Immigration weekly update: July 22, 2021

Global Immigration update for Brunei Darussalam and more


Brunei Darussalam: Temporary travel restrictions – extended

  • Temporary suspension on cross-border activities, which applies to:
    • Foreign nationals entering via land and seaports, including transits through Brunei Darussalam. Unless the Government of Brunei Darussalam approves entry or transit travels.
    • Couriers (so-called “runners”) handling private goods collection and delivery at border checkpoints registered in Brunei Darussalam.
    • Entry and exit-country travels of commuters via land and seaports for the purpose of work.
  • Temporary suspension on travelling to and from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which applies to:
    • Entry and exit travels of all foreign nationals departing from or through any airport in the Indian subcontinent.
    • Diplomatic passport holders and members of the armed forces working in Brunei Darussalam, will be allowed to enter and exit the country.
    • Foreign nationals holding an employment or dependent’s pass which has been cancelled or “Special Authorization Work Pass” or “Professional Visit Visa” holders who worked temporarily in Brunei Darussalam, returning to their respective countries permanently will be allowed to exit the country.
  • Transits through Brunei Darussalam for all foreign nationals departing from the Indian subcontinent.
  • Entry of foreign nationals who have been granted pre-approvals to enter Brunei Darussalam from the Indian subcontinent (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh) via pre-authorized flights, which have therefore been suspended.

These above measures shall remain enforced until July 31, 2021.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Prime Minister’s Office (in Malay).

New Zealand: Accredited Employer Work Visa – updated

From July 19, Essential Skills Visa holders can apply for a longer visa to remain in their current role. The government has decided to extend the maximum duration of an Essential Skills Visa for a job paid below the median wage from 12 to 24 months.

The duration of Essential Skills visas for roles paid the median wage or above, will still be up to three years. The application process for Essential Skills are also changing from July 19, 2021, until August 28, 2021. Applicants need to apply using a paper-based form on the INZ website. From August 30, 2021, applicants will be able to apply online instead.

Other changes include:

  • The Employer will not have to prove there are no New Zealanders available to retain migrant workers in the same roles.
  • There will still be labor market testing for vacant roles or where workers are changing region.
  • Applicants remaining in the same role will not need to include an employment agreement with their new Essential Skills visa application.
  • Applicants will not be required to provide medical and police certificates, if these were previously supplied with a visa application.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is revising its Skills Match report, which is used for testing labor market and prioritizing New Zealand job seekers. The revised Skills Match Report will be used from July 19, 2021. Updating the Skills Match Report ahead of the wider reforms next year will allow employers time to adapt to the new format.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the New Zealand Immigration.

Philippines: Additional restrictions

The Bureau of Immigration has implemented further extensions of the existing temporary travel restrictions in reference to the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated  May 5, 2021 and adding Indonesia as one of the restricted countries in reference to the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated July 14, 2021. The following guidelines are enforced until July 30, 2021:

  • All passengers coming from or who have been to India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE) within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines are prohibited from entering the country.
  • Effective on July 16, 2021, all passengers coming from or who have been to Indonesia within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines are also prohibited from entering the country.
  • Filipinos arriving from the above-mentioned countries covered by any government repatriation programs shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period notwithstanding a negative result of an RT-PCR test.
  • Filipinos arriving from those same countries under a non-Philippine Government repatriation will need to:
    • Present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before boarding the aircraft or vessel.
    • Undergo 14-day facility-based quarantine from the arrival date in the Philippines, with the date of arrival being the first day.
  • Filipinos and foreign passengers merely transiting through those countries are subject to the following rules:
    • Passengers transiting through these countries are not deemed as having come from or having been to such country, provided that they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry into these countries by their immigration authorities.
    • Upon arrival to the Philippines, transit passengers do not need to complete a full 14-day facility-based quarantine but must comply with the existing test and quarantine protocols.

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

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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