HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 11.05.2020

May 11,2020





  1. Gov’t to Negotiate Visa Extensions for Ugandans Stuck Abroad”, The Independent, May 4, 2020
  • Government recently started registration of Ugandans who had traveled abroad temporarily but this brought excitement of a possible plan to evacuate them. Other countries like Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopians are repatriating citizens.
  • Oryem in an interview with Uganda Radio Network (URN) said that the registration is simply for taking stock but most importantly in the event when there is need, they will negotiate with the countries that Ugandans are to be considered to extend their Visa’s for those whose visas had expired, help them buy food and medical services for anybody registered with the embassies. The State Minister for Foreign Affairs said that these are still proposals and it will depend on the negotiations with the particular countries.




United States


  1. Ted Hesson, “U.S. Tightens Visa Rules for Chinese Journalists Amid Coronavirus Tensions”, Thomson Reuters, May 9, 2020
  • The United States issued a new rule on Friday tightening visa guidelines for Chinese journalists, saying it was in response to the treatment of U.S. journalists in China, a shift that comes amid tensions between the two nations over the coronavirus global pandemic.
  • The regulation, which will take effect on Monday, will limit visas for Chinese reporters to a 90-day period, with the option for extension. Such visas are typically open-ended and do not need to be extended unless the employee moves to a different company or medium.






  1. Ban on Visas-on-arrival Extended to May 16”, Dhaka Tribune, May 9, 2020
  • The ban on visas-on-arrival for nationals from all countries has been extended to May 16 amid the Covid-19 crisis.
  • The home ministry issued the notification on Thursday extending the ban, which earlier remained in force until May 7.
  • The civil aviation authority has banned all commercial flights until May 16.


Sri Lanka


  1.  “Sri Lanka Extends Visas of Tourists, Foreigners Till June 11 Over COVID-19”, Economy Next, May 10, 2020
  • Sri Lanka has extended visas of all foreign tourists and resident foreigners until June 11, the island’s immigration office said as state agencies are set to begin partial operations from May 11 while red zones in the capital Colombo remains under partial curfew.
  • “Please be informed that, the validity period of all types of Visas had been extended for another period of 30 days with effect from 12th May 2020 to 11th June 2020,” the immigration office said in a public notice.




  1. COVID-19 | All Visas, OCI Cards for Foreign Nationals Outside India Remain Suspended”, PTI, May 7, 2020
  • All foreign nationals inside the country whose visas have expired and cannot travel out of India due to the international travel restrictions, can apply for their visa extension without any additional fee
  • All visas for foreign nationals and the OCI card visa-free travel for Indian-origin people, who are not in the country, remain suspended till the restrictions on international travel to and from India are in place, the Indian embassy here said on Wednesday.


South Korea


  1. Dang Khoa, “South Korea, Taiwan Extend Work Visas for Stranded Vietnamese Workers”, VN Express, May 6, 2020
  • South Korea and Taiwan have decided to renew visas for foreign workers including Vietnamese to fill a labor shortage amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Tran Van Ha, head of the Overseas Labor Management Agency at the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said to help employers suffering from a lack of manpower due to the outbreak, the South Korean government is set to allow those who wish to stay back an additional five months’ stay. She also said Taiwan would extend workers’ visas by three months.




Czech Republic


  1. Internationals With Expired Visas Can Legally Stay in Czech Republic Until July 17”, Schengen Visa Info, May 6, 2020
  • Internationals whose visas or residence permits have expired, amid the Coronavirus, will be allowed to stay in the Czech Republic until July 17, the Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.
  • According to the statement, foreign nationals who remained in the Czech Republic legally when the country declared a state of emergency, on March 12, are allowed to stay until May 17 when the state of emergency will come to an end, even if the Schengen Visa or Czech Visa or residence permit expired, reports.




  1. Reopening of Borders ‘Not a Priority’ for Denmark and Norway”, Schengen Visa Info, May 8, 2020
  • Denmark and Norway have published a timetable for the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions, but borders will remain closed for an undefined period. Only this week, Denmark’s Prime Minister  Mette Fredriksen stressed that the reopening of borders to foreign citizens is not even in the top of the priority list regarding the lifting of Coronavirus containment measures, reports.
  • “A border opening can mean that many people come to Denmark. It may help to move the infection in a negative direction. Of course, the borders must also be seen in the context of what is happening in the countries around us,” PM Fredriksen said, adding that though a date has not been set, the borders will not reopen until “at least” June 1.
  • As per Norway, the  Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg didn’t give a specific date but insisted that any border reopening will depend heavily on the situation in other countries.


European Union


  1. Belize Nаtionals in Europe Can Extend Their Visas Free of Charge”, Schengen Visa Info, May 7, 2020
  • Belizean nationals who remain in Europe due to the Coronavirus pandemic and whose visas are about to expire will be eligible to extend them, the Embassy of Belize in Brussels announced.
  • According to the Embassy of Belize, visa extension for Belizean citizens who remain in Europe will be free of charge, reports.




