Global Mobility COVID-19 Global Tracker
Using this interactive map, you will be able to review weekly updates on Global Mobility specific COVID-19 updates by country. Topics covered include: Travel restrictions, Immigration, Tax, Social Security, Employment Tax, and more.
Other KPMG COVID-19 Resources
KPMG's TaxNewsFlash reports of tax developments in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)
KPMG's TaxNewsFlash reports of tax developments in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe, Middle East & Africa
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05/12/2022: Argentina – Digital Nomad Visa Announced - Effective 21 May 2022, foreign nationals working remotely in Argentina can apply for a new six-month transitory residency visa for “digital nomads” that can be extended once, according to measures published by the Argentine National Immigration Office (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) on 11 May 2022.
04/13/2022: Argentina – COVID-19: Entry Requirements Updated - The Argentinean government on 7 April 2022 reduced the requirements for Argentineans and foreign residents to enter the country to: 1) making an electronic sworn declaration 48 hours prior to arrival, and 2) having COVID-19 insurance.
01/28/2022: Argentina - Requirements for Entering the Country Updated - The Argentinean government on 26 January 2022 announced that as of 29 January 2022, Argentineans and foreign residents who re-enter the country with a complete vaccination schedule against COVID-19 with at least 14 days before entering the country, will be exempt from performing the diagnostic test (submitting a negative PCR test).
11/03/2021: Argentina – Government Decides to Cautiously Open Borders - Administrative Decision N° 951/2021, announced on 1 October 2021 by the Argentinean government, effectively opens the country’s borders, starting 1 November, to many individuals who had been previously restricted and who wish to enter Argentina as tourists. The entry of nonresident foreigners as of 1 November 2021, will be subject to compliance with certain immigration requirements and conditions.
08/10/2021: Argentina – Government Extends Some COVID-19 Measures, Loosens Others - Argentina’s government announced on 7 August new measures to fight the coronavirus, including an extension of the existing border closure until 1 October, while also permitting limited capacity in-person gatherings that follow protocols. Additionally, certain nonresident foreigners are once again allowed to temporarily enter the country.
07/13/2021: Argentina – Another Extension for Administrative Decisions to Fight COVID-19 - Argentina’s government announced on 9 July new measures to combat the coronavirus, including an extension of existing coronavirus preventive measures, until 6 August. Borders will essentially remain closed and stricter measures have been established to prevent the spread of new strains of COVID-19 in Argentina. There is to be a quota of seats on passenger flights for re-entry to the country by Argentine nationals and foreign residents who are abroad.
06/29/2021: Argentina – Government Extends Administrative Decisions to Fight COVID-19 - Argentina’s government announced on 26 June new measures to combat the coronavirus, including an extension of existing coronavirus preventive measures until 9 July. Borders will remain closed and stricter measures have been established to help prevent the spread of new strains of COVID-19 in Argentina.
06/15/2021: Argentina – Extension of Administrative Decisions to Fight COVID-19 - Argentina’s government announced on 12 June new measures, including an extension of coronavirus preventive measures until 25 June. The country’s borders will remain closed.
05/27/2021: Argentina – Administrative Decisions Responding to COVID-19 Spread - On May 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of State released the June 2021 “Visa Bulletin” and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also determined that it will accept employment-based Forms I-485, Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, next month according to the Visa Bulletin’s “Final Action Dates” chart.
04/19/2021: Argentina – COVID-19: Buenos Aires Lockdown, Strict Prevention Measures - Argentina’s government has enacted Decree N° 241/2021 concerning the extension of obligatory social distancing until 30 April 2021, for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region. Many activities that bring people outdoors (e.g., shopping, restaurants, etc.) have been curtailed.
03/01/2021: Argentina – Quarantine in Buenos Aires and Travel Restrictions Extended - Argentina’s government published in the Boletin Oficial, a series of measures extending until 12 March 2021, the lockdown for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, and the travel restrictions by keeping Argentina’s borders for tourism closed until 12 March 2021. Border closures continue for bordering countries and Great Britain by land, air and sea until 12 March 2021, and the frequency of flights from the United States, Mexico and Europe will remain in a 30% capacity, and from Brazil, 50%. The measures aim to protect the Argentine population and control and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
02/26/2021: Argentina – COVID-19: Another Extension for Residency Deadlines - Argentina’s National Immigration Office has announced the automatic extension for another 30-day period certain residency-related deadlines to 19 March. The new Provision will help foreign individuals who, due to COVID-19, continue to be unable to extend their transitory and temporary residencies personally, as the National Immigration Office remains has remained closed since 20 March 2020.
02/02/2021: Argentina – Buenos Aires Lockdown Extension - On 30 January, Argentina’s government extends the lockdown until 28 February 2021 for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region.
01/20/2021: Argentina – COVID-19: Government Again Extends Residency Deadline - Argentina’s National Immigration Office has announced the automatic extension for another 30-day period certain residency-related deadlines to 18 February. The new Provision will help foreign individuals who, due to COVID-19, had been unable to extend their transitory and temporary residencies personally, as the National Immigration Office remains has remained closed since 20 March 2020.
01/05/2021: Argentina – Buenos Aires Lockdown Extended, Certain Inbound Flights Banned - On 21 December 2020, Argentina’s government published a Decree extending the lockdown for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 31 January 2021. Also, it is important to note, due to the rapidly-evolving coronavirus situation in the United Kingdom and other European countries, Argentina has been prohibiting flights into the country from the United Kingdom and a few other countries.
12/21/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Extension Again for Residency Deadlines - Argentina’s National Immigration Office has announced the automatic extension for another 30-day period certain residency-related deadlines. The new Provision will help foreign individuals who, due to COVID-19, had been unable to extend their transitory and temporary residencies personally, as the National Immigration Office remains has remained closed since 20 March 2020.
12/02/2020: Argentina – Buenos Aires Lockdown Status Extended - On 30 November, Argentina’s government extended the mandatory lockdown status for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 20 December.
11/19/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Government Again Extends Residency Deadlines - The Argentine National Immigration Office has announced the automatic extension for another 30-day period of certain deadlines previously announced. This new Provision N° 3611/2020 extends the expiry dates to 18 December. The new Provision will help foreign individuals who, due to COVID-19, had not been able to extend their transitory and temporary residencies personally, as the National Immigration Office has remained closed since 20 March 2020.
11/10/2020: Argentina – Buenos Aires Lockdown Eased, Travel Restrictions Remain - On 7 November, Argentina’s government changed the mandatory lockdown status for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region beginning 9 November until 29 November. The new measures allow for limited gatherings, opening playgrounds, and allowing some sports activities in those regions.
11/03/2020: Argentina – Taxpayers’ Wealth May Be Subject to Mandatory and Extraordinary Contribution - Argentina’s Congress is studying a new tax that would apply to wealth above ARS 200,000,000 owned by resident and nonresident individuals. This tax would be an additional tax to, and different from, the existing Wealth Tax.
10/29/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Buenos Aires Lockdown Renewed, Tourism Opening for Neighboring Countries - On 26 October 2020, Argentina’s government ordered the extension of the mandatory lockdown for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, until 8 November. Closing of borders and suspension of flights within, in/into, and outside/out of the country remain fully in place until 8 November 2020. However, the government announced that from 2 November 2020, borders will be open for tourists coming from bordering countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, under certain conditions.
10/21/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Another Extension for Residency Deadlines - Argentina’s National Immigration Office (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) announced the automatic extension for another 30-day period of certain residency deadlines with the expiry dates now set for 18 November.
10/14/2020: Argentina – Buenos Aires Lockdown Extension Until 25 October - On 12 October 2020, Argentina’s government issued a new extension of the mandatory lockdown for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region that will last until 25 October. This will impact many aspects of daily personal life and business life in the metro region.
09/21/2020: Argentina – Government Extends Buenos Aires Lockdown Again - On 20 September 2020, Argentina’s government issued a new extension of the mandatory lockdown for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region that will last until 11 October. This will impact many aspects of daily personal life and business life in the metro region.
09/21/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Deadlines for Residency Extended to 18 October - A new Argentine “Provision” extends the validity of an individual’s residence status granted under Article 23 (temporary residence) and Article 24 (transitory residence) of Law 25.871 for thirty (30) days (until 18 October 2020) and it extends the validity of the Certificado de Residencia Precaria.
09/01/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Extended Lockdown for Buenos Aires - Argentina’s government announced, on 31 August, an extension of the mandatory lockdown for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, lasting until 20 September.
08/21/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Another Extension for Residency Deadlines - A new Argentine “Provision” extends the validity of an individual’s residence status granted under Article 23 (temporary residence) and Article 24 (transitory residence) of Law 25.871 for thirty (30) days (until 17 September 2020) and it extends the validity of the Certificado de Residencia Precaria.
08/19/2020: Argentina – Buenos Aires Lockdown Extended - Argentina’s government announced, on 16 August, the extension of the mandatory lockdown for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, lasting until 30 August.
08/03/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Buenos Aires to Remain under Lockdown - Argentina’s government announced, on 2 August, an extension of the mandatory lockdown for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, starting 3 August and lasting until 16 August.
07/21/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Residency Deadlines Extended until 17 August - A new Argentine “Provision” extends the validity of an individual’s residence status granted under Article 23 (temporary residence) and Article 24 (transitory residence) of Law 25.871 for thirty (30) days (until 17 August 2020) and it extends the validity of the Certificado de Residencia Precaria.
07/21/2020: Argentina – COVID-19-Related Lockdown Extended Again for Buenos Aires - On 18 July, the Argentine authorities announced another extension of the mandatory “lockdown” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, as of 18 July, lasting until 2 August. This could continue to have an effect on mobility and business recovery. The measure is aimed at tamping down the spread of the coronavirus.
07/06/2020: Argentina – Extension of Mandatory COVID-19-Related Lockdown for Buenos Aires - On 29 June, the Argentine authorities announced an extension of the mandatory “lockdown” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, as of 1 July, lasting now until 17 July. This could continue to have an effect on mobility and business recovery. The measure is aimed at tamping down the spread of the coronavirus.
06/17/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Another Extension for Residency Deadlines - Due to the ongoing coronavirus health emergency, the Argentine National Immigration Office announced on 17 June another 30-day extension for individuals with a transitory or temporary residency in Argentina. The Provision furthermore extends the validity of the registration of the local company at the National Immigration Office for thirty (30) days as of the expiry date (until 17 July 2020).
06/08/2020: Argentina – Further Extension of Mandatory COVID-19 Quarantine for Buenos Aires - On 4 June, the Argentine authorities announced the extension of the mandatory ‘’lockdown” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, as of 8 June, lasting until 28 June. Measures prohibiting group gatherings, closing borders, advising people keep 1.5 meters apart, and confining people to their homes remain the same, all part of the effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
06/03/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Filing Deadlines Extended for Withholding Agents - Argentina’s tax authorities have announced that the filing period for income tax returns prepared by withholding agents for the 2019 fiscal period is now being extended, exceptionally, until July 3, 2020.
05/26/2020: Argentina – Mandatory COVID -19 Quarantine Extended Again for Buenos Aires - This GMS Flash Alert explains that the Argentine authorities have again extended the mandatory “lock down” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 7 June, while leaving the relaxing of lock downs of other provinces up to each governor in conjunction with the Argentine government.
05/22/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Filing and Payment Deadlines Extended for Individuals - income taxes for the 2019 tax year until the end of July 2020.
05/15/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines Again - The Argentinean National Immigration office has again extended some deadlines for individuals with expiring transitory and temporary residencies in Argentina, and also for companies needing to renew their inscription at the National Immigration office.
05/11/2020: Argentina – Mandatory COVID-19 Quarantine Extended for Buenos Aires - This GMS Flash Alert explains that the Argentine authorities have extended the mandatory “lock down” for the Buenos Aires metropolitan region until 24 May, while leaving the relaxing of lockdowns of other provinces up to each governor in conjunction with the Argentine government.
04/28/2020: Argentina – New Rules for Air Passenger Services and Travel to/from Argentina - New rules from Argentina’s civil aviation authorities impose new requirements and non-compliance penalties on commercial airlines flying into, out of, or within Argentina, which will also affect travelers.
04/27/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 Extended - On 25 April, the Argentine authorities announced the extension of the mandatory “lock down” for the entire country as of 26 April, until 10 May. The extension of the lockdown, with all that it implies for travel into and out of Argentina and resuming normal work routines and practices, will continue to impact on employers and their globally-mobile employees between Argentina and countries around the world.
04/17/2020: Argentina – National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines - Argentina’s National Immigration office announced on 17 April, new rules extending for 30 days certain deadlines previously announced in Provision N° 1714/2020. The new rules provide further support for foreign individuals who, due to the COVID-19 crisis, need to extend their transitory or temporary residencies; for instance they provide for the extension of the validity of the individual’s residence status. The new rules also deal with registration of local companies at the National Immigration office.
04/15/2020: Argentina – COVID-19: Fiscal Relief for Companies - An emergency assistance program has been established to provide relief for employers whose businesses have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic in Argentina. Some of the benefits include postponement and reduction of payments of employer contributions for the Argentine Integrated Social Security System and payment of a portion of employee wages to be covered by the National Social Security Administration.
04/15/2020: Argentina –COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Extended - On 11 April, Argentina’s government further extended travel restrictions by keeping the country’s borders closed until 26 April.
04/13/2020: Argentina – Government Extends Scope of Mandatory Quarantine - Argentina’s authorities have now extended the mandatory “lock down,” to the entire country as of 12 April lasting until 26 April. In related news, the National Immigration Directorate (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) will remain closed until April 26.
04/01/2020: Argentina – National Immigration Office Extends Residency Deadlines - The Argentinean National Immigration office has extended some deadlines for individuals with expiring transitory and temporary residencies in Argentina, and also for companies needing to renew their inscription at the National Immigration office.
03/30/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 Extended - Argentina has extended its mandatory, country-wide “lock down,” until 12 April.
03/24/2020: Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19 - In a news conference on 20 March, the Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced several strict measures that will directly impact the extent to which people may freely move about in Argentina. The country is essentially in a “lock down” situation until 31 March, at least.
03/16/2020: Argentina – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - Argentine authorities announced the closing of its borders as of 16 March until 28 March, except for Argentinean nationals who want to come back to Argentina and for residents returning to Argentina.
03/13/2020: Argentina – Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - Argentina has issued new measures governing individuals from the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Iran, Japan, the United States of America, United Kingdom and the rest of Europe (this includes the Schengen Area countries) and intending to travel to Argentina.
03/11/2022: Australia – Displaced Employees and COVID-19 Updates - Hong Kong has extended its travel ban on incoming flights from eight countries including Australia until April 21, 2022.
11/24/2021: Australia – Border and Travel Restrictions Eased - In this GMS Flash Alert, we briefly describe some important recent immigration and coronavirus-related developments in Australia, including, for example, vaccinated eligible temporary visa holders being able to travel to Australia without needing to obtain a travel exemption, expansion of international travel safe zones, and when obtaining a travel exemption is required.
09/03/2021: Australia – Updated Guidance on Prolonged Employee Displacement and Business Travel - The Australian Taxation Office has updated its guidance on the Australian tax implications for individuals that have been displaced in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ATO has clarified that if an individual had the ability to leave Australia and chose to remain, this will be a strong indicator they have established Australian tax residence.
05/25/2021: Australia – Federal Budget and Immigration Updates - Although Australian borders remain closed until 2022, the recently-announced Federal Budget has affirmed the government's focus on attracting global talent to and business investment in Australia to support the economic recovery. This GMS Flash Alert covers key Budget pronouncements concerning immigration and Australia’s various visa programs; it also covers travel exemptions, updates to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List, and recommendations by the Australian member firm to the inquiry into Australia’s skilled migration program.
12/09/2020: Australia – Updated Guidance on Treaties and Remote Workers, Displaced Employees - The Australian Taxation Office has updated the COVID-19 commentary and guidance on its website concerning the sourcing and taxability of employment income for a nonresident who normally resides in a country with which Australia has a double taxation agreement. With employees “stuck” in Australia or over-staying, employers need to ascertain if, as a consequence, they may (if they have not already) fall foul of the “days test” under the “short-term-visitor exemption” of the relevant treaty.
09/10/2020: Australia – Revised Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List Released - Australia’s Acting Minister for Immigration has announced a new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) complimented by more robust labour market testing requirements. These measures are in direct response to COVID-19 and are designed to boost the Australian economy during this period of economic instability. Also, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment announced the creation of the Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce, a new taskforce designed to increase investment and secure exceptional talent into Australia
08/14/2020: Australia – Employer Considerations for COVID-19 Displaced Workers Heading into FY2021 - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently updated its guidance on employees who have found themselves temporarily displaced in Australia. This guidance assists in understanding the taxability of displaced employees with respect to the sourcing of their employment income, and the impact on their personal tax residency status in Australia. Residency and sourcing issues that are currently at the forefront for displaced workers will likely continue to be a focus over the coming years for tax authorities globally.
07/29/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Update on Border Closures - Australia’s international borders remain closed, and there is no firm guidance on when temporary visa holders will be permitted to resume travel to Australia. Each state and territory will continue to review and revise its international arrival arrangements over the coming weeks. Plans to offer Hong Kong passport-holders a suite of visa arrangements have also been announced.
04/24/2020: Australia – Updated Guidance on Temporarily Displaced Employees Working in Australia - Organisations with workers displaced outside of Australia or inside the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have concerns about income sourcing, especially for their employees who are back in Australia but are not tax residents of Australia. New updated guidance from the Australian Taxation Office outlines factors that need to be considered in determining the source of an employee’s employment income. These factors will be crucial in determining whether employees are subject to Australian income tax on that employment income, and consequently what the tax reporting and withholding obligations are for employers.
03/30/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Considerations for Managing a Migrant Workforce in Trying Times - While the Australian government has not put forward any specific legislation or rules that would address the COVID-19-related challenges faced by temporary migrant workers, the existing migration legislation contains a number of provisions that employers can avail of to offer some continuity of employment for impacted temporary migrants. They can look at, for example, accessing leave without pay, a reduction in working hours, and move them between business entities.
03/25/2020: Australia – Fringe Benefits Tax Considerations for Employers Facing COVID-19 Challenges - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and State Revenues have been putting forward various fiscal measures to help relieve the tax challenges faced by businesses and employees as they confront a growing COVID-19 outbreak in the country and abroad. While currently there is no automatic Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) deferral in Australia, the ATO has indicated it will consider requests of payment deferral of up to six months. Moreover, the ATO is also providing pragmatic guidance on FBT.
03/25/2020: Australia – COVID-19: Payroll Tax Relief Coming - Australia’s federal and state governments and their respective tax authorities are implementing a broad range of measures to help provide relief to employers. While most measures are targeted at affected industries (such as tourism and hospitality), small to medium enterprises and not-for-profits, there are some measures which apply to all affected businesses (e.g., deferrals in Queensland). Each state and territory approach is different.
03/24/2020: Australia - COVID-19 Borders Closed to NonResidents - This alert announces Australia’s border closing to nonresidents in response to COVID-19 and the impacts on visa holders inside and outside of Australia.
03/23/2020: Australia – ATO Guidance: Impact of COVID-19 on Taxation of Internationally Mobile Employees - The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released updated guidance to provide clarity as to how it will approach the tax implications for internationally mobile employees and their employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This newsletter covers guidance related to residents temporarily overseas, foreign residents temporarily in Australia, earning employment income while in Australia temporarily, as well as employer obligations.
03/18/2020: Australia – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Self-Quarantine Requirements - Effective 15 March 2020, the Australian government has imposed a self-quarantine requirement for all travellers entering Australia. The self-quarantine requires all travellers to self-quarantine in a home or hotel for 14 days.
07/07/2020: Austria – Guidance on Treatment of Wages Connected with ‘Home Office’ Work - Austria’s Ministry of Finance recently released the latest “Information” regarding the application and interpretation of double taxation treaties in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on treatment of wages in connection with activities performed in one’s home office. This newsletter also discusses the OECD Secretariat Analysis and provisions for the tax treatment of cross-border-commuters with relation to Germany, Liechtenstein, and Italy.
06/26/2020: Austria – Round-Up of Recent Coronavirus Relief Measures - In this GMS Flash Alert we provide an overview of key relevant provisions in recent Austrian legislation intended to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, focusing on employee-related subsidies, income tax law, social security law, and wage tax law.
09/03/2020: Barbados – New Immigration Policy to Attract Remote Workers - In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Barbados has developed a new program – the 12-month Welcome Stamp – for entry into the country for individuals who are working remotely.
