HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 20.04.2020

Apr 20,2020





  1. EWS Ghana, “Namibia to Extend Visas to Foreign Visitors Compromised by Travel Bans”, City Press, April 11, 2020
  • Namibian Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Frans Kapofi on Tuesday said the government will extend visas to foreign visitors who are compromised by travel bans in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The development comes after the country’s President Hage Geingob banned inbound and outbound travel to and from Qatar, Ethiopia and Germany with immediate effect for a period of 30 days.


South Africa


  1. Mandisa Nyathi, “Home Affairs Extends Work, Study and Business Visas Until After Lockdown”, City Press, April 14, 2020
  • The department of home affairs has temporarily extended the visas of foreign nationals during the national lockdown.
  • In a statement on Tuesday, the department said that immigrants whose visas expired from mid-February would not be penalised.
  • These temporary measures exempt foreign nationals who applied for work, study or business permits before the lockdown from expelled when the lockdown ends.






  1.  “Fact Sheet: COVID-19 – Temporary Reduction of Service At Canadian Land Border Crossings”, Government of Canada, April 14, 2020
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBSA is temporarily reducing service hours at a total of 27 Canadian land border locations.
  • The temporary hour adjustments are in effect as of April 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT and will remain in effect until the expiration date of the Order in Council made under the Quarantine Act prohibiting entry into Canada from the United States.


  1.  “Government of Canada Updates Mandatory Requirements for Travellers Entering Canada”, Government of Canada, April 14, 2020
  • The Government of Canada's Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act already requires persons entering Canada—whether by air, land or sea —to isolate for 14 days if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or to quarantine themselves for 14 days if they are asymptomatic to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • An updated Order is being issued, under which any traveller arriving in Canada—whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic—cannot isolate or quarantine in a place where they would be in contact with people who are vulnerable, such as adults aged 65 years or over and people with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Upon arrival, every traveller will need to confirm that they have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine, where they will have access to basic necessities, such as food and medication. Travellers will be expected to make plans for where they will isolate or quarantine in advance of arriving to Canada. Travellers who do not have an appropriate place in which to isolate or quarantine themselves must go to a place designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. These criteria are newly applied to asymptomatic travellers.
  • In addition, all travellers arriving in Canada will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering to proceed to their final destination where they will isolate or quarantine. They will be provided with a mask if they do not have one.


United States


  1.  “Work Permit, Visa Extension: Relief for Foreign Students Stranded in US”, Business Standard, April 14, 2020
  • The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Tuesday announced that stranded international students facing economic hardships in the country can apply for off-campus work authorisation.
  • In a statement, the federal agency said if anyone experiencing severe economic hardship because of unforeseen circumstances beyond control, they may request employment authorisation to work off-campus. All applications are subject to approval in a case-by-case basis, it said.


  1. Genevieve Douglas,Employers of Agricultural Guestworkers to Get Visa Flexibility”, Business Standard, April 16, 2020
  • Employers of seasonal agricultural guestworkers will get some flexibility in the Department of Homeland Security program so they can hire workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The agency announced Wednesday that it will release a temporary final rule “to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.”
  • Under the temporary final rule, which was sent to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review April 6, employers of H-2A workers can petition to employ foreign workers currently in the U.S. on H-2A visas. Those H-2A workers also will be allowed to stay in the U.S. beyond the current three-year limit, DHS said.







  1. Visa, E-visa of Stranded Foreigners Due to Covid-19 Extended Till April 30”, The Economic Times, April 13, 2020
  • India has extended validity of regular and e-visas of foreign nationals stranded in the country due to Covid-19 till April 30.
  • All foreigners whose regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation have expired or would expire between February 1 and April 30 would be extended till April 30 midnight as a special consideration once an online application is submitted, the MHA said in a statement on Monday.




  1. Min Ho Jung, “Gov't Extends Visas for 18,000 Foreign Workers Amid Covid-19 Pandemic”, The Korea Times, April 14, 2020
  • The Ministry of Employment and Labor said Tuesday that the 50-day extension will apply to 18,508 foreign workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) ― most in labor-intensive industries ― whose visas are set to expire in three months.
  • "It is a necessary measure for employers and foreign workers alike as the pandemic makes it difficult for everyone to travel between countries," Minister Lee Jae-gap said in a statement. "It will allow employers to minimize their manpower vacuum and workers to minimize their livelihood issues."


  1. S. Korea to Suspend Short-term Visa and Visa-free Entry for Foreign Nationals for 90 Countries”, Hankyoreh, April 10, 2020
  • The South Korean government recently moved to suspend the validity of previously issued short-term visas, while barring visa exemptions and visa-free entry from countries and regions with entry bans on South Korean travelers based on the principle of “reciprocity.”
  • The number of foreign nationals arriving for short-term stays appears poised to fall by as much as 300 per day.
  • Experts predicted that while this may reduce the burden for quarantine facilities and management, it is unlikely to yield much effect in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus in South Korea.






  1. Belarusians to Pay Only €35 per Schengen Visa Application From June and on, Instead of €80”, Schengen Visa Info, April 16, 2020
  • Belarusians will need to pay only €35 for a Schengen Visa application from now on, as the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has confirmed that whole process for the ratification of the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission with the European Union has been completed.
  • The documents on the finalization of the process were approved by the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus on April 2.




