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Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is experiencing longer-than-usual processing times for key employment-based visa categories, according to data released by the government. Specifically, expanded processing times have been recorded for the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa and the Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa. The expanded processing times come amid recent changes to Australia’s permanent residency pathways and the relaxation of COVID-related restrictions on entry by foreign nationals. 

Continue Reading Expanded Government Processing Times for Australian Visas

Effective May 23, 2022, South Korea has loosened its pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements for foreign nationals. Specifically, foreign nationals seeking to enter the country can now present either a negative PCR test or a supervised rapid antigen test (RAT). Previously, only PCR tests were accepted. The RAT must be conducted by a health care provider such as a hospital or clinic; at-home RATs are not accepted. South Korea’s move represents another incremental relaxation of the country’s COVID-19 entry requirements and follows the easing of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers in April.

Continue Reading South Korea Updates COVID-19 Entry Requirements

Effective May 9, 2022, the Taiwanese government will reduce the required quarantine period for all international arrivals from ten days to seven, followed by a seven-day self-health management period. The announcement from Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) is an incremental step toward normalizing international travel procedures. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has barred most foreign nationals from entering the country.

Continue Reading Taiwan Shortens Post-Arrival Quarantine Period

On April 12, 2022, the Chilean government announced the implementation of a new framework to govern the country’s border restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lowest level of the new framework, Alert Level 1, does not require foreign nationals seeking to enter Chile to submit their vaccination status for prior approval, though travelers may still submit this information voluntarily and are required to submit it to obtain a Pase de Movilidad (“Mobility Pass”). In adopting the new framework, the government aims to enable a more agile response to the pandemic, including through detection and containment of new variants of concern.

Continue Reading Chile Updates Framework for Pandemic-Related Border Restrictions

On March 31, 2022, the Chilean government issued an extension of its border restrictions through the end of April 2022. Specifically, the government issued Decree No. 142, modifying Decree No. 295 of 2021, to continue the government’s legal authorization to impose restrictions on the entry and exit of individuals through the country’s borders. In issuing the new decree, the government emphasized that further modifications may be made in response to the changing nature of the pandemic around the world.

Continue Reading Chile Extends Authorization for Border Restrictions through End of April 2022

As of April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers entering South Korea through designated airports, including Incheon Airport, will be exempt from the government’s seven-day quarantine requirement. To be eligible for the exemption, travelers must upload proof of their vaccination status and negative COVID-19 test results and obtain a “Q-code” through an online application before entry. Travelers are advised to carry a print-out of the Q-code at the time of entry.

Continue Reading South Korea Updates COVID-Related Entry Requirements

Updated April 1, 2022: Effective April 1, 2022, South Korea will no longer require certain long-term visa holders to obtain a reentry permit prior to traveling overseas.  Specifically, long-term visa holders who either hold residence cards or are waiting for residence cards to be issued and whose travel period outside South Korea does not exceed one year will no longer need to apply for a reentry permit prior to international travel.  The government’s announcement is a significant relaxation of reentry requirements for foreign nationals, which were increased in mid-2020 in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Continue Reading South Korea Drops Reentry Permit Requirement for Many Long-Term Visa Holders

Effective March 18, 2022, the Australian government implemented a set of changes that have opened a new pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers who have been living and working in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Australian government will allow Subclass 482 visa holders in the short-term stream to access permanent residency through the Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) visa. Certain foreign nationals who previously held 457 visas but now hold 482 visas will also be eligible for permanent residency.

Continue Reading Australia Creates New Pathway to Permanent Residence for Some Skilled Workers

On March 17, 2022, the Canadian government announced that the country will end its pre-entry COVID-19 testing requirement for all fully vaccinated* travelers arriving via land, air, or water, beginning on April 1, 2022.

Canada’s Minister of Health, Jean Yves-Duclos, noted as part of the announcement that “as vaccination levels and healthcare system capacity

On February 24, 2022, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (“CECC”) announced that nonresident business travelers will be allowed to enter Taiwan, beginning on March 7, 2022. The CECC’s announcement represents an incremental step toward reopening Taiwan to travel by nonresident foreign nationals. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has barred most foreign nationals from entering the country.

Continue Reading Taiwan Updates Entry Restrictions for Business Travelers