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.

Colombia: Immigration facilities officially reopen to the public

As of Monday 21 September, Migracion Colombia (Department of Immigration in Colombia) has officially reopened their immigration facilities and services to both national and foreign citizens after months of closure. The decision to resume services was announced shortly after the Colombian government approved international flights to run once again, from 19 September onwards.

Migracion Colombia have introduced online booking services on their government portal, which will be available to all those who need to conduct face-to-face procedures as well as general immigration support. All foreigners that require immigration services will need to make an appointment online before attending the designated facility, otherwise they may be turned away at the entrance. The online form will collect your personal data and direct you to the closest facilitation centre out of the 27 centres that are currently in operation.

There has been a particular focus on expired tourist visa holders, whom have been unable to return to their home country due to national lockdown measures. To remedy reporting duty requirements, the government have ensured that all reporting requirements will continue to be suspended. As such, individuals that have expired tourist visas will now have up until 1 October to renew their visa or to leave the country. In addition to tourist visas, and in accordance with Resolution 2223 issued and published on 16 September, here are a few of the services that have resumed operations;

  • Issuance of Alien Identification Card (Cedula)
  • Foreign registration for minors and adults
  • Certificates of migratory movements
  • Temporary permits of stay, extensions of stay in the national territory and category changes
  • Safe conduct (Salvoconductos) SC-1 and SC-2

Vietnam: Entry procedures for foreign employees amid the pandemic

Earlier this year, Vietnam suspended entry of most foreign visitors and international flights. After several months of restricted travel and entry, the Vietnamese government has recently announced that they are once again in a position to welcome businesses and their employees to resume activities as usual.

Their main objectives are to help facilitate the entry of investors, technical experts, managers, highly skilled workers, officials and diplomats. Such applicants will first need to ensure that they have a sponsor who can assist them with obtaining the necessary documentation and guidance of updated regulations.

The government have also highlighted the importance of following their step-by step guidance which includes:

  • The employer is required to submit a letter to the local provincial people’s committee with specific details about the employee job details as well as their travel plans;
  • The local provincial people’s committee is then expected to make a decision and then submit the request to Vietnam’s immigration department; and
  • If the application is approved, the employer would also need to submit a letter and necessary documents to the immigration department including the local provincial people’s committee decision on the approval.

Malaysia: Foreign students can now return

The Malaysian Immigration Department have once again welcomed foreign students to resume their studies in Malaysia, depending on whether their chosen universities are open.

The new regulation will also consider new applications for student visas, for those universities that are enrolling and have prepared classes for students. The Immigration Director has stated that aside from students writing in to be considered, universities also need to inform the department that they have classes running and will be able to support incoming students.

Note that Malaysia has imposed a ban on citizens of 23 countries due to their high number of rising COVID-19 cases. This means that the applications for student visas would not be given to prospective students from the following countries: United States, Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, Colombia, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.

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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