Immigration updates for Brunei, India, Japan and more
Brunei Darussalam: Extended travel restrictions
As per our last update, temporary travel restrictions is extended until October 15, 2021 for the Indian subcontinent (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and cross-border activities.
Visa processing at the Department of Immigration and National Registration is suspended until further notice.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Prime Minister’s Office (in Malay and English).
India: Flight ban extension
The Indian government has extended the scheduled flight ban until October 31, 2021. However, the air bubble is now operational in 28 countries. Find the countries list here.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Time of India.
Japan: Covid-19 update
The Japanese government lifted the state of emergency on September 30, 2021. However, the Japan border remains closed and without “special exceptional circumstances,” all foreign business travelers are banned from entry.
From October 1, 2021, Japan will shorten the quarantine period for vaccinated travelers (currently entry is permitted only with special exceptional circumstances reasons). Fully vaccinated people that can provide their vaccination certificate at the airport in Japan will only be required to self-isolate at home for 10 days.
Other requirements for a shorten quarantine period includes:
- A PCR negative test after 10 days following their arrival and reporting the result to Health Monitoring Center for Overseas Entrants (HCO).
- Only shots developed by Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. or AstraZeneca Plc are eligible.
- A “vaccine passport” issued in or recognized by Japan is required, which means issuing countries are limited.
Further details can be found here.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Cabinet Secretariat (in Japanese).
New Zealand: New residency pathway
The Immigration of New Zealand announced a new residence pathway which will be a development for many existing and new employees.
Criteria for employees already in New Zealand:
Work Visa holders must have been in New Zealand on September 29, 2021, and be on an eligible visa or applied for one before then (provided this work visa application is eventually approved).
They must also meet one of the following criteria:
- Have lived in New Zealand for three or more years (note that this does not need to be consecutive but must be between September 29, 2018 and September 29, 2021 inclusive).
- Earning at or above the median wage ($27 per hour) on the September 29, 2021.
- Work in a role on a scarce list. This includes the Long-Term Skills Shortage List, jobs requiring occupational registration (health or education sectors), personal carer and other critical healthcare workers, specified primary sector positions.
Note: For any employees who meet the general criteria but are in Australia and have been unable to return to New Zealand by September 29, 2021 given travel & MIQ restrictions, they may still be considered eligible.
Criteria for new employee’s arriving in New Zealand on a Critical Purpose Visa:
Two groups of Critical Purpose visitor visa holders will be eligible, provided they arrive in New Zealand and apply before July 31, 2022.
- Critical health workers for longer term roles (six months or longer), and
- Other critical workers for long term roles (more than six months).
Note: Those employees in a short term or seasonal role on a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, less than six months, will not be eligible.
Applications can be submitted online. Immigration NZ have advised that information about fees and the application process will be available by the end of October.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Immigration of New Zealand.
Thailand: Coronavirus updates and new e-visa service
Effective from October 1, 2021 onwards, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has decided to shorten the quarantine period for foreign visitors who have been fully vaccinated and can provide the vaccine certificate as follow:
- Seven-day quarantine: Travelers must be fully vaccinated (two doses) with vaccine approved by World Health Organization (WHO) or Ministry of Public Health of Thailand no less than 14 days before the travelling date and can provide the vaccine certificate (an original paper or an online vaccine certificate printout) when applying for the Certificate of Entry (COE), also to International Port Health Control at the port of arrival. They will be subjected to have RT-PCR-tested on the first and last day of quarantine.
- 10-day quarantine: Travelers who have not yet been fully vaccinated and have no vaccine certificate, travel to Thailand by Air. They will be subjected to have RT-PCR-tested on the first and last day of quarantine.
- 14-day quarantine: Travelers who have not yet been fully vaccinated and have no vaccine certificate, travel to Thailand by Land. They will be subjected to have RT-PCR-tested on the first and last day of quarantine.
These measures would apply to all foreign visitors from every country.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Royal Thai Embassy.
New e-visa service
The Royal Thai Embassy and Consulate in certain countries (i.e. North America, Europe, China and South Korea) that already implemented the e-Visa system so far (applicants can apply for visa through the website) has announced a new e-Visa service with “Stickerless Visa” issued by the Embassy/Consulate effective from September 27, 2021 onwards.
The new e-Visa service will help facilitate visa applications in all categories without making the appointments to physically submit their original passports and related documents at the Thai Embassy/Consulate. It will allow the visa applicants to apply for and get the visa via online platform without attaching a visa sticker in the passport.
It is no longer required for e-Visa applicants to submit their original passport and supporting documents in person at the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate. Once the e-Visa application has been approved, a confirmation email with the notification letter will be sent to applicants automatically. The applicants should print out their notification letter to present to the airlines and the Thai Immigration officers upon arrival at the Immigration Checkpoint, the International Airport in Thailand.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand.
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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