Immigration updates for the AMER and APAC regions
Panama: New requirements for Provisional and Residence Permit renewals
New requirements are in place for the renewal of the provisional and residence permits. This is for those who have obtained their provisional permits under the Extraordinary or General Migratory Regularization Processes, as per Official Decree 235.
The changes are as follows:
- Permanent residence permit: All foreigners who have obtained a provisional residence permit through the Extraordinary or General Migratory Regularization processes may apply for a permanent residence permit.
- Provisional residence permit renewal: All foreigners who have a two-year provisional permit can apply for a six-year renewal. After this period, they can apply for a permanent residence permit.
- The applicant needs to pay any new costs for the renewal of provisional residence or permanent residence, including payment to the National Treasury (this payment is only made once, either in the renewal or in the permanent residence).
- If necessary, the National Immigration Authority (SNM) may issue multiple entry and exit visas to any foreigner who requires it during the processing of their provisional or permanent residence permit. The SNM will issue a temporary card for the duration of the provisional or permanent residence process.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Gaceta Oficial Panama (in Spanish).
Peru: Immigration application processing delays
Even though consular visa application processing has resumed, the online system has not been implemented which is causing a delay. Processing times are now three months or more for initial visa applications (up from the legal standard processing time of 30 business days), and 1.5 months or more for renewal applications (up from the usual two weeks). Foreign nationals remain work-authorized upon filing their renewal application however they cannot travel until their renewal is approved unless they request an Exit Permit.
No source available at the time of writing.
United States: Croatia has been designated for the Visa Waiver Program
Croatian nationals can apply for the Visa Waiver Program to travel to the United States as B-1 / B-2 visitors beginning December 1, 2021. They will not need a visa from the U.S. embassy for their short-term business visit or tourist journey if they are deemed eligible.
Applicants seeking a Visa Waiver must submit their applications online at least 72 hours before traveling through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Under the Visa Waiver Program, business travelers are limited to 90 days in the United States to engage in approved B-1 business activity.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Daily Journal of the United States Government.
Travel restrictions to be lifted for fully vaccinated foreign nationals
Travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign national travelers who took FDA-approved vaccines are expected to be lifted on November 08, 2021. Travelers must show vaccination proof and a negative Covid-19 test before boarding their flight.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Reuters.
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.
Brunei Darussalam: Travel restrictions have been extended
Brunei’s Prime Minister has extended travel restrictions from the Indian subcontinent (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka), and cross-border activities until October 31, 2021. Certain applications for new visas and Entry Travel Pass’s (ETP) are deemed highly essential. They can be considered and opened for submission through the Prime Minister’s Office travel portal. However, submissions of visa renewals are still not accepted, and the rest of the processing departments remain closed until further notice.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Prime Minister’s Office (in Malay and English).
Singapore: The Vaccinated Travel Lane
The Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) was extended to eight more countries: Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States for entry into Singapore from October 19, 2021. From November 15, 2021, the VTL will be available for travelers from South Korea, with applications beginning on November 8, 2021.
Effective October 19, 2021, all VTL travelers are only required to present a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 48 hours before departure to Singapore and undergo an On-Arrival Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival in Singapore. Additional Covid-19 PCR tests on days three and seven of their stay in Singapore are no longer required.
Unvaccinated children aged 12 years old and below, can now enter without applying for the VTP, provided they adhere to the conditions and are traveling with a Vaccinated traveler with approved VTP.
Travelers under the VTL must be fully vaccinated from the VTL country / region of departure (Brunei Darussalam, Germany, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and the Republic of Korea) to Singapore.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.
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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