04/03/2020: Barbados/Eastern Caribbean – Fiscal Stimulus and Travel/Border Restriction Measures - Barbados has issued the Emergency Management (COVID-19) Curfew Directive, 2020, which introduces limitations and restrictions on businesses, as well as daily life and travel within the country. The government has also proposed a package of economic and fiscal stabilization measures to address the fall-out on the country’s economy from the outbreak of COVID-19. This GMS Flash Alert focuses on the COVID-19 response efforts of the government of Barbados and also highlights developments in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
11/30/2021: Belgium – New Travel Ban on Individuals Coming from Very High-Risk Countries - Belgium recently introduced a new travel ban starting 28 November 2021, for a certain number of countries that are considered “very high-risk countries.” Added to the list are several countries in southern Africa. The measures are intended to contain the further spread of the new “omicron” variant of the coronavirus in Belgium.
08/02/2021: Belgium – More Updates for List of High-Risk Countries - Belgium’s government published on 30 July 2021, an update on the countries deemed “high-risk” for which Belgium instituted a travel ban. The additional travel restrictions concern individuals travelling from 23 countries. The measures are intended to contain the further spread of the new coronavirus variants in Belgium and employers will need to bear the measures in mind as they plan for economic migration or arrange for business travel to/from Belgium.
07/27/2021: Belgium – List of High-Risk Countries Gets Updated Again - Belgium’s government published on 24 July 2021, an update on the countries deemed “high-risk” for which Belgium instituted a travel ban. The additional travel restrictions concern individuals travelling from 22 countries. The measures are intended to contain the further spread of the new coronavirus variants in Belgium and employers will need to bear the measures in mind as they plan for economic migration or arrange for business travel to/from Belgium.
07/22/2021: Belgium – Latest Update on List of High-Risk Countries - On 19 July 2021, Belgium’s government published an update on the countries deemed “high-risk” for which Belgium instituted a travel ban. The additional travel restrictions concern individuals travelling from 20 countries. The measures are intended to contain the further spread of the new variants in Belgium and employers will need to bear them in mind as they plan for economic migration or arrange for business travel to/from Belgium.
07/13/2021: Belgium – Latest Update on List of High-Risk Countries - On 2 and 9 July 2021, an update was published on the countries for which Belgium installed a travel ban. The government had introduced additional travel restrictions, resulting in a travel ban for individuals travelling from 27 countries (including Brazil, India, and South Africa) into Belgium. The measures are intended to contain the further spread of the new variants in Belgium and employers will need to bear them in mind as they plan for economic migration or arrange for business travel to/from Belgium.
07/01/2021: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers Further Extended - The Belgian tax authorities have announced that mutual agreements with France, Luxemburg, Germany and the Netherlands have been extended until September 30, 2021, to provide clarity on the income tax situation of individuals working in one country while residing in another country and who are forced to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Belgian social security authorities confirmed that the neutralization of the period of teleworking because of the pandemic is also extended till December 31, 2021.
04/08/2021: Belgium – COVID-19: France, Germany Mutual Arrangements Extended - The Belgian tax authorities announced that mutual agreements with France and Germany have been extended until 30 June 2021. The COVID-19 mutual agreements Belgium concluded in 2020 with neighbouring countries France, Luxembourg, Germany, and The Netherlands aim to avoid the negative tax consequences for cross-border workers at risk of having their employment income become fully taxable in their states of residence.
03/15/2021: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers Extended - Belgian tax authorities announced March 5, 2021, an extension of mutual agreements with Luxembourg and the Netherlands until June 30, 2021; while talks are ongoing to also extend agreements with France and Germany. Current COVID-19 mutual agreements Belgium concluded in 2020 with France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands to avoid the negative tax consequences for cross-border workers had been extended several times to March 31, 2021.
01/21/2021: Belgium – COVID-19: Pre-Tracing of Foreign Workers Update - To help fight coronavirus, in Belgium, pre-tracing of certain foreign workers has been in effect with information collection and documentation requirements applying to employers since 24 August 2020, for the construction, cleaning, agriculture and horticulture, and meat sectors. As from 12 January 2021, this requirement applies to all employers and users who temporarily make use of the services of an employee or self-employed person who resides or lives abroad and who comes to work in Belgium. The measure applies until 1 March 2021, but can be extended.
12/04/2020: Belgium – Update on Impact of Changed Work Patterns Due to COVID-19 Crisis - Belgium has extended until 30 June 2020 its policy of disregarding situations in which frontier workers and multi-state workers increased the amount of time they work in their home country due to COVID-19. This policy, which is intended to prevent changes in the competent member state for social security coverage in recognition of temporary changes to work patterns, was scheduled to apply for the period 13 March through 31 December 2020.
09/30/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Update on Travel Restrictions and Public Health Protection Measures - The Belgian authorities announced on 23 September 2020, the start of a new phase in their response to the COVID-19 public-health crisis, shifting to a longer-term approach to health-risk management and a greater accountability of Belgian citizens. As from 1 October 2020, new rules governing, social distancing, mask-wearing, “close contact,” and quarantining come into effect. There have also been some recent changes to presence in and travel to/from so-called green, orange, and red zones, and other travel restrictions.
09/02/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Pre-Tracing of Foreign Workers - As part of the fight against the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, a new measure has been implemented with respect to contact tracing of foreign workers employed in Belgium in certain sectors. For such employees, employers will be obliged to collect certain information and be responsible for keeping this information updated at all times.
08/28/2020: Belgium – Flanders Plans New Economic Migration Policy for Self-Starters - The Flemish government in Belgium is considering proposals for attracting individuals with start-up businesses and innovating entrepreneurial talent, and the government will aim develop appropriate conditions for foreign self-employed workers to avail of new policies to foster such innovation and entrepreneurialism. The plan is to draft a new decree on the matter, which is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2022.
08/28/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Further Lifting of Travel Restrictions - The Belgian government, with a nod to European Commission recommendations, is adjusting its border restrictions as it assesses the evolving COVID-19 situation in countries around the world, and is alternatively leaving certain restrictions in place and putting measures/conditions in place to allow for travel by certain categories of travellers. The government has agreed to gradually resume visa operations and activities in Belgian Embassies and Consulates abroad to facilitate certain visa applications.
07/17/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Some Easing of Travel Restrictions - Belgium will not be opening its borders for non-essential travel by travellers from the 14+1 countries on the list issued by the European Commission until further notice. However, visa activities in Belgium’s Embassies and Consulates abroad are gradually resuming so as to facilitate the processing of visa applications and issuance of visas for the 10 categories of travellers with an essential function or need. This GMS Flash Alert provides a summary of the restrictions that are still in place for third-country citizens wishing to travel to Belgium and exemptions to existing travel restrictions.
07/07/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Cross-Border Worker Tax Arrangements Extended - The agreements Belgium had previously concluded with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to prevent cross-border workers from being adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been extended through 31 August. Days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances.
06/16/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Some Easing of Travel Restrictions Coming - As from 15 June 2020, Belgian citizens will be allowed to travel for non-essential reasons in Belgium and in the European Union. In parallel, the European Commission is setting out a framework to allow travelers back into the Schengen area. This GMS Flash Alert highlights the different layers of travel bans and aims to provide an update on different guidelines for persons wanting to travel in, into, and out of Belgium.
05/22/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers with France, Luxembourg - Given the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on workers’ ability to travel and on workplace arrangements, Belgium has concluded mutual agreements with France and Luxembourg which aim to avoid negative tax consequences for cross-border workers. Days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances.
05/13/2020: Belgium – COVID-19: Arrangements for Taxing Cross-Border Workers with Germany, Netherlands - In light of the mutual agreements Belgium has concluded with The Netherlands and Germany, to avoid negative tax consequences for cross-border workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, days worked by an individual from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will be regarded as days spent working in the country where the employee would normally have worked, under certain circumstances.
04/06/2020: Belgium – COVID-19 and Impact on Frontier Workers - This alert describes the measures taken by the Belgian government to allow frontier workers to cross the Dutch, German, French and Luxembourg borders as well as guidance for employees working in critical sectors to cross the border without being delayed by border checks.
03/27/2020: Belgium – Changed Work Patterns and Application of EU Social Security Regulations - Individuals’ cross-border working patterns are undergoing change, resulting in their increased presence and work in their home countries, and reducing travel. To prevent a change of the competent member state for social security coverage of international mobile workers, such as frontier workers and multi-state workers, Belgium’s federal government has taken the decision to disregard such temporary changes in an individual’s cross-border working pattern during the COVID-19 outbreak.
03/23/2020: Belgium – COVID-19 Measures Taken by Belgian Immigration Authorities - The competent Belgian federal authorities have announced that they would only accept visa applications for essential functions or needs. Most Visa Application Centers will be closed. Federal and regional authorities are taking measures to assure the continuance of immigration approval processes where needed. Adapted procedures are instituted allowing employers to legally employ in Belgium their third-country national employees who are currently stuck in Belgium due to current travel restrictions.
03/17/2020: Belgium –COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Immigration Process Changes - This alert highlights the current situation in Belgium, including Belgian social distancing measures, advisories and restrictions on traveling to Belgium and abroad, and updated immigration procedures for third country nationals.
03/26/2020: Botswana – Broad Measures Introduced by Government to Combat COVID-19 Threat - As part of its response to the coronavirus threat, the Botswana government has announced broad measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These measures include barring of entry into Botswana of travelers from high-risk countries. Other measures include cancellation or suspension of large-crowd events, social distancing, etc.
04/11/2022: Brazil – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Eased and Immigration Deadlines Extended - The Brazilian authorities published new ordinances on March 16, 2022 and April 1, 2022, easing some travel restrictions and extending some immigration deadlines. As of April 1, travelers need only present vaccination certificates or negative antigen or RT-PCR tests issued no later than 24 hours before the travel date. Immigration documents that expired after March 16, 2020, will be considered valid and useable until September 15, 2022, if the foreign national is currently residing in Brazil and has not traveled outside of the Brazilian territory for more than 30 days.
01/24/2022: Brazil – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions for Southern African Nations Lifted - The Brazilian authorities published new ordinances in the country’s official gazette on January 21, 2022, removing the travel restrictions for foreign nationals of Southern African Nations arriving in Brazil. The African nations of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe have been removed from the travel restriction list.
12/20/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: Vaccination Certificate Now Required - The Brazilian authorities published new ordinances on December 9 and 10, 2021, updating the travel restrictions for foreign nationals arriving in Brazil effective December 18. All travelers must present a vaccination certificate, in addition to either a negative SARS-CoV-2 antigen test issued no later than 24 hours before the travel date or a negative RT-PCR test issued no later than 72 hours before the flight for foreign nationals and Brazilian individuals.
12/03/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Introduced for Southern African Nations - Due to the detection of the “omicron” variant of the SARS-CoV-2 (“coronavirus”) in southern Africa, a travel ban list has been imposed by the Brazilian government. Scheduled flights from the southern African nations of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe are now suspended until further notice. There are also quarantine and pre-flight testing rules.
10/12/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: No More Travel Ban, Antigen Test Now Allowed - The Brazilian authorities announced on October 5, 2021, updated travel restrictions for foreign nationals arriving in Brazil. India, United Kingdom and South Africa have been removed from the travel ban list. The new ordinance also introduced the alternative of presenting a negative SARS-CoV-2 antigen test issued no later than 24 hours before the travel date, instead of a negative RT-PCR test issued no later than 72 hours before the flight date.
08/30/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: Immigration Deadlines Extended until March 2022 - On August 26, the Brazilian authorities published an ordinance in the country’s Official Gazette confirming the extension of immigration deadlines and procedures until March 15, 2022.
07/12/2021: Brazil – Authorities Update Online Services - The local tax authorities in Brazil have updated their systems with the addition of new online services for some administrative processes, which previously could only be requested/performed in person in one of the agencies in Brazil. Taking such steps is seen as a way – in light of the restrictions around the public health emergency and taxpayers subject to Brazil tax who are overseas – to facilitate, address, and expedite the needs and requests of individuals (including those living outside Brazil) concerning certain administrative processes.
05/24/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: India Included on Travel Ban List - Brazil’s government has issued a new ordinance updating the travel restrictions for foreign nationals arriving in Brazil, with attention given this time to India, which is experiencing high rates of transmission of a new SARS-CoV-2. Requirements for specified travelers coming into Brazil from other countries have a negative RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 and a completed health declaration.
04/12/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: Income Tax Return Filing 1-Month Extension - As a result of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil’s tax authority has confirmed that the filing deadline for specified returns has been extended to May 31, 2021 (originally set at April 30, 2021). The authority has also extended until May 31 the deadline for the payment of income tax due in respect of 2020 income tax returns.
03/25/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: Immigration Deadlines Extended until September 2021 - On March 8, the Brazilian authorities published a note (or “ordinance”) confirming the extension of immigration status deadlines and procedures – including by the Federal Police -- until September 16, 2021. The Brazilian government had previously extended immigration deadlines until March 16, 2021, for all foreign nationals who could not proceed with immigration procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
02/05/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Extended to South Africa - The Brazilian authorities published new rules on January 26, 2021, updating the travel restrictions for foreign nationals arriving in Brazil, including measures concerning individuals travelling from South Africa. Existing rules relating to the United Kingdom, quarantine periods, and negative RT-PCR test for certain travelers must still be observed.
01/15/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: Flight Crew-Members Exempt from Presenting RT-PCR Tests - Pre-Departure Testing Requirements for Arriving Passengers - With the publication on January 8, 2021, of a new note (or “ordinance”) by Brazil’s government, flight crew-members are now on the exception list pertaining to who is required to present an RT-PCR test if they are to enter Brazilian territory. The ordinance also details conditions that must be observed by airline companies concerning crew-members entering and staying in Brazil.
01/05/2021: Brazil – COVID-19: U.K. Travel Restrictions, RT-PCR Tests Detailed - On December 23, 2020, the Brazilian authorities published new rules updating the travel restrictions for foreign nationals arriving in Brazil, including specific measures concerning individuals travelling from the United Kingdom. Additionally, the latest rules also detail the requirements of presenting a negative RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2.
12/22/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: RT-PCR Tests Required for All Inbound Travelers - A December 17, 2020 ordinance requires any travelers flying to Brazil (Brazilians and foreign nationals) as of December 30, 2020to present the negative RT-PCR test results and health declaration documents to the airline company. The ordinance has no expiration date.
11/25/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Extended, Flight Arrivals Exempted - On November 12, 2020, the Brazilian authorities published a new note (or “ordinance”) in the country’s official gazette extending the restriction on foreign nationals entering Brazil for 30 more days, until December 11, 2020. This new ordinance has maintained restrictions only for foreign nationals arriving by land or by water transport – travel by air is exempted.
11/12/2020: Brazil – Changes to Foreign Seafarer and Other Offshore Worker Visas - The Brazilian authorities published two resolutions in October updating the current rules for foreign seafarer and other offshore worker visas. These October 2020 resolutions have not introduced new types of Brazilian work visas but they have updated the classifications and regulations of the current ones, providing more clarity and security for the companies to compose their vessels’ workforce when operating in Brazilian jurisdictional waters.
10/28/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Resumption of Immigration Deadlines and Procedures - On October 21, the Brazilian authorities published a note (or “ordinance”) confirming the resumption of immigration deadlines and procedures – including by the Federal Police – which were paused beginning March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The note also confirms that any individuals who over-stayed their legal permissions for stays in Brazil during the period March 16, 2020 to November 3, 2020, will see that period not counted by the authorities.
10/09/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Health Insurance Policies No Longer Required for Visitors - On October 05, the Brazilian authorities published a new note (or “ordinance”) extending the restriction on foreign nationals entering Brazil for 30 more days, until November 04, 2020. The new ordinance has also withdrawn the prior requirement of presenting a health insurance policy for visitors. There are currently no further requirements for individuals holding a previously granted Brazilian visa, but visitors without a valid visa may not enter the country until further notice.
10/01/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Flight/Travel Restrictions Rolled Back, New Options for Visitors - On September 24, the Brazilian authorities published a note (or “ordinance”) concerning the restriction on foreign nationals entering Brazil for 30 more days. The extended restriction will last until October 24. However, the new ordinance brings no restrictions for travelers to fly into and out of Brazilian territory with a granted Brazilian entry visa. There are new rules on the possibility of health insurance policies being valid if issued in Spanish. And developments concerning the activities of the Federal Police are covered in this newsletter.
09/04/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: News for Short-Stay Travelers, Travel Restrictions Extended - The Brazilian authorities extended the restriction on foreign nationals entering Brazil for 30 more days until September 26. They have also imposed new rules on foreign nationals who come for business/tourism purposes for short stays (up to 90 days) -- they must present proof of medical insurance meeting certain minimum requirements. The Brazilian government has updated the list of locations that can’t receive international flights. The Federal Police are accepting requests for visa registrations as part of a plan to gradually resume their usual timeframes and activities.
08/07/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: While Travel Restrictions Get Extended, Some Flexibility - The Brazilian authorities are extending the restrictions on foreign nationals entering in Brazil for 30 more days. The extended restrictions will last until August 29. However, demonstrating some flexibility around the rules, foreign nationals with a granted Brazilian entry visa (i.e., work visa, student visa, etc.) can now enter Brazilian territory with no further restrictions since they fly into and arrive at determined locations. And, in limited circumstances, the Federal Police is accepting some urgent requests for visa registrations/application processing.
07/10/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Extension, Gradual Resumption of Visa Services - On June 30, the Brazilian authorities published a note in the country’s Official Gazette extending the restriction on foreign nationals entering in Brazil for 30 more days. The extended restriction will last until July 30. However, there is some flexibility as far as exemptions go. Also, the Federal Police are resuming the issuance of Brazilian passports for certain situations.
06/17/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Extension, Limited Resumption of Visa Services - With travel restrictions on foreigners entering Brazil extended until June 22, Brazil’s immigration authorities are resuming visa processing services, including approving work visas for certain purposes and pending visa renewals for applicants already in Brazil.
04/03/2020: Brazil – COVID-19: Income Tax Return and Central Bank Report Filing Extensions - To bring some relief to taxpayers challenged by the COVID-19 outbreak, on April 1, 2020, the “Receita Federal do Brasil,” the Brazilian Revenue, announced that the filing deadline for all taxpayers subject to Brazilian tax law in respect of the 2019 tax year has been extended to June 30, 2020. The original due date was April 30, 2020. Additionally, the Brazil Central Bank has announced filing extensions to the Brazilian Capital Abroad Reports in respect of the 2019 calendar year and of the 2020 first quarter report.
03/26/2020: Brazil – Travel Restrictions and Other Measures to Confront COVID-19 Crisis - Brazil’s government has announced several travel restrictions for individuals coming to Brazil, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. This newsletter covers travel restrictions in particular with other South American countries, as well as activities of the Federal Police in respect of passport applications and the Ministry of Justice in respect of visa application processing and visa issuance.
09/29/2020: Cambodia – COVID-19: Entry Requirements for Foreign Travelers Revised - Cambodia adjusted its safety protocols to take into account employer-sponsored business travel. The revised requirements affect all foreign travelers entering the country, including documentation, testing and quarantining measures, and took effect 4 August. The health authorities also made changes to the COVID-19 testing fee payment mechanism and return of traveler deposits, which changes were effective 1 September.
06/17/2022: Canada – Suspension of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate & Randomized Testing - Effective June 20, Canadian and international travelers will no longer need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to board a plane or train in Canada for domestic and international travel. All travelers must continue to follow the current testing and quarantine requirements upon re-entry to Canada, including using the ArriveCAN mobile app or desktop version to submit their travel and COVID-19 related information.
03/17/2022: Canada – Government to End Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Testing - The government of Canada has announced that fully vaccinated travelers entering Canada will no longer have to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test beginning April 1. In addition, travelers will only be required to complete post-arrival testing if they are randomly selected, and they will not be required to quarantine while awaiting their post-arrival test results.
02/16/2022: Canada – Antigen Tests Accepted for Pre-Arrival Testing - Canada is implementing significant policy changes for fully vaccinated travelers who enter Canada as of February 28, 2022. Canada will now accept either a negative rapid antigen or PCR test from travelers, regardless of nationality.
12/03/2021: Canada – Enhanced Border Measures for New Coronavirus Variant - Canada has implemented a flight ban for foreign nationals travelling from ten African countries to prevent the spread of the new “omicron” coronavirus variant. Additionally, Canada will be re-instating the on-arrival COVID-19 test requirement for all travellers, other than vaccinated travellers from the United States.
11/03/2021: Canada – Mandatory Vaccine Requirements for Outbound Travel from Canada - The government of Canada recently announced that effective October 30th, 2021, a mandatory vaccine policy will be implemented requiring all travelers to be fully vaccinated before boarding planes, trains or marine vessels. Specifically, all travelers (ages 12 and up) departing from Canadian airports, trains and cruise ships must be fully vaccinated in order to travel. Travelers who are in the process of being vaccinated will have a grace period – until November 30, 2021 – during which they will be able to travel if they show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of their scheduled departure.
09/24/2021: Canada - COVID-19: Direct Flights from India to Resume September 26 - The government of Canada has announced that it will lift the ban on direct commercial and private passenger flights from India to Canada on September 26, 2021 at 11:59 (EDT). Starting September 27, fully vaccinated passengers who have government of Canada-approved vaccines travelling on direct flights to Canada will need to meet certain health and safety conditions. This announcement is a significant step in allowing Indian nationals seeking temporary and permanent residence to enter Canada smoothly and safely.
