• Insights

Immigration and Global Mobility Update / Dec 2020


Argentina – Update on coronavirus restrictions on travel

Argentina’s borders will remain closed until 20 December 2020 included, for non-resident foreign nationals.


From 29 October 2020, entry to Argentina has been authorised as part of a pilot reopening test for tourism from the following neighbouring countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.

From 30 November 2020, The National Migration Directorate authorised, on an exceptional basis, entry into Argentina via a limited list of airports,  ports and border crossings (see here) for non-resident foreign nationals who are direct relatives of Argentine citizens and temporarily visiting Argentina for reasons of necessity, and who do not require a visa under bilateral agreements or unilateral measures. This permission is subject to the authorised foreign travellers complying with the recommendations and instructions provided by the national health authority.

Airline operations are still suspended. Airlines operating in Argentina are waiting for confirmation of the new date from the National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) and the Ministry of Transportation to resume commercial flights.

International flights: although Argentina has planned a series of frequencies to Europe, the United States and Latin America since September 2020, these services continue to be ‘special’; that is, they do not correspond to regular airline itineraries but follow an exception timetable that must be authorised in each case by the authorities. This does not allow companies to have a longer-term horizon to plan their operations.

Internal flights: From 15 October 2020 The Ministry of Transport authorised internal flights but these are limited to essential workers and people who need to travel for medical reasons. Provincial Governors may expand the authorisation to other activities based on the local epidemiological situation.

New entry requirements: electronic Affidavit and CUIDAR

Since 7 September 2020 travellers to Argentina must complete an ‘Electronic Affidavit’. The form is available at the Argentine Immigration Office website and should be completed 48 hours before boarding.

The Argentine Immigration Office also now requires that all individuals who enter the country download and use either the mobile or web version of CUIDAR, the Ministry of Health COVID-19 application for a minimum period of 14 days.

Argentina – Mandatory home isolation and the impact on mobility

Mandatory home isolation remains in place until 20 December, exclusively for people who reside or are in Bariloche and Dina Huapi (Río Negro Province) and Puerto Deseado (Santa Cruz Province).

The rest of the country remains in the ‘social, preventive and compulsory distancing’ phase, during which a minimum distance of two metres must be maintained between people, and all sanitary measures must be complied with.

Anyone arriving in Argentina (nationals and residents) must home isolate for at least 14 days.


From 29 October 2020, nationals of neighbouring countries (Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay), or foreign nationals residing in them who enter Argentina and whose destination is the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (AMBA) may enter as tourists without having to comply with the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement as long as they present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result issued within the last 72 hours and have health insurance.


Argentina – Coronavirus update on consular procedure and immigration

The suspension of consular visa applications remains in force until further notice. Argentine Consulates abroad are only authorised to issue transitory or temporary visas with a special authorisation from Immigration Office.

The National Directorate of Migrations has partially reopened. Only temporary residence extension and permanent residence applications of foreign nationals already in Argentina are being processed. The processing of new residence applications in Argentina is suspended until 20 December 2020.

The National Directorate of Migrations has arranged to extend the validity of provisional, transitory, and temporary residence permits expiring between 17 March and 11 December for an additional 30 days.


Austria – Changes to COVID-19-related entry requirements for Austria 

There are substantive amendments with regard to the requirements for the entry to Austria in the new Entry Regulation, which came into force on 17 October 2020 and applies until 31 March 2021. The evidence to be provided (PCR-test, ten-day home quarantine) depends on the country (with low or high COVID-19 risk based on the current figures) from which the person is entering Austria or where s/he has stayed last before entering Austria.  Additionally, there are exceptions in the Regulation, for example, if there are special reasons within the family circle (e.g. deaths, births or funerals) or if the person is only passing through Austria without stopping.


Austria – No in-person applications for renewal or change of purpose for residence permits during COVID-19 measures

As long as the freedom of movement and interpersonal contacts are restricted due to legal measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (based on the Austrian COVID-19-Emergency Measures Act and regulations), applications for extensions and changes of purpose regarding settlement and residence permits must not be submitted to the authority in person. They should be submitted by post or by electronic communication until 31 December 2020.


