Immigration updates covering the APAC and EMEA regions
China: Commitment Letters can now replace legalized non-criminal certificates
All foreign nationals planning to work in Beijing as B- or C-level applicants must provide a legalized non-criminal certificate that the Chinese embassy in the issuing country has approved.
Starting April 2021, the Beijing sponsor company can choose to issue a Commitment Letter in place of the legalized non-criminal certificate (if the sponsor company is in good standing). The Commitment Letter must make the following declarations:
- The basic information and all the application materials are legal, valid and complete.
- The company is fully aware of the application contents.
- The foreign national to be hired fulfils all the basic requirements for employment and has no criminal record in their country or abroad, and the company has no serious bad credit records or made false promises.
- Willingness to assume legal responsibility and penalties for false promises.
- Willingness to cooperate with the investigation and verification of the administrative agency.
This exemption only pertains to the non-criminal certificate. Other required legalized documents such as the highest education degree (for B-level), university transcript and university endorsement (for C-level) are still required.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Beijing Overseas Tourism Corp (in Chinese).
India: Overseas Citizen of India renewal relaxation
Effective immediately, the Indian Ministry has announced that Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders are to get their document re-issued at the age of 20 once, instead of multiple times.
A person who has registered for an OCI card prior to turning 20 must renew it once when a new passport is issued having turned 20. The card must also be renewed once after turning 50 in view of the biological changes to the applicant’s face.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Hindu News.
Travel restrictions out of India
Due to the surge in coronavirus cases in India, the following countries have imposed travel and quarantine restrictions: Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore, UAE and U.K.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Simple Flying.
Singapore: Border measures for travelers
All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history (including transit) to India within the last 14 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Singapore until further notice. This applies to those who have obtained prior approval for entry. Entry approval must be cancelled and re-applied when border measures are reviewed.
All travelers with recent travel history to India who have yet to complete their 14 day Stay Home Notice (SHN) must complete an additional seven days at a dedicated SHN facility, instead of their place of residence. They will undergo Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests on-arrival, on day 14 of their SHN and another before the end of their 21-day SHN period.
Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents traveling from India will be allowed to enter Singapore without entry approval but must undergo quarantine requirements; an additional seven-day SHN at their place of residence following their 14-day SHN at a dedicated government facility.
Travelers from Hong Kong
Singapore authorities will reduce the SHN period from 14 days to seven days. This can be served at their place of residence, if suitable, and will apply to travelers who have remained in Hong Kong in the last 14 consecutive days.
Travelers from United Kingdom/South Africa
Singapore authorities will allow entry and transit for all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to the U.K. and South Africa. Travelers from the U.K./South Africa and other high-risk countries are required to undertake a Covid-19 PCR test within 72 hours of departure for Singapore.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Health and Government of Singapore.
Thailand: Cancellation and suspension of Certificate of Entry (COE) issuance
The Thai Embassy in New Delhi, India, has announced that the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in Thailand has put restrictions on non-Thai nationals staying in India and wishing to enter Thailand on May 1, 15 and 22 (2021) flights as follows:
- All COEs that have been issued to non-Thai nationals to enter Thailand from India with the arrival date of May 1 onwards will be cancelled.
- The issuance of COEs for non-Thai nationals arriving in Thailand from India on May 1 onwards will be suspended until further notice.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Royal Thai Embassy.
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 Debra Jane Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager (APAC).
Europe, Middle East and Africa
United Kingdom: Right to Work checks – end of concession
The temporary adjustments made on March 30 to the Right to Work checks for employers are ending on May 17, 2021.
As an emergency measure during Covid-19, the Home Office relaxed some requirements on employers to comply with the Right to Work regulations. The changes dealt specifically with the duty to verify workers’ IDs in person.
Until May 16, 2021, employers can carry out a temporary adjusted check, following the below:
- Asking the worker to submit a scanned copy or photo of their original documents via email or using the mobile app.
- Arranging a video call with the worker – asking them to hold up the original documents to the camera and checking them against the digital copies. Recording the date the check was made and marking it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19.”
- The online right to work checking service can be used while doing a video call if the worker has a current:
- Biometric Residence Permit
- Biometric Residence Card
- Granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system
The applicant must give the employer permission to view their details.
Employers must carry out checks on the applicant’s original documents or right to work online from May 17. Those who had a Covid-19 adjusted check between March 30, 2020, and May 16, 2021, are exempt from retrospective checks.
Employers should review internal processes in preparation for the standard checks to resume and to ensure compliance. It remains an offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the U.K.
It is unclear how these changes will affect companies whose offices remain closed beyond May 17, 2021.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Gov.uk.
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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