Immigration weekly update: December 22, 20224 min read
Immigration news update for APAC and EMEA regions
India: E-Visa facility resumes for Canadian nationals
The High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada has resumed the e-Visa facility for Canadian nationals who wish to visit India for tourism, business, medical or conference purposes, with effect from December 20. The e-Visa facility was discontinued during the COVID pandemic.
This is pleasing news for Canadian tourists and business visitors as they will no longer be required to make an in-person appointment at a visa application centre.
Further information on India e-Visas for Canadian nationals can be found here.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the High Commission of India, Ottawa (Canada)
Temporary suspension of visa services in Shanghai, China
The Consulate General of India in Shanghai, China announced that the Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) is temporarily closed and will stop accepting visa applications effective December 19, until further notice, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Consulate General of India, Shanghai
Resumption of random COVID-19 testing at airports
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India has announced and resumed random COVID-19 sample testing for international travellers at airports across the country effective December 21. This is due to an unexpected increase in COVID-19 cases in Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
It is also advised that travellers wear masks in crowded areas, especially those with comorbidities and senior citizens.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Economic and India Times website
Singapore: Manpower for Strategic Economic Priorities (M-SEP) Scheme
The Singapore Government has announced a new scheme to advance Singapore’s key economic priorities and to ensure that growth is not derailed by manpower shortages.
The M-SEP scheme, announced on, December 13, gives companies some flexibility to temporarily hire S Pass and Work Permit holders above their existing quota. Eligible firms can obtain additional S Pass and Work Permit quota up to five percent of their base workforce headcount, subject to a cap of 50 workers per firm and provided there is a commitment to hire or provide training within two years and for the same number of locals as the additional quota it seeks. There is also a requirement for commitment to participate in a key economic priority.
The Government agencies supporting the new scheme are: Economic Development Board (EDB); Enterprise Singapore, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), and Singapore Tourism Board.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Manpower for Strategic Economic Priorities Scheme (mom.gov.sg)
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
Croatia: Schengen Area membership
As of January 01, 2023, Croatia will join the Schengen Area. This is beneficial to anyone visiting Croatia from third countries and other Schengen member states. A travel authorization system (ETIAS) will also be introduced in May 2023, for registering travellers who do not need a visa to enter Croatia.
Romania and Bulgaria also bid to join the Schengen Area but have been denied membership at this time.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the ETIAS Info website.
European Union: Recommendation to lift COVID-19 restrictions
The European Council recommends EU member states to lift all Covid-19 travel and entry restrictions. If the situation worsens, the member states decided to re-issue requirements for travelers prior to departure. If a new variant emerges, member states could establish a temporary travel restriction for 21 days.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from the European Council.
United Arab Emirates: Residence visa stamp in Dubai discontinuation
From December 12, the Emirati government decided not to issue foreign nationals a UAE Residence Visa stamp in their passports. As proof of residency, foreigners can use the Emirates Identity Card in Dubai and they must have their Emirates Identity Card with them in order to re-enter the country.
No source available at the time of writing.
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 Roberta Carnaccini (Global Operations Director, Immigration).