08/13/2021: Canada – Direct Flights from India Suspended until September 21, 2021 - To control transmission of COVID-19 and its new variants into Canada, Canada has extended the suspension of direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India through September 21, 2021.
07/27/2021: Canada – Borders Re-open to Fully-Vaccinated Travellers - On July 19, 2021, Canada announced that it will re-open its borders in two phases for non-essential travel. Effective August 9, 2021, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and green card holders currently residing in the U.S. will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel. In the next phase, starting September 7, 2021, Canada will allow discretionary travel for fully vaccinated travellers from all other countries.
06/24/2021: Canada: COVID-19: Easing Border Measures for Fully-Vaccinated Travellers - On June 21, 2021, the government of Canada announced phase one of easing of border measures for travellers entering Canada. Effective July 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, fully-vaccinated travellers who are eligible to enter Canada will no longer be subject to the federal quarantine requirements. Travellers must be prepared to quarantine in case a border officer determines that they do not meet all of the conditions to be exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirements.
04/19/2021: Canada – CRA Further Extends COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Tax-Related Relief - Individuals affected by international travel restrictions may benefit from updated Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) filing guidance and extended relief measures. The new CRA guidance, which was released April 1, 2021, provides details for certain cross-border employees on how to properly complete and submit their 2020 Canadian income tax filings. In addition, the CRA also extends its previous administrative relief for U.S. resident employees working in Canada, and for individuals who may otherwise meet Canada’s individual residency test. The new CRA guidance does not directly address employees who are resident in countries other than the United States.
04/01/2021: Canada – Express Entry and Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Updates - Canada continues to facilitate permanent residence opportunities for foreign nationals who are already in Canada with the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada conducting unprecedented draws through the Express Entry system. The Province of Ontario recently announced that it will change the registration system of five of its economic-class immigration streams in the coming weeks to increase efficiency and fairness of the most in-demand streams, particularly for international students and skilled workers.
02/23/2021: Canada – New COVID-19 Testing and Hotel Quarantine Requirements - Under new rules, effective February 22, 2021, air travellers to Canada (ages 5 and up) must take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival in Canada before leaving the airport. Travellers will also receive a COVID-19 test kit and instructions before leaving the airport to complete a subsequent COVID-19 test toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period. The new rules also cover land travellers (ages 5 and up).
02/16/2021: Canada – Invites 27,332 Candidates to Apply for Permanent Residence - On February 13, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada invited 27,332 individuals, via Canada’s Express Entry System, who qualified under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) category, to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Those who receive an invitation have 90 calendar days to submit their complete permanent residence applications through the online Express Entry portal.
02/08/2021: Ghana – COVID-19: Update on Travel Policies and Restrictions on Social Activities - On 31 January 2021, the president of Ghana gave an update on the country’s coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and outlined measures which sought to reverse some of the restrictions that had earlier been relaxed. Amongst the announcements, each passenger after disembarking in Ghana will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee of US$50 for ECOWAS nationals and US$150 for non-ECOWAS nationals. Also, there is re-imposition of a ban on funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and parties, and all workplaces must employ a shift-system for workers.
02/08/2021: Canada – Increased Measures Announced for International Travellers - To prevent further introduction and transmission of COVID-19 and its new variants into Canada, the government of Canada is imposing new, stricter measures for travellers to Canada. In this newsletter, we discuss on-arrival COVID-19 testing and mandatory hotel quarantine requirements, new COVID-19 testing requirements for land travellers, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and stricter quarantine checks, changes to Alberta’s International Border Testing Pilot, and expansion of international flight restrictions at Canadian airports.
01/08/2021: Canada – New Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Travellers to Canada - The Government of Canada announced that effective January 7, all air travellers must test negative for COVID-19 before flying to Canada from another country. The new requirement covers all air passengers five years of age or older, and there are certain exemptions.
11/25/2020: Canada – COVID-19 Update: New Mandatory Requirements for Inbound Travellers - To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and enhance the health and safety of Canadians, the government of Canada has announced that effective November 21, 2020, air travellers entering Canada must provide specific information using the ArriveCAN app or website. Submitting the required information, such as travel details and quarantine plans, ahead of entry will also help speed up processing at the border and limit points of contact. Failure to comply could result in penalties.
09/09/2020: Canada – COVID-19: CRA Further Extends Travel Restrictions Tax-Related Relief - Payment due dates for 2019 individual tax returns and certain other returns, as well as for instalment payments which had been set at September 1, 2020, have been further extended by Canada’s tax authority to September 30, 2020. Coronavirus-related travel restrictions may not affect the tax residency of a nonresident individual, or the ability of a cross-border employee to qualify for treaty benefits on employment income. Taxpayers whose “over-stay” situation due to the coronavirus pandemic persists past September 30 are advised to contact the tax authority.
09/09/2020: Canada – Additional T4 Reporting Requirements According to CRA - Information related to payments under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) programs, as well as payments made to employers under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), must be reported on the T4 using new information codes.
07/30/2020: Canada – Income Tax Payment Deadline Extended to September 30, 2020 - The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec have extended the income tax payment deadlines for individual, corporation, and trust income tax returns (including installments payments) to September 30, 2020.
06/09/2020: Canada – CRA Guidance Offers Relief from Travel Restrictions’ Tax-Related Issues - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued new guidance that should address concerns taxpayers and their employers may have about the impact that additional unplanned days spent in Canada, due to the coronavirus crisis, regarding their Canadian tax residency status and exposure to potential permanent establishment. The CRA also provides administrative relief to reflect delays in its processing of certain withholding tax waiver requests and Section 116 Certificates, due to COVID-19.
06/05/2020: Canada – Waiver of Certain Interest and Late-Filing Penalties; Quebec Offers Similar Relief - The GMS Flash Alert focuses on the federal and Québec tax authorities’ decisions to not assess interest and penalties (including late-filing penalties) for individuals who have filed their tax returns and paid their related taxes by September 1, 2020. The federal authority, the CRA, will similarly waive penalties or applicable interest related to Form T1135, “Foreign Income Verification Statement” and any elections, forms, and schedules that must be filed with the return, provided they are filed by September 1, 2020.
05/21/2020: Canada – COVID-19: Temporary Process to Get Foreign Workers into New Jobs Faster - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a new temporary process, effective May 12, to support certain foreign workers residing in Canada including those currently unemployed to get back to work quickly. The new process allows foreign workers, who meet the eligibility criteria, to begin work 10 days after submitting their applications for a new work permit. This temporary initiative departs from the current process in a few ways.
03/23/2020: Canada – Extensions on Tax Filings in Light of COVID-19 Crisis - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will delay tax filing deadlines for individuals to June 1, 2020, and for trusts to May 1, 2020. Quebec’s government announced further extensions for tax and instalment payments due dates. Eligible employers may have access to a range of temporary relief measures.
03/19/2020: Canada – Government Places Restrictions on Entry - Canada will deny entry to all foreign nationals with a few exceptions. The governments of Canada and the U.S. will close the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential travel between the countries.
04/20/2022: Chile – COVID-19: Entry Requirements Updated - The Chilean government has announced changes to its plan for the regulating entry and exit into/from Chile. A regulation with the measures is expected soon. They are meant to ease health entry requirements into Chile considering the advanced state of vaccination within the general population and the current low health impact of the Covid-19 virus transmission in the country.
10/05/2021: Chile – COVID-19: Borders Reopened, New Consular Visa Rules - The Chilean Government reopened Chile’s borders to non-resident foreign nationals and modified the Plan de Fronteras Protegidas (Plan for the Protection of Borders), which regulates entry into and departure from Chile. The government has also been rejecting some ongoing consular residence visa requests made prior to 2021, and requesting additional and updated information for consular visa requests made prior to the closure of borders on April 5, 2021.
07/15/2021: Chile – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Extended - Chile’s government has extended through July 25 the decree that closed its borders on April 5, 2021, to foreign nationals without regular residence status and restricted departures from Chile for all its population, including Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with regular residence status.
06/30/2021: Chile – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Extended - Chile’s government has extended through July 14 the decree that closed its borders on April 5, 2021, to foreign nationals without regular residence status and restricted departures from Chile for all its population, including Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with regular residence status.
06/10/2021: Chile – COVID-19: New Immigration Legislation, Travel Restrictions Extended - Chile’s government announced a new immigration law on April 1 to modernize and update the current country’s immigration system. The government also extended through June 30 the decree that closed its borders on April 5, 2021 to foreign nationals without regular residence status and restricted departures from Chile for all its population, including Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with regular residence status.
05/04/2021: Chile – COVID-19: Income Tax Return Filing One-Month Extension - Chile’s tax authority extended the deadline to file 2020 Chilean annual income tax returns for companies and individuals to May 31, 2021. The original deadline was April 30, 2021.
04/07/2021: Chile – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions Imposed - Chile’s government has decreed that, starting from April 5, 2021, Chile has closed its borders to foreign nationals without regular residence status and has restricted departures from Chile for all its population, including Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with regular residence status. This measure is due to last through the month of April. Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with regular residence status will be allowed to return to Chile if they are currently abroad, however they will not be allowed to depart except under certain circumstances.
04/02/2021: Chile – COVID-19: Revised Entry Measures - The Chilean Government decreed that, starting from March 31, 2021, every individual entering Chile, regardless the country they are coming from or their final destination in Chile, will have to quarantine for 10 days. The first five days of which are required to be spent in a Health Authority-designated “in-transit” hotel or a hotel authorized by the Health Authority (the latter is an option for re-entering Chilean nationals and residents).
02/08/2021: Chile – Extensions of ID Cards and Venezuelan Passports - The Chilean Government has extended the validity of Chilean ID Cards for foreign nationals with a lawful immigration status until February 28, 2022, and also extended the validity date of expired passports from Venezuela, issued from 2013 onwards, until April 22, 2023.
11/24/2020: Chile – COVID-19: Sanitary Measures Announced for Individuals Who Travel - Chile has put in place new sanitary/health protocols for individuals who undertake travel that took effect with the reopening of the Santiago International Airport border that apply for tourists and business travelers. This includes such things as completing a Sworn Health Statement, having appropriate health insurance, and obtaining a negative SARS-COV-2 test.
11/13/2020: Chile – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Lifted in a Targeted Manner - Chile’s government announced that the country’s borders will reopen at 00.00 hours on November 23, 2020, for tourists and business travelers. This measure will only apply to the Santiago International Airport port of entry. All current sanitary/hygiene measures, which include completing a Health Sworn Statement at the port of entry, will continue to apply to travelers to Chile. The government is currently working on a revised sanitary/hygiene protocol.
04/16/2020: Chile – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Border Closure Extended - n April 14, Chile’s government further extended travel restrictions by keeping the country’s borders closed until April 22. Certain individuals will still be permitted to enter and leave Chile. And despite the border closure, entry and departure of cargo or freight/transport services will still be possible.
03/19/2020: Chile – Significant Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Chilean government has taken extraordinary measures instituting travel restrictions on foreign nationals traveling to Chile as well as restrictions on entry into Chile by Chilean nationals and foreign nationals with Chilean resident status.
03/24/2020: Croatia – COVID-19: Measures Limiting Travel, Imposing Quarantine and Social Distancing - Due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Croatia, on 19 March 2020 and on 23 March 2020, the Croatian government updated the packages of measures aimed at getting control of the spread of the coronavirus. Starting 19 March 2020 and over the course of the 30 days to follow, new rules concerning border crossings will be in force. There are also new rules pertaining to movement by persons within Croatia’s border, social distancing, and public gatherings and events.
03/02/2022: Czech Republic – Entry and Stay Measures for Ukrainians - Due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, the government of the Czech Republic announced certain measures to simplify the post-arrival process for Ukrainian citizens who have been forced to leave their country.
04/19/2021: Czech Republic – COVID-19 Relief for 2020 Income Tax Returns - The Czech Ministry of Finance has issued new COVID-19 relief measures waiving penalties assessed for some late filed 2020 income tax returns and related late payment interest, and interest on the deferred tax amount. Other measures provide relief for certain supplementary personal income tax returns for 2019, late notification of exempt income, and late payment of social security contributions of self-employed persons, and also postpone the deadline for health insurance contributions for the self-employed.
08/19/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Rules for Employing Foreigners Changed - The Czech Ministry of Health has added a protective measure regulating the entry of foreign nationals into the Czech Republic. The newest protective measure entered into effect on 3 August 2020, amends the approach to crossing borders by relaxing the testing requirement, changing the “traffic light” rules, and allowing easier reunification for partners.
06/19/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Entry Conditions Mitigated under New “Traffic Lights” Rules - The Czech Republic’s Ministry of Health issued a new protective measure effective from Monday, 15 June 2020, replacing previous regulations on the crossing of Czech borders. This measure called "traffic lights" further lifts the restrictions on the conditions for travelling abroad and re-entering the Czech Republic for both Czech citizens and certain foreign nationals. The traffic lights measure divides the EU/Schengen area into three groups – green (low-risk), orange (medium-risk) and red (high-risk).
05/27/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Penalty Relief for Late Employer Social Security Contributions - The Czech government has introduced measures to reduce penalties for late payment of social security contributions due for the months May to July 2020 by employers under certain conditions and to modify submission procedures for social security overviews and contributions to be electronic and cashless.
05/14/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Postponing Certain Advance Payments and Withholding Tax - The Czech government on 8 April 2020 began allowing payers of personal income tax on employment income to apply to postpone advance payments or to pay the tax in instalments. Postponement or payment in instalments is also possible for certain types of withholding tax.
05/12/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Lifting Entry Restrictions under Certain Governmental Programmes - In the Czech Republic certain restrictions pertaining to travel/entry are being partially lifted by the government under new Government Decree n°443. In addition, Government Decree n°511 regulates the entry in respect of specific groups of non-European Union/non-European Economic Area citizens. Czech borders remain closed for the most part, though new categories of foreigners will be able to enter the country, including workers and their family members enrolled under specific government programmes.
04/21/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Extended State of Emergency and Related Measures - The Czech Parliament has approved an extension of the state of emergency through 30 April 2020. The borders remain closed. However, the government is also slightly easing the rules around Czech citizens travelling abroad in justified cases which includes necessary employment-related travel or an emergency situation involving their families residing abroad. And cross-border commuters can enter and leave the Czech Republic under specific conditions.
04/10/2020: Czech Republic – COVID-19: Tax and Social Security Measures Introduced - The Czech government has introduced several personal income tax and social security measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and society. Measures include, waived penalties for the late submission of personal income tax returns, a waiver of income tax prepayments payable on 15 June 2020, relaxed rules around payment of the parental allowance, as well as how the social security agency will consider a change in a cross-border worker’s circumstances in terms of a change in the state where the person is insured for social security purposes.
03/19/2020: Czech Republic – Emergency Measures Imposed by Government to Confront COVID-19 Crisis - The Czech government announced the temporary suspension of Czech “representations” abroad (i.e., embassies and consulates) accepting and handling visa applications and applications for residence permits. Additionally, on 16 March 2020, the borders of the Czech Republic were closed.
06/15/2020: Denmark – New Law Offering Tax Relief for Mobile Work Force Approved - A new law in Denmark offers a temporary relaxing of several rules in order to mitigate challenges for Danish individuals living abroad, as well as assignees into/out of Denmark, and individuals taxed under the Danish tax scheme for foreign researchers and highly-paid employees. This new law offers welcome relief for assignees and certain foreign workers who have stayed longer in Denmark or in their home country (while technically working in Denmark) than had been expected due to the coronavirus pandemic.
03/19/2020: Denmark – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions, Changes to Immigration Policies - All travel to Denmark is suspended and the borders are closed. Individuals entering Denmark must have a creditable reason, i.e., work, to enter otherwise they will be rejected at the borders.
06/17/2022: European Union – COVID-19 Measures for Social Security Extended Through 2022 - The European Union (EU) Administrative Commission (“the Commission”) agreed to extend the “no-impact policy” for social security for frontier workers until the end of 2022. The extension of “no-impact policy” allows frontier workers to (continue to) work from home without becoming subject to social security in their country of residence.
06/17/2022: European Union – Update on COVID-19 Digital Certificate - The EU’s decision to extend the Digital COVID-19 Certificate to 30 June 2023, will enable travellers in the EU and other countries connected to the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate to continue using their digital certificate as documentation for their vaccination against COVID-19, a negative test for COVID-19, and recovery from the COVID-19 virus.
10/26/2021: European Union – Report on COVID-19 Certificates - On 18 October 2021, the European Commission adopted a report on the EU Digital COVID Certificate and its implementation across the European Union (EU). The report shows that more than 591 million digital certificates have been generated and 43 countries and territories are connected to the EU system for digital COVID certificates. The EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate proves that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19.
09/23/2021: European Union – Update, COVID-19 Certificates from Non-EU Countries - All nationals residing within the European Union are eligible for COVID-19 digital certificate. Switzerland, North Macedonia, Turkey, and Ukraine are already connected to the EU’s system for digital COVID-19 certificates. New countries are added to the digital gateway and include Albania, Andorra, Faroe Islands, Israel, Monaco, Morocco, and Panama. The digital certificate, which attests to a person’s COVID-19 status, makes travelling safer and easier in the EU and non-EU countries that are connected to the EU digital system.
09/15/2021: European Union – Extension of COVID-19 Measures for Social Security - On 17 June 2021, the EU Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems extended until 31 December 2021 guidelines recommending that changes to working patterns caused by the COVID-19 restrictions on movement should not change the country responsible for social security.
08/31/2021: European Union – COVID-19 Certificates from Non-EU Countries - The EU COVID-19 digital certificate proves that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. The digital certificate makes travelling safer and easier in the EU and its neighbouring countries that are connected to the EU system. Switzerland, North Macedonia, Turkey, and Ukraine are connected to the EU’s system. Travellers from the United Kingdom (U.K.) are experiencing challenges entering some EU member states with their COVID-19 certificates issued by the U.K. government.
06/28/2021: European Union – COVID-19 Digital Certificate - Very soon, all nationals residing within the EU will be eligible for the COVID-19 digital certificate. The COVID-19 digital certificate proves that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. Although national requirements for entering an EU country will remain, the digital COVID-19 certificate will make travelling easier. Several EU countries have already made an app available for COVID-19 digital certificates.
05/26/2021: European Union – Automation of Border Checks and the Implications - There are several border-crossing developments coming up for 2022 that travellers into the European Union (EU) and Schengen Area should be aware of and prepare themselves for. This GMS Flash Alert covers the EU’s “Smart Borders” programme, including ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) and EES (Entry/Exit System).
12/23/2020: European Union & United Kingdom – COVID-19: Travel Limitations - As a new variant of the coronavirus has appeared, and with transmission spreading in the United Kingdom, many countries in Europe are introducing travel restrictions on travellers arriving from the United Kingdom. Although the European Commission has issued a recommendation, up to now, what is in place remains at the discretion of member states. In this newsletter, we highlight some of the measures several EU countries (Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium) have put in place.
07/24/2020: European Union – COVID-19: Update of European Commission List of Safe Countries - According to the European Commission’s updated list of so-called “safe” countries, as of 16 July, residents of the following 12+1 countries should be permitted in principle to enter Europe: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay, plus the People’s Republic of China (on the condition of reciprocal action by the Chinese authorities).
07/07/2020: European Union – COVID-19: Some Easing of Travel Restrictions - On 30 June 2020, the member states of the European Union approved a list of 14+1 countries that are considered safe for access to the bloc by travellers. This GMS Flash Alert aims to provide a summary of the restrictions that are still in place and the new exemptions to the travel restrictions.
06/12/2020: European Union – COVID-19: Temporary Travel Restrictions to EU Winding Down - This GMS Flash Alert describes the EU’s latest guidelines for phasing out the non-essential travel restrictions to the European Union (EU), which begin expiring 15 June. The most recent Communication includes guidelines and criteria for lifting restrictions with third countries.
05/12/2020: European Union – Travel Ban Extended until 15 June - On 8 May, the European Commission (EC) invited the Schengen member and associated states to extend the current travel ban for all non-essential travel to the European Union (EU) for another 30 days, until 15 June 2020. Initially the restrictions applied for a period of 30 days, but this period had been extended and now is due to come to an end on 15 May. The intention is that an extension of the restrictions should be implemented by all EU and Schengen states at all external borders with the same end date and in a uniform manner.
04/09/2020: European Union - EUR 100 Billion Initiative to Support Employment and Businesses - On 2 April 2020, the European Commission (EC) proposed a EUR 100 billion instrument called “SURE” to help workers maintain their incomes and help businesses stay afloat. It is intended to support the member states to combat the effects of the coronavirus crisis and help save lives and protect livelihoods. On 3 April 2020, the EC adopted an extension of the temporary framework to include a deferral of tax payments and/or suspension of social security contributions and the offer of other support in the form of wage subsidies for employees.
