Immigration updates for the APAC and EMEA regions
The following update is on service counters operations in the Department of Immigration and National Registration:
- Temporary suspensions until further notice on:
- All service counters at the Department of Immigration and National Registration, Headquarters (Bandar) Branch and Office Immigration and National Registration Kuala Belait Branch.
- Application service for Work Pass extension, Social/Professional/Business Visit Pass, Identity Card Smart and new applications Birth, Death and Adoption.
- Service counters management at the Tutong Branch and the Temburong Branch are expected to:
- Operate from 08:00 am to 11:30 am through the early booking method. Use the contact number 4221476/4221251 for Tutong and 5221222 for Temburong to book an appointment.
- Only accept applications from the Tutong and Temburong district residents to help manage transactions within the prescribed business hours.
- Essential category services will operate beyond 11:30 am for:
- Visa or Work Pass and Visit Visa for Social/Professional/Business. As well as new and limited visa applications to those permitted through the Travel Pass Entry portal but not travelling from locations with the temporary travel ban.
- Cancelling applications for foreign nationals departing from Brunei Darussalam can be made directly at the International Airport Brunei.
Any revoked Immigration Pass during the service counter closure will not be subject to any legal action. Further guidelines will be provided soon.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Department of Immigration and National Registration.
Travel restrictions extension
As per our last update on Brunei, the government has decided to extend the travel restriction until August 31, 2021.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Prime Minister’s Office (in Malay).
Arrivals must self-isolate for a period between 14-21 days before departure to qualify for a green Health Declaration Code to board a flight to China. The traveler or their respective companies will be required to provide a commitment letter stating that the applicant has complied with the relevant self-isolation requirement.
- Algeria, Botswana and Zambia:
- All arrivals must be self-isolated for 21 days and the employer must issue a quarantine Certificate.
- Employees of Chinese-funded enterprises must self-isolate for 21 days and the employer must issue a quarantine Certificate.
- All arrivals must be self-isolated for 21 days.
- Applicants need to sign an additional “Health Protection Commitment” document.
- For employees of Chinese-funded enterprises, a migrant worker in Malaysia, or a temporary business traveler in Malaysia, the “Health Protection Commitment” (Enterprise Edition) must be signed and stamped by the person in charge of the unit in Malaysia.
- Chinese-funded enterprises employees must self-isolate for 21 days and the employer must issue a quarantine Certificate.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing is required on the 22nd day before departure.
- All arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days and the employer must issue, sign and stamp a quarantine Certificate.
- Saudi Arabia and South Africa:
- All arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.
- Cross Polymerase Chain Reaction required (testing at different institutions).
- All arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.
- Health Declaration Code appears to only be issued to R, Q, and green card holders and suspended for M, Z, F and S visas.
- Chinese-funded personnel must quarantine for 21 days and the employer must issue a quarantine Certificate. Others are required to complete a 14-day quarantine and must submit a Certificate of Declaration of Self-Isolation.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Algeria, Botswana, Iran, Malaysia, Mali, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Pakistan, Tunisia and Zambia (Chinese and English sources).
Hong Kong will adopt a risk-based approach and will recategorize countries of origin into Group A (high-risk), Group B (medium-risk), and Group C (low-risk). Anyone entering Hong Kong from Group A, B and C categories must follow the following protocols:
- Covid Negative PCR nucleic acid test with 72 hours of boarding a flight.
- Confirmation of quarantine hotel DQH List.
- Test and Hold at HKIA Airport.
- Board only government transportation to designated quarantine hotel.
Hong Kong will also open its borders to non-Hong Kong residents. Visitors will be allowed to enter from Group B and C if they have been vaccinated and comply with other requirements.
Group A (High Risk): Brazil, Bangladesh, Cambodia, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian, Spain, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, U.K. and U.S.
Group B (Medium risk): All places outside China that are not Group A or Group C and Australia.
Group C (Low Risk): New Zealand
Quarantine requirements for the above categories (vaccinated and non-vaccinated) are here.
Antibody Serology tests must be done in a Hong Kong government SAR Recognized lab. A Serology test (valid for three months) is recommended for vaccinated travelers leaving Hong Kong,
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Government of Hong Kong.
