Immigration weekly update: March 25, 2021

Global Immigration updates for  Australia, China and more


Australia: Coronavirus restrictions

All arrivals including Australian citizens, are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine and negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, taken 72 hours before the scheduled departure is required for travelling to or transit through Australia.

Temporary visa holders wanting to leave Australia must apply for an inwards exemption beforehand. Australians and permanent residents must meet certain criteria before leaving Australia. Traveling for three months or longer, is possible if a compelling reason and evidence to support claims is provided. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Business Travel Card (ABTC) holders are also required to apply for an exemption, accommodated with evidence to support their claims. Individuals that are under automatic exemption from the travel restrictions can be found here.

Flights from and to Australia are very limited and non-citizens who want to return to Australia are advised to check all the restrictions.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Department of Home Affairs.

China: Vaccinated foreign nationals can now apply for entry visas – Updated

As per confirmation with several Chinese Visa centers /embassies:

  1. The local Chinese embassy will accept the vaccination certificates from a third country.
  2. There is no exemption for the above policy; all applicants (including children) must be able to present valid vaccination certificates to apply for entry visas.

Note: applicants are still advised to double-check the exact policy for their specific location.

If the principal employee is already in China with a work/residence permit, only the dependent family members will apply for entry visas to join the employee in China, and they are advised to double-check the policy with their local Chinese embassy.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of  China in Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Belarus, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macau, Malta, Micronesia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Serbia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the U.S., the U.K. and Vietnam (Chinese and English written sources).

Philippines: Temporary travel suspension

From March 22, 2021 until April 21, 2021, foreign nationals are suspended from entry, except:

  • Holders of 9(e) visas.
  • Valid 47(a)(2) visa holders at the time of entry.
  • Medical repatriation and their escort/s duly endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the NTF COVID-19.
  • Foreign seafarers under the “Green Lanes” program for crew change if they hold a 9(c)-crew list visa at the time of entry.
  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipinos with valid visas at the time of entry.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Republic of Philippines.

Singapore: New portal for entry approval application

All applications for entry into Singapore for the following pass holders (including those on In-Principal Approval or Letter of Consent) must be submitted via the new Safe Travel Office’s (STO) safe travel portal.

  • Employment Pass holders and their dependents.
  • S Pass holders and their dependents.
  • Work Permit and Training Work Permit holders who are not in the Construction, Marine shipyard, and Process sectors.
  • Personalized Employment Pass holders (with employers) and their dependents.
  • EntrePass holders (with CorpPass) and their dependents.

Under the new STO eService, employers and employees can submit for a family in a single application if they spend the last 14 days in the same countries/regions before entering Singapore and will arrive on the same date and stay together.

Date of entry can be selected up to 60 days in advance. Approval will be granted within one hour and full payments (for quarantine at designated government facility (if applicable) and Covid swab test) must be made accordingly.

Once the entry approval is obtained, the arrival date can only be amended in emergencies. Cancellation of entry approval is subject to agreement and applicants may be required to make full payment for the quarantine at a designated government facility and Covid 19 test (around SGD 2200) before new entry approval can be requested.

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).

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