November 2021 Global Immigration Alert | Seyfarth Shaw LLP – JDSupra – JD Supra

November 2021 Global Immigration Alert | Seyfarth Shaw LLP – JDSupra – JD Supra

November 2021 Global Immigration Alert | Seyfarth Shaw LLP – JDSupra – JD Supra

[co-author: Ryann Stout]
Please note: while we address some country-specific updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the below contains information regarding global restrictions and closures as they stand today. Given the constantly changing nature of this situation, we highly recommend reviewing any global mobility inquiries on a case-by-case basis, including any consulate-specific or immigration authority resources, in “real-time” before traveling internationally. Please reach out to our Global Mobility Team in advance of any international travel.
 Australia – No Travel Exemption Needed for Fully Vaccinated Australian Citizens and Australian Permanent Residents
The Government of Australia has announced easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents.  They will be eligible for international travel without obtaining a travel exemption as of November 1, 2021.  Children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption.  Please refer to information on travel for vaccinated Australians here.
Belgium – Minimum Salary Requirements for 2022
The local Flemish and Brussels regional authorities in Belgium have announced the new minimum salary requirements for work permit categories for the upcoming year.  These new thresholds will be the minimum salary amounts applicable for Belgian work permit and Single Permit applications.  The specific minimum salary amounts depend on the relevant work permit category as well as the region.  To view the minimum salary thresholds by category for the Flemish region, please see here.  To view the minimum salary thresholds by category for the Brussels region, please see here.
EU – Information about EU Digital COVID Certificate
As you may recall,  the EU Commission launched the Digital COVID Certificate program in July 2021 to allow EU citizens and residents to verify their COVID status.  The Certificate may be in digital or paper format, and includes a QR code that is acceptable within 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 needed locally to verify testing and/or vaccination status for events.  For more information please see the EU Commission’s website here.
The Re-open EU site, which can be found here, provides up to date information regarding entry requirements for the twenty-seven EU countries.
Israel – B-1 Short Employment Authorization (SEA) Visa Validity
The Israeli Ministry of Interior (MOI) confirmed an increase of the standard validity period for  the B-1 Short Employment Authorization (SEA) Visa from 45 to 90 days.  This visa is available for visa-waiver foreign nationals and it allows urgent work activities requiring specialized knowledge.   It is used for machinery installation or repairs.
Japan – Quarantine Period Reduced for Vaccinated Travelers
Travelers who are considered fully vaccinated are eligible for a reduced quarantined period of 10 days (rather than 14 days) upon arrival in Japan.  Qualifying vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca; travelers must have received both vaccine doses and have received the second dose at least 14 days prior to arrival in Japan.  On Day 10 of quarantine, vaccinated arrivals may be released from quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19.  The travel restrictions for non-resident foreign nationals remains in place, with visa processing suspended as a result of the travel ban. Currently, only Japanese citizens and foreign residents who hold valid Residence Cards and a Re-Entry Permit are permitted to enter Japan, subject to testing and quarantine requirements.  Please see the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for updated information. 
Schengen Countries – Calculation Tool 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 EU commission publishes information about the Schengen area, which can be found here.  The country map on this site shows the EU member countries which are also members of the Schengen area.  In addition, it identifies the Schengen members which are not part of the European Union.
Kindly note that Non-EU business visitors are allowed to enter the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.  It is important to note that the 180- day period is a “rolling” period.  It is calculated as follows:
Given the regulations, it is important that frequent travelers use a travel log to capture the time actually spent in the Schengen area.  The EU Commission publishes a Schengen calculator tool for this purpose which can be found here.  Users may input the start and end date of various trips to calculate the allowed period of stay remaining; there is also a user guide in PDF which is listed at the bottom of that site.
Singapore – Online Tool Regarding Entry Requirements
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 Singapore government and explains the Safe Travel Lane arrangement, the entry requirements, and health controls which differ according to the traveler’s profile and travel history.  Travelers can select options from a drop down menu regarding their individual situation such as country of departure, vaccination status, and citizenship to receive updated information regarding the entry requirements.
Sri Lanka – Testing and Quarantine Entry Requirements Reduced and Introduction of Online Health Declaration System
The Government of Sri Lanka has recently removed the requirement for foreign nationals to obtain prior approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Aviation Authority in order to enter Sri Lanka.  Foreign nationals are permitted to enter for non-essential travel purposes such as tourist visits, and fully-vaccinated travelers are exempted from undergoing COVID testing before and after arrival.   In addition, the quarantine period of non-vaccinated travelers arriving Sri Lanka has been amended to seven days.  Please also note that the 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 about travel to Sri Lanka please see here.
The Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited (AASL) introduced an Online COVID-19 Health Declaration System at BIA.   The travelers complete the online Health Declaration form attaching a vaccination card or COVID-19 test report and upon filing will receive a QR code in addition to an email.  Sri Lanka health officials at the airport will receive the traveler’s details prior to arrival at the airport which will speed up the review and entry process.   Travelers who submitted their health declaration forms online should scan the QR code or send an email at the health declaration counter upon arrival.  The site can be accessed here
UK – 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 test result status.  It allows holders to show details of their COVID-19 vaccine(s) when travelling abroad,  as well as to enter a venue or event within the UK, if necessary.  The NHS COVID Pass and approved overseas vaccination program proof can be used for entry to the UK (unless the country is on the UK “red list”).  The full list of accepted overseas vaccination programs can be found here.  This includes the EU Digital COVID certificate, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card for US residents, and vaccine certificates from the approved list of countries.  More information about the NHS COVID Pass can be found here.
Since October 4, 2021, travelers from any country that is not on the UK “red list” are subject to simplified rules for entry to England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.  This includes completion of the passenger locator form, and booking a day 2 test.  As of October 26, 2021, in addition to PCR test results, the UK also accepts a quicker lateral flow test after arrival from abroad.
Travelers considered non-vaccinated are required to self-isolate for 10 days, complete a pre-departure COVID test, and book day 3 and 8 tests upon arrival.  More information can be found here.
Arrivals from the UK “red list” countries have a separate set of rules for entry and the full up-to-date list can be found here.  As previously, visitors who have been in a “red list” country in the last 10 days before coming to the UK are banned from entry.  Only those who have residence rights or who are British citizens can come to the UK from a “red list” country.
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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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