Belgium – The impact of Brexit on HR matters

The Belgian Immigration Office has posted Brexit guidance on its website in relation to the situation of UK nationals and their family members living in Belgium on 31 December 2020 and UK frontier workers active in Belgium before the end of the transition period.

UK nationals and their family members living in Belgium on 31 December 2021 will need to exchange their current residence permits (E(+) card or F(+) card) for a residence card as beneficiary of the Withdrawal agreement (‘M-card’). The same applies for UK frontier workers who will need to exchange their current Annex 15 for a ‘N-card’.

According to the draft Act, which must still be adopted, applications will need to be made by 31 December 2021 since their current ‘European’ residence permits will no longer be valid as of 31 March 2022.  Hence it is of utmost importance for UK nationals to make sure that they have their ‘European’ residence papers on 31 December 2020 so they can safeguard their rights and exchange their current card/paper for a M-card or N-card.

In addition, the Belgian Social Security Authorities also issued ‘Brexit’ guidance in their 18 November 2020 newsletter.  In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, cross-border situations such as secondments, working in several member states involving the UK and an EU Member State prior to 31 December 2020 will continue to be governed by the current European rules as long as there is an uninterrupted cross-border situation. The Authorities have clarified that every interruption ends these ‘grandfather rights’, although some situations such

  1. sickness and annual holidays are assimilated as part of the uninterrupted period.

For new situations after 31 December 2020 in the absence of a deal or new bilateral treaty, the Belgian national rules will apply exclusively. Under these, UK employees seconded to Belgium will not be subject to Belgian social security if the employment relationship remains exclusively with a UK employer during the employment in Belgium irrespective of its duration. An ‘article 3 certificate’ must be requested from the Belgian Social Security Authorities. Conversely, an employee seconded from Belgium to the UK will be able to continue to be insured in Belgium for six months. This can be extended by a maximum of six further months (a K/TM 138ter document is issued to that end).

In addition, it is important to check if any social security obligations under UK national rules will apply. Depending on the circumstances, this may potentially lead to double affiliation or no affiliation in any country.


Belgium – Exceptional social security rules for cross-border COVID-19 teleworking extended until 30 June 2021

Specific rules apply within the EEA and Switzerland to determine applicable social security regime in cross-border employment situations. These rules are very often related to (amongst others) the place where the employee physically works. For example, where an employee works in more than one Member state, s/he is subject to social security in the residence state if s/he works in the residence state at least 25% of working time.

The Belgian Social Security Authorities have taken the position that days of teleworking in another member state or other changes in an employee’s work pattern that are exclusively linked to COVID-19 measures and limited to the duration of the exceptional situation until (currently until 30 June 2021) will not be taken into consideration to determine the applicable social security regime. It is also not necessary to apply for an A1 form for this purpose.


Belgium – 2021 salary thresholds for work authorisation

Non-EEA and non-Swiss employees must obtain authorisation to work in Belgium (a work permit up to 90 days or a single permit if more than 90 days). Flanders and Brussels have now announced the salary thresholds that will apply in 2021 to obtain authorisation to work for the following categories:

  • highly skilled employees:

Flanders: EUR 43,524 and EUR 34,819.20 (aged under 30)

Brussels: EUR 43,396

  • leading personnel:

Flanders: EUR 69,638

Brussels: EUR 72,399

  • European Blue card:

Flanders: EUR 52,299

Brussels: EUR 56,111


Brazil – Formalities for artist travel to Brazil and Federal Police immigration activity resumes

As of 3 November 2020, Brazil’s General Coordination of Labour Immigration (CGIL) has restarted activities related to the registration of service agreements for the provision of artistic services between individuals or entities and artists and technicians in foreign shows, domiciled abroad and legally staying in Brazil.

Following this, individuals or entities sponsoring foreign artists will be entitled to submit agreements to the Migration Department of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (as described in article 53 of Law 3,857 / 60) prior to the artists travelling as visitors, or with a work permit in Brazil.

In addition, from 3 November 2020, the Federal Police force has resumed its regular activities, including counting the days of stays of visitors to Brazil, registering foreign nationals with residency visas, and delivering the foreign nationals’ ID cards to them.


