Immigration weekly update: November 06, 2019


China: Online expat residence registration in Shanghai

2019 AmCham Shanghai HR Conference

Chinese law requires foreign nationals to complete their accommodation registration within twenty-four hours of entering China. Failure to do so may affect future visa applications.

The Shanghai Entry-Exit Administration Bureau has now launched an online registration platform. Foreign nationals can register online or via the other methods below.

Impact

Expats updating their registration can now choose from the following methods:

  1. Scan the QR code below (available in English and Chinese only)
  2. Log onto https://crjzndg.gaj.sh.gov.cn/ (available in English and Chinese only)
  3. Visit the local police station – applications made on behalf of the foreign national will no longer be accepted for stations that have already migrated online

Foreign nationals staying in hotels are exempt from this requirement (hotels will contact the police station directly and provide their guest registration details).

Looking ahead

This is convenient for foreign nationals as they no longer have to visit the police station (with supporting documents) every time they are due to update their registration.

The system also keeps a record of all applications lodged via the portal.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the online platform for Government affairs of Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

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 Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC or Pamela Williams, China Immigration Team Lead.


China: 144-hour visa-free access expanded

On Dec. 1, 2019, China will revise its visa-free transit access policy for 53 eligible nationalities.

Impact

  1. Visa-free transit access will be extended from 72 to 144 hours for eligible foreign nationals entering via Chongqing and Xi’an airports.
  2. Ningbo airport will be included in the Shanghai/Jiangsu/Zhejiang 144-hour visa-free transit policy. Travelers can enter/exit via Ningbo airport, Nanjing airport, Hangzhou airport and all Shanghai sea/land/air-ports that support the 144-hour visa free policy.
  3. 144-hour visa free access via Chengdu airport will be expanded to 11 cities: Chengdu, Leshan, Deyang, Suining, Meishan, Ya’an, Ziyang, Neijiang, Zigong, Luzhou, and Yibin.

144-hour visa-free access is available at the following locations:

Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao, Chengdu, Xiamen, Kunming, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jieyang, Chongqing, Xi’an, and Ningbo.

72-hour visa-free transit is available at the following locations:

Changsha, Guilin, and Harbin.

Eligible nationalities:

ContinentTransit visa-free countries
EuropeCountries under Schengen Visa Agreement (24):
Austria, Belgium, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Other countries (15):
Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, United Kingdom Serbia, Ukraine
AmericaArgentina, Brazil, Canada, Republic of Chile, Mexico, United States
OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand.
AsiaBrunei, Japan, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the National Immigration Administration.

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 Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC or Pamela Williams, China Immigration Team Lead.


India: e-Tourist visa for Chinese nationals

The Indian government now issues five-year e-Tourist visas (e-TV) with multiple entries to Chinese nationals at a fee of US$ 80. Single entry e-TV’s for Chinese tourists are valid for thirty days and carry a fee of US$ 25. However, if the single entry e-TV is applied for during April to June, the fee will be only US$ 10. These changes have been made to encourage Chinese nationals to choose India as a tourist destination.

Looking ahead

Travelers must note the limited stay period as stipulated on the e-TV.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Economic 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 Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC or Bopanna Nanjappa, Immigration Manager for South Asia.


Thailand: One Stop Service Centre application processes

The authorities have announced that companies eligible for expedited work permit processing at the One Stop Service Centre (OSSC) can now submit pre-work permit approval applications via the same system.

Impact Bangkok, Thailand

For qualifying companies, Bangkok based or offices with registered capital (total assets worth less than THB 30 million), the pre-work permit approval letter will be issued one-two days following submission. Consideration and approval of the post arrival work permit application will now be completed in one working day.

Looking ahead

Relocating employees must be available to collect their final work permit on the date of application or pre-approval authorization will be revoked.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management.

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 Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.


U.K.: BREXIT

Key Brexit updates:

  • Oct. 17, 2019: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that a Brexit deal had been secured between the U.K. and the EU.
  • Oct. 19, 2019: The U.K. parliament voted to force the U.K. government to request another extension of Article 50.
  • Oct. 22, 2019: The first vote on the new bill was passed through parliament but could not be passed through the House of Commons before Oct. 24, 2019.,making the Oct. 31, 2019 Brexit deadline unlikely to be met.
  • Oct. 28, 2019: EU officials have granted an extension until Jan. 31, 2020. It is a flexible extension, meaning the Brexit deal may reach ratification before that date.

Impact

The impact is still unknown and all possibilities are still open:

  1. The U.K. could leave the EU with a deal any time before Feb. 1, 2020.
  2. The U.K. could leave the EU without a deal on or before Feb. 1, 2020.
  3. The government could unilaterally revoke Article 50, effectively cancelling Brexit.

Meanwhile, on Oct. 24, 2019, the Home Office published a statement of changes to the immigration rules, reflecting the changes required should the U.K. leave the EU without a deal. These changes include:

  1. Introduction of criminality thresholds for conduct of European Economic Area (EEA) citizens and their family members moving to the U.K. pre- and post-Brexit.
  2. Provisions for certain categories of family members joining EEA citizens resident in the U.K. before Brexit to apply for the E.U. Settlement Scheme.
  3. Establishing the European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme for EEA citizens and their close family members moving to the U.K. after Brexit. EEA citizens will have until Dec. 31, 2020 to apply for the Scheme.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Gov.uk.

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.


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