Global immigration news

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Iceland, Qatar and South Africa.

Iceland: Residence card limitations

The Directorate of Immigration is limiting the issuance of residence cards to those who need to travel abroad.

Valid travel documentation, such as a plane ticket, must be sent to as a confirmation.

In place of residence permit cards, applicants will receive a letter confirming the issuance of a residence permit, with information on the period of validity and employment rights.

New cards cannot be expected until autumn 2023, due to an international raw material shortage.

Qatar: Guidance for World Cup visitors

The Qatar Ministry of Interior has released the following information about entry to the country during the World Cup 2022:

Entry of visitors to Qatar is suspended effective 1 November to 23 December 2022 except for the following:

  • Holders of Hayya Cards, who can stay in Qatar until 23 January 2022;
  • Qatari citizens, residents and GCC citizens holding a Qatari ID card;
  • Holders of personal recruitment visas and work entry permits;
  • Humanitarian cases via the airport, based on approval from the official application platform.

Foreign nationals who have tickets for a World Cup match can apply for the Hayya Card via the website or app. The Hayya Card acts as a valid visa for entry to Qatar during the World Cup.

In addition, from 1 November 2022, Hayya Card holders are permitted to apply for a 90-day multiple-entry tourist visa to enter the UAE and/or a 60-day multiple-entry visa for Saudi Arabia.

South Africa: General update for visa applicants

The South African government has extended until 31 March 2023 the validity of visas and visa waivers for those foreign nationals with pending visa or visa waiver applications. Previously these individuals were permitted to stay in South Africa until 30 September 2022.

Entry-visa exempt nationals with pending long-term visa applications can exit South Africa and re-enter by presenting their Visa Facilitation Service Centre (VFS) receipt.

Visa-required nationals are advised not to exit South Africa while their visa application is pending as re-entry requires a new visa.

Holders of expired visas are permitted to leave South Africa on or before 31 March 2023 without penalty.

Expert advice on global immigration

If you need support with any aspect of worldwide immigration, Smith Stone Walters is here to help.

To speak to a member of our Global Immigration team, please contact us today.

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