Bulgaria- Extension to residence permit validity and new residence permit renewal deadline 

EU nationals and their family members are entitled to a six-month automatic extension of their EU residence certificates if these are due to expire by the end of 2020. The extended validity of their residence documents is only recognised in-country. Residence certificates can be renewed before the expiry of the extension.

Third-country nationals holding a prolonged residence permit which expires until 13 February 2021 can submit a renewal application until this date. The renewal applications need to be filed no later than two weeks prior to the expiry date.

In addition, the period between the expiry date and the renewal submission will not be deemed a suspension of the foreigner’s legal stay when they apply for a permanent residence permit in future (the eligibility criteria require five years of uninterrupted lawful residence). Foreign nationals who are staying abroad and are subject to the deadline extension can enter Bulgaria without a long-term visa until 13 February 2021.


Canada – New entry requirements for travellers to Canada including citizens and permanent residents

Starting 21 November 2020, all travellers (including Canadian citizens and permanent residents), whose final destination is Canada, are required to provide contact and quarantine information before and after entering Canada through ArriveCAN. This information is mandatory as part of Canada’s efforts to prevent the importation and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Before arriving in Canada

All travellers entering Canada by air must submit the following information to ArriveCAN, either by downloading the ArriveCAN mobile app or submitting the information online:

  • contact information (name, date of birth, e-mail address, phone number and passport details);
  • travel details (date of arrival, flight number/airline/airport or port of entry) and purpose of travel (work, study, family reunification, exempt travel);
  • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment; and
  • quarantine plan (unless exempted).


If the information is not submitted prior to boarding, air travellers may face delays at the border due to additional questioning from public health authorities. In addition, they may face an enforcement action ranging from a warning to a CAD 1,000 fine.

Those travelling to Canada by land or sea are strongly encouraged to submit travel information before their arrival using ArriveCAN. Submitting this information in advance will speed up processing at the port of entry and limit physical contact with border and public health officials.

Travellers entering Canada who are or may be exempt from quarantine must still use the ArriveCAN app or website to submit their contact information, travel details and advise if they are experiencing any symptoms.

On entry to Canada, border officers will request a copy of the submission receipt for verification.

After Entering Canada

Starting 21 November 2020, all travellers who have entered Canada by air, land or sea (unless exempted from mandatory quarantine/isolation requirements) must:

  • confirm within 48 hours of arrival that they have reached the quarantine/isolation location that was provided; and
  • complete COVID-19 symptom self-assessments on a daily basis during the quarantine period.


This information can be provided through the ArriveCAN app or website (if the traveller initially submitted their information digitally) or by calling 1‑833‑641‑0343. If the traveller does not provide the required follow-up information they may be contacted by public health authorities and enforcement for non-compliance may be taken.


Chile – Chile is reopening its borders

From 23 November, non-resident foreign nationals will be allowed to enter Chile only through the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport.

Between 23 November and 7 December, foreign nationals who were in a high-risk country (including the US, Brazil, UK, Spain etc.) at any time within 14 days prior to their travel to Chile will have to complete a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine upon entering Chile, even with a negative PCR test.

After 7 December, the following provisions apply for non-resident foreign nationals entering Chile in order to be exempted from a 14-day quarantine:

  • All non-resident foreign nationals entering Chile will be subject to a 14-day ‘Period of Vigilance for Travellers.’ During this period, travellers will have to report their location and health condition daily to the Health Ministry through a system that will be implemented for this purpose.
  • They must provide a negative PCR test. The test must have been performed a maximum of 72 hours before entry to Chile and must have been carried out by a recognised health authority laboratory in the country where it was conducted.

They must have health travel insurance that covers COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of USD 30,000.


Croatia – Croatia to implement the Posted Workers Directive

In mid-January 2020, a proposal for legislation to implement the Posted Workers Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/957 amending Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of employees in the framework of the provision of services) was put into the Croatian public consultations procedure.

According to the published proposal, the plan was for this legislation to be adopted and become effective in Croatia on 30 July 2020.

However, after the public consultations and due to the COVID-19 situation, the legislative proposal from January 2020 was withdrawn and a new proposal was put into the public consultations procedure in October 2020.

