longer reduced, meaning that the standard €80 visa fee applies by default.

The suspension does not affect ordinary Russian citizens, who continue enjoying the same benefits under the agreement as they currently do.

The guidelines are intended to help Member States and their consulates in applying the partial suspension, clarify the procedures and conditions for issuing visas to Russian citizens in any given consular location of the EU and ensure that visa issuance on humanitarian grounds should always remain possible.

 

Close Open New Zealand

The Government has announced an Immigration Rebalance plan designed to make it easier to attract and hire high-skilled migrants, while supporting some sectors to continue their shift away from relying on lower-skilled migrant workers.

The changes include:

From 4 July

  • The Accredited Employer Work Visa will include a median wage threshold.
  • A green list will make it easier for employers to hire and attract migrants for high-skilled, hard-to-fill positions.
  • New sector agreements to provide for short-term or ongoing need to access lower-paid migrants.

From September 2022

  • Streamlined pathways to residence for migrants in green list occupations or paid twice the median wage.

From December 2022

  • Most partners of temporary migrant workers will need to qualify for an Accredited Employer Work Visa in their own right, instead of automatically getting an open work visa

Other changes

  • Changes to post-study work rights and cost-of-living requirements for future students.
  • During 2023 a new requirement will come into effect requiring employers to be accredited to employ any migrant.

Covid Updates - May 13th, 2022

This week, many governments have again updated their COVID-19 measures and/or the lists of countries or regions affected. Please find some highlights below – for more information on COVID-19 restrictions in any country, please get in touch. We’re happy to help.

SPECIAL APAC COVID UPDATE

Belgium
European Union
Indonesia
Israel
Japan
Malta
New Zealand
United States
Close Open Belgium
  • Effective 7 May 2022, the following regions are newly assigned a dark red colour code:
    • Spain: La Rioja, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura
    • Finland: Åland
  • The full list of colour codes for the EU countries and regions is here.
  • Third countries on the white list:
    • Bahrain, Chile, China (dark red), Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kuwait, Macau, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay.
  • All other third countries that are not on the white list are designated dark red or grey.
  • As of 9 May 2022, there are no countries on the very high-risk countries list.
Close Open European Union
  • Effective 16 May 2022, The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued an update to the health safety measures for air travel, paving the way for a relaxation of the need to wear medical masks on board a flight.
    • However, rules for masks in particular will continue to vary by airline beyond that date. For example, flights to or from a destination where mask-wearing is still required on public transport should continue to encourage mask wearing, according to the recommendations. Vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.
  • Effective 11 May 2022, the EU recognizes the equivalence of COVID-19 certificates issued by Indonesia, Seychelles and Vietnam.
    • These countries are now connected to the EU system and their COVID-19 certificates will be accepted in the EU under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC).
    • These countries have also agreed to accept the EUDCC for travel from the EU to their countries.
    • So far, the following non-EU countries are participating in the EU Digital COVID Certificate system: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Benin, Cabo Verde, Colombia, El Salvador, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Vatican.
Close Open Indonesia
  • Visa on Arrival (VoA)
    • Now available for citizens of the following countries:
      • Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam.
    • Visa on arrival is available at the following airports:
      • Soekarno Hatta, Banten; Ngurah Rai, Bali; Kualanamu, North Sumatra; Juanda, East Java; Hasanuddin, South Sulawesi; Sam Ratulangi, North Sulawesi; Yogyakarta, Special Region of Yogyakarta; Zainuddin Abdul Majid, West Nusa Tenggara; Hang Nadim, Riau Islands.
    • The Visa on Arrival costs Rp. 500.000 and is valid for 30 days. The Visa on Arrival can get extended once, with 30 days, at a local Immigration Office in Indonesia with an extension fee of Rp. 500.000. The Visa on Arrival cannot be converted into another type of stay permit.
    • Requirements are as for Visa on Arrival (see above).
  • 30-day Visa Exemption has reopened for tourism and governmental visit at the same entry points as VoA (see above).
    • Only the following nationalities are eligible for the Visa Exemption:
      • Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
    • Requirements include:
      • Official national passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the entry date
      • Copy of a return ticket, or ticket continuing the journey to another country
      • Show proof of being in the possession of health insurance that covers medical expenses and Covid-19 treatment.
      • Documents required in accordance with the provisions of the Indonesian Health Protocol issued by the Covid-19 Task Force.
      • In case of a governmental visit, the traveller must also attach an invitation letter regarding the attending of a meeting / conference issued by the Indonesian Ministry / Department / Institutions concerned
  • For those who are not eligible for a Visa on Arrival or Visa Exemption, their Indonesian sponsor must submit an eVisa application through the website of the Directorate General of Immigration - Jakarta, via: https://visa-online.imigrasi.go.id/.
    • Tourist visa applications must be submitted by an Indonesian visa/travel agent or hotel.
    • An eVisa will be issued for 60 days for tourism or business, among other purposes.
      • Single-Entry Visitor Visa (Index B211A, B211B, B211C) issued before 16 April 2022, can still be granted 4-time extension of the Stay Permit, until a maximum stay of 180 days.
      • Single-Entry Visitor Visa (Index B211A, B211B, B211C) issued from 16 April 2022 valid for a maximum stay of 60 days, can be granted a-2 time Stay Permit extension (60 days/extension), until a maximum stay of 180 days.
      • Single-Entry Visitor Visa (Index B211A, B211B, B211C) issued from 16 April 2022 valid for a maximum stay of 180 days cannot be granted extension of the Stay Permit
      • The applicant must apply for the Stay Permit extension at the local immigration office and pay a fee of IDR 2.000.000.
      • Foreigners or Sponsors can still apply for a Visitor Visa within the Indonesian Territory (onshore visa) through the Online Visa Approval application.
      • Temporary Stay Visa for 12 months for work or non-work activity (can be converted into a Temporary Residence Permit (KITAS).

