Immigration weekly update: May 20, 2021

Immigration updates for the APAC and EMEA regions


Hong Kong: Quarantine requirementshongkong

The Hong Kong government announced new quarantine and testing requirements for all inbound travelers holding Hong Kong residency visas. These new measures depend on where arrivals are traveling from. Find the five categories according to the relevant risk-based boarding and compulsory quarantine requirements.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Government of Hong Kong.

Malaysia: New restrictions

Travelers who embarked on a journey from any destination in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka via direct flight to Malaysia, are prohibited from entering the country. Travel bans are also imposed for travelers who transit in Malaysia from these countries.

Singapore – SARS-Cov-2 Variant of Concern

Singapore has been listed as one of the countries reported with the spread of Variant of Concern (VOC) and must follow the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP):

  • Travelers entering Malaysia from Singapore must adhere to 14 days’ mandatory quarantine.
  • Travelers entering Malaysia under Periodic Communicating Arrangement Scheme (PCA) must adhere to 14 days’ mandatory quarantine.
  • Reciprocal Green Lane Scheme (RGL) is temporarily suspended until further notice.
  • Travelers from Singapore who wish to enter Malaysia for business purposes must apply for entry permission from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), One Stop Center.

Quarantine Letter of Undertaking (LOU) and Travel Notice

The requirement for Letter of Undertaking and Travel Notice from travelers to enter Malaysia has been revoked. Travelers must ensure that entry approval from Malaysia Immigration is obtained before making arrangements to enter Malaysia.

India – Entry permission approval void/cancelled

All Entry Permission approval for Indian passport holders are now void. Until further notice, Malaysia will restrict entry for Indian passport holders, and this includes those with a valid long-term pass in Malaysia. Any traveler who has travel history to India within 30 days will be restricted from entering Malaysia.

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

Philippines: New quarantine procedures

The Bureau of Immigration has released an advisory on quarantine procedures for arriving passengers following the issuance of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 114 dated May 6, 2021.

All arriving travelers shall undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival. The first ten days will be observed in an accredited quarantine facility of Department of Health (DOH), with the remainder to be completed under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination. For the DOH-accredited quarantine facilities, the list can be found here.

RT-PCR testing must be conducted on the seventh day (arrival date being considered the first day). Alongside a negative test result, the arriving traveler must complete a ten-day facility-based quarantine.

The RT-PCR test costs PHP 4,000 per person and the passenger may pay in cash (PHP or USD), card, GCash, PayPal, WeChat Pay, or Alipay in the airport.

The Bureau of Immigration requires all passengers to present pre-booked accommodation for at least ten nights in a DOH-accredited quarantine facility/hotel. Failure to present pre-booked accommodation will result in denied entry and boarded immediately on the next available flight.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Singapore: Border measures – updated

Considering resurgence of Covid-19 cases in several countries, the Singapore authorities are restricting entry approvals for long term pass holders from high-risk countries over the coming months and reviewing quarantine requirements for travelers from some of the countries.

High-risk countries refer to all countries/regions except Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Mainland China, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Macao.

Arrivals from Taiwan

Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders entering Singapore with travel history to Taiwan within 21 days prior to departure, will be subject to a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated SHN facilities, followed by an additional seven-day SHN at their place of residence. Travelers will undergo Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) on-arrival, on Day 14 of their SHN and before the end of their 21-day SHN period.

Travelers who are not citizens or permanent residents with recent travel history to Taiwan will be required to take a Covid-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure.

Arrivals from Vietnam

All travelers entering Singapore with travel history in the past 21 days to Vietnam prior to departure to Singapore will be required to serve a 21-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities. Travelers yet to complete this will be required to serve the additional  seven days at their current dedicated SHN facility and will undergo Covid-19 PCR tests on-arrival, on the 14th day of the SHN and before the end of their SHN period.

The above changes will not impact work pass holders already given or are seeking entry approval to enter Singapore from lower risk countries/regions, i.e. under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement. Till further notice, the Ministry of Manpower is still processing and approving EP/S Pass/Work Permit and dependent pass applications.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Health.

Vietnam: Changes to Decree 152

Changes to Decree 152 means assignees who are not qualified for new work permits when current work permits expire, are unable to renew visas for three months. Instead, a one-month extension applies. If the Immigration Department allows them to extend their visa after one month, the extension is unknown.


  • All foreign nationals who have work permits expired or are applying for new work permits must plan three to five months in advance.
  • All foreign nationals who have expired Temporary Residence cards or visas will also need to plan three to five months in advance.

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).

Europe, Middle East and Africa

United Kingdom: Right to work checks update

The U.K. Government extends employers’ eligibility to conduct right to work checks virtually for the safety of their workforce until June 20, 2021.


As an emergency measure during the Covid-19 crisis, the Home Office relaxed some of the requirements on employers to comply with the Right to Work regulations. The changes dealt specifically with the duty to verify workers’ IDs in person.

Until June 20, 2021, employers can carry out temporary adjusted checks by following the below:

  • Asking the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app.
  • Arranging a video call with the worker – asking them to hold up the original documents to the camera and checking it against the digital copy of the documents, recording the date of check and marking it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19.”
  • If the employee has a current Biometric Residence Permit, Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system, employers can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call – the applicant must give permission to view their details.

From June 21, 2021, employers must carry out standard checks through:

  • Checking the applicant’s original documents, or
  • Checking the applicant’s right to work online, if applicable.

Employers do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a Covid-19 adjusted check between March 30, 2020, and June 20, 2021.


Employers should review internal processes in preparation for the standard checks to resume and to ensure compliance. It remains an offence to knowingly employ anyone who doesn’t have the right to work in the U.K.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from

EU Settlement Scheme – Fast approaching deadline

The deadline for applications to be made to the EU Settlement Scheme is now fast approaching (June 30, 2021).


All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who were resident in the U.K. by December 31, 2020, should apply without delay to ensure they can continue to work, study, and access free healthcare and benefits in the U.K.

It’s not the employer’s responsibility to make sure their EU employees have applied, but employers can play a role, cascading the fast-approaching deadline to the attention of their eligible EU staff.

Employers will not need to carry out retrospective Right to Work Checks on existing EU employees after the deadline.

It’s important to note that from July 1, 2021, new EU, EEA and Swiss hires will need to demonstrate their right to work either with the pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or with a visa under the points-based immigration system.

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).

We track policy changes in over 120 countries. Find out how we can help you in this short video.

Related Topics

Share this Post