03/30/2020: European Union – Guidelines for Free Movement of Workers During Covid-19 Pandemic - The European Commission (EC) has published practical guidance to help ensure the free movement of not only critical workers, but frontier workers in general. Member states have introduced internal border controls to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is imperative that workers who need to cross borders to reach their workplace can do so without delay. Among the recommendations from the EC are dedicated lanes at the borders for workers, the introduction of specific stickers that can be recognised at the border crossings, and health screenings conducted on one side of the border only.
03/20/2020: European Union – Countries Taking Extraordinary Measures on Borders, Travel, Health - The European Union has approved new guidelines for border management measures, including guidelines for both the internal and external borders, health-related measures, guidelines for the transport of goods and services, guidelines for the supply of goods, health-related measures and guidelines.
03/19/2020: European Union – Border Security Guidelines to Protect Health, Foster Economic Continuity - The European Commission (EC) presented guidelines to the EU member states on management of borders in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. The guidelines pertain to entry screenings, health screenings, quarantine, border crossings, freight transport, etc.
03/18/2020: European Union – Shedding Some Light on Social Security As COVID-19 Spreads - This newsletter discusses the application of existing EU social security rules as workplace arrangements transform in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
05/13/2021: Fiji – COVID-19: Lockdowns, Filing Deadlines, New Employer FNPF Obligations - In this GMS Flash Alert we report on the recent trends in Fiji’s public health measures due to the evolving coronavirus situation – with large parts of the country under lockdown as cases rise and travel into and out of the country is interrupted – and, the extended deadline for lodging tax returns and making tax payments, and new Fiji National Provident Fund requirements of employers.
06/04/2020: Fiji – Extension of Measures to Fight COVID-19 - Fiji’s Prime Minister announced on 15 May 2020, an extension of the country’s restrictions in respect of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Measures prohibiting group gatherings, keeping borders closed to non-Fijians, continuing curfews, quarantine, steps to implement contact tracing, and other hygiene and social distancing measures, are aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus in Fiji. Also, the minister of economy has announced a second round of COVID-19 unemployment benefits to be paid out, in partnership with Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).
02/26/2021: Finland – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions on Finland’s Borders Extended - The Finnish government has decided to further extend the current restrictions on entry into Finland. The current restrictions will remain in force until 18 March. Also, amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act have now entered into force, providing the Finnish local and regional authorities additional means to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
01/28/2021: Finland – COVID-19: Travel across Finland’s Borders Further Tightened - On 22 January 2021, the Finnish government decided to tighten the restrictions on entry to Finland. The new restrictions entered into force on 27 January and will remain in force until 25 February. According to the new rules, only essential travel for work is permitted between Finland and other Schengen countries. This newsletter discusses what essential travel is, what are the requirements for entry into Finland, and the restrictions applying to various jurisdictions.
09/17/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Government Introduces Plans to Ease Border Traffic Restrictions - The Finnish government introduced a resolution 11 September 2020 on a new operating model to manage COVID-19-related border traffic restrictions. The government is increasing the limit value for the incidence of COVID-19 as of 19 September, to lift border traffic restrictions on entry from countries with fewer than 25 COVID-19 infections per 100,000 inhabitants during the previous 14 days. The government also adopted a decision on continuing internal Schengen border checks and amended other restrictions on border traffic, which will enter into force on 19 September and continue at least until 18 October.
09/01/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Traffic Light Model Launched to Clarify Travel Guidance - The Finnish health authority issued a new traffic light model to help communicate to citizens, businesses and others the level of coronavirus infection risk associated with travelling abroad. The model is intended as guidance only and does not replace border traffic restriction decisions made by the Finnish government. Additionally direct flights arriving to Turku from Skopje, North Macedonia, are suspended until 10 September.
08/25/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Changes in Travel Restrictions - Finland’s government reintroduced travel restrictions for internal as well as external borders as of 24 August. The internal border controls are for traffic between Finland and Iceland, Greece, Malta, Germany, Norway and Denmark. Restrictions on external border traffic were reinstated for traffic into Finland from Ireland, Cyprus and San Marino, as well as Japanese residents travelling from Japan. Also, the traffic at land borders into Finland from Sweden and Norway will be permitted for the residents of the border community.
08/18/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Updated Government Recommendations for Face Masks and Remote Work - The Finnish government issued new COVID-19 recommendations on 13 August regarding wearing face masks, remote work, and COVID-19 testing and possible quarantine for those arriving from high-risk countries. To prevent the spread of coronavirus, there are new rules for face masks and face coverings and shifting employees to remote work in affected areas. The list of high-risk countries for travel considerations continues to be updated.
08/10/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Updated Travel Restrictions with Three Countries under Controls - Finland’s government has re-introduced border controls for The Netherlands, Belgium, and Andorra. This is due to an assessment of the rising number of coronavirus cases in these countries. Also, a health information point at Helsinki Airport was opened for purposes of providing health counselling for arriving passengers and a COVID-19 testing point has been established for arriving passengers.
07/28/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Some Easing, Some Tightening of Travel Restrictions - Finland’s government on 23 July has had to reimpose internal border control for traffic between Finland and Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland as well as tightening external border traffic for Algeria and Australia as of 27 July. Employment-based traffic in the Schengen internal borders is still allowed; however, the individual needs to carry proof of employment. Individuals traveling from non-Schengen countries: South Korea, Georgia, Japan, China, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and New Zealand, do not need to carry any proof of their employment due to the lifted restrictions.
07/10/2020: Finland – COVID-19: More Gradual Lifting of Travel Restrictions, Cross-Border Movement - On 10 July, Finland’s government made a decision regarding the further dismantling of entry restrictions starting 13 July. This follows the Council of the European Union recommendation of 30 June (“green list”) on the lifting of restrictions on border traffic for non-EU countries. The Finnish government’s implementation plan follows that recommendation to a certain extent, but has a stricter approach: in addition to being on the green list, the third countries that have opened up need to fulfill certain set criteria, e.g., new infections in the country on the list should not exceed 8 per 100,000 persons over the course of the previous two weeks.
06/15/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Lifting of Restrictions for Local Travel - Finland lifted some restrictions on border traffic as of 15 June for travel to Finland from six adjacent countries, including Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. However, Schengen internal border traffic from other than these six countries, as well as Schengen external border traffic, will continue to be restricted until 14 July 2020.
05/07/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Gradual Dismantling of Restrictions on Crossing Borders - On 7 May 2020, the Finnish government decided on the gradual lifting of restrictions on border traffic. As of 14 May, the statutory restrictions on border traffic will be lifted for purposes of cross-border travel across Schengen internal borders. This will allow employment or commission-related commuting and other essential travel. Border traffic remains restricted however as the government decided on extending some of the existing rules from 14 May until 14 June. Border authorities have also now adopted a new guideline for the entry of third-country nationals arriving in Finland for the first time.
04/17/2020: Finland – COVID-19: Revised Policies Restricting Travel Restrictions, List of Critical Tasks - On 7 April 2020, the Finnish government adopted decisions to tighten and continue the restrictions on movement/traffic across Finland’s borders, including the restriction of border traffic through 13 May 2020. Also, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment announced a list of tasks that are (i) essential to secure the supply chain or (ii) critical for the business’ operations in a particular sector. Employees working in the areas that are designated critical must be granted entry to Finland.
03/19/2020: Finland – Update on Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - The Finnish authorities announced the restriction of passenger traffic at Finland’s borders as of 19 March (Finnish time) until mid-April. Also, the processing for normal visa applications and residence permit applications in Finland’s missions abroad has been suspended.
03/24/2022: France – Entry Measures and Temporary Protection for People Fleeing from Ukraine - To help people fleeing Ukraine, the French authorities, in large part guided by decisions at the European Union (EU) level, have introduced measures/policies aimed at aiding the entry of and establishing the rights of Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine who have been displaced on or after 24 February 2022. The measures pertain to visa requirements, COVID-19 rules, obtaining temporary protection, benefits/assistance, and work permission.
12/17/2021: France – COVID-19: Modifications to Travel Restrictions, Including U.K. - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on tightening of health control measures at borders with the United Kingdom due to the fast-evolving coronavirus situation from 16 December 2021. The new restrictions will affect, amongst others, tourists andthose travelling for business.
12/07/2021: France – COVID-19: Modifications to Travel Restrictions - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on travel restrictions applying to entry into France due to the COVID-19 situation from 4 December 2021, including permissible exit/entry and self-isolation rules for various travellers from the so-called orange, green, red, and scarlet red countries.
06/10/2021: France – COVID-19: Modifications to Travel Restrictions - From 9 June, the flow of travellers between France and foreign countries will be reopened under strict conditions according to procedures that depend on the sanitary/health situation in “departure” countries and the vaccination status of travellers. Travellers from France to a country outside of the EU: the conditions and the restrictions for leaving the country depend on the category of the country (Red, Orange) and the vaccination status of the traveller.
04/28/2021: France – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions to Enter France Reinforced - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on travel restrictions applying to entry into France due to the COVID-19 situation. The aim of the reinforced restrictions is to foster appropriate testing and quarantine (where necessary) and limit the spread of the coronavirus, as well as to bring clarity around who may enter France and under what conditions. Of particular note, there are new restrictions for individuals travelling to France from India, Argentina, and other countries.
04/12/2021: France – COVID-19: Approach to Tax Residence Is Tightened by Tax Authorities - The French tax administration has released new guidance concerning whether individuals who spend more time in France than originally intended due to the COVID-19 health crisis created a permanent home in, or moved their centre of vital interest to, France. Also, amicable agreements concerning cross-border workers with Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and Luxembourg have been extended again until 30 June 2021.
02/12/2021: France – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions to Enter France Reinforced - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on travel restrictions applying to entry into France due to the COVID-19 situation. The aim of the reinforced restrictions is to foster appropriate testing and quarantine (where necessary) and limit the spread of the coronavirus, as well as to bring clarity around who may enter France and under what conditions.
01/04/2021: France – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions, New Limitations on U.K. Travellers - In the context of the COVID-19 health situation in France, restrictions on travellers coming to (and leaving) mainland France and French overseas départements and territories have been put in place. And with the identification of a new strain of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, France has taken restrictive measures for travel from the United Kingdom. This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on travel restrictions to enter France due to the COVID-19 situation.
05/28/2020: France – Social Security for Foreign Employers with Staff Working from Home - The French international social security liaison body (le Centre des Liaisons Européennes et Internationales de Sécurité Sociale or “CLEISS”) updated the responsibilities of foreign employers with foreign national employees not falling within the scope of the European Union social security regulations who are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, where a bilateral social security agreement is in place, CLEISS states that employers must “regularise” the situation of employees with the competent social security institution in the “normal” country of employment.
05/27/2020: France – COVID-19: New Agreements on Frontier Workers with Germany, Belgium, Switzerland - France has announced that it has reached new agreements with Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland that deal with current issues around frontier workers. As a result of these agreements, working from home due to COVID-19 should have no impact on the tax system applicable to frontier workers. The agreements stipulate that, in the context of the current heath emergency linked to COVID-19, frontier workers who are not eligible for the specific frontier worker regime will not suffer adverse consequences if they have to work from home.
04/29/2020: France – COVID-19: Tax Authorities Provide Guidance on Impact on Residency - The French tax authorities have clarified that, in their view, a temporary stay in France, due to confinement or travel restrictions related to the coronavirus is not likely to result in an individual acquiring a tax residence in France under either French domestic rules or treaty rules.
04/09/2020: France – New Travel restrictions (COVID-19) - France has created three new travel attestations required to enter or leave France beginning 8 April 2020 to address the COVID-19 crisis.
04/03/2020: France – Various Social Security Measures (COVID-19) - France has implemented relief measures in light of the COVID-19 crisis, including extending social security contribution payment deadlines, adjusting guidelines for the “partial work” scheme, and helping cross-border workers and returning expatriates.
04/03/2020: France – COVID-19: Various Tax Relief and ‘Frontier Worker’ Measures - France has implemented relief measures in light of the COVID-19 crisis, including extending filing deadlines for 2019 income tax returns, issuing guidelines for the changed working patterns of frontier workers from bordering countries, and cautioning employers that there is no deferral of payment for the withholding tax due on the wages paid to employees.
03/24/2020: France – New Actions to Restrict Travel, Extend Immigration Documents’ Validity - The French government issued a decree restricting travel, various activities, and many aspects of daily life to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. On 16 March 2020, the French government also took new measures regarding the spread of the virus in relation to the residence permits of foreign nationals. On 24 March, Emergency Law 2020-290 of March 23 was published, with more rules around immigration and travel.
06/23/2021: Germany – Some Easing of Travel Restrictions for U.S., Other Countries’ Travellers - Starting 20 June 2021, the German government is no longer considering the U.S. (among other countries such as Serbia, Hong Kong, Albania, Lebanon, or Taiwan (R.O.C.)) to be classified as a COVID-19 risk area anymore. Furthermore, starting from 25 June 2021, fully-vaccinated persons travelling from third countries may generally be allowed to enter Germany for any purposes. These rules are updated regularly by the German government, so travellers should stay apprised accordingly.
05/26/2021: Germany – Travel Ban Extended for India, Brazil, South Africa, U.K./Northern Ireland - The German government has instituted travel bans for countries designated as a “virus variant area.” Besides Brazil and South Africa, India and the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland inclusive) have been classified lately as “virus variant areas” and a transport ban has been put in place. Only German nationals and foreign nationals with a German residence permit as well as a registered address in Germany are allowed to enter the country coming from virus variant areas.
05/03/2021: Germany – Travel Ban Extended for India, Brazil, South Africa - Germany’s government has extended the current transportation ban for all travellers coming from countries which are classified as a “virus variant area" by the German government until 12 May 2021. Besides Brazil and South Africa, India has been classified lately as an “area of variant of concern” by the German authorities and a travel ban has been put in place.
04/27/2021: Germany – Government Introduces a Travel Ban on Persons Travelling from India - Germany’s government has implemented a transportation ban, in effect starting 26 April 2021, for all travellers coming from India to Germany until 28 April 2021. This has been deemed necessary as a measure to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. India has been classified as an “area of variant of concern” by the German authorities.
05/18/2020: Germany – COVID-19 Gives Rise to Further Limitations on Mobility through 15 June - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on current developments in respect of the quarantine measures in Germany, which aim to slow down the spread of COVID-19, and the restrictions on non-essential travel to and within the European Union (EU). Also, the newsletter reports on Germany’s and other EU states’ responses to the recommendation to the Schengen member states by the European Commission to extend travel restrictions until 15 June 2020.
04/23/2020: Germany – Extending Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to EU, Updated Measures - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the restrictions on non-essential travel to/from the European Union (EU). There are new rules around quarantine for people entering or returning to Germany after a stay abroad of several days. There are special rules for those entering or leaving Germany on a daily basis (commuters) -- because they have absolutely necessary reason(s) to enter the country -- and for freight transport.
04/23/2020: Germany – Mutual Agreements on Frontier Workers with Austria, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands - Due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 measures, frontier workers face the risk of losing specific tax reliefs granted by the state of work. Germany has now concluded mutual agreements with Austria, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, which, amongst other things, are expected to help make sure frontier workers currently working from home are still eligible for tax benefits granted by the state of work.
03/27/2020: Germany – COVID-19: Tax and Social Security Relief Measures and Considerations - The federal government in Germany has launched a broad-based package of measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus on employers and workers. In addition to making the regulations on compensation for short-time work more flexible and extending liquidity assistance for affected companies (in the form of simplified access to loans and guarantees), there are other measures being introduced or considered, such as extending the filing deadline for certain 2018 personal income tax returns (not yet at the national level), how to apply EU and German social security rules to the changed work patterns of frontier workers and multi-state workers, and supporting companies affected by the coronavirus crisis, social security contributions will be deferred at the request of the employer.
03/24/2020: Germany – Measures to Combat COVID-19 Become More Intense - On 22 March 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Minister-Presidents of all 16 German Federal States agreed on further measures regarding stay-at-home and social distancing. Furthermore, the operations of the German immigration authorities (diplomatic missions abroad, immigration offices in Germany) have been reduced significantly, so new assignments to Germany or the international hiring of new foreign talent will be delayed; application processes for long-term residence and work permissions are impacted in the same way. Germany has limited, with effect as of 18 March 2020, the entry to Germany for EU member states and Schengen Associated States with entries from Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, and Switzerland being subject to police control.
03/18/2020: Germany – Considerable Lengths Taken by Government to Stem Rise of COVID-19 - As of 16 March 2020, a partial shutdown of the borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland is in effect. Due to the emergency situation, many local immigration offices have reduced their capacities significantly.
04/07/2022: Ghana – COVID-19: Easing of Travel and Other Restrictions - In light of declining coronavirus case numbers, the president of Ghana recently announced an easing of the restrictions placed on travel as well as in-country social and other daily-life and commercial activities. Among the measures announced are: the opening of Ghana’s sea and land borders, allowing the resumption of in-person activities to full capacity, dropping the requirement that fully vaccinated travelers take a PCR test from their country of embarkation before entry into Ghana through the Kotoka International Airport, and ceasing the mandatory wearing of face masks.
02/08/2021: Ghana – COVID-19: Update on Travel Policies and Restrictions on Social Activities - On 31 January 2021, the president of Ghana gave an update on the country’s coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and outlined measures which sought to reverse some of the restrictions that had earlier been relaxed. Amongst the announcements, each passenger after disembarking in Ghana will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee of US$50 for ECOWAS nationals and US$150 for non-ECOWAS nationals. Also, there is re-imposition of a ban on funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and parties, and all workplaces must employ a shift-system for workers.
09/02/2020: Ghana – COVID-19: Lifting of Travel Restrictions Underway - Amongst the measures related to the pandemic recently announced by the president, which took effect on Tuesday, 1 September 2020, is the reopening of Kotoka International Airport to passengers. The country’s borders by land and sea remain closed for now to passenger travel. There are some exceptions to the travel rules and certain social restrictions that must be respected.
05/29/2020: Ghana – COVID-19: Update on Implementation Guidelines for Tax Incentives, Pension Relief - The Commissioner-General (C-G) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday, 12 May 2020, issued directives concerning certain tax incentives related to the taxation of withdrawals from Personal Pensions and Provident Funds – Tier Three, the remuneration of selected health workers, deductions for COVID-19-related donations, and waivers of certain tax-related penalties.
03/23/2020: Ghana – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions and Safety Directive - On 21 March 2020, the president updated the nation on the status of those measures put in place to help minimise the possibility of further novel coronavirus infestation. He also placed additional stringent restrictions on travel by ordering the closure of Ghana's land, sea, and air borders to human traffic effective midnight, 22 March 2020.
11/30/2020: Greece - New Tax Law Measures Affect Individuals - Newly enacted laws in Greece include tax measures concerning the taxation of individuals. In addition to reduced rates and an alternative tax system for foreign-source income for individuals, the special solidarity contribution is abolished, and there are an employment tax exemption for “free shares,” favorable tax treatment of capital gains realized from stock options and on free shares, and special taxation for pilots and sports coaches.
08/17/2021: Hong Kong – Guidance on Tax Issues Arising from COVID-19 - The Inland Revenue Department issued guidance 29 July 2021, examining certain tax issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including general views on the tax residence of companies and individuals, permanent establishment, and employment income of cross-border employees.
03/10/2021: Hong Kong – 2021-2022 Budget Measures - Hong Kong’s government delivered the 2021-2022 Budget with proposed relief measures for those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Key proposals affecting individuals and their employers include a reduction of the 2020-21 salaries tax and tax under personal assessment by 100 percent, subject to a ceiling of HKD 10,000. There were no changes to salaries tax rates and allowances for individuals.
04/15/2020: Hong Kong – Automatic Three-Month Extension of 2018/19 Tax Payment Deadlines - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive announced recently that tax payment deadlines for 2018/19 Salaries Tax, Tax under Personal Assessment, and Profits Tax which fall between April to June 2020 are automatically extended by three months. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) made a further announcement to provide details and examples to illustrate which group(s) of taxpayers can delay their 2018/19 tax payments.
04/07/2020: Hong Kong – COVID-19: Updates to 2019-20 Tax Season - The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has announced the issuance of tax returns for the 2019-20 tax filing season – which includes individual tax returns being issued one month later than in prior years. This is to afford taxpayers impacted by the upheavals due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 crisis a little more time to organise their tax affairs.
05/01/2020: Iceland – COVID-19: Social Security and Payroll Tax Deferrals - Iceland’s Parliament, on 30 March 2020, passed relief measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Among the measures aimed at mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus were extensions of time to pay social security tax and withheld public levies at source.
06/17/2021: India – If Stranded in India, Foreign Nationals’ Visas Extended until 31 August - As per a recent Indian government press release, the Indian visa or stay stipulation period for foreign nationals stranded in India will be considered as valid until 31 August 2021, without the levying of any over-stay penalty. Foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the FRRO/FRO concerned for extensions of their visas. Such foreign nationals may apply for an exit permission to the FRRO/FRO concerned before exiting the country.