  1. Changes to Golden Visa Scheme On Hold Due To Coronavirus Pandemic”, Portugal Resident, April 15, 2020
  • Portugal’s golden visa scheme, which was due to be blocked for property purchase in the greater Lisbon and Porto areas from 2021, is to remain unaltered for now because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • “The changes are not a priority at the moment,” a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Dinheiro Vivo.
  • The news has been welcomed by Luís Líma, president of the national association of real estate professionals (APEMIP), who believes that the government should “think again about moving forward with the alterations”.




  1. No Plans to Introduce Exit Visas for Russians After Borders Are Reopened — Top Diplomat”, TASS, April 14, 2020
  • Russia does not plan to introduce exit visas for its citizens after international air service is resumed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday during an online video interview with representatives of the Russian and foreign media.
  • "So far, this issue is not under discussion by anyone," he said, answering a question on whether any travel restrictions for Russians will be introduced after borders are reopened. "There are no plans to introduce exit visas. I cannot imagine a situation when we would discuss it in practical terms," the minister noted.


Schengen Area


  1. No Criminal Charges for Holders of Expiring Schengen Visas in Germany Until June 30”, Schengen Visa Info, April 10, 2020
  • Travellers on expiring Schengen Visas who cannot leave Germany due to the travel restrictions imposed in Germany, Europe and further in the world will not face any legal charges until June 30, if they cannot leave.
  • The German Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Home Affairs (BMI) has issued a decree on Thursday this week, announcing that those holding Schengen visas that are about to expire or have already expired are permitted to remain in Germany until June 30, 2020.
  • Holders of expiring Schengen visas are also exempt from the requirement of obtaining of a residence permit by June 30, 2020, based on the ordinance for the temporary exemption of holders of expiring Schengen visas from the requirement of a residence title due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. Some Schengen Countries Are Extending Internal Border Controls to Year’s End”, Schengen Visa Info, April 13, 2020
  • Amid EU Commission’s call to extend the external border seal off of the Schengen Area and the Schengen Associated countries and an increasing number of those infected with COVID-19 in Europe, some of the Schengen States have extended the internal border controls to the end of the year.
  • After France was the first EU and Schengen country to announce it has decided to keep its border controls in place for seven months, until the end of October 2020, a few other Member States have followed.
  • The official website of the European Commission reporting on the temporary reintroduction of border controls has listed Sweden and Denmark under the countries which have reintroduced borders in the context of foreseeable events. Both countries have extended border controls until November 12.





  1.  “Kuwait Gives Expats 3 Months Free Extension for Expired Residencies”, Arab News, April 16, 2020
  • Expats whose visas have expired will be given a three-month free extension, from March 1 until May 31, state news agency KUNA reported on Wednesday.
  • The directive comes amid the coronavirus pandemic which forced many ministries to shut down in order to prevent the spread of the disease, the Ministry of Interior said.
  • The extension will only apply to individuals whose visas expired and are still in Kuwait.


  1. Kuwait to Allow Repatriation Flights, Amnesty Underway for Expats Without Valid Visas”, Gulf Business, April 12, 2020
  • Airlines will be permitted to operate outbound flights from Kuwait to repatriate expats, the country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced on Saturday.
  • Airliners can schedule flights to “several destinations” in accordance with the cabinet decision made on April 9, the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Ahmed Shaaban, “Coronavirus: Expired UAE Residency, Visit Visas To Remain Valid Until End-2020”, Khaleej Times, April 14, 2020
  • UAE announced on Monday that all visas, entry permits and Emirates ID cards will remain valid until the end of 2020, as the country battles the Covid-19 coronavirus.
  • The residency visa of expatriates, inside or outside the country and expiring on March 1, to stay valid until the end of the year.


  1. Marie Nammour, “Combating Coronavirus: Flexible UAE Visa Transfer Facilities to Be Made Possible”, Khaleej Times, April 17, 2020
  • Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, the Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) said, "Residency visas that have expired on March 1 will be valid till end of the year, and residents will be allowed to stay till the end of the year, without paying any fines. They will be allowed to live legally in the UAE."
  • "For those who have lost their jobs, they are free to look out for other job opportunities and we will facilitate the transfer of visa from one company to the other. We are also looking to create a system where residents can keep the visa with the previous sponsor, and work with another entity," explained Al Marri.






  1. Tom Stayner, “Temporary Migrants Stranded and Facing Expiring Visas Told to Contact Immigration Officials”, SBS News, April 16, 2020
  • Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has told temporary migrants worried about their visa expiring and without a way home to contact immigration officials.
  • “If there are literally no flights and they are concerned that their visa is coming to an end, then they should call the immigration department as a matter of urgency.”,” he said.



  1.  “Australia Asks Travelers to Go Home During Covid-19 Pandemic”, Irish Central, April 12, 2020
  • In a statement, acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge said: “Working holiday makers that do not have the confidence to sustain themselves over the next six months should make arrangements to leave the country.”
  • Sponsored workers and their families may be able to access $10,000 from their own superannuation funds to see them through the pandemic. However, Minister Tudge has stated “temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home.”



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