After the fresh public consultations, the legislation was finally adopted by the Croatian Parliament on 11 November 2020 and will become effective on 1 January 2021.

The aim of this new legislation is to provide a higher level of protection for employees posted or assigned to Croatia from abroad (with a temporary exemption for road transport employees). It is also designed to prevent and combat abuse and circumvention of the rules that apply to  posting of employees by certain service providers more efficiently.


Czech Republic – Update on COVID-19 travelling restrictions in the Czech Republic

At the beginning of November 2020, an important change was made to the protective measure in force and the list of ‘safe’ countries issued by the Ministry of Health in relation to travel by foreign nationals to the Czech Republic. Due to the adverse development of the pandemic, this list has been significantly reduced and a number of EU countries were removed from the list.

As a result of the above, more people arriving in the Czech Republic must now fill in an electronic form before arrival and also take a RT-PCR COVID test in the Czech Republic within five days of arrival (or, in case of EU nationals or residents, submit a negative test result from another EU country however, this test must not be more than 72 hours old).


Finland – The amended Posted Workers Act takes effect

The amendments to the Posted Workers Act entered into force on 1 December 2020. Amendments to national law will implement the changes made to EU legislation.

A 12-month transition period will apply to posting agreements concluded before the entry into force of the Act. The purpose of the amendments is to promote equal treatment of employees and equal competition between companies.

The amendments concern (among other things):

  • pay provisions applicable to posted workers;
  • employer’s obligation to compensate a posted worker’s travel, accommodation and meal expenses;
  • accommodation quality requirements; and
  • additional employment conditions to be applied in long postings of more than 12 months.


Finland – The current impacts of COVID-19 on global mobility in Finland

Internal border control has been reinstated for traffic between Finland and all Schengen countries. This decision is justified by the differences in the epidemiological situation compared between Finland and other Schengen countries, as well as the new acceleration in the spread of infections. They will apply until the new health security measures are made available to the extent necessary.

All foreign countries have been divided into three different Restriction Categories reflecting which border traffic restrictions and entry requirements apply for passengers arriving from various countries to Finland. For example, work-related travel based on an employment relationship or assignment is permitted under Restriction Category 1 (this includes nearly all EU member states), but highly restricted under Restriction Category 2 (which includes third countries, for example, Russia and the US).

In addition to these two Restriction Categories, there are also a small group of countries where border traffic has returned to normal (these include the Vatican, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand).

Updated information on the placement of countries in the Restriction Categories can be found in the instructions of the Finnish Border Guard as follows.

A ten-day period of self-isolation is recommended for all travellers arriving in Finland from a higher incidence country. Travellers can shorten their self-isolation period if they take two voluntary COVID-19 tests and the results prove to be negative


France – Brexit: new decree clarifies how Withdrawal Agreement provisions will apply in France

A decree of 19 November 2020 specifies how the provisions of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement of 17 October 2019 concerning the rights of entry, residence and access to work of British nationals and members of their families on French territory apply in French law. The decree (decree no. 2020-1417 of 19 November 2020) came into force on 21 November 2020.

The decree notably provides the following:

  • As of 1 January 2021, British nationals and their family members who were already residing in France or performing a ‘cross-border’ economic activity before this date will have to apply for a specific ‘EU-UK Withdrawal’ permit in France before 1 July 2021 to continue residing (or working, as applicable) in France under the same conditions.
  • This specific permit will be valid for five or ten years depending on the circumstances.

The individuals concerned will have to be in possession of this            specific ‘EU-UK Withdrawal’ permit by 1 October 2021 at the            latest.


Greece – Update on coronavirus-related immigration measures

Given the current COVID-19 situation, the validity of registration cards for asylum seekers (Applicants for International Protection under article 70 of tLaw 4636/2019) has been extended based on the asylum case number on the registration card (Ministerial Decision No. 18602/11-9-2020).

In addition,  the validity of definitive residence permits, issued by the Aliens Departments of the Decentralised Administration and by the Directorate of Immigration Policy of the Ministry of Asylum and Immigration that expire from 20 July 2020 to 31 December 2020 is automatically extended for eight months from their expiry date. This extension also applies to certificates of submission of an application for a residence permit by third-country nationals (article 1 of the Ministerial Decision No. 21221/2020).


