Immigration weekly update: September 09, 2021

Immigration updates for AMER, APAC and EMEA regions


Americas

Brazil: Extended deadline of regularized expired documents

The deadline extension to regularize migratory documentation for foreigners with expired immigration documents is March 15, 2022. Those who became regularized within the established period will not suffer a penalty.

In the immigration regularization, all documents issued abroad and expired after March 16, 2020, will be accepted, provided that the foreigner has remained as a resident in national territory and seeks to become regularized by the deadline date.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Diário Oficial da União (in Spanish).

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 Rafael Pavanelli, Regional Immigration Manager – Americas/ Client Services Manager.

Asia-Pacific

China: Update to isolation and flight approval requirements

All passengers travelling to China from the following countries must self-isolate before departure to qualify for a green Health Declaration Code (HDC) and to board the flight. In addition, an employer-issued self-declared Health Monitoring/Commitment form or a Quarantine Certificate must be uploaded to obtain the HDC code.

Countries:

Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand

Middle East: Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE

Europe: Belgium, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, UK

South America: Chile, Mexico, Peru

Africa: Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Nigeria, Mali, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia

Vaccinated passengers must complete their last dose and upload a Vaccination Commitment Letter at least 14 days before departing.

Some countries require additional PCR testing in addition to the standard PCR+IgM antibody testing 48 hours before departure. This PCR test should be done at a different testing institution than the standard PCR+IgM test. Some countries are also asking for IgG test results.

Those who have a history of infection or are close contacts of suspected/ confirmed cases should follow a different procedure to obtain the HDC code.

The effective date will depend on the country of origin (Aug/Sep 2021).

Click here to find additional information on the requirements with links to the various embassies.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Chinese Embassies globally.

Brunei Darussalam: Temporary restrictions extension

The following guidelines will remain enforced until September 15, 2021:

  • Temporary suspension on cross-border activities, which applies to:
    • Foreign nationals entering via land and seaports, including transits through Brunei Darussalam, except for entry and transit travels that is approved by the Government of Brunei Darussalam.
    • Collection and delivery of private goods at border checkpoints handled by runners registered in Brunei Darussalam; and
    • Commuters entry and exit-country travel via land and seaports for work purposes.
  • Temporary suspension on travelling to and from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka which applies to:
    • Entry and exit travels of all foreign nationals departing from or through any airport in the Indian subcontinent.
    • Diplomatic passport holders and armed forces members working in Brunei Darussalam will be allowed to enter and exit the country according to the Ministry of Health’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
    • Foreign nationals who hold an employment or dependent’s pass that is revoked/cancelled or “Special Authorization Work Pass” or “Professional Visit Visa” holders who worked temporarily in Brunei Darussalam and will be returning to their respective countries permanently will be allowed to exit the country.
    • Transits through Brunei Darussalam for all foreign nationals departing from the Indian subcontinent.
    • Entry of foreign nationals who have been granted pre-approvals to enter Brunei Darussalam from the Indian subcontinent (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh) via pre-authorized flights, which have therefore been suspended.

No submissions of visa renewals will be accepted during this period. Only the Entry Travel Pass (ETP) and applications for a new visa (for countries without travel entry ban) are open for submission, but the processing department for other applications is still closed until further notice.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Prime Minister’s Office (in Malay and English).

Philippines: Travel ban extended

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has further extended the existing temporary travel restrictions under the IATF Resolution No. 135-C:

  • Filipinos arriving from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the UAE, covered by any government repatriation programs must undergo a facility-based 14-day quarantine period notwithstanding a negative result of an RT-PCR test.
  • Filipinos arriving from the foregoing countries under non-Philippine Government repatriation are expected to:
    1. Present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before boarding the aircraft or vessel.
    2. Undergo an absolute 14-day facility-based quarantine from the arrival date in the Philippines, with the date of arrival being the first day.
  • Filipinos and foreign passengers transiting through the foregoing countries will be subject to the following rules:
  1. Passengers merely transiting through these countries shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to such country if they stayed in the airport the whole time and their immigration authorities did not clear them for entry into these countries.
  2. Upon arrival to the Philippines, transit passengers do not need to complete a full 14-day facility-based quarantine but must comply with the existing test and quarantine protocols.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Philippines Official Gazette.

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 – concession extended

The U.K. Government extends employer’s eligibility to conduct right to work checks virtually for the safety of their workforce during the pandemic until April 5, 2022.

Impact

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

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 – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to Covid-19”.
  • Employers can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call – the applicant must give permission to view their details. If the worker has a current:
    • Biometric Residence Permit
    • Biometric Residence Card
    • Granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme
    • Granted status by the points-based immigration system

Following positive feedback from employers on the ability to conduct checks remotely, the Home Office is looking to develop a new digital right to work check solution by April 2022, which will account for those who cannot currently use the online right to work checking system, including British and Irish nationals. This will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.

Retrospective checks are not required on those with a Covid-19 adjusted check between March 30, 2020, and April 5, 2022 (inclusive).

Action

Employers must continue to check the prescribed documents set out in the Home Office’s employer guide to establish each employee’s right to work. It remains an offence to knowingly employ a foreign national without the right to work in the U.K.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the 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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