Arrival Protocol

  • The international traveller must:
    • Show proof of being in the possession of health insurance that covers medical expenses and Covid-19 treatment with a minimum coverage.
    • Show a result of negative PCR test carried out up to 48 hours before departure.
    • Show proof/certificate of a full dose COVID-19 vaccination minimum 14 days before the date of travel, e.g., stamp in the yellow vaccination book and print out the international QR code from the CoronaCheck website: https://coronacheck.nl/nl/print/
      • International travellers under 18 are not required to show Covid-19 vaccination proof
      • International travellers who cannot get vaccinated due to medical reasons, must show an official statement letter from their physician
      • International travellers that have been tested positive for Covid-19 (max. 30 days prior to departure) and are not contagious, do not have to show proof of a full dose Covid-19 vaccination or negative PCR test prior to departure, under the condition that they must undergo a PCR test upon arrival and attach an International Recovery Certificate or doctor's certificate from their country of departure.
      • Register the vaccination received abroad through the following website of the Indonesian Ministry of Health: https://vaksinln.dto.kemkes.go.id/sign/inand upload this data in the Peduli Lindungi app. You will receive a QR Code which can be scanned, for example if you want to enter malls, restaurants and other public places. Ground staff at the airport can help to integrate the data in the Peduli Lindungi app.
  • Upon arrival, international travellers are submitted to a health check.
    • Those who have received 2 and 3 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and have passed the health check are allowed to continue their travels
    • For those who have only received 1 dose of COVID-19 Vaccines, must undergo quarantine for 5 days at their own expense.
    • If the traveller has Covid related symptoms and/or their body temperature is higher than 37,5 degrees during the health check, they must retake a PCR test at the airport and wait for their result. After receiving a negative PCR test result the traveller is allowed to continue their activities. If the PCR test is positive, travellers with mild or no symptoms have to quarantine for 5 days in their accommodation.
    • To those who undergo the 5 days quarantine, travellers must retake another PCR test on the fourth day.
    • International travellers under 18 follow the provisions applied to their parents/caregiver or travel companion.
Close Open Israel
  • Effective 20 May 2022:
    • Travellers arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport will no longer be required to take a PCR test on arrival.
  • Effective 10 May 2022:
    • Only holders of a visitor's visa (B2) are required to take a COVID test before boarding a flight to Israel or before arriving via the land border crossing to Israel. Holders of all other visas are exempt from such test.
    • Holders of a visitor's visa (B2) can choose between a PCR test, taken in the 72 hours before the flight or entry to Israel, and a rapid (antigen) test at an authorized testing site, taken in the 24 hours before the flight or entry to Israel by professional samplers (not an at-home test).
Close Open Japan
  • A trial entry procedure for foreign tourists will begin by the end of May 2022.
    • A booster dose may be required.
    • It is likely that the itinerary of tourists on this pilot scheme will be highly controlled.
    • Entry restrictions for tourists will be relaxed only gradually.
    • The daily cap on entrants is to be doubled to 20,000 in June 2022.
Close Open Malta
  • Effective 9 May 2022:
    • Countries are no longer classified as red or dark red.
    • The need for pre-travel authorization by the Superintendent of Public Health from countries which until now are on the dark red list is no longer needed.
    • All inbound travellers must present either a recognized valid COVID-19 vaccine certificate; OR a recovery certificate; OR a negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours prior to arrival; OR a negative rapid antigen test taken not more than 24 hours prior to arrival.
      • Children under 6 are exempt from the requirement to prove their COVID-19 status.
      • If none of these documents is presented on arrival, a 10-day mandatory quarantine will apply, which is reduced to 7 days following a negative test.
Close Open New Zealand
  • Effective 31 July, all student and visitor visa categories will reopen.
  • Effective 4 July 2022, all work visa categories will be open for applications, including the Accredited Employer Work Visa.
  • Effective 16 May 2022, visitors applying from Pacific Island Forum countries will be able to apply for visas.
  • Most Work to Residence visa holders who were onshore on 9 May 2022 and whose visas are expiring on or before 31 December 2022 have had their visa extended by six months and two-year open work visas have been granted to Essential Skills, Post-Study Work and Partner of a New Zealander work visa holders who were also onshore on 9 May 2022 and whose visas are expiring on or before 31 December 2022.
Close Open United States
  • Before boarding a flight to the US from a foreign country, all air passengers aged two years or older (including US citizens and lawful permanent residents) are required to present a negative result of a COVID-19 viral test conducted no more than one day before the flight’s departure from a foreign country, OR proof of recovery:
    • Proof of recovery from COVID-19 means a positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that they were cleared to travel).
    • Air passengers will also be required to confirm in the form of an attestation that the information they present is true.
    • The requirement to present a negative result of a COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 does not apply to air passengers with flights from a US territory to a US state.
    • US territories include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
    • Certain travellers from Shanghai, China may be exempted from the testing requirement.
      • This exercise of enforcement discretion is limited to the following individuals departing Shanghai, China: U.S. Citizens; U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR); noncitizens in possession of a valid U.S. immigrant visa; and noncitizen non-immigrants who are traveling with a U.S. citizen or LPR and possess valid travel documents allowing them to travel to the United States
      • The CDC has extended this exercise of enforcement discretion until at least 10 June 2022.

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