05/22/2020: India – COVID-19: Clarifying Tax Residency for Individuals Staying More Days - India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued Circular No. 11 of 2020, dated 8 May 2020, that clarifies the residency situation of Nonresident Indians (NRIs) and foreign visitors whose stay in India during the tax year 2019-20 lasted longer than they expected due to the COVID-19 lockdown. This is crucial as the taxability of overseas income and disclosure of overseas assets in a fiscal year depends on the individual’s residential status, which, in turn, depends on his/her number of days of stay in India.
05/20/2020: India – COVID-19: Update to Visa Extension Rules, Travel Restrictions - India has made some recent pronouncements concerning travel into and out of the country and in respect of visa holders stuck in India due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions whose visas are expiring or soon will expire. The Indian government is allowing international movement for persons who have been stranded in India / outside India, subject to fulfillment of conditions provided under the so-called Standard Operating Protocols.
05/13/2020: India – COVID-19: Provident Fund and Pension Relief Announced - Recent notifications and circulars issued by some of India’s regulators (EPFO and PFRDA) provide much-needed relief to employers and employees, Provident Fund (PF) members, and National Pension Scheme (NPS) subscribers that are currently under stress due to the effects of the COVID-19 situation. Among the measures there are grace periods for the filing of certain returns, non-refundable advances from subscribers’ PF accounts, and partial withdrawals from the National Pension System under certain conditions.
05/13/2020: India – COVID-19: Tax Relief Measures - India has enacted Ordinance 2020 delaying the deadlines for certain tax payments to bring relief to individuals and businesses dealing with the effects of the spread of COVID-19 in India.
03/23/2020: Indonesia – Extended Filing Dates and Other Measures for COVID-19 - This alert provides updated information on the steps the Indonesian tax authorities are taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending some filing and payment deadlines.
05/25/2022: Ireland – COVID-19: No Further Extensions to Residence Permissions - Ireland's immigration authorities have announced that they have no plans to further extend valid residence permissions past 31 May 2022, that current renewal applications are taking ten weeks, and that individuals are legally permitted to remain in Ireland if they can demonstrate they have applied to renew their permission and are waiting for the renewal to process.
12/22/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: Temporary Extension of Irish Residence Permissions to 31 May 2022 - Ireland’s Department of Justice has announced the further temporary extension of Irish residence permissions to 31 May 2022. Irish residence permissions that were due to expire between 15 January 2022 and 31 May 2022, are automatically extended, thereby maintaining the residency status of individuals.
11/30/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: New Visa Requirements for Individuals Coming from Specified Countries - Ireland’s Immigration Service Delivery has announced new entry visa and transit visa requirements for nationals from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Namibia. The measures took effect from midnight on 26 November 2021. Visa applications from nationals of these countries, and from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, will only be processed if they meet the emergency/priority criteria set out by ISD. These measures have been put in place in response to the discovery of the new “omicron” variant of the coronavirus in the aforementioned countries.
09/16/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: Temporary Extension of Irish Residence Permission - Ireland’s Department of Justice has announced the further temporary extension of Irish residence permissions. Irish residence permissions that were due to expire between 21 September 2021 and 15 January 2022, are automatically extended until 15 January 2022, thereby maintaining the residency status of individuals with Irish residence permissions expiring during this period.
09/14/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: Lifting of Short-Stay Visa Restrictions from 13 September - Ireland‘s Immigration Service Delivery announced the lifting of short-stay visa restrictions effective from Monday, 13 September 2021. This update will affect employees who need to enter Ireland for short-stay trips.
06/22/2021: Ireland – COVID-19: Visa Restrictions Lifted for South African, South American Travellers - Ireland has lifted entry visa restrictions for nationals of South Africa, Brazil and other South American countries. The temporary restrictions have been in place since 28 January 2021. Beginning 16 June 2021, individuals from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Guyana, Paraguay, South Africa and Uruguay can travel to Ireland without applying for an entry or transit visa in advance of departure.
06/08/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: All Long-Stay Visas and Pre-clearance Applications Being Accepted - Ireland’s Immigration Service Delivery has announced1 that it will commence processing all long-stay visa and pre-clearance applications, effective immediately. This will concern any long-stay ‘D’ visa applications and pre-clearance scheme applications (such as non-European Economic Area (EEA) national family members of U.K. nationals and de facto partners).
05/24/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: Changes to Emergency/Priority Visa Processing - Ireland’s Immigration Service Delivery has announced that two new categories have been added to the priority/emergency list of visas being processed at this time. Visa-required employees awaiting their visas to Ireland may be able to process their visa applications if they fall under one of the two newly-announced additional categories of emergency/priority visas.
05/10/2021: Ireland – COVID-19: Further Temporary Suspension of Visa Applications - The Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has announced the decision to continue to temporarily cease accepting new visa applications for all visa-required countries until further notice. Visa applications will continue to be processed for visa-required nationals who fall into a priority or emergency category under guidance issued by the ISD, which includes healthcare workers, frontier workers, posted workers and persons travelling for imperative business reasons.
04/30/2021: Ireland – COVID-19: Mandatory Hotel Quarantine - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish government has introduced a new 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine requirement with effect Friday, 26 March 2021, for travellers from a range of countries.
04/29/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: Temporary Extension of Irish Residence Permission - According to recently-issued policy from Ireland’s immigration authority, Irish residence permissions that were due to expire between 21 April 2021 and 20 September 2021, are automatically maintained until 20 September 2021, thereby maintaining the residency status of individuals with Irish residence permissions expiring during this period.
03/31/2021: Ireland – Irish Revenue Provides Updates Regarding COVID-19 Concessions - Recent guidance published in “eBrief” sets out the Irish Revenue’s current position in relation to personal tax and PAYE matters affecting benefits-in-kind and payroll reporting for employees working in Ireland as a result of COVID-19. The overall principle is that concessions announced in 2020 have been withdrawn, with the exception of the provision of certain benefits. On a separate but related note, the Social Welfare Department has also changed the process for obtaining Personal Public Service Numbers with immediate effect.
02/03/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: Temporary Suspension of Visa Applications - Ireland’s Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has announced the decision to temporarily cease accepting new visa applications for all visa-required countries with immediate effect until further notice. There are some exceptions for nationals of visa-required countries who fall into a priority or emergency category.
02/01/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: New Visa Requirements for South Africa, South American Countries - Due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, the Irish government has introduced new Irish entry visa and transit visa requirements for individuals travelling to Ireland who are nationals of South Africa and South American countries. All passengers arriving in Ireland will also need to produce a negative PCR (COVID-19) test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.
01/15/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: Pre-Departure Testing Requirements for Arriving Passengers - The Irish government has announced the requirement for a pre-departure negative PCR (COVID-19) test for passengers arriving in Ireland from all countries from 16 January 2021, with some limited exemptions. There may be a need for changes to upcoming travel plans in the short-term and new procedural requirements for travellers to Ireland. There could be consequences in cases of non-compliance.
01/08/2021: Ireland - COVID-19: Requirements for Travellers from Great Britain, South Africa - In response to the identification of new strains of COVID-19, the Irish government has extended the existing travel ban on all individuals entering Ireland from Great Britain and South Africa to 8 January 2021. A negative COVID-19 test requirement has also been introduced for such travellers from 9 January 2021.
12/23/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Extension of Immigration Permissions, Closure of Registration Offices - The Irish Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has recently announced the temporary closure of the Burgh Quay Registration Office from 23 December 2020, and the further temporary extension of Irish residence permission. Irish residence permissions that were due to expire between 21 January 2021 and 20 April 2021, are automatically maintained until 20 April 2021, thereby maintaining the residency status of individuals with Irish residence permission expiring during this period.
09/22/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Immigration Permissions Maintained until 20 January 2021 - The Immigration Service Delivery (‘ISD’) has announced further extensions to residence permissions in Ireland. Residency permissions held by individuals that are due to expire from 20 September 2020, will be maintained until 20 January 2021. Affected individuals should have, therefore, sufficient time to register or renew their permissions with the Burgh Quay Registration Office, or at their local Garda station if residing outside Dublin.
08/27/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Registration Offices Reopen, New Online Passenger Locator Form - Ireland’s Burgh Quay Registration Office reopened 24 August 2020 for appointment-only first-time Irish Residence Permit (IRP) applications. Registration offices located outside Dublin have also reopened and will facilitate both first-time registration and renewal IRP applications by appointment only. Additionally, a new online COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form is now available.
08/21/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Further Residency Permissions Extensions, Temporary Registration Office Closures - Temporary residency permissions have again been extended one more month. Previously those that were due to expire between 20 July 2020 and 20 August 2020, had been automatically renewed for a period of one month, and the authorities are temporarily closing the Burgh Quay Registration Office to work on revising public health guidance in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
08/07/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme Introduced - The Irish government introduced a new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) on 23 July 2020, which applies from 1 July 2020 and is expected to be in place until 31 March 2021. Under the EWSS – which is intended to help support businesses and employees detrimentally impacted by the coronavirus crisis – the employer will pay the employee his normal wages and following the submission of the payroll return, will then receive a subsidy from the Revenue in respect of eligible employees.
07/20/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Further Temporary Extension of Residency Permissions - Temporary residency permissions have been extended one more month. Previously those that were due to expire between 20 May 2020 and 20 July 2020, had been automatically renewed for a period of two months, and a new measure now automatically renews all residency permissions that are due to expire from 20 July 2020 and 20 August 2020 for one month.
07/09/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Burgh Quay Registration Office Re-opens, New Online Renewal - The Burgh Quay Registration Office in Dublin will re-open from 20 July 2020 to facilitate first-time registrations for Irish Residence Permits. In addition, a new online registration renewal system for all non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals based in Dublin seeking to renew their IRP will be available from 20 July 2020.
05/22/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Temporary Arrangements for Irish Residence Permit Registrations - In light of the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 and the difficulties some people can encounter as a result of not having an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card, the authorities have introduced certain temporary measures for between now and 20 July 2020. Certain individuals in Ireland awaiting their first IRP registration, can apply to the Burgh Quay Registration Office to request a letter confirming their permission to remain in Ireland.
05/15/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Further Temporary Extension of Residency Permissions - Employers should note that if the expiry date of any of their employees’ Irish Residence Permits falls within the period of 20 May 2020 to 20 July 2020, the employees’ legal status in Ireland will be maintained. Employers should also be aware that employees whose permissions expired between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020, and were previously already automatically extended by two months, will again be extended by a further two months to maintain their legal status in Ireland. Also, the Burgh Quay Registration Office and all other local registration offices will remain closed.
03/27/2020: Ireland - COVID-19 Tax Measures Relevant to Mobile Employees - Ireland’s tax authorities have provided a variety of guidance to ease employee and employer tax filing obligations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
03/26/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Filing Extension for Reporting Employee Share Schemes - The Irish tax authority (“Revenue”) recently announced that the filing deadline for all employer share scheme reporting information returns in respect of the 2019 tax year has been extended to 30 June 2020. (The original due date to file the Forms RSS1 and KEEP1 in respect of the 2019 tax year was 31 March 2020.)
03/25/2020: Ireland - COVID-19: Residence Permits Extensions and Cessation of Visa Processing - The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has announced that the Burgh Quay Registration Office in Dublin and all other local registration offices have closed for a period of two months effective from 20 March 2020 until 20 May 2020. In addition, the processing of visa applications has ceased temporarily as of close of business 20 March 2020. Only certain emergency visas will be processed such as those for certain health-care professionals, immediate family members of Irish citizens, persons legally resident in Ireland and persons entitled to avail of the European Union (EU) Free Movement Directive.
03/17/2020: Ireland – COVID-19: Delays in Employment Permit Processing Times - Ireland’s Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has announced that it will be prioritising the processing of all applications for employment permits for medical staff. Therefore, the timing of all other employment permit applications will be impacted.
05/28/2020: Isle of Man – COVID-19: Tax Return Relief, Guidance on Work from Home Expenses - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges Isle of Man taxpayers may be facing, the Isle of Man Treasury has provided some relief in respect of tax filing deadlines and how working-at-home expenses are treated for tax purposes. The deadline for the submission of personal tax returns for the 2019/20 tax year has been extended from 6 October 2020 to 6 November 2020.
06/06/2022: Italy – COVID-19: Removal of Restrictions for Those Entering or Returning to Italy - The Italian authorities have decided to not extend beyond 31 May 2022, the current restrictions in place for arrivals from European Union (EU) and non-EU countries, so green passes are no longer be required after that date. Some limited containment measures, specifically the wearing of FFP2 masks on transportation remain in place. It continues to be recommended to wear respiratory protective equipment in all indoor public places.
12/21/2021: Italy – COVID-19: Reinforcement of Current Measures until 31 January 2022 - Italy’s government published a new Ordinance from the Minister of Health extending and reinforcing the current coronavirus/public health measures until 31 January 2022. Also, travel restrictions are in place, most notably for certain countries in southern Africa, and certain mitigation measures meant for travellers from the United Kingdom.
09/28/2021: Italy – COVID-19: Certification (Green Pass) Required of Employees for Workplaces - The use of the Green Pass in Italy, which attests to one’s COVID-19 vaccine status, has been widened to make it mandatory for all employees in the public and private sectors. A new decree provides that from 15 October 2021 and until 31 December 2021, anyone who works in the private sector – or public sector – is obliged to possess and exhibit the Green Pass upon request, for the purpose of accessing their workplace. It is intended to reinforce public safety and control the spread of the coronavirus.
09/16/2021: Italy – COVID-19: Easing Restrictions, EU / Non-EU COVID Certificates on Vaccinations - The developing coronavirus situation has given rise to further changes by Italy’s government to its travel and entry/exit restrictions, as well as daily life and business activities within the country. Moreover, Italy is now accepting certain COVID certificates issued by other states outside the European Union.
05/11/2021: Italy – Enhancing Mobility, Extending Residence Permits, Restricting Travel from India - The Italian government approved further law provisions that have been necessary in order to adjust to the twists and turns in the national and global public health crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Starting from 26 April, certain commercial activities and cultural places have opened again. And resident permits previously extended until 30 April 2021, have now been extended until 31 July 2021. However, the Ministry of Health has banned travellers who come from India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
03/11/2021: Italy – Mobility across Regions and Countries Still Limited, Measures Extended - On 2 March 2021, the Italian government approved the latest law that limits entry into Italy and internal travel. The country remains divided into various risk zones, with the aim of reducing and preventing unnecessary movements between zones that could potentially spread the coronavirus. Security forces continue to control key transport hubs, undertaking checks on documentation and other random controls elsewhere. Many of these restrictions are scheduled to stay in place until 6 April.
01/20/2021: Italy – State of Emergency Extended through April, Travel Restrictions Continue - On 14 January 2021, Italy’s government approved further law provisions amending the current emergency legislation regarding the ongoing COVID-19 situation to extend the state of emergency until 30 April 2021. The changes affect travel by extending the restrictions on movements within Italy and for individuals coming to Italy. New restrictions apply to the United Kingdom and Brazil. The changes also affect resident and work permits.
12/22/2020: Italy – Travel Restrictions over Holiday Period - On 18 December, Italy’s government approved a new decree which modifies the current, in-force emergency legislation. The aim of the new decree is to contain the spread of the coronavirus during this holiday season. In particular, from 24 December 2020 to 6 January 2021, movements across the national territory and entry into Italy from abroad will be further limited. Moreover, new rules have ceased air travel to and from the United Kingdom until 6 January – a country experiencing the growth of a variant of the virus among its population.
12/09/2020: Italy – Clarifications on COVID-19 Emergency and Tax Residence - While there has yet to be any clear guidance from Italy’s tax authorities in respect of the effects on Italian tax residence for individuals who are not resident in Italy but who are forced to spend time in Italy because of the COVID-19 emergency, the government has recently responded to a parliamentary question on this specific matter. The response is an indicator of the authorities’ inclinations regarding deciding on habitual residence for tax treaty purposes.
11/12/2020: Italy – COVID-19: Rising Infections Lead to Movement Restrictions, Activity Limitations - In Italy, a new regulation will be in force until 3 December which reinforces many restrictions currently in force. Under the regulation, in some areas of the national territory, movement will be allowed only for specific reasons and with self-certification. Substantial fines exist for non-compliance. Certain travel restrictions are in place for travel within/into/out of Italy. Travellers from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Spain, the Netherlands, or the U.K., who have been in these countries in the past 14 days before coming to Italy, face new requirements.
10/09/2020: Italy – State of Emergency Extended, Testing for British and Dutch Visitors - Following increasing infection rates for COVID-19 in Italy, the Italian authorities have approved the extension of the existing state of emergency until 31 January 2021. The government has introduced further requirements for testing individuals coming from other EU countries, now adding the U.K. and the Netherlands to countries of origin from which travellers are subject to a mandatory testing / quarantine.
09/11/2020: Italy – New Decree on Travel into/out of Italy Extends Existing Measures - The Italian government published a new decree on 7 September extending the current coronavirus-related measures in force to 7 October 2020, one week before the current state of emergency is scheduled to end. The new law confirms the validity of the statutory provisions already in force and points out the necessity of a very careful “normalisation.” This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on who can travel to/from Italy and the restrictions around the countries they are travelling from/to.
08/07/2020: Italy – State of Emergency Extended to 15 October, Updated List of Countries - Italy’s government published a new decree on 29 July extending the current measures in force until 15 October 2020 that are intended to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus and help prevent its spread. Travel policies are slightly more relaxed for travel between Italy and the European Union and Schengen Area. For other countries, as stipulated, cross-border travel may be permitted under certain conditions.
07/20/2020: Italy – COVID-19: New Decree Law Provisions Confirm Existing Measures and Policies - Italy published a new decree on 14 July extending until 31 July 2020 the current measures in force that are intended to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus and help prevent its spread. This new decree confirms the validity of many existing statutory provisions and underscores the necessity of continuing to limit trips to help contain COVID-19.
05/22/2020: Italy – Loosening Lockdown, Slow Reopening, Relaxing Travel Restrictions - Italy’s government published more statutes that regulate various aspects of the population’s life as the country proceeds through “phase 2.” Careful steps laid out are aimed at reopening economic and commercial activities and at allowing wider freedom of movement of people, but this is not comprehensive and there are still some exceptions in respect of the restrictions. Public agencies and offices are still having their employees work remotely, though they are starting to set up appointments.
05/01/2020: Italy – Status of Reopening Country, Work and Resident Permits Extended - This GMS Flash Alert looks at the steps the Italian government is taking, though very gradual, to reopen the country, with some businesses allowed to reopen and some travel restrictions slightly eased. Furthermore, a new law will extend the validity of soon-to-expire resident and work permits through 31 August 2020.
04/16/2020: Italy – Lockdown Extended to 3 May, Options for Travel into/out of Country - Due to the persistent presence of COVID-19 in Italy, the government extended the emergency lockdown for a further three weeks. The new end date for the lockdown is now set at 3 May. This GMS Flash Alert re-caps the many policies and requirements in Italy pertaining to travel into and out of the country, work, and freedom of movement, etc.
04/03/2020: Italy – Measures that Put Country in Lockdown Extended to 13 April - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 1 April 2020, which extends until 13 April 2020, current restrictions on travel and movement and health/hygiene/social distancing policies. In addition, this will have consequences for closures and reduced activities of most public offices/agencies dealing with matters related to tax, social security, immigration, and others.
03/10/2020: Italy - Country in Lockdown as COVID-19 Threat Grows - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 9 March 2020, further restricting travel, other activities, and aspects of daily life. The measures effectively quarantine the whole country and place severe restrictions on internal travel within Italy.
03/06/2020: Italy - Some Tax Deadlines Extended During COVID-19 Outbreak - The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 9 March 2020, further restricting travel, other activities, and aspects of daily life. The measures effectively quarantine the whole country and place severe restrictions on internal travel within Italy.
03/04/2020: Italy - New Statute Introduces COVID-19-Related Measures Affecting Immigration - The Italian government issued a new Decree-Law on 2 March 2020. Aspects of the Decree-Law concern prolonging deadlines and expiration dates and suspending or curtailing some services in the public sector, this includes the division of police in charge of immigration affairs.
02/25/2020: Italy - Temporary Measures in Place to Deal with Outbreak of Covid-19 - There are serious concerns about the outbreak of Covid-19 in parts of Italy. Authorities in Italy have taken steps that are intended to reduce and control the spread of the Covid-19 (also referred to as “Coronavirus”). The responses of Italy’s government and by businesses could have consequences for immigration, social security, and tax, as well as the conduct of daily life.
03/01/2022: Japan – COVID-19: Easing Border Controls, Travel Restrictions from 1 March - Effective 1 March 2022 (00:00 am, JST), Japan is easing border restrictions, allowing foreign new arrivals including business travellers, students, and technical trainees, except tourists, to finally enter Japan. Under the new measures, the daily entry cap will be raised. Coronavirus testing and self-quarantine / quarantine rules have been adjusted.
