Latest updates in Global Immigration
20 August 2020
Global immigration rules and procedures are changing by the day, as governments around the world begin to ease lockdown measures and certain overseas visa centres begin a phased reopening. However, certain restrictions and exemptions are still in place in most countries, therefore travelers should be aware of the current rules in their destination country before travelling.
With this in mind, Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following key updates in global immigration this week.
India: Lockdown period extended
In light of continuing cases of COVID-19 in India, the Indian government has extended the lockdown period until 31 August 2020.
As per the latest travel advisory from Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, foreign nationals coming to India on any sub-categories of valid employment visa along with their dependents holding a valid dependent visa are permitted to enter India.
The following categories of foreign nationals have been permitted to enter:
- Foreign citizens coming to India on a Business Visa, other than on B-3 visas for sports
- Foreign healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers and technicians coming to India for technical work at health sector facilities.
- Foreign engineering, managerial, design or other specialists travelling to India on behalf of foreign business entities located in India.
- Foreign technical specialists and engineers travelling for installation, repair and maintenance of foreign-origin machinery and equipment facilities in India, on the invitation of a registered Indian business entity.
In some cases, workers in the above categories may be required to provide a letter of invitation from a recognised Indian organisation in order to be granted entry.
Foreign nationals covered above will also need to obtain a fresh business visa or employment visa from the Indian Missions / Posts abroad. Foreign nationals holding a valid long-term multiple entry business visa will need to get their visa re-validated from the Indian Mission / Post concerned. Such foreign nationals will not be permitted to travel to India on any electronic visa obtained earlier.
Further details from the Indian government on current travel advice related to immigration can be viewed here.
USA: Non-essential travel ban continues
The ban on non-essential travel across US land borders will continue through to 20 September 2020. Ferry travel between the USA and Mexico and Canada is also included in the ban, although the restrictions do not affect air travel. Originally, the restrictions were due to expire on August 20, but have since been extended.
“Non-essential travel” at land borders that is not permitted includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. Travel through land borders and ferry terminals will therefore continue to be limited to essential travel only.
Essential travel includes travel by U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals traveling to work in the United States, among others. Visa Waiver and other business travelers may face additional scrutiny at the border.
Argentina: Granting visas and entries for essential workers
National authorities in Argentina have started to approve Special Entry Permits for non-resident foreigners during Mandatory Social and Preventive Isolation (ASPO), the isolation regime implemented by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Special Entry Permits are limited for workers who are arriving to carry out essential activities, as detailed in Decree NUD 297/2020, issued by the National Executive Power (NEP) on March 19 2020.
The decree does not indicate what specific activities are classed as “essential”, but it includes a list of exempted individuals, such as:
- Essential activities on the operation of oil and gas fields
- Essential surveillance services
- Production and supply of food
- Personnel working at public constructions
This represents a concrete step towards the “New Normal”, after more than five months of quarantine forbidding foreigners’ entry to national territory.
SSW Global Immigration
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If you need advice or support in reaching your business’s global immigration goals, Smith Stone Walters would be delighted to help. Contact us today to discuss your requirements – we are immigration experts.