What's new in global

Global immigration rules are changing by the day, both in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of legislative updates across the globe.

Smith Stone Walters is here to help businesses and individuals keep on top of these developments and identify any changes that may impact your immigration goals. With this in mind, we would like to highlight the following key updates in global immigration.

Taiwan: Special Entry Permits granted to foreign nationals

From 29 June, foreign nationals including those from Hong Kong and Macau will be able to apply for a special entry permit to enter Taiwan for reasons other than tourism and general social visits.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have confirmed that valid reasons for travel under the revised policy will include, but are not limited to, internships and training programmes, international exchange programmes, volunteering, youth exchanges and job searching.

Special entry permits may be issued regardless of the traveller’s nationality, country of origin or travel history. Applications for special entry permits can be submitted at Taiwan’s overseas missions, notably consulates and embassies.

Note that travellers who have been approved entry to Taiwan will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their flights, following government guidelines. In addition to this, the Taiwanese government have made it possible for those who are granted entry into Taiwan to use their mobile phones to complete the ‘Quarantine Systems for Entry” form before checking in.

This technological advancement will provide passengers with a QR code while waiting at the check in counter, and result in them acquiring a health declaration pass via SMS. This new system has been introduced to speed up customs clearance and help avoid further delays at the borders.

Poland: Visa Application Centres reopen abroad

Since Poland ended their temporary border controls and mandatory quarantine on 13 June, the government have revised their position on reopening Visa Application Centres (VACs).

The Polish authorities have recently approved the reopening of some of their VACs abroad and have confirmed that although application centres are reopening, they will be limited in operation.

VFS Global have announced that some of the first countries to benefit from this reopening are Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey and Russia. Services that have been resumed in Belarus include long-term work visas, short-term Schengen visas for international drivers and visas for Pole cardholders.

As for Ukraine, they are accepting both short term and long term Polish visa applications. Similarly, VFS Global’s visa application service centres in Moscow have started admitting Polish long-stay student visas, work visas, resident permits and exceptional case applications.

Currently, Polish visa processing services in Turkey are only available for select purposes of travel, as of yet there has been little specification of the visa categories that will be accepted. As borders begin to reopen and services continue to resume, we encourage clients to regularly check government websites or consult an immigration specialist at Smith Stone Walters to be prepared.

Germany: New rules for stranded Schengen visa holders

All Schengen visa holders in Germany that have been unable to return home due to the COVID-19 outbreak will be able to stay in Germany until 30 September 2020.

In addition to this, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has also confirmed that foreigners with expired Schengen visas in Germany, who are unable to leave, will be exempt from the requirements of obtaining a residence permit.

In order to facilitate their stay in Germany, the government have decided to allow Schengen visa holders to seek employment.

A previous rule permitted Schengen visa holders to stay in Germany only until 30 June. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the new allowance extends the permitted period of stay until 30 September.

Need help to reach your global immigration goals?

Smith Stone Walters will continue to post updates on the latest global immigration news to ensure you stay informed. If you have questions about the latest changes, or need support reaching your global immigration goals, we are here to help.

At Smith Stone Walters, moving people across borders is our business. Our expert team are experienced in managing and supporting immigration moves throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements – we are immigration experts.

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