The health ministry has announced that foreign nationals residing in India are eligible to take Covid vaccination.
The outlined steps are as follows:
- Self-register on CoWIN using your mobile number and passport number.
- Select vaccination center and schedule appointment as per availability.
- Visit the vaccination center on the appointment date with the Original Passport.
- Upon successful vaccination, the certificate can be downloaded from the COWIN website.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Government of India.
An increase in cases has resulted in the Japanese government extending emergency status in Chiba, Fukuoka, Gunma, Ibaraki, Hyogo, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Okinawa, Osaka, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi and Tokyo until September 12, 2021.
They also extended the priority preventive measures in Aichi, Gifu, Ehime, Fukushima, Ishikawa, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Mie, Miyagi, Okayama, Shiga, Toyama and Yamanashi until September 12, 2021.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Cabinet Secretariat.
Philippines: New process for 47(a)2 Special Non-Immigrant Visa and clarifications on Alien Employment Permit job posting
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved issuing the 47(a)2 Special Non-Immigrant Visa to essential foreign workers appointed in the Philippines under a Philippine-based employer. Philippine-based employers must be engaged in the implementation of foreign-funded government projects like transportation and infrastructure initiatives. The foreign workers with the visa will be exempt from securing the travel ban exemption prior to arrival.
- The Philippine-based employers must submit their application to the DOJ (To: Legal Staff / Office of the Chief State Counsel) at least two months before travelling to the Philippines.
- Translated, authenticated and apostilled documents must be submitted online for evaluation. Original hard copies of these documents must be submitted within seven days from the release of the foreign national from quarantine.
- The application will be reviewed within seven working days from the receipt of the application and fees payment.
- Upon approval, DOJ will forward the Indorsement Letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for their transmittal to the declared Philippine Embassy/Consulate nearest to the foreign national for the implementation and stamping.
- The foreign national’s arrival under the 47(a)2 visa must be reported to DOJ for monitoring within seven days from the release of the foreign national from quarantine.
Unless stated in the guidelines, Department Circular No. 024 of 2012 shall govern the processing of the applications for the issuing of Special Non-immigrant Visas under Section 47(a)2 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Department of Justice.
Clarifications on Alien Employment Permit Job Posting
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has released a clarification guidelines on the Job posting for the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) applications.
The job vacancies in the newspaper of general circulation is now valid and effective within 45 days from the date of publication, effectively amending the AEP Advisory No. 4, series of 2021.
The employer published job vacancies is required on all new AEP application under the following scenarios or circumstances:
- Change in the position of the foreign national.
- Application without appropriate work visa by the time of renewal shall be treated as new and likewise be penalized accordingly.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Department of Labor and Employment.
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).
The Belgian authorities have implemented a new system, using a digital platform called ‘Working in Belgium’. To hire non-EU employees, the employer in Belgium must have:
- A legal entity registered with the WIB platform and the Belgian Banque Carrefour des Enterprises (BCE).
- A legal representative in Belgium (Belgian legal resident). It is no longer sufficient to have shareholders of the Belgian entity based in other countries.
Provided the above is in place, the employer can submit applications online themselves or instruct a service provider to file the applications by means of a mandate. The service provider must also:
- Be registered with the WIB platform and with the BCE.
- Have a legal representative in Belgium.
Each employer can only instruct up to a maximum of two service providers to complete these formalities. The mandate must be submitted to the authorities for approval and processing times are currently a minimum of two weeks, possibly being extended depending on the application. Once approved, the mandate may be valid for three years, this is still to be confirmed by the authorities. Currently, there is no government fee for the processing of the mandate.
- Benefits: a more efficient process and reduced timelines: approximately four weeks vs up to four months previously.
- Exceptions: this new formality does not apply to one-off, short-term work of up to 90 days.
A proposal has been submitted to the relevant authorities requesting flexibility for companies that contribute greatly to the economy and are not currently set up with the criteria mentioned above. There is no further information on this. Crown will monitor the situation and provide other updates as and when received.
No source available at the time of writing.
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).
We track policy changes in over 120 countries. Find out how we can help you in this short video.