02/09/2022: Japan – For 2021 Individual Taxes, Extended Filing and Payment Deadlines - Japan’s National Tax Agency has announced that the filing and payment due dates for 2021 Japanese individual income tax returns will be extended until 15 April 2022, for those who are unable to meet the tax return due date of 15 March 2022, due to the spread of COVID-19.
12/02/2021: Japan – COVID-19: Re-Shutting of Borders for One Month Due to Omicron Variant - Japan has banned the entry of foreign nationals from all countries until 31 December 2021, due to the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus around the world. The new entry ban is effective from 30 November 2021 (0:00 am, JST) until 31 December 2021. There are implications for relocating employees and business travellers, as well as online applications for approval (screening) certificates and airline travel.
11/12/2021: Japan – Borders Re-opened Partially, Easing of Quarantine Measures - The government of Japan has announced an easing of the travel restrictions for short-term business visitors (less than 90 days) and long-term stays in certain circumstances. Effective 8 November (10:00 am, JST), Japan introduced new border measures to partially lift the entry-ban. There are new rules around foreign national arrivals, quarantine, testing and vaccinations.
10/04/2021: Japan – Arrivals with Vaccination Certificate - Effective 1 October (0:00, JST), Japan is reducing the self-isolation period from 14 to 10 days for fully vaccinated travellers with one of the three COVID-19 vaccines authorised by the Japanese government by reporting the negative test result (PCR test or Quantitative Antigen Test) on or after the tenth day to the authority. The government is keeping the country’s borders closed for nonresident foreign nationals until further notice. Japanese nationals and foreign residents with a valid Residence Card and a Re-Entry Permit are allowed to enter Japan.
02/05/2021: Japan - Extended Filing and Payment Deadlines for 2020 Individual Taxes - The Japanese government has announced that filing and payment due dates for individual income tax, individual consumption tax, and gift tax for 2020 will be extended by one month to April 15, 2021.
09/04/2020: Japan – Foreign Residents Can Re-enter from 1 September - The government of Japan announced that all foreign nationals with residence status regardless of visa types, who have left or will leave Japan with a valid re-entry permit or special re-entry permit are eligible to re-enter Japan from 1 September. The procedures differ for those who left by 31 August and those who left on or after 01 September. Any foreign residents who wish to return Japan must complete the appropriate procedures imposed by the government.
08/06/2020: Japan – Phased Resumption of Cross-Border Travel with Thailand and Vietnam - The government of Japan has resumed cross-border travel with Thailand and Vietnam if travellers fulfil the requirements set between the countries. The Japanese embassies and consulates in these two countries initiated processing from 29 July of visa applications for applicants whose immigration status relates to “work purposes,” as specified. Also, Japan will allow re-entry, from 5 August, those foreign residents regardless of the nationality who left Japan with a re-entry permit before the government imposed the entry ban on their countries of origin.
05/29/2020: Japan – COVID-19: Border Controls and Travel Restrictions Being Extended - The government of Japan fully lifted the state of emergency that had been in place since April for the last remaining five prefectures (Japan has 47 prefectures): Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, and Hokkaido on 25 May. However, sustained border controls and travel restrictions will continue to affect multinational employers and their globally-mobile employees doing business in Japan.
04/03/2020: Japan – Expanding Entry Ban to 73 Nations to Control Coronavirus - The government of Japan imposed new significant measures to expand to 73 countries and regions in total its entry ban on foreign nationals. Due to the restrictions on entry, those foreign nationals with a valid residence status in Japan, including expatriates on international assignment who temporarily departed from Japan to the below-listed countries with the Re-Entry Permission, are no longer able to return to Japan until further notice. Japanese nationals and the “Special” Permanent Residence Permit holders are exempt from the entry ban.
03/30/2020: Japan – Updated Travel/Immigration Measures to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19) - In addition to the existing immigration restrictions in place due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Japanese government announced updated measures on 26 March 2020. Effective from 27 March those who fall under any of the categories noted in the tables in this GMS Flash Alert are not permitted to land in Japan unless there are exceptional circumstances. Japanese nationals are exempt from being denied entry – though there are special rules that apply in respect of their entry. Plus, there are new policies in Tokyo, where the governor warns the capital has entered a critical phase in the fight against COVID-1.
03/21/2020: Japan – UPDATE: Immigration/Travel Restrictions Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - As part of its response to managing the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Japanese government has announced updated entry restrictions on 18 March.
03/16/2020: Japan - Immigration/Travel Restrictions Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The Japanese government has extended current travel restrictions. The measures described in this newsletter are valid as of 12 March 2020 and will last until the end of this month.
03/02/2020: Japan - Extended Tax Filing Deadline, Other Government Steps Due to Covid-19 - The Japanese government has announced that filing and payment due dates for individual income tax, individual consumption tax, and gift tax for 2019 will be extended by one month to April 16, 2020. In addition, the government has agreed on precautionary measures calling on people to work from home, cancelling/postponing ‘large crowd’ events/activities, hygiene and safety recommendations, and closing of schools.
04/01/2020: Kenya – Tax Relief Measures to Help Taxpayers Cope with COVID-19 Crisis - On 25 March 2020, the president of the Republic of Kenya outlined the tax interventions the government intends to make to “cushion” the country against the economic effects of the COVID-19. These measures are proposals only at this point and include a 100-percent tax relief for low-income-earning persons, a reduction in the top Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) rate, and other changes such as cash transfers, credit relief, lower VAT, and a corporate tax cut.
03/25/2020: Lithuania – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Tax Filing, Social Security Extensions - In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Lithuanian government and tax authorities extended the deadline for submission of the 2019 Lithuanian income tax return for individuals to 1 July 2020 (from 4 May 2020). To control the spread of COVID-19, the Lithuanian government established a quarantine effective 16 March 2020 until 30 March 2020.
05/05/2020: Luxembourg – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Employee Relief Measures - The Luxembourg government has implemented a number of relief measures to help alleviate the effects of COVID-19, including an individual income tax return filing extension, cross-border worker relief, social security payment relief and paid family leave.
05/18/2021: Malaysia – Restrictions on Travel from Some Countries in South Asia – Malaysia’s government imposed temporary entry bans on nationals and travellers from India effective 28 April 2021, and Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka effective 5 May 2021. Moreover, travellers from those countries which have the variant of concern, who enter Malaysia, are now seeing their quarantine period extended to 14 days.
06/26/2020: Malaysia – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Stimulus Measures for Individuals - Malaysia’s National Economic Recovery Plan (“NERP” or “PENJANA”) offers several new tax measures – or adjustments to existing ones – to support employees’ work-from-home arrangements and to help individuals during the COVID-19 crisis. These measures include some new personal tax reliefs, as well as increases in some existing ones. There is also a tax exemption for the gift of gadgets by employers namely handphones (i.e., mobile or cellular phones), notebooks, and tablets, and a real property gains tax (“RPGT”) exemption for disposals of residential properties.
05/22/2020: Malaysia – Special Tax Concessions for Individuals Due to COVID-19 - Due to COVID-19, with many international assignees in Malaysia performing duties in respect of their overseas employment/assignments and their employers concerns about the impact that their temporary presence – and additional unplanned days spent – in Malaysia may have on their Malaysia tax residency status, cross-border employment income, and the permanent establishment issues, the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (“MIRB”) has provided guidance.
04/01/2020: Malaysia – Various Tax Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19 - The Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (“MIRB”) has set out a new timetable for certain personal tax filing and employer compliance obligations (including due date extensions) in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Also, the MIRB has closed all its office premises until 14 April 2020 – but is providing some limited services.
03/25/2020: Malaysia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions to Combat COVID-19 - The Malaysian prime minister on March 25 extended a 16 March 2020 movement control order (“MCO”) to combat the sharp rise of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, and the local state governments of East Malaysia (States of Sabah and Sarawak), have also imposed restrictions on visitor entry, including Malaysians. The local state government additional measures take effect from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020, while the MCO has been extended to 14 April.
04/29/2020: Malta – COVID-19: Limited Entry and Work Permit Services, Tax Implications - Malta’s government has announced a number of measures with respect to travel to Malta and work permits for non-European Union (EU) nationals. Also, visa services have been suspended, until further notice. Moreover, there is a temporary suspension of the issuing of permits in respect of new work/residence applications. And, any travelers that do enter Malta by means of air and sea are to observe a mandatory self-quarantine period of 14 days.
05/09/2022: Netherlands – COVID-19: Ending Mutual Agreements with Germany, Belgium - During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Netherlands has had mutual agreements with Belgium and Germany to apply a certain degree of flexibility in terms of taxation of cross-border workers, who were displaced due to lockdowns and other coronavirus-related restrictions around public health and work and travel. The agreements were intended to be temporary and will now come to an end on 30 June 2022.
09/03/2020: Nigeria - COVID-19: Key Airports to Re-Open 5 September 2020 - On August 27, 2020, the Nigerian government announced the postponement of the resumption of international commercial flights at the Lagos and Abuja airports to 5 September 2020. They had been scheduled to open starting 29 August 2020. The reason for the delay, according to the government, is that some pending matters need to be addressed still. The resumption of flights should enable global mobility managers to effectively plan the itineraries of new and returning assignees.
04/27/2020: Nigeria – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Fiscal Stimulus Plans - Nigeria’s federal and state governments have introduced measures such as delayed tax filing deadlines, waivers of Late Returns Penalty for taxpayers who pay early but file their returns later, suspension of field audits, investigations, and monitoring exercises, etc. to help certain taxpayers contend with the challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, there is the Economic Stimulus Bill that is currently moving through the legislature with measures to encourage businesses to protect jobs and mitigate loss of income for employees.
04/24/2020: Nigeria – COVID-19: Payment Waivers on Fees for Extensions of Certain Permits - The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) issued a circular dealing with the grant of a payment waiver to those visitors / migrants in Nigeria who were caught by the travel ban and the closure of international airports in Nigeria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This concerns the payment by individuals of extension fees they would normally be charged for extensions of their valid visas/residence permits. In a related development, on 20 April, the closure of Nigeria’s airspace and airports – already in effect – was extended for two more weeks.
05/22/2020: Norway – COVID-19: Temporary Reduction, Other Relief for Employers’ Social Security - The Finance Committee in Norway’s Storting (parliament) has agreed to a temporary reduction in the employer's contribution equivalent to 4 percent in the months of May and June in light of the effects of COVID-19 on Norway’s business sector. The reduction in the employers' contributions will apply in all zones where the contribution is calculated.
04/01/2020: Norway – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Benefits, and Quarantine Measures - Norway’s government has introduced various tax, social security, benefits, and travel/immigration measures to help the country combat – and cope with – the spread of COVID-19. Measures include: closure of all tax offices and the Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA); proposed reduction in employers’ social security contribution obligation and payment deadline extension; increase in number of days for parental leave in connection with closed schools and child-care needs; “lower rate” of VAT temporarily reduced; and reduced or waived penalties for late submissions. This report also includes a brief highlight of quarantine measures in place.
03/23/2020: Norway – Covid-19 Update: Entry Restrictions / Immigration-Related Processing Uncertainties - Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Service Centre for Foreign Workers where applications for residence and work permits are submitted is currently closed. The office will stay closed until 26 March 2020. This GMS Flash Alert covers policy regarding EU/EEA nationals, non-EU/non-EEA nationals, border controls and quarantine, etc.
02/18/2021: OECD – COVID-19: Recent Guidance on Tax and Cross-Border Workers - Updated guidance recently released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) looks at the many issues faced by cross-border employees and their employers around: (i) permanent establishment (i.e., home office, dependent agent PE); (ii) changes in an individual’s residence and how treaty tie-breaker rules apply; and (iii) income from employment, such as payments under stimulus packages, stranded workers, cross-border (frontier) workers, and teleworking from abroad. The guidance reflects an appreciation for the situations that cross-border workers and their employers have faced in confronting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
04/07/2020: OECD – Examining Cross-Border Employment/Tax Issues in Time of COVID-19 - As businesses and employees react to government policies worldwide introduced to combat the coronavirus and COVID-19, there has been a change in regular work patterns and routines, which raises several tax-related issues for cross-border workers and can have an impact on the right to tax between countries. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released an analysis addressing the tax implications of the employment changes arising under the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic involving cross-border workers and other related cross-border matters (e.g., tele-work and right of taxation, residency, permanent establishment).
06/09/2022: People’s Republic of China – COVID-19: Immigration Policy Updates - The immigration authorities in the People’s Republic of China have established a “green channel” to allow people who need to leave China for urgent reasons. Additionally, Chinese embassies in several countries have relaxed pre-departure inspection requirements for people entering the People’s Republic of China.
11/23/2021: People’s Republic of China – Loosening Foreign Entry Visa, Residence Permit Suspension - Chinese embassies and consulates in the United Kingdom, France and the United States have issued notices allowing entry into China of foreign nationals with valid Chinese residence permits. Entry by these individuals had been suspended since November 2020.
11/18/2020: People’s Republic of China – Foreigner Entry Visas and Residence Permits Suspended - In response to the recent global rebound in COVID-19 cases, the Chinese government published a “Notice on the Suspension of Entry into China by Non-Chinese Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Visas or Residence Permits,” effective from 4 November 2020, on the websites of Chinese embassies in the U.K., France, Belgium, Italy, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Russia, Ukraine and other jurisdictions.
10/23/2020: People’s Republic of China – Foreign Nationals May Re-enter with Valid Residence Permits - Under a new policy of the People’s Republic of China, foreign nationals holding the following types of valid residence permits may enter China from 0:00 on 28 September 2020: work purposes; for the purposes of attending to personal affairs; and family reunion purposes. Certain policies announced in the National Immigration Administration’s March 2020 announcement remain in effect. Furthermore, certain visa-exempt policies remain suspended until further notice.
04/01/2020: People’s Republic of China – COVID-19 Travel/Immigration Restrictions - The immigration authorities in the People's Republic of China have restricted entry of foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits temporarily, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
03/05/2020: People’s Republic of China – Coronavirus Spurs New Preferential Individual Income Tax Policy - The Ministry of Finance and State Taxation Administration of the People’s Republic of China have issued new tax measures in an effort to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.
03/04/2020: People’s Republic of China – New Social Security Policies Given Coronavirus Outbreak - This article discusses changes regarding the administration of Chinese social security contributions as well as a policy that reduces or waives employer obligations on social security contributions for a specified period of time.
02/11/2020: People’s Republic of China – Coronavirus Response: Considerations for Businesses Relocating Employees - The outbreak of the 2019-nCoV epidemic (“coronavirus”) in the People’s Republic of China is unprecedentedly altering lifestyles and work arrangements. Companies may be moving people out of China or the region to ensure the safety of their employees – whether bringing the employee home or moving him to another foreign office, etc. When reviewing repatriation or remote working plans, businesses should take into consideration the potential immigration and tax compliance requirements triggered by such relocations.
02/07/2020: People’s Republic of China – Updates on Immigration Policy during Coronavirus Epidemic - In order to strengthen the prevention and control of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, the authorities in the People’s Republic of China have recently issued new measures to facilitate swift online immigration, work permit, and residence permit applications and help reduce cross-border movements. This report covers some frequently asked questions and local guidance coming from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.
04/07/2020: Peru – COVID-19: Additional Fiscal Measures and Controls on Freedom of Movement - Due to the State of Emergency Peru is facing, several urgent decrees have been published that allow individuals to more readily access funds, earlier than expected, in their pension funds and CTS bank accounts; also employers should see their and their employees’ burdens lightened with a temporary suspension of their private pension fund withholding and payment remitting obligations.
03/16/2020: Peru – Tax Relief and Closing Border to Help Deal with Spread of COVID-19 - The government of Peru has closed Peru’s borders for 15 days from March 16, 2020. The Peruvian Tax Authority has extended the annual income tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 tax year to between June 24 and July 9, 2020.
02/04/2022: Philippines – COVID-19: Changes to Entry Protocols and Travel Ban - The Philippine government has temporarily suspended the “Green,” “Yellow,” and “Red” list classification of countries and issued new guidelines allowing the entry of fully vaccinated foreign nationals without a visa from certain countries for tourism and business purposes.
09/08/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: New Entry Rules for Foreign Workers and Lifting of Travel Ban - The Philippine government has issued guidelines that will enable essential foreign nationals to apply for a working visa prior to arrival in the Philippines. This GMS Flash Alert outlines the procedures that the Philippine-based employers must follow, and the process to be undertaken by the relevant government agencies.
08/18/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: Travel Ban Extension - The Philippine government has extended the travel ban for inbound travelers from ten (10) restricted countries until the end of August. All arriving passengers coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand or those who have been to these travel-restricted countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival in the Philippines are not allowed to enter until 31 August 2021.
08/04/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: Quarantine Restrictions Updated and Travel Ban Extended - Due to the surge of Delta variant COVID-19 cases, Metro Manila will transition to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) with heightened restrictions starting 6 August 2021 until 21 August 2021. An earlier entry ban on travelers from 10 restricted countries is extended until 15 August 2021.
07/30/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: Travel Ban Expansion and Updates - Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 Delta variant cases in the country, Metro Manila and its four adjacent provinces are placed under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions from August 1 - 15, 2021. The current entry ban on travelers coming from previously listed restricted countries is extended until the end of July and expanded to include travelers from Malaysia and Thailand.
06/18/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: Extension of Travel Restrictions - The Philippine government has implemented updated guidelines for inbound travelers including an extension of the entry ban to travelers coming from seven restricted countries. Foreign nationals coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, and United Arab Emirates or who have been to these travel-restricted countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival in the Philippines shall not be allowed to enter until 30 June 2021.
05/07/2021: Philippines – Lifting of Expanded Travel Bans, Restrictions for Certain Travelers - The Philippines Bureau of Immigration released revised guidelines in respect of individuals allowed and not allowed to travel to the Philippines effective 1 May 2021. The lifting of the expanded travel ban will once again allow foreign nationals with valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas to return to the Philippines. But there are restrictions imposed on travelers from India, Pakistan, and other countries.
03/22/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: Temporary Travel Restrictions - The Philippine government has limited the entry of certain foreign nationals effective 22 March 2021, in response to rising COVID-19 cases. Travel by Filipinos and exempted foreign nationals shall be subject to the arrival quota set by the Department of Transportation. This GMS Flash Alert covers the categories of travelers subject to (as well as exempt from) the latest travel restrictions.
02/04/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: Lifting of Expanded Travel Ban - The Philippine government lifted its travel ban on countries1 with confirmed cases of the new COVID-19 variants effective 1 February 2021. Foreign nationals with falling in a number of listed visa categories shall be allowed to enter the Philippines.
01/19/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: Expanded Travel Restrictions - Following up on our earlier report, the Philippine government added 13 more countries with reported cases of the new coronavirus strain to its list of countries subject to significant travel restrictions, which will last until 31 January.
01/07/2021: Philippines – COVID-19: Expanded Travel Restrictions - Given recent developments in the evolution of the global coronavirus pandemic, the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration issued new travel restrictions. The restrictions cover foreign nationals regardless of visa category and include visa holders who have been previously allowed to enter the Philippines by virtue of special exemptions.
10/22/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Lifting of Ban on Non-Essential Outbound Travel - Under new policy, the Philippine government is allowing Filipino nationals to leave the Philippines for non-essential travel starting 21 October 2020. The lifting of the ban for non-essential travel will allow Filipinos to plan leisure trips abroad. Employers may also continue resuming their international outbound travel plans for their Filipino employees.
10/06/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Quarantine Extension and Exceptions on Travel Restrictions - In the Philippines, the National Capital Region and the cities of Batangas, Tacloban, Bacolod, Iligan, and Iloilo shall remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from 1 October until 31 October 2020. Moreover, a recommendation letter may be issued to allow a foreign national to enter the country under exceptional cases such as an endorsement from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
08/20/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Cross-Border Tax Guidelines - The Philippines Bureau of Immigration has updated its travel restrictions and requirements for inbound and outbound travelers as of 9 August, while the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on 17 August issued guidance on the tax residence and permanent establishment implications of individuals working in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
05/08/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Enhanced Community Quarantine and Income Tax Filing Extensions - Due to the continuing pandemic, the Philippine government has laid down measures that (i) extend the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila to 15 May 2020 and (ii) extend filing and payment due dates for 2019 annual income tax returns. Moderate-risk and low-risk areas will be under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
03/25/2020: Philippines – COVID-19: Travel Restrictions and Filing Extensions - As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Philippine government has placed the entire Luzon (including Metro Manila) in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and issued advisories restricting the travels from and to the Philippines. Additionally, Philippine immigration and tax authorities have suspended some of their functions and extended certain deadlines.
