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HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 27.04.2020

Apr 27,2020

AFRICA

 

Morocco

 

  1.  Yahia Hatim, “FM: Repatriation of Moroccans Stranded Abroad is Imminent”, Morocco World News, April 23, 2020
  • Morocco is planning to repatriate all of its citizens stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 crisis, announced Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
  • “Moroccans have the right to come home. It’s incontestable,” he said. The minister did not announce a date for the repatriation process, explaining that the plan depends on the country’s sanitary situation.
  • The operation needs rigorous planning, based on meticulous criteria, and in coordination with several government departments, he added. Once it starts, the repatriation process will take place gradually, in a well-organized way, in order to protect the country from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bourita explained.

 

AMERICA

 

Costa Rica

 

  1.  Alejandro Zúñiga, “Costa Rica Won’t Penalize Those Who Overstay Visas Due to COVID-19”, The Tico Times, April 18, 2020
  • Costa Rica’s Immigration Administration will provide foreigners with extra flexibility as countries restrict travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The agency will not enforce penalties for people who have an irregular immigration status, it announced on social media. That means tourists and others who overstay their visas will not be fined when they next try to exit Costa Rica.

 

United States

 

  1. Trump Draft Order Requires More From Tech Workers on H-1b Visas, Report Says”, CNBC, April 21, 2020
  • President Donald Trump would require technology workers in the United States on H-1B visas to provide updated certifications that they are not displacing American workers, according to a draft executive order, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.
  • The executive order would deny entry for people seeking most types of work visas for at least 90 days, Bloomberg reported. It excludes people seeking jobs related to the food supply chain and would not apply to health care or medical research professionals, according to the draft.

 

  1. Gregg Re, “Trump to 'Suspend Immigration Into the United States' by Executive Order Amid Coronavirus”, Fox News Channel, April 21, 2020
  • President Trump announced late Monday he will soon sign an executive order "to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States," in what appeared to be a drastic escalation of his efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic and boost the economy.
  • The precise contours of the president's planned executive order were not immediately clear.

 

  1. US Extends Period for Caribbean Non-immigrants to Overstay Visa Amid COVID-19”, Jamaica Observer, April 19, 2020
  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given Caribbean and other non-immigrants the opportunity to extend their stay in the US amid the coronavirus (COVID-19), provided that they file their applications in a timely manner.
  • USCIS said that DHS “recognizes that there are immigration-related challenges as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

 

ASIA

 

Japan

 

  1. Japan to Extend Visa Suspensions Until End of May as Virus Spreads”, Kyodo News, April 21, 2020
  • Japan will extend its suspension of visas held by foreign nationals to the end of May, a government source said Tuesday, having deemed it too early to lift travel restrictions meant to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
  • Japan has also banned the entry of foreign travelers who have been to any of 73 countries, including China, South Korea and the United States as well as most of Europe, within two weeks of their arrival.
  • Japanese returning from abroad are required to be tested for the coronavirus and self-isolate for two weeks to watch for symptoms such as high fever and coughing.

 

India

 

  1. India Extends Suspension of All Foreign Visa, Incoming Passengers Through Immigration Check Posts Until May 3”, The Star, April 18, 2020
  • India's federal home ministry said the suspension of existing Indian visas given to foreign nationals barring certain categories has been extended until May 3 of this year.
  • The government had ordered the suspension of visas in wake of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in the country.

 

Indonesia

 

  1. Immigration Confirms Coronavirus Entrance Denials”, Indonesia Expat, April 20, 2020
  • The Directorate General of Immigration at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has rejected 239 foreign citizens wishing to enter Indonesia during the coronavirus pandemic. The number covers the dates 6th February to 19th April 2020.
  • Head of Public Relations and General Affairs Arvin Gumilang said these rejected foreign citizens were denied entry at immigration examination sites (TPI), namely at airports, seaports, and other cross-border posts

 

Thailand

 

  1.  “Thai Gov't Grants Second Round of Automatic Visa Extension for Foreigners Amid COVID-19 Crisis”, Xinhua Net, April 23, 2020
  • The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday on its website that the Thai government had approved another round of automatic visa extension for foreigners residing in the country.
  • Foreigners whose visas had expired since March 26 will be permitted to stay until July 31 without having to apply for an extension, said in the ministry's website.

 

EUROPE

 

Belarus

 

  1. MEPs Endorse Visa Facilitation Agreement With Belarus”, Belta, April 24, 2020
  • Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament backed two agreements with Belarus to facilitate the return of persons without the right to stay and the issuance of visas for short trips in a remote voting session, BelTA has learned from the website of the European Parliament.
  • The final vote on the agreements is scheduled for the next plenary session on 13-14 May.
  • Belarus and the European Union signed the agreements on visa facilitation and readmission in Brussels on 8 January. The parties are confident that this will facilitate the travel of citizens, international ties, including tourism, and will strengthen the atmosphere of trust and understanding among peoples.

 

Finland

 

  1. No Finnish Missions Abroad Admitting or Processing Visa Applications”, Schengen Visa Info, April 18, 2020
  • The Finnish Embassies, Consulates and other representative mission as embassies of other EU member states and third-party visa processing centres, are no longer admitting or processing applications for entry visas to Finland or residence permits.
  • At the same time, the Ministry ordered the suspension of the processing and admitting of residence permit applications.
  • The decision for both cases has been taken due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has spread all across the world, with the EU member states among the highly affected countries in the world. The decision will be in effect until further notice.

