COVID-19 Update: International Consular Openings
As we begin to see the spread of the coronavirus diminishing, countries are seeking to gradually ease travel to give visa customers, passengers and the travel and aviation industry a chance of succour. As a steppingstone towards fully opening international borders, multiple nations have scheduled to implement procedures permitting international travel from June onwards, albeit these measures carry limitations.
The following countries have announced key dates when certain travel measures are due to take effect, if they have not already done so, and when they have updated their travel policies:
3rd June 2020:
- Individuals will not be subject to any travel restrictions when moving within the country
- Travel to and from the Schengen Area, EEA and EU countries will be permitted
- Unless individuals have stayed in countries outside the Schengen Area, EEA and EU countries for up to 2 weeks, individuals travelling to Italy are no longer required to self-isolate, under the supervision of health authorities for 14 days upon arrival into Italy.
15th June 2020:
- Individuals from certain countries will be able
to travel to Greece. Greece will open its borders for tourism purposes to the following
Albania, Australia, Austria, Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Finland.
1st July 2020:
- The Ministry of Tourism in Greece will provide a new and expanded list of countries where individuals can travel from to enter Greece.
26th May 2020:
- Overseas services and Visa Application Centres remain closed. Statuses will be updated.
- Canada’s Border Agency normally collate biometrics as soon as foreign nationals arrive into Canada, alongside already approved work permit applications. Biometric enrolment may be waived but this is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Those admitted must quarantine for 14 days from time of arrival, in compliance with Canada’s Quarantine Act.
20th May 2020:
- Only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family can travel to Australia.
- Although other family members may already have visas, they will still not be able to travel unless they have already sought prior approval from the Department of Home Affairs. Other exceptions are for resident diplomats and their family members.
- All passengers must complete a 14-day period of self-isolation upon arrival into Australia.
- Visitors, international students, or those with long-term work visas outside Australia at the time the travel ban was put in place are still not permitted to return. Exceptions to this policy are for travellers who have a “compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia”. Individuals who satisfy this term must apply and be granted an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner.
7th May 2020:
- Charter flights for Indian citizens stranded overseas are now being provided. Priority is given to individuals in highly pressurised circumstances, such as redundant migrant workers, medical emergencies, bereavement or for students, pregnant women, elderly or those whose visas are about to expire.
- Travel to India for OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) card holders has started. This is applicable for minor children of OCI card holders, those who require urgent travel for family emergencies, university students and spouses of OCI card holders.
- OCI guidelines have been relaxed until 31st December 2020.
- Walk in Services are temporarily discontinued for the Indian Consulate in the US and the Indian Embassy. Services are being catered for via mail/shipping. Emergency services such as for passports can be used by contacting the respective Consulate or Embassy in the US.
1st June 2020:
- The following Visa Application Centres overseas
will open, albeit at reduced services:
Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Brisbane, Canberra, Chongqing, Dusseldorf, Fiji, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Minsk, Munich, Perth, Shanghai, Sydney, Taipei, Ukraine.
- There will be expected delays in processing times because priority and super priority services remain unavailable.
Please see our News publications for previous UK updates on travel restrictions and visa applications.
28th March 2020:
- Launch of a temporary entry suspension policy. This means that foreign nationals seeking to enter China after 28th March must make a new visa application at a Chinese consulate overseas. However, the issuance of visas under this policy are extremely limited- only in exceptional circumstances such as for urgent, essential, economic, trade, scientific, technological or for humanitarian purposes are visas issued. There is only a small amount of exemptions to the rule, such as visas for diplomats, services, courtesy, and crew members.
- Chinese embassies, consulates and Visa Application Centres have temporarily ceased one-to-one services. This means that Chinese Consulates are operating at a limited capacity.
- Individuals must contact the consulate and request an emergency appointment to submit visa applications.
1st June 2020:
- Certain consular posts will open according to
the following locations:
Amman, Jordan, Rome, Milan, Cairo and Egypt.
Should you have any travel or immigration related queries, please get in contact with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at email@example.com or by telephone +44(0)20 3318 5794.