  1. Finland to Reopen Its Borders for Schengen Area Workers From May 14”, Schengen Visa Info, May 6, 2020
  • Finland has decided to reopen its borders for foreign workers from the Schengen zone, including Estonian citizens who work in Finland, from May 14, which borders have been closed since March 19, due to the Coronavirus developments. Business trips and other necessary trips within the Schengen countries will also be enabled, but under strict instructions, reports.
  • “Mostly what’s needed is that people could return home to Estonia from Finland and then come back. Everyone should still be voluntarily quarantined for two weeks,” the Finnish interior minister, Maria Ohisalo pointed out.




  1. France & Germany Were Top Favorite Destinations for Schengen Visa Applicants in 2019”, Schengen Visa Info, May 6, 2020
  • According to the latest Schengen Visa Statistics for 2019, France once again tops the table with its consulates aboard having received as many as 3,980,989 short-stay visa requests, or 23.4 per cent of the total 16,955,541 Schengen visa applications filed abroad at the consulates of the 26 Member States.
  • Second after France is listed Germany, which has been sitting in the same spot for years now regarding the highest number of Schengen visa applications received. In 2019, the German authorities abroad in charge of dealing with visa applications received 2,171,309 Schengen visa requests, which unlike France, marked an increase compared to the previous year, 2018, when 2,056,296 visa applications were received.



  1. Britons Can Enter France Starting From May 11, Without Being Quarantined”, Schengen Visa Info, May 6, 2020
  • The United Kingdom citizens will be eligible to enter France starting from May 11, and will not be subject to a mandatory quarantine the authorities have reintroduced recently, the French government announces.
  • French government clarified that Britain, as well as Schengen zone countries, will be exempted from the 14 days quarantine, imposed by France in a bid to curb the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) reports.




  1. Norway Permits Foreign Agricultural Seasonal Workers to Enter the Country”, Schengen Visa Info, May 7, 2020
  • Norway’s government has decided to allow seasonal workers in the agricultural sector to enter the country, as the number of infections from the Coronavirus in the country is already slowing down.
  • Through the new changes, seasonal workers will be eligible to come to Norway even from countries outside the EEA, according to Agriculture and Food Minister Olaug Bollestad (KrF), reports.




  1. Polish Consulates in Ukraine to Issue Work Visas From May 4”, Schengen Visa Info, May 5, 2020
  • Poland’s Consulates in Ukraine have decided to resume issuing work visas, the Polish Embassy in Ukraine reports, which consulates have been closed up until now as a part of efforts to curb the spread of Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
  • The Polish consulate stressed that applicants with documents for agricultural, horticultural work purposes, as well as international transportation, are the first ones to be accepted, reports.




  1. Top Five Busiest Schengen Consulates of 2019 Are Located in Russia”, Schengen Visa Info, May 8, 2020
  • With 24.3 per cent of the total number of Schengen applications filed abroad, received by the consulates in Russia, the top five busiest consulates in the world are once again located in the Russian territory.
  • Indeed, the Russian Federation remains the top source country for Schengen Visa applications for years now, with a total number of 4,133,100 Schengen visa file in 2019, or 24.3 per cent of the total number of applications, which is 16,955,541.




  1. Slovakia Extends Internal Border Controls Until May 27”, Schengen Visa Info, May 8, 2020
  • The Government of Slovakia has decided to temporarily extend the internal border controls with Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary until May 27, due to the Coronavirus developments.
  • According to the Ministry of Interior of Slovakia, until May 27, the borders will only be passable at designed border crossings and airports.






  1. Elchin Mehdiyev, Azerbaijan Changing Rules for Issuing E-visas”, Trend News Agency, May 8, 2020
  • Azerbaijan is amending the Law on Tourism in connection with the issuance of e-visas to tourists.
  • The issue was discussed at the meeting of the Azerbaijani parliament, Trend reports on May 8.
  • In accordance with the current legislation, the application for the issuance of an e-visa is considered no later than within 3 days, and in case of an application for obtaining visa expediently - no later than within 3 hours.


Saudi Arabia


  1. Saudi Arabia Cancels Visas, Refunds Fee”, The Siasat News, May 5, 2020
  • Saudi Arabia started refunding work visa fee after canceling the visas that were stamped on passports of foreigners who were unable to travel to the Kingdom due to the suspension of international flights, reports Jeddah-based newspaper Saudi Gazette.
  • The cancellation and refunding of the stamped visas will be considered effective from the date of issuance of the Royal Decree on March 18.


United Arab Emirates


  1. Coronavirus: All Visa Transactions and Services in Dubai Can Now Be Done via App”, Ali Al Shouk, May 9, 2020
  • Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA Dubai, said all of their services had gone online as part of leadership directives for government services to become smart by 2021. Key services like entry permits, residency permits, establishment services, port services and violation follow-up as well as personal status services can all be done online through the comfort of a smartphone.
  • “GDRFA Dubai adopted the digital platforms as the best smart solution for all its administration operations to enhance customer happiness and provide services from any place,” said Al Marri.






  1. Australia to Consider July Entry for International Students”, The Pie News, May 10, 2020
  • International students may be the first cohort of international travellers that will be exempt from Australia’s current travel ban according to the latest three-step process for exiting lockdown that PM Scott Morrison has outlined.
  • The new public announcement to this effect means that from July, international students may be able to enter the country, as long as strict quarantine rules are observed.



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