 

Netherlands

 

  1. Regular Visa Services of Netherlands in Oman Suspended”, Zawya, April 20, 2020
  • Due to COVID-19, regular visa services of the Netherlands in Oman are suspended until further notice.
  • “Applicants should refer to the page for answers to frequently asked questions at https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/travel-and-residence/visas-for-the-netherlands and If the question is not answered there, contact MUS-CA@minbuza.nl, the embassy said.
  • “Due to COVID-19 you cannot apply for a visa at an embassy, a consulate-general or external service provider such as VFS Global until at least April 28, 2020. It is also not possible to make an appointment for a civic integration exam or DNA test at the embassy or consulate-general,” the website said.

 

Norway

 

  1. Norway Permits Delayed Entry for New Residence Permit Holders”, Schengen Visa Info, April 23, 2020
  • Norway has made some changes to its expulsion regulations in an effort permitting those who hold new residence permits, to enter later in the country due to the circumstances, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security of Norway announced this week.
  • “The government believes that entry restrictions so far are a necessary measure to protect public health. This means that applications for residence permits can be processed in accordance with the regulations, but that restriction on the entry, for the time being, is granted when granting a residence permit,” Minister of Justice Monica Mæland pointed out.
  • Foreigners who are covered by the exceptions in the Expulsion Regulations can nevertheless be granted access to entry without further delay.

 

Russia

 

  1. Alejandro Zúñiga, “Visas of Foreigners Staying in Russia Automatically Extended Until June 15”, TASS, April 18, 2020
  • The Russian authorities automatically extend the period of validity of visas and other documents permitting foreigners to stay in Russia until June 15, 2020, press center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs told TASS.
  • In accordance with presidential decree the period of temporary stay, temporary or permanent residence is suspended for all foreign citizens arriving in Russia both on a visa and visa-free basis, for the period from March 15 to June 15, 2020, if they expire in the specified time.

 

United Kingdom

 

  1. Adam Rasmi, “Britain Tells Immigrants They Can Stay If Their Visas Expire—For Now”, Quartz, April 24, 2020
  • Following up on guidance issued last month, the Home Office told Quartz via email that no one (worker or otherwise) will be considered an “overstayer or suffer any detriment” if their visa expired after Jan. 24, and they’re unable to leave because of lockdowns or self-isolation.
  • The exemptions last until May 31, but may be extended further, and a dedicated helpline has been set up for those who need assistance.

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

Bahrain

 

  1. Visit Visas of Expatriates Currently in Country Extended”, GDN Online, April 21, 2020
  • Bahrain has extended visit visas of expatriates currently in the country.
  • Public Security Chief Major General Tariq Al Hassan said a decision was taken to extend the visit visas for expatriates free of charge, due to the present situation.

 

Kuwait

 

  1. Christopher Copper, “Kuwait Grants Expats 3-month Extension to Residency Visas”, International Investment, April 18, 2020
  • The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) said all expats whose visas have expired will be given a three-month free extension, running from 1 March until 31 May, state news agency KUNA reported on Wednesday.
  • The ministry of interior clarified on Thursday that the extension will only apply to individuals whose visas expired and are still in Kuwait.

 

Qatar

 

  1. Qatar Permits Visitors to Stay in Country Without Visa Extension”, Mathrubhumi, April 21, 2020
  • People who had arrived in Qatar on tourist visas and were stranded following the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, can continue to stay without visa extension until flight services to their native country are resumed, Ministry of Interior informed.
  • This concession can be availed by people who visited Qatar on visit visa, tourist visa and visa on arrival services. If visas are expired, they need not pay a penalty.

 

Saudi Arabia

 

  1. King Orders to Allow Return of Expats on Reentry, Exit Visas”, Saudi Gazette, April 22, 2020
  • Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior announced on Wednesday an extraordinary initiative to facilitate the travel of expatriates who have an exit and reentry visa or final exit visa to return to their countries.
  • According to the initiative, called “Auda” (return), expatriates can apply seeking permission for travel to their countries through the Absher portal of the ministry.
  • Requests for travel from expatriates will be received and approved in coordination with the relevant authorities to complete their travel procedures on board international flights.
  • As per the initiative, a text message will be sent to the beneficiary stating the travel date, ticket number and reservation details, and by which the beneficiary can obtain his travel ticket and complete the travel procedures.

 

United Arab Emirates

 

  1. Waheed Abbas, “UAE Banks to Consider Expats' Expired Visa, Emirates ID for Transactions”, Khaleej Times, April 21, 2020
  • All the visas, Emirates IDs and entry permits of the UAE residents expired after March 1, 2020 are valid for bank transactions.
  • The UAE Central Bank has instructed all the banks in the country to consider expats' visas and Emirates ID expired between March 1 and December 31, 2020 valid for bank transactions in line with the Cabinet Decision announced earlier this month.

 

OCEANIA

 

Australia

 

  1. International Medical Student Visas Eased to Bolster Coronavirus Response in Health and Disability Sectors”, SBS News, April 23, 2020
  • International students enrolled in medical courses will be able to work more hours than usual during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The federal government is relaxing the 40-hour per fortnight work limit in an attempt to boost the number of health and disability workers, having done the same for nursing students last month.
  • The federal government said the measures are temporary and will be reviewed regularly as Australia responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Disclaimer

The material contained in this Publication is solely intended to inform readers of general legal information and/or developments. It is not intended, and should not be relied upon, as a legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Harvey Law Group (“HLG”) is not liable and in any way responsible for any harm or damages resulting from the use of the information contained on this Publication for legal or any other purposes. All rights reserved.