Immigration update for the AMER and APAC regions
Andean Community: Approved Andean immigration statute
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru (the full members of the Andean Community – CAN) have approved the Andean Immigration Statute, which will offer reciprocal immigration benefits among each of their nationals, as well as permanent residents and their families.
Eligible foreign nationals will benefit from new nationality-based temporary and permanent residence categories in the other countries and the ability to enter these using their national identification document instead of a passport, among other benefits. The statute is expected to take effect on August 13, 2021. Until then, each country member must draft and publish new immigration regulations implementing the Statute, which could vary by country.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Comunidad Andina (in Spanish).
United States: Expansion of National Interest Exception list
On May 27, 2021, the National Interest Exception (NIE) list was expanded to passengers from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, the Schengen area and the U.K.
The NIE may apply for those who are seeking to provide vital support or executive direction for critical infrastructure. Those traveling to provide vital support or executive direction for significant economic activity in the United States; journalists; students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs; immigrants; and fiancés.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the U.S. Department of State.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services policies updates
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its policies to improve immigration services and eliminate unnecessary barriers. For some non-citizens with outstanding adjustment of status petitions, the validity time for initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) will be extended.
For some adjustment of status applicants, updated policy guidelines will extend to two years. Extending the duration of EADs for some adjustment applicants is projected to lower the amount of employment authorization petitions received by USCIS, allowing the agency to focus its limited resources on other priorities.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
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 Roberta Carnaccini, Global Operations Director, Immigration.
Australia: Travel restrictions
An entry ban for non-citizens and non-residents, except Australian citizens, permanent residents and their direct family members is in place and provisional visa holders and New Zealand citizens who are usually resident in Australia and their immediate family members is in place.
Temporary visa holders in Australia can depart Australia at any time, however, they will generally not be permitted to return to Australia.
Temporary visa holders seeking to leave and then return to Australia, may apply for an inwards exemption before they leave, however applications will generally only be approved if:
- The applicant meets the requirements for an individual exemption.
- The applicant has a compelling reason supported by relevant documentary evidence.
- The applicant has to travel for business purposes.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Government of Australia.
Malaysia: Extended total lockdown
The Government of Malaysia has extended total lockdown until June 28, 2021. All physical counter services for the below immigration unit are closed during this period:
- Expatriate Service Division (ESD) – Putrajaya
- MyXpats Center – Surian Tower
- eXpats Service Center (MDEC) – Cyberjaya
- Immigration Unit (Expatriate Services)- Cyberjaya
All approved appointments are automatically void. A new appointment has to be applied for once the lock down period is over. Applications submitted online will be processed as usual. However, a delay is expected to the processing timeline.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Reuters.
South Korea: Quarantine changes
South Korea will exempt some travellers who have received their Covid-19 vaccine shots overseas from its mandatory two-week quarantine starting July 1, 2021. The new policy will apply only to certain people, such as citizens and foreign residents, as well as those coming to visit family, or for the purpose of business, academics or public interest.
Exempt travellers will need to fill out an application and still need to be tested before and after arriving in South Korea. Some travellers from countries with major outbreaks or variants will not be allowed to opt out of quarantine.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Straits 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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