Greece – Update on coronavirus-related travel measures

The Greek Government has declared the country is in national lockdown from 6 November until 7 December 2020. The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) announced that that domestic travel restrictions will be extended until 7 December 2020,  allowing only essential travel for health, family and work-related reasons. As far as concerns international flights the travel restrictions have been extended until 14 December 2020. EU citizens, and citizens and permanent residents from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, UAE,  Uruguay and Singapore are permitted to enter. UAE permanent residents may only arrive on direct flights from UAE to Greece and flight connections with Turkey and Catalonia in Spain are temporarily restricted.

In addition, and as part of the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all foreign nationals who wish to enter Greece must present a negative PCR test result dating from 72 hours prior to their arrival and fill in an electronic PLF form (Passenger Locator Form) with their contact details in Greece. This applies to both air and land arrivals.


Ireland – Guidance on status of UK nationals and their non-EEA family members living in Ireland after Brexit published

The Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) (formerly INIS) has published a notice on the impact of Brexit on immigration status of UK nationals and their Non-EEA family members living in Ireland. The notice sets out the following:

  • UK nationals living in Ireland before 31 December 2020 do not need to apply for any new immigration documentation as their existing rights will continue to be protected under the Common Travel Area (the CTA).
  • Non-EEA family members of UK nationals who live in Ireland before 31 December 2020 must update their Irish Residence Permit (IRP) using the online card exchange programme before 31 December 2021.
  • The rights of UK nationals and their non-EEA family members moving to Ireland after 31 December 2020 will also continue under the CTA but a new scheme will apply for UK nationals who wish to move to Ireland with their non-EEA family members after 31 December 2020. The details of this scheme have yet to be published by the ISD.


The ISD notice is available here.


Italy – Quota and categories of non-EU workers who can request a work permit set for 2020

Every year the Italian Government approves the so-called Decreto Flussi which regulates immigration flows by establishing the total number and categories of non-EU workers who can request a work permit.

Usually, this Decree is published at the beginning of the year. However, this time as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, it was only published in October 2020.

As a consequence, for this year the maximum quota of non-EU employees, both seasonal and non-seasonal, and self-employed workers who can request a work permit is 30,850.


Luxembourg – Immigration derogation measures in the context of COVID-19 further extended 

In June 2020, Luxembourg introduced a temporary extension to the effects of certain derogations introduced in the context of the fight against COVID-19 in immigration matters. In particular, the three-month period (provided for by article 40 of the amended Law of 29 August 2008 on the free movement of persons and immigration) within which third-country nationals authorised to enter in Luxembourg must apply for a residence permit, is increased to six months for third-country nationals who have  made an arrival declaration to the municipality of their place of residency in Luxembourg between 1 January 2020 and 31 July 2020.


Luxembourg – Current restrictions on travel to Luxembourg

Following the European Commission recommendations on temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU, the Law and related regulations also provide for:

  • The extension of the temporary ban on entering Luxembourg for third-country nationals, until 31 December 2020 inclusive. A bill tabled on 24 November 2020 provides for an extension of the temporary ban on entering Luxembourg for third-country nationals until 31 December 2021. A regulation may provide for an earlier date of end.
  • There is an exemption from this ban for citizens of San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and the Vatican/Holy see, as well than their family members.
  • The categories of third-country nationals who are authorised to enter Luxembourg territory due to their status or the purpose of their travel have been updated.
  • A list of third countries for which the temporary restrictions have been lifted and whose residents are exempted, from 1 July 2020, from the temporary ban on entering Luxembourg territory. This list is regularly updated and, since 9 November 2020, concerns the following states: Australia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand, Uruguay, and, subject to reciprocity at European Union level: China, Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR.


Since 12 August 2020, any citizen of a third-party country aged 11 or over who would like to travel by air to Luxembourg from a third-party country for which temporary restrictions have not been lifted must present a negative COVID-19 test result, failing which they may be refused entry to the country.

