Immigration news updates for AMER and APAC regions
Chile: New regulations on local immigration law
The Ministry of Interior has published new immigration-related regulation which does not allow in-country change of status as contemplated by the previous law. The Consular Tourist visa will no longer exist and has been replaced by a Short-term authorization for those seeking admission for tourism and business purposes. The regulation also includes stricter rules for permanent residence permit applications.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Diario Oficial de La República de Chile (in Spanish).
Panama: Suspension of all extension requests and permanent residents
The government of Panama has suspended provisional permit renewal and permanent residence applications until April 30, 2022. Due to this change, residence permit cards granted under categories of provisional and permanent residence are automatically extended until April 30, 2022. Starting May 1, 2022, all applications will be submitted at the Department of Document Reception of the National Immigration Authority.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Gaceta Oficial Republica de Panama (in Spanish).
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 Rafael Pavanelli, AMER Immigration Manager.
Philippines: Revised guidelines for international arrivals
The ITAF dated February 3, announced that from February 10, foreign nationals traveling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes without visas for less than 30 days of stay. This is provided they fulfil the following:
- Must present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin.
- Must be non-visa required nationals under Executive Order No. 408 (s.1960), as amended.
- Must be holders of passports valid for at least six months at the time of arrival.
- Must have a valid return / outbound ticket to their country of origin or next country of destination not later than 30 days from date of arrival.
- Must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 except only for minor children below 12 years of age traveling with their fully vaccinated foreign parent(s).
- Must have the following proofs of vaccination against Covid-19 recognized under existing IATF regulations:
- World Health Organization (WHO) International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis (ICV);
- VaxCertPH; or
- National / state digital certificate of the foreign government which has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF.
- Prior to arrival, must have travel insurance for Covid-19 treatment costs, with a minimum coverage of USD 35,000.00 for the duration of their stay in the Philippines
Under the IATF resolution 160-D, qualified nationals who are intending to stay beyond 30 days for purposes other than tourism and leisure, or are not qualified for the balikbayan privilege, may enter the Philippines through an Entry Exemption Document (EED) from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and 9(a) Visa from the Philippine Embassy or Consulate.
In addition, foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens who are from visa-required nationals may enter the country without the need of an EED, provided they have been issued a 9(a) visa with the appropriate visa notation from the Philippine Embassy or Consulate.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Republic of the Philippines.
Singapore: Updated border measures
The Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) is now extended to more countries:
- Hong Kong, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will have VTL arrangements for entry into Singapore from February 25, 2022. The Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) applications commenced on February 22, 2022.
- Israel and the Philippines will have VTL arrangement for entry into Singapore from March 4, 2022. The VTP applications will commence on March 1, 2022.
Summary of Active VTL Countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Then added to the list for entry under VTL arrangement effective on February 25, 2022, will be Hong Kong, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and for entry under VTL arrangement effective on March 4, 2022, will be Israel and the Philippines.
All travelers entering Singapore under the VTL must comply with the prevailing VTL requirements.
Travel history: Assessed travel history will be reduced from 14 days to seven days for VTL travelers entering Singapore from February 22, 2022. Travelers must only have traveled to or transited via “Active VTL (Air) Countries / Regions within the past seven days, prior to entry into Singapore.
Update on Supervised Self-Swab (SSS) Antigen Rapid Test (ART): VTL and Category I travelers will be required to take a supervised self-swab (SSS) ART at one of the testing centers located across Singapore within 24 hours from entry into Singapore. This will replace existing requirements to undertake On-arrival Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at the airport upon arrival. Travelers should visit Quick Test Centers (QTCs) or Combined Test Centers (CTCs) for their OAT SSS ART. To book tests at QTCs or CTCs here, and this information will be provided in the Testing Notice issued to travelers upon entry into Singapore. Travelers should self-isolate prior to receiving the OAT test result and use private transport when going to the testing site. If unwell, please visit a clinic for medical advice via private transport.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.
Qualifying Salary Threshold update
The Singapore budget announcement on February 18, 2022, outlined changes to the qualifying salary threshold for Employment Pass and S Pass applications.
Effective September 1, 2022, the minimum qualifying salary for new Employment Pass (EP) applications will be changed from SGD$ 4,500 into SGD$ 5,000 whereas for the financial sector from SGD$ 5,000 into SGD$ 5,500. In addition, the minimum qualifying salary for new S Pass applications will be changed from SGD$ 2,500 into SGD$ 3,000 whereas for the financial sector from SGD$ 3,000 into SGD$ 3,500.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Business Times.
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).
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