Immigration weekly update: April 08, 2021

Global immigration updates for Canada, China and more


Americas

Canada: Guidance on business visitorsToronto, Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated its guidance on business visitors. The authorities have provided explanation and examples on the principles that characterize a business visitor’s visa, clarifying how it differs from a work permit.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Government of Canada.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Roberta Carnaccini, Global Operations Director, Immigration.


Asia-Pacific

China: New platform for work and residence Permit application in Shenzhen2019 AmCham Shanghai HR Conference

Shenzhen has launched an online platform to streamline new applications, renewals and cancellations of Work and Residence Permits. These permits can now be applied for individually or simultaneously; the latter will allow for permits to be issued after seven working days, as the system is the first to combine the responsibilities of the Foreign Expert Bureau (Work Permit) and Entry Exit Bureau (Residence Permit).

The new system also generates an SMS expiry reminder to foreign nationals, reminding them to renew their permits on time. It also automatically pushes the submitted data to the Temporary Residence Registration system, meaning foreign nationals no longer need to visit the police station to update their information.

Registration requirements:

Registration through an agent will require co-operation with the company’s official contact person as the process requires real-time log in verification codes sent to the contact person. Registration approval time is around three working days.

Steps for application:

  • Register on the new system (in Chinese).
  • Scan the QR code on the webpage and enter the foreign national’s passport number to log in.
    • The company contact person can do this directly when submitting files.
  • Online application.
  • Online pre-verification of files.
  • Online appointment for submitting physical documents.
  • Submit physical documents.
  • System issues the permits.
  • Physical collection of permits.

Shenzhen will continue to run both old and new systems for the time being and will likely evaluate after the initial testing phase.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Shenzhen Entry Exit Bureau (in Chinese).

India: Overseas Citizenship of India card holders

People of Indian origin and Indian diaspora with Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards are not required to carry their old, expired passports for travel to India, according to a government notification.

  • The Indian government has relaxed the provisions since last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Under the provisions of the OCI card, which gives the card holder life-long visa to India, those below 20 years and above 50 years of age must renew their OCI card every time they have their passport renewed.
  • The government has decided to grant further extension until December 31, 2021, to get OCI cards re-issued in accordance with the above guidelines.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Business Standard.

Philippines: Temporary travel restrictions

The Bureau of Immigration released revised guidelines pursuant to IATF-MEID Resolution No. 107 Series of 2021 that permits entry to the Philippines for the following individuals:

  • All arriving Filipino nationals.
  • Foreign nationals with a valid visa at the time of entry and whom meet the following requirements:
    • Diplomats and members of international organizations and their dependents:
      • 9(e) or 47(a)(2) visas.
  • Foreign nationals involved in medical repatriation:
    • Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) endorsement.
    • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) endorsement.
    • Valid visa.
  • Foreign Seafarers under the “Green Lanes” Program:
    • 9 (c)visas for crew change.
  • Foreign parents, spouses and children of Filipino nationals must travel with the Filipino national and have a valid visa.
  • Emergency, humanitarian and other analogous cases:
    • Approved by Chairperson, National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 or representative.
    • Valid visa.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Bureau of Immigration.

Thailand: Covid-19 visa measures extended

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has changed the quarantine measures for travelers from certain countries as follows:

  • Travelers from countries with cases of Covid-19 variant strains are subjected to 14-day quarantine.
  • Quarantine period is reduced to ten days for travelers from countries with no cases of Covid-19 variant strains.
  • Travelers with a vaccine certificate and traveling from countries with no cases of Covid-19 variant strains may be eligible for seven-day quarantine. This condition only applies to those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or Ministry of Public Health of Thailand no less than 14 days prior to travel.
  • Travelers must present a vaccine certificate (an original paper or a print out) to International Port Health Control at the port of arrival, otherwise travelers may be quarantined for no less than ten days.

Remarks:

  1. List of countries with cases of Covid-19 variant strains are as follows: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana and Tanzania.
  2. List of countries with Covid-19 variant strains will be determined and updated by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand every month.
  3. Quarantine is at the travelers own expense.

Thai Immigration Bureau

The Thai Immigration Bureau decided to extend the “Covid-19 visa measure (60-day temporary visa extension)” until May 29, 2021. Foreign nationals who are currently residing in Thailand and would like to apply for the Covid-19 visa extension must prepare the following documents:

  • Original passport with the immigration departure card.
  • Letter from the concerned Embassy/Consulate explaining the reason why the applicant is unable to return to their home country.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Phuket News and Thaiger News.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Laxmi Vikraman, Regional Immigration Manager (EMEA).


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