Photo of Paul J. Sarauskas

As countries around the world have begun to loosen or even eliminate entry requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan has maintained comparatively stringent restrictions on entry by foreign nationals. However, the Japanese government is increasingly easing these restrictions, allowing larger numbers of foreign nationals to enter the country through several different visa pathways. While major restrictions remain in place, foreign nationals seeking to enter Japan now have greater opportunity to do so than at any point in the last two years.

Continue Reading Japan Begins Easing COVID Entry Restrictions for Foreign Nationals

As of July 2022, Costa Rica officially opened the application process for the country’s new remote worker visa under the immigration category “Stay (Estancia) for Remote Workers and Service Providers.” Like many countries, Costa Rica suffered a hit to its tourism sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country created the digital nomad visa in an effort to attract long-term visitors and stimulate the local economy. The law enabling the new visa category was signed in August 2021, but administrative and logistical requirements have delayed implementation until now.

Continue Reading Costa Rica Launches New “Digital Nomad” Visa

Effective June 1, 2022, the Italian government has lifted all COVID-related entry requirements for international travelers. Under the new rules, travelers are no longer required to conduct pre- or post-arrival testing, complete pre-departure registration, or demonstrate proof of vaccination. The elimination of COVID-related entry requirements makes Italy part of a growing number of countries that have loosened or eliminated COVID-related entry requirements on international travelers, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden.

Continue Reading Italy Eliminates All COVID-Related Entry Requirements

On April 27, 2022, the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – proposed the digitalization of the Schengen visa process. If implemented, the proposal would enable an online visa application platform and replace visa stickers in passports with a secure electronic status. Applicants may still need to visit consular posts to submit biometric data, such as fingerprints. Under the Commission’s proposal, Schengen Area member countries would have five years from the date of implementation to switch to the digitalized visa platform.

Continue Reading EU Moves Toward Digitalizing Schengen Visas

On April 22, 2022, the Irish government announced an expansion of the eligibility criteria for the country’s multiple entry short stay visas. The changes mean that foreign nationals from all visa-required countries will now be eligible to apply for a five-year, multiple entry short stay visa.  The government’s announcement is intended to ease administrative burdens and facilitate multiple short-stay trips by visa-required nationals as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading Ireland Expands Eligibility for Multiple Entry Short Stay Visas

On March 28, 2022, the Italian parliament approved a law creating a new “Digital Nomad” visa for remote workers from outside the European Union (EU). The government has thirty days to implement the law and to provide the operational details, including the required documents and application procedures. Once implemented, the new visa is expected to provide flexibility for non-EU nationals seeking to live and work in Italy without first obtaining sponsorship from an Italian employer. Italy’s adoption of a Digital Nomad visa follows the introduction of similar immigration pathways in Romania, Iceland, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries.

Continue Reading Italy Creates New “Digital Nomad” Visa

On March 15, 2022, the Indian government announced a significant relaxation in COVID-19 travel restrictions. Under the terms of the announcement, tourists will be able to enter the country on either paper or e-Tourist visas for the first time since March 2020. All international flights to and from India will also resume as of March 27, 2022. The Indian government’s move comes as several countries throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland, have relaxed or eliminated their pandemic-related restrictions on international travel.

Continue Reading India Relaxes Pandemic-Related Travel Restrictions

Effective January 17, 2022, the Romanian government has begun implementing a new “Digital Nomad” visa designed to allow foreign nationals to enter the country for work purposes without first being sponsored by a local employer. The new visa is expected to provide increased flexibility to remote workers while also helping to attract human and financial capital during a time of critical labor shortages. Romania’s introduction of the Digital Nomad visa follows the launch of remote work visas in countries such as Iceland and the United Arab Emirates.

Continue Reading Romania Launches New “Digital Nomad” Visa

On January 21, 2022, the Indian government announced an extension of the filing deadline for reissuance of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards. Applicants may now file for reissuance of OCI cards through December 31, 2022. The government’s move to extend the deadline is a response to the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading India Extends OCI Card Filing Deadline

On January 9, 2022, Israel loosened several pandemic-related restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals. The country had previously relaxed its entry restrictions in November 2021 but re-imposed them only weeks later following the identification of the omicron variant. Under the new reopening guidelines, fully vaccinated foreign nationals, as well as some unvaccinated but recovered individuals, will be allowed to enter Israel.
Continue Reading Israel Reopens Borders to Entry by Foreign Nationals