Seyfarth Global Immigration Update: November 2020

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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.

EU Council Reviews Travel Restrictions

The EU Council has recently reviewed epidemiological conditions to revise the list of countries from which travel is currently restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations were made based on COVID case numbers, economic and social considerations, and reciprocity. The updated list became available on October 22nd, and that updated list is here. Please note that each EU member state will implement the recommendations individually.

Greece - Brexit Updates for U.K. Nationals

The Greek authorities have released new guidelines affecting U.K. nationals physically present in Greece. These new rules provide compliance guidance for U.K. nationals now that the U.K. is no longer an EU member state. U.K. citizens are now required to obtain residence permits in order to remain in Greece. U.K. nationals and their family members residing in Greece with evidence of residence for at least 5 years are eligible to apply for a 10-year residence permit as of January 1, 2021. Those who are not able to show 5 years of residence history will be eligible to apply for a 5-year residence permit as of January 1, 2021. Applications for residence permits for those currently in Greece must be filed before June 30, 2021, and the process will include biometric data collection. The procedures for U.K. citizens arriving in Greece after January 1, 2021 have not yet been determined.

Japan - Entry Requirements for Foreign Nationals

The Japanese authorities have recently announced lessened travel restrictions for foreign nationals holding long-term residence permits. As of October 1, 2020 travelers who hold residence permits are permitted to enter Japan if a host company in Japan guarantees compliance with all required quarantine measures. Further, unless they are registered with a public insurance system of Japan, travelers must have medical insurance that covers medical expenses for their duration of stay in Japan. Travelers will still be required to process entry visas (if applicable), and additional entry requirements are still enforced. Travelers are required to obtain a Certificate of Pre-Entry Testing Results prior to boarding flights for Japan, and will be required to provide completed questionnaires, quarantine compliance pledges, and negative COVID-19 test results. All travelers entering Japan are also required to install the LINE contract tracing app upon entry.

Russia - Work from Home Requirements for Moscow Employees and E-Visa Updates

An order from the the Mayor of Moscow requires certain employees and staff members to work from home due to COVID-19 concerns. Starting October 5, 2020 employers are required to send 30 percent of staff to work from home. Additionally, employees who are over 65 years of age, or those who have chronic health issues (as defined by the Moscow Health Department), must also work from home. As of October 12th, 2020 employers are required to send weekly reports to the Mayor’s Office regarding compliance with this order.

Additionally, the Russian authorities have expanded the list of countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for e-visas. A total of 52 countries are now included on the list of eligible nationalities. E-visas are available for tourist and business purposes, as well as sporting events, conferences, and cultural events. Applications may be filed online, and typically take four calendar days to process. E-visas are usually issued with single entry and a 60-day validity period. For more information, please see the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s website (here).

Singapore - New Advertising Requirements for S and Employment Pass Applications

In an effort to give local jobseekers more time to respond to job openings, and for recruiting employers to seriously evaluate applications, the minimum Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising period for Employment Pass and S Pass applications will be doubled from 14 days to 28 days. This change impacts all new Employment Pass and S Pass applications filed after October 1, 2020.

In addition, as of October 1, 2020 the qualifying monthly salary for Employment Pass (EP) applicants was raised further to $4,500 for new EP applications. The qualifying salaries for older and more experienced EP candidates in their 40s was raised accordingly, and will remain around double the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants. For renewal applicants, these new salary criteria will come into effect starting May 1, 2021.

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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