SSW Global immigration
11 August 2021
This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following updates from Thailand, Spain, Russia and Namibia.
Thailand: Further visa extensions granted
At the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Thailand created ‘COVID-19 visas’ as a result of the large number of individuals who entered Thailand before the pandemic started, and then found themselves unable to return home due to closed borders, travel restrictions and flight cancellations.
Originally, the visa allowed extensions of 30 days at a time, but has now been extended to 60 days per stamp. The programme to apply for an extension is currently open and is expected to close on 27 September this year.
As an example, if you were to file for an extension on 27 September, you will be permitted to stay in Thailand until 26 November 2021. As a reminder from the government, it is possible to request for extensions up to 45 days before the current stamp expires, giving individuals some flexibility to plan ahead of time and avoid potential delays.
Russia and Namibia: New travel agreement
Russia and Namibia have recently introduced visa free travel between both countries in a new visa- free regime, which entered into effect as of Monday last week.
Russian citizens are now able to enter Namibia and stay there without a visa for 90 days in every 180 days. The visa free entry does not include entering for purposes such as labour, education or permanent residence in the country. The agreement also grants the same rights to citizens of Namibia when visiting the Russian Federation.
Spain: Application centres reopened to travellers from India
Starting this week, Spain has reopened its consular offices and has welcomed travellers from India once again.
The consular offices have reopened for all visa categories after closing temporarily due to the ongoing pandemic. All travellers from India must meet the following requirements when considering travel to Spain:
- Indian passengers must be fully vaccinated in order to travel to Spain (only certain vaccines have been approved for entry).
- Children under 12 years of age are not obliged to present these documents or other supporting documents.
- Indian travellers must have a Schengen visa or apply for a Spanish visa through the online visa application centre, BLS, international.
- At present, only the Delhi centre is processing visa applications.
- If the flight is cancelled or persons are unable to travel during the visa period, they are permitted to change the trip dates. In these cases, the new sticker will be issued by the Embassy or Consulate free of charge. However, travellers are required to make a new application.
Global immigration support
Due to the constantly evolving nature of global immigration, country-specific rules may change at short notice. For this reason, Smith Stone Walters recommends checking the entry rules of your destination country before departure.
For up to date advice before you travel, please contact the SSW Global Immigration team.