Immigration updates for India, New Zealand and Philippines
India: Relaxation on visa validity for foreign nationals
The Indian government has announced that visas of foreigners stranded in India due to non-availability of international flights will be deemed valid until August 31, 2021. This is without any overstay penalty and foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO/FRO) concerned for extension of their visas.
Foreign nationals may apply for an exit permit at FRRO/FRO concerned before exiting the country, which would be granted without any overstay penalty.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Government of India.
Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)
The Government of India has recently relaxed renewal of OCI rules.
As per current rules:
- Renewal of OCI is not required for children on change of passport.
- Renewal of OCI is not required after 50 years of age.
- Renewal of OCI is not required if it was issued after 20 years of age.
- Renewal of OCI is not required every time there is change of passport.
Applicants are only required to upload an online copy of their current passport and photo on the OCI services website. No fees need to be paid, no form is required to be filled and no appointment is required. This facility to upload will be available on the website after May 31, 2021.
The Government has also relaxed condition to carry old passport linked with the OCI Card. Now all OCI cardholders can travel to/from India carrying their OCI card and current passport only.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the High Commission of India.
New Zealand: Accredited Employer Work Visa
The New Zealand government is introducing a new temporary work visa called the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) on November 1, 2021. This will replace six of the existing temporary work visa categories. Alongside a new employer-led system will be introduced that will simplify the application process and make it easier for businesses and regions to fill genuine skills shortages when there is no New Zealander available to do the job, or who can be trained up for the role.
Employers will need to be accredited before they can hire a migrant on an AEMV. Employers will be able to apply for accreditation from late September, ahead of the introduction date and don’t need to be accredited in the new system by November 1, 2021 if they do not plan to start hiring migrants on Accredited Employer Work Visas at this time. Employers that are accredited under the current system will need to apply and meet the policy requirements of the new accreditation system.
The new three-check system will help combat migrant exploitation by strengthening requirements on employers. The changes are also important for encouraging employers to focus on ways to train and upskill New Zealanders. The system will:
- Reduce New Zealand’s reliance on lower-paid temporary workers.
- Better address our productivity, skills and infrastructure challenges.
- Increase the skill levels of migrants.
Businesses employing migrants who hold a current Talent or Essential Skill visa don’t need to become accredited until they want to hire someone on the new visa.
The following employer policies are closing to new and renewing applications on June 30, 2021:
- Accredited Employer (Talent – Accredited Employer).
- Labour Hire Accreditation (Essential Skills).
- Approval in Principle (Essential Skills). This does not include approval in principle for other policies including AIP for foreign crew of fishing vessels.
If employers want to be able to use these statuses up to November 1, 2021, they should apply by June 30, 2021 and consider the processing timeframes available on the INZ website. Employers that only want to hire migrants using the new AEWV should wait and apply under the new accreditation system.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Immigration of New Zealand.
Philippines: Extension of temporary travel restrictions
The Bureau of Immigration has implemented the extension of the existing temporary travel restrictions in reference to the Memorandum from Executive Secretary dated May 31, 2021. The following guidelines are still enforced from June 1 to June 15, 2021:
- All passengers coming from or who have been to India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall be prohibited from entering the country.
- Filipinos coming from the foregoing countries covered by any repatriation program of the national government shall not be prohibited from entering but shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period notwithstanding a negative result of an RT-PCR test.
- Filipinos and foreign passengers merely transiting through India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, and UAE shall be subject to the following rules:
- Passengers merely transiting through these countries shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to such country if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry.
- Upon arrival to the Philippines, transit passengers do not need to complete a full 14-day facility-based quarantine but shall 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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