Immigration weekly update: October 8, 2018


India: Bureau of Immigration extends “e-Services” to all locations

The “e-Services” system was implemented in February 2018 and was applicable for Bangalore locations, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. It was further extended to all locations as of October 1, 2018.

Key considerations

  • All consular services in India for foreign nationals are to be applied for through an online portal (e-FRRO Services). All communication with foreign nationals regarding visa-related services will be done via email or text message.
  • It is at the discretion of the approving officer to accept the online application. There is a possibility the applicant may be requested to visit the FRRO/FRO office to further process the application.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Indian FRRO government website.

 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 Debbie Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.


India: SUB- e-Visa changes

On November 27, 2014 the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility became operational for citizens of over 40 eligible countries, including those who are eligible for visa on arrival. The list was further expanded to 113 countries in August 2015. ETA was issued for tourism, visiting friends and family, short duration medical treatment and business visits. On April 1, 2017, the visa type was renamed e-Visa with three subcategories: e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa and e-Medical Visa, which could be applied and obtained two times in a calendar year.

What is the change/update?

  • The Indian government has extended the frequency an applicant can apply for an e-visa facility to three times in a calendar year. 

Key considerations

  • The documents required and processing times for all visa sub-categories will remain unchanged.

It is at the discretion of the approving officer to approve visa sub-categories selected during online application submission.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Indian visa website.

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 Debbie Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.


Singapore: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority introduce electronic arrival cards

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will replace paper-based disembarkation/embarkation cards (IMM27) with electronic arrival cards.

The IMM27 requires foreign visitors to provide personal information and trip details, such as flight numbers, duration of stay, purpose of entry and Singapore address. The completed card must be submitted to the immigration authorities upon arrival to facilitate immigration clearance.

The same information must be submitted for the electronic arrival card on the ICA website or mobile app before arriving in Singapore. Foreign visitors will only be required to produce their passport upon arrival for immigration clearance.

The system allows simultaneous submissions for families and small groups traveling together. Personal and selected information for previous trips can also be retrieved for future submissions.

To ensure a smooth implementation, ICA will conduct a trial for three months beginning October 4, 2018. Full implementation will be announced at a later date.

The new requirements will affect all business and social visitors. Citizens, permanent residents, work pass holders, student pass holders and other long-term pass holders who are presently exempt from completing and submitting the IMM27 will not be impacted.

Key considerations

The completion of an electronic arrival card is a pre-entry requisite. Travelers will still be required to satisfy the following entry requirements:

  • Having a valid entry visa (if applicable)
  • Proof of sufficient funding
  • Valid passport (for at least six months beyond the last day of their intended stay in Singapore
  • Confirmed onward/return tickets or official immigration documents (copy of in principle approval letter for work pass/related pass or student pass applications)

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Channel News Asia. Further information is available from Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

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 Debbie Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC, or Mahadir Khan, Immigration Manager Singapore.


2019 Switzerland quotas

In Switzerland, a quota system is used for immigration applications. Each year the quotas are announced for third-country citizens and for service providers from the EU/EFTA.

Quotas for third-country citizens

As of January, 1, 2019, 8,500 specialists from third countries can be hired to work in Switzerland. The table below illustrates how many have normal stay (B) permits and how many have short stays (L).

Residence Permit types Quote
Normal stays (B)4,500
Short stays (L)4,000

Quotas for service providers from EU/EFTA

The maximum numbers for L and B grants remain unchanged. In 2019, 3,000 units will be available for permit L and 500 units for permit B.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Switzerland’s Government website.

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 Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.


Poland: New online appointment booking system

A new online appointment booking system is in place at the Warsaw immigration office (Mazovian Provincial Office). The system can be used for initial and renewal applications for type A work permits (local contract and payroll).

In the new system, users will be able to select a preferred date from an available range. However, it is not guaranteed that the date confirmed by the authorities will be the same as the date requested.

The immigration office in Krakow (Malopolskie Provincial Office) has also implemented a new system for booking an appointment for any work and residence permit applications. The appointments can be requested via email, after which the applicant will receive a text message with the appointment time.

If you are a Crown customer, you should consult your Crown immigration specialist for specific advice on how the new appointment systems work.

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 Michele Giordani, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.

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