Global Immigration Alert for November 2021 | Seyfarth Shaw LLP


[co-author: Ryann Stout]

Note: While we are addressing some country-specific updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the information below contains information regarding global restrictions and closures as they exist today. Given the ever-changing nature of this situation, we strongly recommend that you review all global mobility requests on a case-by-case basis, including specific resources at the consulate or immigration authorities, in “real time” beforehand. to travel abroad. Please contact our global mobility team before any international travel.

Australia – No travel exemption required for fully vaccinated Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents

The Australian government has announced an easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents. They will be eligible for international travel without obtaining a travel exemption from November 1, 2021. Children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel abroad without exemption. Please refer to travel information for vaccinated Australians here.

Belgium – Minimum wage required for 2022

The Flemish and local Brussels regional authorities in Belgium have announced the new minimum wage requirements for work permit categories for the coming year. These new thresholds will be the minimum wage amounts applicable for Belgian work permit and single permit applications. The specific minimum wage amounts depend on the category of work permit concerned as well as the region. To consult the minimum wage thresholds by category for the Flemish region, please click here. To consult the minimum wage thresholds by category for the Brussels region, please consult here.

EU – EU COVID Digital Certificate Information

As you may recall, the European Commission launched the COVID digital certificate program in July 2021 to allow EU citizens and residents to verify their COVID status. The certificate can be in digital or paper format and includes a QR code which is acceptable in all EU countries as proof of vaccination, test results or recovery from COVID-19. The certificate is accepted in all EU countries for travel purposes and is required locally to verify testing and / or vaccination status for events. For more information, please visit the website of the European Commission here.

The Re-open EU site, which is located here, provides up-to-date information on entry requirements for the 27 EU countries.

Israel – Validity of the B-1 Short Employment Authorization (SEA) visa

The Israeli Interior Ministry (MOI) has confirmed an increase in the standard validity period of the B-1 Short Employment Authorization (SEA) visa from 45 to 90 days. This visa is available for visa-exempt foreign nationals and it allows for urgent work activities requiring specialist knowledge. It is used for the installation or repair of machinery.

Japan – Reduced quarantine period for vaccinated travelers

Travelers who are considered fully vaccinated are eligible for a reduced quarantine period of 10 days (instead of 14 days) upon arrival in Japan. Eligible vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca; travelers must have received both doses of the vaccine and received the second dose at least 14 days before arriving in Japan. On day 10 of quarantine, vaccinated arrivals can be released from quarantine if they are COVID-19 negative. Travel restrictions for non-resident foreign nationals remain in place, with visa processing suspended due to the travel ban. Currently, only Japanese citizens and foreign residents with a valid residence card and return permit are allowed to enter Japan, subject to testing and quarantine requirements. Please consult the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for up-to-date information.

Schengen country – Calculator for frequent travelers

Due to the recent increase in international business travel, we take this opportunity to remind non-EU business travelers of the Schengen rules.

The European Commission publishes information on the Schengen area, which can be found here. The country map on this site shows the EU member countries that are also members of the Schengen area. In addition, it identifies Schengen members that are not part of the European Union.

Please note that non-European trade visitors are allowed to enter the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. It is important to note that the 180 day period is a “rolling” period. It is calculated as follows:

  • The immigration officer at the port of entry looks back 180 days during each entry to see how much of the 90 days is left.
  • These Schengen rules apply to travelers holding a Schengen visitor visa as well as to non-EU visa-exempt travelers.

In view of the regulations, it is important that frequent travelers use a travel log to capture the time actually spent in the Schengen area. The European Commission publishes a Schengen calculation tool for this purpose which can be found here. Users can enter the start and end date of various trips to calculate the remaining authorized length of stay; there is also a user guide in PDF format which is listed at the bottom of this site.

Singapore – Entry Requirements Online Tool

Singapore’s entry requirements continue to change frequently. We recommend that you review the up-to-date procedures here. This site is published by the Government of Singapore and explains the Safe Travel Lane arrangement, entry requirements and health checks which differ depending on the traveller’s profile and travel history. Travelers can select options from a drop-down menu regarding their individual circumstances, such as country of departure, immunization status and citizenship, to receive updated information regarding entry requirements.

Sri Lanka – Reduction of entry requirements for testing and quarantine and introduction of an online health declaration system

The government of Sri Lanka recently removed the requirement for foreign nationals to obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Aviation Authority to enter Sri Lanka. Foreign nationals are allowed entry for non-essential travel purposes such as sightseeing, and fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from undergoing COVID testing before and after arrival. In addition, the quarantine period for unvaccinated travelers arriving in Sri Lanka has been changed to seven days. Please also note that Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has launched two new online web portals to simplify the travel process for tourists visiting the country. For more information on travel to Sri Lanka, please see here.

Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited (AASL) has introduced an online COVID-19 health reporting system to the BIA. Travelers complete the online health declaration form by attaching a vaccination card or COVID-19 test report and upon filing they will receive a QR code in addition to an email. Sri Lankan health officials at the airport will receive the traveler’s details before they arrive at the airport, which will speed up the screening and entry process. Travelers who have submitted their health declaration forms online should scan the QR code or email the health declarations counter upon arrival. The site is accessible here .

United Kingdom – Digital COVID Certificate and Entry Requirements

The UK government has implemented an NHS COVID Pass system, which is a secure digital record of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination or the status of test results. It allows holders to show details of their COVID-19 vaccine (s) when traveling abroad, as well as enter a place or event in the UK, if required. The NHS COVID Pass and approved proof of overseas vaccination program can be used to enter the UK (unless the country is on the UK’s ‘red list’). The full list of accepted overseas vaccination programs can be found here. This includes the EU’s digital COVID certificate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card for US residents, and vaccine certificates from the approved list of countries. You can find more information about the NHS COVID Pass here.

As of October 4, 2021, travelers from any country that is not on the UK’s “red list” are subject to simplified rules for entering England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This includes the completion of the passenger tracking form, and reservation a test of day 2. As of October 26, 2021, in addition to the PCR test results, the UK will also accept a faster lateral flow test after arriving from overseas.

Travelers considered unvaccinated should self-isolate for 10 days, take a COVID test before departure, and book the tests for Days 3 and 8 upon arrival. More information can be found here.

Arrivals from UK ‘red list’ countries have a separate set of entry rules and the full and up-to-date list can be found here. As before, visitors who have been to a ‘red list’ country in the last 10 days prior to coming to the UK are prohibited from entering. Only those with residence rights or who are UK citizens can come to the UK from a ‘red list’ country.


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