Immigration weekly update: March 26, 2020

United Kingdom: Increase in immigration health surcharge

Immigration Health Surcharge is a mandatory payment made as part of the UK immigration application whether the applicant is overseas and applying for a visa longer than 6 months or already in the country regardless of duration they are applying to remain for.

Only EEA nationals and those applying to settle in the UK are currently exempted. It allows visa holders access the UK National Health Service. It is even payable if a visa holder has private medical insurance.

The UK government announced in its Budget last week that the Immigration Health Surcharge will increase in October 2020 as follows:

  • For non-liable: EEA temporary migrants and their dependents: from £400 to £624
  • For students and their dependents as well as those on the Youth Mobility Scheme: from £300 to £470
  • For all children under the age of 18: from £400 to £470

Employers should be mindful that this will increase the cost of sponsoring overseas workers and will be expanded to include EEA migrant workers from January 2021.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from

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 Laxmi Vikraman, Regional Immigration Manager (EMEA).



Coronavirus updates:

Argentina: Visa issuance is suspended for travellers from China, the EU, Iran, Japan, UK, USA and South Korea. Moreover, borders are closed to non-residents for 15 days as of March 15. More info at: Reuters

Australia: Visa issuance is suspended for travellers from China, Iran, Italy and South Korea and international cruises are banned. A 14-day quarantine is in place for those arriving in Australia More info at:  Visa Executive Corporate Migration

Bolivia: Government suspends the entry of travellers coming from China, Italy, Spain and South Korea and Europe starting March 17, 2020. Bolivian citizen returning must go through sanitary Authority established protocols.

Canada: Borders are closed, all international flights are allowed only into Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Travel ban is also expected for U.S. citizens, diplomats, crew (truck drivers, air crew, trains etc.). More info at: KrancLaw

China: All Overseas arrivals to observe a 14-day quarantine in government facilities. More info at: National Immigration Administration (in Chinese)

Colombia: The government suspends foreign entry. Only nationals and resident foreigners including diplomatic corps are allowed to enter and they must undergo preventive isolation for 14 days. More info at: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (in Spanish)

Ecuador: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility terminates international air operations. More info at: eTurboNews

El Salvador: The government has been gradually restricting the free entry of foreigners, except for Salvadorans, foreign residents and diplomats. More info at:

EU:  Border closures in place for 30 days, starting March 17. More info at: European Commission

Hungary: The government of Hungary announced new measures due to COVID-19 – Closing of schools, borders, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, clubs and cancellation of public events. Travel restrictions in place. More info at: ( in Hungarian)

Kazakhstan: State of emergency announced March 16 to April 15 – during this period entry into and exit is limited. More info at: National Post

Malaysia: The Prime Minister declares the country will be under a movement control order – prohibition of movement and mass assembly nationwide (religious, sports, social and cultural activities). More info at:  New Straits Times

Paraguay: Paraguay closes borders and decrees health emergency. More info at: Gobierno Nacional del Paraguay (in Spanish)

Peru: The government has declared a state of emergency – 15-days mandatory isolation, offices will be closed for 15 days and immigration procedures will be postponed, and all borders are closed. More into at: Adnina Peru News Agency

Philippines: The government enhanced community quarantine for Luzon Island and imposed strict home quarantine. Transportation is suspended. More info at:

Russia: Ministry of Internal Affairs announces instructions for foreign nationals related to extension of current permits and duration of stay. More info at: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (in Russian)

Saudi Arabia: Authorities suspend work for 15 days, as well as flights, schools and universities are closed. More info at: Middle East EYE

Singapore: Travellers entering Singapore with travel history to ASEAN countries, Japan, Switzerland or the US will be issued a 14-day SHN (Stay-Home Notice). Nationals of ASEAN country will have to provide health information. More info at:

Spain: The government stated state of alarm in Spain. More info at: Catalan News

Sweden: Foreign nationals from a country that is not part of the EEA or Switzerland are banned from entry, except for residence permit holders. More info at: Government of Sweden

Switzerland: New measures are implemented – entry ban for the following countries: Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and all non-Schengen countries. Foreign service providers must submit registration certificates. Suspension of work or residence permits applications as well as Schengen visas and national visas for three months (entry with exceptional cases). More info at: The Federal Council (in German)

Taiwan: Foreign nationals are banned form entry. Only enter except for Taiwan citizens and foreigners holding a vid Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) will be allowed into the country. More info at: Bureau of Consular Affairs

UAE: The government announced new restrictions. Among them are: Self-quarantine required for arrivals. Postponement of events. All flights are suspended. Moreover, visa issuance (except for diplomatic passport holders) are terminated. An entry ban is imposed starting March 19 for all travellers from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, except Swiss nationals, Swiss residence permit holders and cross-border workers. More info at: Arab News

Ukraine: Temporary entry ban for foreign citizens, except Ukrainian permanent or temporary residence holders, employees of diplomatic missions, consulates and representative offices of international organizations. More info at:

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