Immigration updates for China, India, Singapore and United Kingdom
China: Temporary entry suspension
On November 25, 2020, the Chinese embassy in the U.K. announced modifications to the current suspension of entry for non-Chinese nationals entering from the U.K.
The visa center will now be accepting the following applications:
- Applicants who have obtained an “Invitation Letter (PU/TE)” or a “Verification Confirmation of Invitation” from the Foreign Affairs Office of the provincial government or the provincial department of commerce of the intended place to visit for economic, trade, scientific or technological purposes.
- Applicants who have obtained a “Notification Letter of Foreigners Work Permit” as well as an “Invitation Letter (PU/TE)” or a “Verification Confirmation of Invitation” for working in China.
- Applicants who intend to visit an immediate family member (foreign nationals included) in China (including parents, spouse, children, grandparents and grandchildren) who is in a critical medical condition and in need of care, or to arrange funeral matters of an immediate family member in China, require the following: photocopies of medical certificate or death certificate; proof of relationships (including birth certificate, marriage certificate, Chinese household registration, certificate letter from the local police bureau in China, notarial certificate of kinship, etc.); and an invitation letter from relatives in China.
- Applicants who qualify for a crew (C) visa.
- Applicants (including accompanying spouse and children under the age of 18) who qualify for a high-level talent (R) visa.
These applicants are required to fill in the online form and make an appointment with the nearest Chinese Visa Service Application Centre (CVASC) before submitting applications in person on the date of appointment. Children under the age of 14 and adults above the age of 70 are not required to go to the CVASC for biometric information collection.
Visa applications for other visiting purposes that are not included above will not be accepted. This therefore excludes dependent applicants except those entering with an expert R visa holder.
The following individuals will qualify for an R visa:
- High-level foreign national talents introduced by the Chinese government.
- High-level foreign national management, professional and technical talents certified by the department of human resources and the department of scientific and technological innovation in Shanghai.
- Senior industry professionals employed by the organizations on the Shanghai sci-tech innovation occupation list.
- Foreign national experts with a master’s degree or above.
- Foreign national experts employed or invited by enterprises in the Shanghai Zhangjiang National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone, China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, mass entrepreneurship and innovation demonstration bases established with the approval of the State Council, or universities or scientific research academies and institutes in Shanghai.
- Foreign national experts holding a Confirmation Letter for High-level Foreign Talents.
- Foreign national experts and scholars invited by well-known enterprises in China.
This summary was prepared using information from the Chinese Embassy and Government Affairs of Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai (in Chinese).
India: Flight ban extension
The Indian Government has announced an extension of the international flight ban until December 31, 2020.
India has signed bilateral air travel agreements with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, the Maldives, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States to allow limited international flights under air transport bubbles.
Travel to and from India will be facilitated via non-scheduled flights under the Vande Bharat Mission, air transport bubble arrangement or other chartered flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Singapore: Border control measures
In light of the surge of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, travelers with travel history in the past 14 days to Malaysia are required to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated SHN facilities. This new requirement also applies to travelers entering Singapore to work under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) and returning Singapore-based travelers under the Singapore – Malaysia Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) arrangement.
All travelers excluding Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Permanent Residents (PRs) entering Singapore with this travel history will also be required to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours of departure. This requirement will not apply for returning Singapore-based travelers under the Singapore – Malaysia RGL.
Arrivals with travel history in the past 14 days to Japan will be required to serve a 14-day quarantine at dedicated SHN facilities. This will apply even if they have obtained approval from the authorities to opt out of serving quarantine at an SHN facility. This also applies to returning Singapore-based travelers under the Singapore – Japan RGL arrangement.
All inbound travelers excluding Singapore citizens or permanent residents, and those from lower-risk countries (Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam, Australia, Macao, mainland China and those entering from Hong Kong not via air travel bubble arrangement), will be required to undertake a PCR test within 72 hours of departure via an established laboratory or clinic. This includes children aged 12 and below. A negative Covid-19 test result must be produced as condition for entry into Singapore. Travelers will still be required to serve their SHN upon arrival and have a Covid-19 swab test taken at the end of their SHN.
Travelers from lower-risk countries will be required to take a PCR test upon arrival or serve a seven-day SHN and undertake a Covid-19 swab test at the end of that period.
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 Debra Jane Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager (APAC).
Europe, Middle East and Africa
United Kingdom: Testing on arrival in England
The U.K. Government has announced its testing strategy for passengers arriving in England, effective December 15, 2020.
Passengers arriving in England from countries not featured on the Government’s travel corridor list will have the option to take a Covid-19 test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing them from the need to isolate further.
Those arriving in England by plane, ferry or train should book their test before travel. They must still complete a passenger locator form and must self-isolate for five days before taking a test. They can then take a test on or after the fifth day of the isolation, either at home or at a private provider’s testing site. On receipt of a negative result they can immediately finish self-isolating.
Tests will be available to book from a private provider on a Government list.
Those who choose to book a test will need to state this on their passenger locator form prior to arriving. If they choose to opt in after arrival, they will need to resubmit their passenger locator form.
Passengers who choose not to take a test when arriving from a non-exempt country must continue to follow the mandatory 14 days of self-isolation.
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).
We track policy changes in over 120 countries. Find out how we can help you in this short video.