The test must have been carried out within the 72 hours prior to the flight; if applicable, it must be accompanied by a translation in one of Luxembourg’s official languages or in English.

Family members of an EU citizen, or citizen of the UK, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and the Vatican/Holy-See, as well as other states that have signed up to the European Economic Area Agreement and the Swiss Confederation who have a right to stay in one of the states listed are not affected by this measure.

Since 23 September 2020, to track the evolution of the spread of COVID-19, any passenger entering Luxembourg by air must fill in the Ministry of Health passenger tracking form within 48 hours before arrival. This contains: identification data (surname, first names, date of birth, sex) of the person and of any legal representatives; contact details (address, telephone number and email address); the social security scheme to which they are affiliated and identification number; nationality; passport or identity card number; country of origin; date of arrival; flight number and seat occupied; address of residence or the place of stay if the person stays more than 48 hours in Luxembourg.

Air carriers automatically send the Director of health or his delegate the tracking form for any passengers entering Luxembourg by air. The data of individuals concerned is anonymised 14 days after receipt.


The Netherlands – New salary requirements for knowledge migrants for 2021

Knowledge migrants are employees with a nationality from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland who come to the Netherlands to carry out paid employment based on a local employment contract. They must meet the salary requirements described below from 1 January 2021. The salary for the function in the Netherlands should conform to Dutch market standards.

The new amounts for 2021:

  • finds a job as knowledge migrant (from abroad) within three years after graduation.
  • Salary requirement for knowledge migrants aged 30 or older: EUR 4,752 gross per month excluding holiday allowance;
  • Salary requirement for knowledge migrants younger than 30: EUR 3,484 gross per month excluding holiday allowance;
  • Salary requirement for knowledge migrants after graduation: EUR 2,497 gross per month excluding holiday allowance;


European blue card holders: EUR 5,567 gross per month excluding holiday allowance.


New Zealand – New border entry exemption for work visa holders

Work visa holders who are currently overseas but normally live in New Zealand can now request a border exemption under the new ‘normally resident’ category.

The exemption only applies to those who departed New Zealand between 1 December 2019 and 9 October 2020 and held an Essential Skills work visa (based on mid or higher-skilled employment), Work to Residence visa, or Entrepreneur work visa.

To be considered for the new border exemption, visa holders must also have lived in New Zealand for either:

  • More than two years; or
  • Between one and two years and have:
  • an entrepreneur work visa for the continued operation of an already established business in New Zealand; or
  • had one or more dependent children with them in New Zealand for at least six months of that 12-month period; or
  • parents or adult siblings who are currently in, and who are ordinarily resident in, New Zealand; or
  • Submitted their application for their current resident visa by 10 August 2020.


The New Zealand Government is expecting up to 850 visa holders may be eligible for this category.


Peru – New countries included added to Peru border opening

Since 5 October, Peru’s borders were partially opened to some specific countries and cities: Guayaquil, La Paz, Quito, Bogota, Santa Cruz, Cali, Medellin, Panama, Asunción, Montevideo and Santiago. It was also possible to travel to four-hour distant destinations and flights of up to four hours were allowed.

Since1 November, the borders have opened for flights of up to 8 hours to the following countries and cities: Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Miami, Houston and Atlanta (United States); Mexico City and Cancun (Mexico); La Habana (Cuba); Montego Bay (Jamaica); Punta Cana (Dominican Republic); Cartagena (Colombia) and San José (Costa Rica); Toronto (Canada); Rio, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Foz de Iguazú and Porto Alegre (Brasil); Buenos Aires, Rosario, Mendoza, Córdoba and Tucuman (Argentina); and San Salvador (El Salvador).

Anyone flying from or to Peru must present an affidavit and a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old. They must also comply with requirement to use masks or face shields during the flight.


Poland – Current COVID-19 travel restrictions in Poland

Traffic within the internal borders of the EU has now been fully restored. Travellers coming from EU countries have the right to enter and transit through Poland. They do not have to undergo quarantine.

The restrictions on entry of foreign nationals to Poland and quarantine still apply at the external borders of the EU (i.e. Ukraine, Russia). The list of categories of individuals who may cross Polish border is still in force. Citizens of Belarus and individuals who have humanitarian visas have been added to it.

