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.

Kenya: New e-visa operating system from January

The Kenyan government have announced their elaborate plans to introduce a fully automated e-visa issuance service by 1 January 2021.

The reform aims to ease the process of obtaining a visa, by making it more convenient for travellers to apply without the requirement to physically visit the Kenyan embassy or consulate. Furthermore, the e-visa service has been welcomed in an effort to enhance service efficiency and security for foreigners entering the country.

As for the details of the process, electronic visa services will be available online, where the applicant will have to fill in a registration form. Once the fee is paid and the visa is granted, a PDF copy of the e-visa will be sent to the applicant to either download or print. Upon arrival in the country, the Kenyan border control will affix a standard visa to the traveller’s passport.

The Immigration Department has reported that all prospective applicants will be able to apply for e-visas starting from January 2021. This route will now be open to all individuals travelling to Kenya.

Chile: Border re-opens after 8 months of closure

From 23 November 2020, Chile will once again welcome tourism into the country. The Ministry of Health made the announcement this week and although Chile will finally be allowing tourists to return, they have been very clear about all entry requirements and biosecurity procedures.

The government have also provided a general guidelines including a list of countries that are permitted to enter and under what rules.

The entry requirements are as follows:

  • All arrivals into Chile, both tourists and citizens, will need to present a negative PCR test, which has been taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival into the country.
  • As with most countries worldwide, Chile will also be requiring all passengers to fill out an online health declaration form before arrival.
  • It is advisable to download the contact tracing app.

Further details on COVID-19 related requirements can be found on the embassy of Chile website in your respective country. We advise that all clients refer to the embassy website for details relating to travelling to Chile. In particular, we encourage clients to be aware of all requirements before booking a flight.

Singapore: Iris and face recognition to be used at borders

Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has announced that iris patterns and facial features will replace fingerprints as the primary biometric identifies for immigration clearance.

The Singaporean authorities have agreed that iris and facial scans are much more accurate as biometric identification method as opposed to fingerprints. Last year, the government conducted a six-month trial, which has now been approved to be fully introduced at security checking points in Singapore.

As a precautionary measure, fingerprints will continue to be used as a secondary biometric identifier for travellers who are unsuccessful in their iris and facial scans.

The ICA has been progressively implementing more secure and efficient immigration clearance, in collaboration with the Home Team Science and Technology Agency. As of July 2020, all automated and manual immigration lanes and counters at the passenger halls of Singapore’s air, sea and land checkpoints have been fully equipped with iris and facial scanners.

The ICA’s new approach will aim to improve immigration security clearance, as well as enhance the efficiency of border control procedures.

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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