04/30/2020: Poland – COVID-19: Relief for Social Security Charges, Charitable Donations, Arrears Interest - In Poland, new legislation updates the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield rules and provides additional relief to business and individual taxpayers. For instance, a measure extends to the group of entities that are eligible relief on social security contributions due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020. Also, an amendment was adopted according to which the financing granted under the Anti-Crisis Shield will not constitute revenues within the meaning of the Corporate Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act. Another measure concerns donating 1 percent of tax to charitable organisations for certain PIT annual returns.
04/02/2020: Poland – COVID-19: Amendments Passed Enhancing ’Anti-Crisis Shield’ Provisions - Poland’s government has enacted significant new tax, social security, benefits, and other fiscal measures to help the country combat – and cope with – the spread of COVID-19. This newsletter covers the government’s measures related to opt-outs, tax reductions, delayed payment obligations, enhanced tax-deductible COVID-19-related charitable contributions, suspension of legal proceedings tied to certain tax offences, and relief for other compliance obligations.
03/20/2020: Poland – ‘Anti-Crisis Shield’ Project Counters COVID-19’s Fiscal Impact - Poland’s government has recently approved a package of measures in order to protect individual and company taxpayers facing administrative challenges and liquidity/cash-flow issues in the face of the COVID-19 threat.
04/27/2020: Portugal – COVID-19: Deferral of Social Contribution Payments - A new law in Portugal offers hard-pressed employers and self-employed individuals some social security relief. Certain employer entities and self-employed individuals can pay 1/3rd of their social contributions due in March, April, and May 2020, on the regular due date of the contributions, with the remaining amounts being paid later. The relief provided above does not apply to the employee share of the social contribution.
06/04/2021: Romania – Digital Nomad Visa Could Soon Be Adopted - As a response to workplace issues tied to the coronavirus and the new reality of and dynamic changes to the labour market thanks to the widespread use of telecommunication technologies, Romania is planning to introduce a so-called digital nomad visa which will allow eligible individuals from outside the European Union/European Economic Area to work more flexibly and with fewer constraints in Romania for a fixed period of time.
03/27/2020: Romania – COVID-19: Measures for Social Protection and Income Support - Under the terms of a government emergency ordinance, Romania’s government is taking steps to address the short-fall in income that people and businesses may be experiencing. The measures pertain to the technical unemployment allowance, the granting of free paid days to parents for the purpose of child-care, and the payment of the return to work incentive (“stimulent de insertie”), amongst others.
03/27/2020: Romania – Tax Relief Measures to Help Taxpayers Affected by COVID-19 Crisis - In response to the challenges for taxpayers created by the COVID-19 epidemic, two key tax measures have been adopted by the Romanian government and enacted through Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) 29/2020. Firstly, all tax obligations that have their due date after 21 March 2020, and which are unpaid, will not be considered overdue, and therefore they are not subject to late payment interest and penalties. Secondly, all tax-related foreclosure procedures involving garnishments are suspended by law. There is also some tax relief for certain local taxes due.
07/01/2021: Russia – Audits of Individuals’ Foreign Assets and Accounts - Since the end of 2020, the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation (FTS) began reviewing information received as part of the automatic exchange of financial information with foreign jurisdictions and is sending out notices of field tax audits for 2017-2019 and requests for information to individuals. The review is performed using programming algorithms in an automated information system.
02/18/2021: Russia – Entry for Highly-Qualified Specialists, Citizens of the EAEU - The Russian government has amended the original order restricting entry to Russia to permit highly-qualified specialists (HQS) and their family members unlimited entry since 6 February, and also to allow a limited entry period for citizens from the Eurasian Economic Union.
04/16/2020: Russia – 2019 Personal Tax Return Filing Deadline Extended - Russia’s government has announced a 3-month extension of time for filing personal income tax returns without changing the deadline for paying the tax.
04/06/2020: Russia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions Due to COVID-19 - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia has taken measures to suspend travel into the country by foreign nationals and has ceased issuing work permits and visas to them.
01/21/2022: Singapore – COVID-19: Mandatory Vaccination for Pass Holders, Permanent Residents - With effect from 1 February 2022, employers submitting applications for work pass holders and their dependants will be required to declare that the applicants are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 upon arrival in Singapore. Similarly, for new applications for permanent residence, long-term visit passes, and student passes, COVID-19 vaccination will be a condition to grant the pass.
08/25/2021: Singapore – COVID-19: More Scrutiny by Tax Authority to Concessions - With the coronavirus and cross-border mobility situations evolving, Singapore’s tax authority, IRAS, is becoming increasingly stringent in granting tax exemptions in respect of employment income relating to work performed remotely in Singapore on behalf of overseas employers. Indeed, from 1 July 2021, concessions will only be allowed on a case-by-case basis upon the IRAS’ review of the individual’s circumstances. The CPF Board is equally looking more closely at CPF contributions exemptions.
09/08/2020: Singapore – Significant Updates on Work Pass Salary, Job Advertising Requirements - Recent updates to Singapore’s work pass framework extending the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertising requirement to S Pass applications, and doubling the minimum duration for job posting from 14 days to 28 days, are intended to focus employers’ efforts to consider local applicants first, and give local job-seekers more time to respond to job advertisements. The updates also provide for raising qualifying salaries for the Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass categories.
09/03/2020: Singapore – Government Announces Framework for Relaxing of Borders - Since June 2020, the Singapore government has taken steps to gradually reopen immigration borders for Long Term Pass (LTP) holders. And on 21 August 2020, the Multi-ministry Task Force announced three categories in respect of Singapore’s framework for admitting travellers, based on the country or region that they come from. There has been some easing of border restrictions to short-term visitors from Brunei and New Zealand and there have been some reciprocal green lane arrangements or “travel corridors” with other countries.
04/20/2020: Singapore – COVID-19: Tax Concessions for Individuals and Companies - This GMS Flash Alert looks at COVID-19-related measures taken by Singapore’s government, which include providing guidance on the tax treatment of overseas-based Singaporeans/Singapore Permanent Residents, extending the time for filing individual tax returns, and addressing permanent establishment issues from employees of foreign companies working in Singapore.
03/03/2020: Singapore – Precautions Extended to Foreign Employees Travelling from Areas in South Korea - The Japanese government has announced that filing and payment due dates for individual income tax, individual consumption tax, and gift tax for 2019 will be extended by one month to April 16, 2020. In addition, the government has agreed on precautionary measures calling on people to work from home, cancelling/postponing ‘large crowd’ events/activities, hygiene and safety recommendations, and closing of schools.
04/22/2020: Slovakia – COVID-19: Tax Relief and Wage Support for Individuals and Employers - At the beginning of April 2020, Slovakia’s Parliament adopted new legislation that contains measures to help individuals and business cope with the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19. Measures include new deadlines for filing income tax returns, changed dates for employers’ annual settlement of taxes and yearly report on wage taxes, and wage subsidies to employers aimed to help keep employees in work/on payroll.
05/26/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures Expiring - Slovenia became the first European country to declare the end of the COVID-19 epidemic on 15 May. This newsletter reviews legislative measures for offsetting the effects of COVID-19 and their expiration dates, and highlights some features of the new legislation, including eased travel restrictions.
04/24/2020: Slovenia – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Compensation, and Immigration Measures - Slovenia has adopted legislation to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19, that includes tax, compensation, social security, and travel measures to preserve jobs, to improve the social situation of people and to keep businesses in operation.
04/07/2021: South Africa – COVID-19: Extension of Visa Concessions for Foreign Nationals - In line with National State of Disaster Regulations, South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has issued Directions to extend the validity period of the visa concessions to foreign nationals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This GMS Flash Alert looks at the various visas this applies to and also covers a blanket temporary concession of one year to all holders of Permanent Residence Permits.
08/10/2020: South Africa – COVID-19: Extension of Visa Concessions to Foreign Nationals - The validity period of the visa concessions to foreign nationals in South Africa impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended to 31 October 2020. Foreign nationals with legally-issued visas which expired during the lock-down period will be allowed to remain in South Africa and their visas will be deemed valid. Those who wish to be repatriated to their countries of origin within this period can depart without being declared an “undesirable person.”
04/20/2020: South Africa – COVID-19: Lockdown Extension and Visa/Immigration Changes - In light of the extension of the nationwide lockdown in South Africa until 30 April 2020, the government has communicated a number of changes to its usual visa processing and issuance policies. Amongst other things, new temporary concessions have been introduced that will alleviate pressures and concerns on foreign nationals in South Africa with temporary residence visas which expired from 15 February 2020 or those whose visas expired before or during the lockdown.
04/20/2020: South Africa – Foreign Remuneration Exemption: Tax Directive for Employers - South African Revenue Service (SARS) has issued an updated Interpretation Note (IN 16) addressing how the changes to the foreign remuneration exemption will be implemented, which includes guidance in the form of a tax directive on how the foreign tax credits (FTC) may be claimed via payroll. Given the global COVID-19 pandemic, more South African tax resident employees working abroad will find themselves in a situation where they are subject to tax in both South Africa and the foreign country in which they are working, on the same income. Interpretation Note 16 discusses methods that may be applied to alleviate these hardships.
03/26/2020: South Africa – Travel Restrictions and Lockdown Related to COVID-19 - With the escalation of the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa, the president of South Africa has declared a National State of Disaster. Also, the president announced a nationwide lockdown effectively for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. Regardless of compliance with visa requirements, foreign nationals travelling from or transiting through high-risk and/or medium-risk countries are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa. There are a number of other measures in place for domestic transport and travel, lockdown exemptions for certain key personnel/staff and individuals, prohibitions on large-crowd gatherings, and school closures, etc.
03/25/2020: South Africa – Tax Concessions Announced to Address COVID-19 Impact on Economy - On Monday, 23 March 2020, the president of South Africa announced unprecedented measures in assisting South Africa in its fight against COVID-19. Most notably, a nationwide lockdown effective for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. There were also a number of tax measures put forward affecting employers and employees. Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) liabilities, a tax subsidy under the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), and possible relief on Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions.
04/14/2020: South Korea – Filing and Payment Extensions for Individual Income Tax Returns - Due to the global health pandemic caused by the coronavirus and COVID-19, South Korea’s government has postponed the tax payment due date for individuals filing tax returns. While for most people, tax returns must be filed by the original due date, taxpayers with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses and individuals living in the “COVID-19 Emergency Area” will have deferred filing deadlines.
12/10/2021: Spain –Travel Restrictions Extended Except for Vaccinated Travellers - Due to the new “omicron” variant of the coronavirus and the evolving public health situation, Spain is imposing flight restrictions between certain southern African countries and Spanish airports effective 2 December through 15 December 2021. There are also temporary restrictions concerning non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and Schengen associated countries that include testing, quarantine, and health documentation rules.
07/01/2021: Spain – Extension of Travel Restrictions to 31 July - Spanish authorities have extended the temporary restrictions placed on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and Schengen associated countries, including the U.K., through 31 July 2021, with an exception for vaccinated travellers. There are also flight limitations and restrictions on travel from South Africa and Brazil until 20 July, and a quarantine period for international travellers coming from India until 10 July.
06/09/2021: Spain – Extension of Travel Restrictions with Exception for Vaccinated Travellers - New or revised travel policies announced by Spanish authorities include an extension through 30 June 2021, of temporary restrictions placed on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and Schengen associated countries, including United Kingdom, for public health reasons due to the COVID-19 health crisis. There is an exception for vaccinated travellers. Additionally, there are flight limitations and restrictions on travel from South Africa and Brazil until 22 June, and until 12 June, a quarantine period for internatiuonal travellers coming from India.
04/20/2021: Spain – COVID-19: Extension of Travel Restrictions to 30 April - New or revised travel policies announced by Spanish authorities include an extension through 30 April 2021 of the temporary restrictions placed on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and Schengen associated countries for public health reasons due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Additionally, there are flight limitations and restrictions on travel from South Africa and Brazil until 27 April, with quarantining for international travellers coming from several countries; and the resumption of border control between Portugal and Spain until 1 May.
03/08/2021: Spain – COVID-19: Extension of Travel Restrictions - New or revised travel/immigration policies announced by Spain’s government include extension through 31 March 2021 of the temporary restrictions placed on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and Schengen associated countries for public health reasons due to the COVID-19 health crisis; flight limitations and restrictions on travel from the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil until 16 March; and the resumption of border control between Portugal and Spain (until 16 March).
02/25/2021: Spain – Extension of Travel Restrictions, Immigration Procedures for British Citizens - As the new EU-U.K. Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the United Kingdom and European Union (including Article SERVIN 4 on business travellers) awaits validation, the Spanish authorities approved measures that include provisions affecting cross-border workers, and extended through 28 February 2021 the temporary restrictions placed on non-essential travel from certain countries to the European Union and Schengen associated countries for public health reasons due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19.
12/03/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Travelling to Spain at Christmas - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the current travel restrictions into and out of Spain and the sanitary/health controls and protocols when travellers come to Spain, due to the international health emergency. Among the measures, Spanish authorities approved a new extension – until 24:00 hours on 31 December 2020 – of certain travel restrictions.
11/16/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Health Measures Announced for Purposes of Entering Spain - The Spanish authorities have approved new sanitary/health control measures to allow entry through Spain’s maritime and air borders (not land) that will come into force on 23 November. Amongst the new health control measures put in place for travellers, before entering the country: have their temperatures taken, submit to a document check, and undergo what the authorities are calling a visual check (“un control visual”).
11/03/2020: Spain – COVID-19: New State of Alarm until May 9, 2021; Travel Restrictions - The State of Alarm in Spain was approved on 25 October, and will last until 9 November. However, Spain’s Congress has authorised the government to renew it until 9 May 2021, if necessary. Travel restrictions have been in force all summer, including the policy recommendations of the European Union. On 30 October, the authorities published the new extension on travel restrictions that will be in place from 1 November until 30 November.
06/04/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended Again - of administrative deadlines and automatic extensions on residence permits. The State of Alarm in Spain has been extended, for a sixth time, until 21 June. Some of the matters that are happening are as follows: with effect from 1 June 2020, the setting of the administrative deadlines that had been suspended/interrupted will be resumed or restarted, and certain s rights of stay, authorisations, visas that will expire during the State of Alarm will be automatically extended.
06/04/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Border Controls, Restrictions on Travel, and Loosening of Quarantine - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the current restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union (EU), border controls, quarantine, and other steps taken in Spain to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The State of Alarm in Spain has been extended, for a sixth time, until 21 June. Moreover, the European Commission last month recommended the extension of certain travel and border restrictions in the EU, in this case until 15 June, and the Spanish government has agreed to this.
05/14/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended, Further Controls for Borders, Quarantine - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on the current “State of Alarm” in Spain as well as restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union (EU), both steps taken in Spain in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The State of Alarm in Spain has been extended, for a fourth time, until 24 May. Extended and new policies will impact travel into Spain from the EU and from outside the EU and travel out of Spain. Also affected is the status of visa and other travel/immigration processes of Spain’s competent authorities.
04/28/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Extension of Filing and Payment Deadlines for Certain Taxpayers - Spain’s government has modified some filing/submission deadlines for certain taxpayers. This extension applies to numerous filings, including quarterly Nonresident Income Tax returns (Form 210). For taxpayers that elected the direct debit payment method, their submission deadline has been extended to 15 May 2020 (it was initially due by 15 April) and the charge to the taxpayer’s bank account will be made on 20 May 2020.
04/27/2020: Spain – COVID-19: State of Alarm Extended, Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel to EU - Spain has extended its “State of Alarm” and associated travel restrictions, until at least 10 May, which will continue to impact on employers and their globally-mobile employees between Spain and countries around the world. Only Spanish citizens, persons resident in Spain, certain cross-border workers, and those who provide documentary proof of circumstances beyond their control or a situation of need will be allowed to enter Spain’s national territory by land.
04/03/2020: Spain – COVID-19: New Decree Revises Immigration Processing Policies and Practices - Spain’s Royal Decree 463/2020 from 14 March 2020, provides for the suspension of administrative and processing deadlines, and of the limited period of time usually provided in order to respond to application-related queries, requirements, and denials. Important to note that if a third-country national has a visa that is about to expire, but is unable to leave the country due to the health emergency, that expiry will not apply and the individual may continue to remain in the country for the time being.
04/01/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Government Restricts Access through Country’s External Borders - This GMS Flash Alert examines some of the key aspects of Spain’s Order INT/270/2020 (“the Order”) introduced on 21 March 2020, establishing criteria for the application of a temporary restriction on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union (EU) and associated Schengen countries. These criteria took effect at midnight Sunday, 22 March 2020, at Spain’s borders. Access to Spain will only be granted to Spanish citizens and Spanish residents along with those individuals who fall into one of the “exception” categories noted.
03/25/2020: Spain – COVID-19: Containment Measures, Many Office and Service Closures - In light of mounting COVID-19 cases in Spain, the government approved Royal Decree 463/2020 on 14 March, declaring a “State of Alarm” to help manage health-crisis situation. Among other things, the Decree institutes the re-establishment of land border controls (including Schengen internal border controls). Also, other steps the government is taking include ceasing to attend to the public in person at all the foreign offices that are part of the Functional Area of Work and Immigration and suspension of the public services responsible for the issuance of documentation for foreigners.
08/31/2020: Sweden – COVID-19: Updated Immigration/Travel Measures - On 27 August, the Swedish government decided to extend the current entry ban until 31 October. There have also been some changes in the list of countries whose residents are exempted from the entry ban. There may be some exceptions for people with an essential need or function in Sweden.
06/26/2020: Sweden – COVID-19: Evolving Immigration/Travel Restrictions - The Swedish government announced on 12 June that it is following the recommendations of the European Commission by extending the entry ban into Sweden for foreign nationals coming from a country outside the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA)/Switzerland until 30 June. Regarding the external border controls, the Commission recommends prolonging travel restrictions until 30 June. Meanwhile the Commission and EU member states should prepare a list of those third countries fulfilling certain criteria, so that these countries’ travel restrictions can be lifted from July.
04/27/2020: Sweden – Immigration and Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 Continue - Sweden’s government has extended its period of immigration and travel restrictions for foreign nationals from entering Sweden from countries outside the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland until 15 May 2020, to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.
03/31/2020: Sweden – Immigration and Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 - As part of the efforts to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the Swedish government has decided to temporarily restrict foreigners from entering Sweden if they are coming from a country outside European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. The restriction does not apply for individuals whose purpose for the trip to Sweden is to return to their homes, provided they meet certain criteria.
11/15/2021: Switzerland – COVID-19: Extension of Flexible Social Security Rules with France - The Swiss federal social security authorities announced that the French and Swiss governments have agreed to extend their flexible social security agreement by another six weeks from 15 November 2021 to 31 December 2021. There are other such examples that testify to how Switzerland and other EFTA (and EU) countries are continuing to exercise flexible application of the social security rules in light of unconventional working / living arrangements brought about by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
06/25/2021: Switzerland – COVID-19: Extension of Flexible Social Security Rules to 31 December - Switzerland has extended “The Application of the Flexibility Rules,” pertaining to the application of standard social security rules and procedures, to 31 December 2021 for some neighbouring countries. While flexible understanding of international social security rules amongst the EU and EFTA countries has been extended, it is regularly subject to review and is expected to end with increasing normalisation of the situation.
12/11/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Extension of Flexible Social Security Rules with Other Countries - Given the change in work patterns as a consequence of the effects of the coronavirus public health emergency on the workforce and the potential knock-on effects on employees’ social security status, Switzerland and other EU countries have come to an understanding that the international social security rules between the EU / EFTA countries should be interpreted flexibly and consequently not lead to a change in the social security regime of cross-border workers because of the public health emergency.
09/17/2020: Switzerland – Social Security Measures Extended with Italy until 31 October - Switzerland recently announced the extension of a flexible approach to the application of the international social security rules with Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic until 31 October 2020. The verbal agreement reached between the social security authorities of Italy and Switzerland stipulates that, in the context of COVID-19, daily cross-border commuters who were unable to exercise their employment in their habitual place of work shall remain subject to the social security regime they were subject to before COVID-19 measures were introduced.
06/16/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: New Agreement on Cross-Border Workers with Germany - The State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF) in Switzerland announced a new agreement between Switzerland and Germany that deals with current issues around the taxation of cross-border workers. The agreement clarifies the taxation of employment income and short-term work compensation to employees during the COVID-19 situation. The agreement, signed on 11 June, is valid for remuneration paid from 11 March 2020 until at least 30 June 2020.
03/31/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Tax, Social Security, Immigration Implications for Cross-Border Workers - This GMS Flash Alert looks at the various measures – travel/immigration, tax, social security – Switzerland has in place to combat COVID-19 and examines some of the reasons why employers should be aware of the implications when developing and implementing policies in their own responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
03/27/2020: Switzerland – Government Compensation for Employees Who Cannot Work Due to COVID-19 - The Swiss Federal Council has released measures to mitigate the economic consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Employees who are no longer able to work because (a) they need to stay at home to look after their children or (b) they are in self-quarantine, are eligible for federal compensation (“Erwerbsersatz”). Employers who continue to pay their employees’ salaries may obtain the compensation on behalf of their employees. Similar compensation is available for self-employed individuals who are unable to work due to closure of their business or a ban of public events.