Some foreign nationals may be exempted from the quarantine obligation, for example, if they cross the border in the course of professional activities. The rest must self-isolate for ten days, counting from the day following the crossing of the border.

Airline operations from restricted countries are banned from landing in Poland. Currently, flights to all EU countries are possible. The list of restricted countries changes every two weeks. Domestic air traffic is permitted.

International rail traffic within the internal borders of the EU is open. Restrictions still apply to international rail travel outside the external borders of the EU.


Portugal – Update on coronavirus-related immigration measures

Given the current COVID-19 situation, the validity of visas and residence and work permits has been extended to 31 March 2021 (Decree-Law 87-A/2020, of 15 October).Any ‘expired’ documents will continue to be accepted on the same terms after this date, provided that the appropriate renewal has been scheduled.


Romania – Rights of cross-border workers in the context of the UK Withdrawal Agreement clarified

A Government Emergency Order (GEO) defines

cross-border workers as British citizens who are beneficiaries of article 50 of the EU Treaty on European Union, who do not reside in Romania, but are employed there since before the end of the transition period and who will continue their activity after the end of this period.

These workers will be able to obtain a permit for frontier workers (a document certifying the right of these workers to enter and leave Romanian territory) subject to the following cumulative conditions:

  • The worker is not reported by the competent authorities as posing a danger to national defence and security.
  • The worker possesses a valid state border crossing document, except in cases where this document expired after s/he entered Romania without the possibility of extension, for reasons independent of the persons’ s will.
  • The worker has a valid individual employment contract, concluded in accordance with the law, in Romania.


The frontier workers permit will be valid for the duration of his or her individual employment contract, but no more than five years.


Russia – New forms and requirements for migration reports

From 2021, it is necessary to inform the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs about the conclusion and termination of an employment or civil contract with a foreign national using new forms. Their differences between these and the existing forms are minimal. Employers do not need to provide additional information.

In addition, a new notification procedure will take effect from 2021. The new procedure clarifies that the notification should take place on a document of two or more sheets, bound and numbered. The rear side of the last sheet should contain a certification record reflecting the total number of sheets, and should contain the signature and a stamp of the company’s authorised representative. On the back of the last sheet, the authorised person submitting the notification must indicate the number of sheets, surname, initials and sign.


Russia – List of states whose citizens can enter Russia while borders closed extended

Starting from 1 August 2020, the Russian Government has gradually supplemented the list of countries whose citizens can enter Russia from the state of their citizenship/residence (in addition to individuals with a residence permit). As of 26 November 2020, this list includes the following states:

  • United Kingdom;
  • Switzerland;
  • Turkey;
  • Tanzania;
  • Egypt;
  • Maldives;
  • United Arab Emirates;
  • Kazakhstan;
  • Kyrgyzstan;
  • Republic of Korea;
  • Cuba;
  • Serbia;
  • Japan;
  • Seychelles;
  • Ethiopia.


Travellers arriving from these countries and Russian citizens are exempted from the compulsory 14-day COVID-19 self-isolation period (except who arriving for a work purpose). However, foreign and Russian citizens must undergo COVID-19 testing within three days after arrival (or provide a valid negative test result).


Russia – Procedure for obtaining a new unified electronic visa is now available

On 7 November 2020, the Russian Government introduced Regulation ‘On the procedure of obtaining unified electronic visas’.

To obtain an electronic visa, a foreign national must register and submit an application on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website four calendar days prior to the planned date of entry. The ministry will issue an e-visa within two days and notify the applicant with a positive or negative decision within four days from the date of submission.

The duration of stay (16 days) may only be extended by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs if it is impossible for the foreign national to leave Russia due to:

  • emergency treatment or the death of a close relative;
  • force majeure circumstances and natural disasters;
  • quarantine in the state of their citizenship or residence.


The first unified electronic visas will be issued beginning from 1 January 2021.


Russia – Single-entry regime for Highly Qualified Foreign Specialists (expat experts) still in force

Highly qualified specialists (‘HQS’) may enter Russia subject to specific approval from the business-targeted Russian ministry (i.e. Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry for Digital Development, etc.), according to Resolution No. 635-r.

This is a single-use option, meaning that if the HQS (having entered Russia during the COVID-restrictions period) left the country, s/he will be not be granted an entry permission again. The only exception to this rule is for foreign citizens arriving from countries for which Russia’s borders are currently open.

According to clarifications published by the Russian Border Service, only the Russian Government can permit a second entry or determine the number of permitted entries, in response to a special request.


Russia – Permitted quota of foreign national employees set for 2021

Next year there will be more types of activities subject to a limit on the number of foreign employees.

A cap of 50% of headcount has been set for the logging industry and for sales.

The restriction also applies activities for the maintenance of buildings and territories, as well as the management of real estate for a fee or under a contract. The permissible quota of foreign nationals in this sector is 70%.

The quota of foreign employees for two types of transport is reduced from 26% to 24%:

  • other land passenger transport;
  • automobile cargo transport.


The remaining restrictions do not differ from those set for 2020.

If the number of foreign employees in an organisation exceeds the approved quota, this means some of them must be dismissed before the beginning of 2021.


Serbia – COVID-19-related specific entry requirements for Serbia

Currently, the travel restrictions set out below apply for foreign citizens in Serbia.

Foreign citizens coming from Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia are only allowed to enter Serbia if they have a negative PCR test no more than 48 hours old, issued by the national laboratory in the country they are coming from or entering Serbia from. This limitation does not apply to foreign citizens from listed countries who are only transiting through Serbia, or who have temporary or permanent residence in Serbia, aircraft cabin crew of or cargo crew in cases of international transportation, diplomacy staff etc.

Serbian citizens and foreign citizens with approved temporary or permanent residence in Serbia who are travelling from Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina are allowed to enter Serbia, but must report to the competent public health institution within 24 hours from the moment of entry, in line with the instruction received at the border. This obligation does not apply to citizens who live near the borders with the countries listed and are employed in Serbia or to individuals who do agricultural work in Serbia, aircraft cabin crew whose destination is Serbia, cargo crew in cases of international transportation, diplomacy staff, etc.


UK – Rules and guidance for UK post-Brexit immigration system published

  • On 22 October 2020, a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules was published, which sets out important changes for employers including new immigration routes which non-EEA nationals and EEA nationals abroad can apply for from 1 December 2020 (with EEA nationals having immigration permission granted from 1 January 2021


at the earliest), and EEA nationals can apply for within the UK          from 1 January 2021.

The new immigration routes include:

  • Skilled Worker (which replaces Tier 2 (General));
  • Intra-Company Transfer and Intra-Company Graduate Trainee (which revise the current Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer routes);
  • In-country extension routes for Turkish workers and businesspersons.


There is also a new route being introduced from 31 January 2021 for British Nationals (Overseas) and their family members.

An initial tranche of corresponding revised guidance for sponsors of workers has also been published on 19 November 2020. This covers sponsor licence applications, general information on sponsoring workers, sponsor duties and compliance. It also covers sponsoring Skilled Workers and Intra-Company Transferees. The guidance is due to be expanded shortly to cover sponsoring workers in a range of Temporary Work routes.


Venezuela – Venezuela gradually lifts Covid-19 restrictions over certain international flights

Although there is a general call for suspension of international commercial flights until at least February 11 2021, the Venezuelan Civil Aviation Authority (Instituto Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil “INAC”) has been gradually resuming some of them, since November 2 2020. The list of authorized flights was initially limited to flights to and from Mexico, Turkey, Dominican Republic and Iran, but was recently extended to include Panama, Bolivia and Russia.

Flight restrictions do not apply to overflight, air cargo, air mail operations, humanitarian flights, flights to repatriate Venezuelan nationals or flights authorized by the United Nations. However, such flights must be previously approved by local aviation, migration and health authorities.

Travellers entering Venezuela must be tested for Covid-19, and observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

As for neighbouring countries Brazil and Colombia, the borders with Venezuela continue to be closed. However, cooperation channels of exit/entries between land borders of Colombia and Venezuela are currently in place, with restrictions and in compliance of the WHO health and safety regulations.


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