03/24/2020: Switzerland – COVID-19: Closing Borders, Limiting Entry and Visa Issuance FAQs - As an additional step in the fight against COVID-19, Switzerland closed around 130 border crossing points on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, and is now channeling entry only via designated border crossing points. There are special restrictions with respect to five Schengen countries: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Spain. New rules in place essentially mean that Switzerland will no longer will issue Schengen visas for 90 days or until further notice. National visas (i.e., visas for stays of more than 90 days) for nationals subject to visa requirements are also only to be issued in exceptional cases.
05/20/2022: Taiwan - COVID-19: Shortened Quarantine Days for Business Travelers - On May 3, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that starting May 9, 2022 (00:00am, TWT), quarantine for all arrivals is reduced to 7 days, followed by a 7-day period of “self-heath management.” Steps to relax quarantine and COVID-19 testing should make travel and international assignments to Taiwan easier and less costly for employers and employees.
05/06/2022: Taiwan – COVID-19: Individual Income Tax Filing, Payment Deadlines Extended - Individual income tax return filing and payment deadlines for 2021 have been extended to 30 June 2022 without late payment interest and penalties, according to the 27 April 2022 announcement by Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance. The deadline extension is applicable for all taxpayers, Taiwan citizens, and foreign individuals, without prior application required.
04/16/2020: Taiwan – COVID-19: Tax Relief Measures, Travel Restrictions and Visa Extensions - This article provides an overview of various measures the Taiwan government has taken in light of the COVID-19 situation, including tax relief for certain employers and individual employees, as well as travel restrictions and visa extensions for some foreign nationals.
02/08/2022: Thailand – “Test & Go” Scheme Resumed 1 February 2022 - Now, the Thai government is allowing fully vaccinated travellers from any country to enter Thailand. It also resumed the Test & Go Thailand Pass program effective 1 February 2022.
11/11/2021: Thailand – No More Quarantine for Foreign Nationals Entering by Air - On 1 November 2021, Thailand ended quarantine for foreign nationals entering the country by air, depending on their vaccination status and country of departure. Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a list of 63 countries and territories from which individuals are permitted to enter Thailand. Furthermore, the previous Certificate of Entry (COE) system has been replaced by a new Thailand Pass system.
10/20/2021: Thailand – Changes in Visas and Quarantine Periods for Entry into Thailand - The Thai government announced changes to the status of certain visas permitting entry into Thailand and reduced the quarantine periods for vaccinated travellers, as of 1 October 2021. One recently-announced measure includes the restarting of the “Visa on Arrival” scheme.
09/03/2021: Thailand – Recommencing Visa Issuance and Certificates of Entry in Certain Cases - Starting from the third week of August 2021, the Thai Embassies and Consulates in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan has been resuming accepting applications for visas and Certificates of Entry (COEs) for Thai and non-Thai nationals in exceptional cases.
05/12/2021: Thailand – Original Quarantine Reinstated, Travel Ban Extended to More Countries - On 30 April 2021, the Thai government approved and reinstated the original 14-day quarantine period for those entering Thailand from overseas effective 1 May 2021, and cancelled and suspended the issuing of Certificates of Entry (COE) for foreign nationals who wish to enter Thailand from India effective from 1 May 2021 until further notice. Thailand has also banned foreign nationals arriving from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan amid concerns of more cases of the Indian variant effective from 10 May 2021 until further notice.
04/13/2021: Thailand – Updated COVID-19 Entry and Quarantine Procedures - Effective 1 April 2021, the Thai government reduced the mandatory quarantine period to 10 days and updated procedures for foreigners entering Thailand. Travelers vaccinated against COVID-19 with a certificate of vaccination completed at least 14 days before arriving in Thailand need only quarantine 7 days.
02/25/2021: Thailand – COVID-19: Tax Filing Extensions for 2020, Social Security Reduction for 2021 - New COVID-19 relief measures pertaining to tax obligations have been introduced in Thailand. The 2020 personal income tax return (P.N.D. 90 and P.N.D. 91) filing deadline and filing of payments via E-Filing has been extended to 30 June 2021 (originally 8 April 2021). The filing and payment deadline via paper remains the same, i.e., 31 March 2021. And the compulsory social security contribution rates of the employer and insured persons under employment are reduced for the two-month salary cycles from February 2021 to March 2021.
04/29/2020: Ukraine – COVID-19: Relief for UST Taxpayers, Deadlines for Tax Returns and Payments - In light of the coronavirus crisis, a new law in force in Ukraine offers taxpayers relief (i) from being assessed certain penalties and late payment interest for violations of tax legislation, (ii) in respect of Unified Social Tax for certain individual entrepreneurs and those involved in independent professional activities, and (iii) in terms of the extension of the annual tax return filing deadline.
04/03/2020: Ukraine – Immigration and Travel Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19 - On 14 March 2020, the government of Ukraine put in place restrictive measures to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading on Ukrainian soil. The restrictions were initially introduced through 3 April 2020, and have now been extended through 24 April 2020. Starting from 16 March 2020, entry into the territory of Ukraine of foreign nationals and stateless persons has been suspended, except for persons who are entitled to permanent or temporary residence in the territory of Ukraine, and in some other cases. Starting from 17 March 2020, border crossing checkpoints are closed for aviation, rail, and bus services.
07/22/2021: United Kingdom – Latest Immigration Updates - In this GMS Flash Alert we report on several recent developments in the U.K.’s immigration rules concerning the European Union (EU) Settlement Scheme, “Right to Work” and “Right to Rent” rules/policies, new countries added to the “traffic light” system for international travel, and various visa rules.
12/23/2020: United Kingdom – Travel Restrictions, Test to Release Scheme Goes Live - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on temporary travel restrictions that have recently come into force impacting travelling to the U.K. and the U.K. government’s introduction of the “Test to Release for International Travel” scheme which came into force on 15 December 2020. This scheme allows passengers arriving in the U.K. to end self-isolation early if they receive a negative result from a recognised private test provider.
12/23/2020: European Union & United Kingdom – COVID-19: Travel Limitations - As a new variant of the coronavirus has appeared, and with transmission spreading in the United Kingdom, many countries in Europe are introducing travel restrictions on travellers arriving from the United Kingdom. Although the European Commission has issued a recommendation, up to now, what is in place remains at the discretion of member states. In this newsletter, we highlight some of the measures several EU countries (Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium) have put in place.
11/19/2020: United Kingdom – Travel Corridors Update, Denmark Travel Restrictions, Policies for England - This GMS Flash Alert provides an update on new travel restrictions and other rules related to movement of people due to the coronavirus. The report covers alterations to the ‘travel corridor’ policy, limitations on travel into and out of Denmark, and restrictions on movement of people within, into, and out of England.
10/23/2020: United Kingdom – HMRC Publishes Guidance on COVID-19 and U.K. Taxation - The U.K. tax authority, HMRC, has confirmed that the U.K. will not seek to tax the employment income of a non-U.K. resident that relates to the period between the date (i) the individual originally intended to leave the U.K. (but for prevention due to COVID-19), and (ii) the date he actually left, provided certain conditions are met. Earlier guidance was silent on whether any unplanned U.K. work-days would be taxable in the United Kingdom.
08/21/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Travel Corridors Updated - Rising infection rates in various countries have caused the UK government to remove the “travel corridor” for several countries and re-impose a 14-day self-isolation requirement for people arriving in the UK who have recently visited those countries. The UK government implemented regulations in June requiring visitors to the UK to self-isolate for 14 days. By July, the UK government decided that it was safe to lift the travel restrictions between England and several countries/territories called “travel corridors.” Since June, 10 countries have been removed from the list (most recently 6 countries including France and the Netherlands were removed on 15 August), while 2 countries were added on 11 August.
08/12/2020: United Kingdom – HMRC Publishes Further Guidance on Statutory Residence and COVID-19 - The U.K. tax authority, HMRC, recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted individuals’ abilities to move to and from the U.K. easily and resulted in many people spending more time in the U.K. than originally anticipated. Accordingly, it has now published a ‘Q&A’ document designed to provide further clarity on how the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) will apply when employees are displaced due to COVID-19. Key points and clarifications are summarized in this GMS Flash Alert.
07/16/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Opening Travel Corridors - As of 10 July 2020, the U.K. government is easing travel restrictions between England and a number of countries and territories by allowing individuals to arrive in England from a list of over 70 locations without the need to self-isolate for 14 days. Changing the COVID-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions based on geography is referred to as “travel corridors.”
06/09/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Visa Application Centres Reopening in U.K. and Overseas - As the COVID-19 crisis in the United Kingdom appears to be abating, the U.K. government is ending the temporary closures of U.K. visa application centres in the U.K. and around the world. Individuals with submitted applications and booked appointments, who were not able to attend their appointment due to COVID-19, are able to start re-booking appointments from 1 June.
06/08/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Visa “Over-Stayers” Get Further Extension - The U.K. Home Office continues to recognise that these are unprecedented times and has provided a further blanket extension to visa nationals whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020. Such visas can be extended up until 31 July 2020, provided that the visa national is unable to leave the U.K. due to travel restrictions or is in self-isolation due to COVID-19.
06/05/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: 14-Day Self-Isolation for Travellers to the U.K. - The British Home Secretary announced that travellers arriving in the United Kingdom from 8 June will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This will apply to both residents and visitors, regardless of nationality; however, nationals of Ireland and residents of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are exempted. This 14-day self-isolation period could make many business and pleasure trips challenging.
04/17/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Visa Application Centre Closures, Visa ‘Overstayers’ Get Extension - This GMS Flash Alert covers the temporary closures of all U.K. visa application centres in the U.K. and around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have the effect of delaying international assignments to/from the United Kingdom. All U.K. Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS), Post Office enrolment services, and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are currently temporarily closed -- booked appointments will be re-scheduled. The Home Office is giving a blanket extension to foreign nationals with visas whose visas have or are due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020.
04/17/2020: United Kingdom – COVID-19: Right to Work Checks and U.K. Sponsor Compliance Updates - The Home Office recently released guidance for Tier 2, 4, and 5 visa sponsors in the U.K. whose workers have been affected by COVID-19, as well as guidance for all employers in relation to conducting “right to work” during the COVID-19 crisis. The Home Office is exercising some flexibility in this exceptional period to do such things as suspend the requirement to show/see physical original documents for right to work checks and suspend enforcement action against sponsors who continue to sponsor individuals in cases where students or employees are absent directly due to COVID-19.
03/20/2020: United Kingdom – HMRC Publishes Guidance on COVID-19 and Statutory Residence Test - The U.K. tax authority has published guidance on when an individual’s presence in the U.K. by reason of the COVID-19 outbreak will be considered to be the result of ‘exceptional circumstances’.
06/13/2022: United States – Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement Lifted for Entry by Air - As of June 12, 2022, no pre-departure COVID-19 testing is required for entering the United States by air. The CDC has ended the negative test requirement for U.S.-bound air travellers that had been in place since January 2021.
01/05/2022: United States –Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waiver Expanded, Extended Through 2022 - On December 23, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced that consular officers will be authorized to waive the in-person interview requirement for specific individual, nonimmigrant visa applicants whose petitions have been approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through December 31, 2022.
12/03/2021: United States – Stricter Testing Requirements for All U.S.-Bound Travelers - The U.S. government is now requiring all travelers aged 2 and over flying into the United States from another country (international) to demonstrate proof of a negative PCR or antigen test administered within one day prior to their flight. This rule applies to all travelers regardless of citizenship or vaccination status and will take effect at 12:01 a.m. (EST) on Monday, December 6, 2021.
12/01/2021: United States – Omicron Variant Spurs Travel Ban on Southern African Nations - On November 26, 2021, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden suspended travel from the Southern African nations of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe to the United States effective November 29, 2021. The suspension applies to foreign nationals (non-U.S. citizens) who were present in these nations within the 14-day period preceding their entry into the United States. The proclamation includes a list of exemptions from the travel ban.
10/28/2021: United States – Biden Administration Plan on Resuming Safe Global Travel - On October 25, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden issued a proclamation formally rescinding the COVID-19 regional travel restrictions and outlining a new policy requiring full vaccination against COVID-19 for non-citizen, non-immigrants entering the United States by air. The proclamation is to take on November 8, 2021.
09/28/2021: United States – Lifting COVID-19 Travel Restrictions by November - The White House announced that in early November 2021 it will begin re-opening travel to fully vaccinated foreign nationals of countries in which travel restrictions were instituted since the start of the COVID19 pandemic, including China, India, Brazil, Iran, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Schengen Area.
All travelers, including U.S. citizens, returning from international destinations, will be required to demonstrate proof of full vaccination in addition to the negative, pre-entry COVID-19 test result already in place for all international travelers boarding a U.S.-bound aircraft. Unvaccinated travelers, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents, will be subject to heightened pre- and post-entry requirements aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 from passengers flying into the United States.
09/16/2021: United States – October 2021 Visa Bulletin; COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement - The U.S. Department of State released the October 2021 Visa Bulletin that includes short-term projections regarding cut-off date movements through to January 2022. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has also confirmed that it will accept employment-based Form I-485, Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, next month according to the Visa Bulletin’s “Dates of Filing” chart. As of October 1, 2021, immigrants to the U.S. who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine must be fully immunized with a vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. or designated for emergency use by the World Health Organization in order to adjust status to Permanent Resident or receive an immigrant visa, unless they are exempt or obtain a waiver.
08/23/2021: United States – Border Restrictions for Canada, Mexico Extended Till September 21 - Restrictions on non-essential travels across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will continue to be enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through September 21, 2021, with possible extensions beyond this date if deemed necessary.
06/29/2021: United States – Border Restrictions for Canada, Mexico Extended Till July 21 - Restrictions on non-essential travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico continue to be enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection through July 21, 2021. “Non-essential” travel generally refers to travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. These restrictions remain applicable to travelers seeking admission – with some exceptions – to the U.S. via ferry and passenger rail, while air travel continues to be unaffected at this time.
06/01/2021: United States – COVID-19: Form I-9 Compliance Flexibility Extended to August 31 - On May 26, 2021, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) extended through August 31, 2021, the flexibility for employers to continue to remotely inspect Form I-9 compliance documents.
05/07/2021: United States – Border Restrictions for Canada, Mexico Extended Until May 21 - Restrictions on non-essential travels across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico continue to be enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through May 21, 2021, with possible extensions beyond this date if deemed necessary. “Non-essential” travel generally refers to travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. Employees traveling to the U.S. via land borders, ferries, and passenger rail must be prepared to explain how their employment or business activities in the U.S. are “essential.”
05/05/2021: United States – USCIS to Suspend Biometrics for Certain I-539 Applicants - On May 3, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) declared in pending federal litigation that it will temporarily suspend the biometrics requirement for certain applicants who submit a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Referring to a reduction in its operational capacity due to COVID-19, USCIS will suspend biometrics submission requirements for applicants in the H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 dependent spousal visa categories. This suspension will start on May 17, 2021 and will be in effect for at least two years. It is expected the USCIS will formalize this declaration in a policy update shortly. In the meantime, USCIS will continue to process Form I-539 applications on a “first in, first out” priority basis.
05/04/2021: United States – India Added to COVID-19 Travel Ban - On April 30, 2021, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden issued a proclamation suspending the entry of certain nonimmigrants from India due to the widespread, ongoing person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in that country. Starting 12:01am (EST) on May 4, 2021, travelers who were physically present in India during the 14-day period immediately preceding their entry or attempted entry will not be able to enter the U.S. unless they qualify for an exemption. The proclamation and travel ban will remain in effect until terminated by the president.
03/30/2021: United States – Summary of Recent Immigration Developments - This GMS Flash Alert summarizes recent U.S. immigration-related policy changes/proposals in the following areas: COVID-19 accommodations on RFEs, NOIDs, appeals, and other responses through June 30; proposals to extend the delay of the regulation increasing PERM and H-1B wage minimums; extension of the U.S.-Canadian non-essential travel ban; and changes to the criteria for National Interest Exceptions to the regional COVID-19 travel restrictions.
03/30/2021: United States – UPDATE: Treasury, IRS Extend Federal Filing and Payment Deadline - On March 29, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS issued Notice 2021-21, which formalizes tax filing and payment guidance initially provided on March 17, 2021, and provides details on the additional tax deadlines that have been postponed until May 17, 2021.
03/17/2021: United States – Treasury, IRS Extend Federal Filing and Payment Deadline - On March 17, 2021, the United States Treasury Department and IRS announced that the U.S. federal income tax filing and payment due dates for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This relief includes individuals who pay self-employment tax.
03/11/2021: United States – President Biden Signs American Rescue Plan into Law - U.S. President Joseph Biden signed into law a new act containing several tax provisions, which include the new recovery rebate credit, as well as changes to the child tax credit, the child and dependent care credit, and the excess business loss regime, to help fight the coronavirus and its health, societal, and economic impacts.
03/10/2021: United States – American Rescue Plan Passes, Bill Signing Expected Friday - On March 10, 2021, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” a $1.86 trillion COVID-19 relief and stimulus package. The provisions most likely to impact global mobility programs and international assignees are highlighted in this GMS Flash Alert including the recovery rebates to individuals, the child tax credit, the child and dependent care tax credit, and the extension of the limitation on excess business losses for non-corporate taxpayers.
02/24/2021: United States – Border Restrictions for Canada, Mexico Extended Till March 21 - Restrictions on non-essential travels across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico continue to be enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through March 21, 2021, with possible extensions beyond this date if deemed necessary. “Non-essential” travel generally refers to travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. Employees traveling to the U.S. via land borders, ferries, and passenger rail must be prepared to explain how their employment or business activities in the U.S. are “essential.”
01/26/2021: United States – COVID-19 Travel Bans Reinstated, South Africa Added - Reversing a decision made in the final days of the Trump Administration, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, on January 25, 2021, issued a proclamation reinstating the travel restrictions for individuals who have been in the Schengen Area of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil within the 14 days preceding their intended entry into the United States. Due to growing concerns around a new variant strain of the coronavirus, South Africa has been added to the list of countries where travelers will be restricted from entry.
01/19/2021: United States – Some COVID-19 Travel Bans to Be Lifted, Reversal Likely - A January 18 presidential proclamation lifting the regional COVID-19-related travel bans is scheduled to be effective as of January 26, 2021, however, the incoming Biden Administration has indicated that it will reverse President Trump’s order to lift the travel bans, citing concerns over a worsening pandemic.
01/19/2021: United States – Canada & Mexico Border Restrictions Extended Through February 21 - Restrictions on non-essential travels across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico continue to be enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection through February 21, 2021, with possible extensions beyond this date if deemed necessary. These restrictions remain applicable to travelers seeking admission to the U.S. via ferry and passenger rail, while air travel continues to be unaffected at this time.
01/15/2021: United States – New Pre-Departure Requirement for Air Travel to the U.S. - A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order requires all air travelers bound for the United States to either test negative for COVID-19 within three (3) calendar days of their flight to the U.S., or provide documentation confirming recovery from COVID-19 – there are some exceptions. The Order takes effect on January 26, 2021. Penalties may apply for non-compliance.
01/05/2021: United States – Entry Bans Extended through March 31 - Several entry bans or suspensions, some instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, that were due to expire on December 31, 2020, have been extended, affecting the entry of certain nonimmigrants to the United States through March 31, 2021. Particularly affected are those foreign nationals who would be coming into the country under the H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 categories and their dependents, with limited exceptions. The U.S. Administration also extended the existing suspension on entry of certain employment-based, family-based, and Diversity Lottery immigrants though March 31, 2021.
12/29/2020: United States – President Signs COVID-19 Relief Legislation, Tax Provisions Enacted - The U.S. president has signed into law the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.” The legislation includes a number of tax provisions, and also includes COVID-19 relief legislation, which provides individuals and certain employers detrimentally impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with welcome financial support. The tax measures (e.g., extenders) in the consolidated appropriations legislation may help individuals with various deductions, exclusions, and credits, which could help them reduce their tax liability. The provisions that are most likely to impact global mobility programs and international assignees are highlighted in this GMS Flash Alert.
12/23/2020: United States – Border Restrictions with Canada & Mexico Extended through January 21 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that it will continue to enforce the restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico through January 21, 2021, with possible extensions beyond this date if deemed necessary. “Non-essential” travel generally refers to travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. The restrictions are also applicable to travelers seeking admission to the U.S. via ferry and passenger rail, however air travel continues to be unaffected at this time.
12/23/2020: United States – Congress Passes Stimulus Package - Legislation recently passed by the U.S. Congress contains tax provisions that are wide-ranging. While a number of the provisions are directly related to COVID-19 relief, expanding upon relief provided in the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act), the legislation also addresses a number of temporary measures (so called “expiring provisions” or “tax extenders”) and provides relief for other, non-COVID-19 disasters.
12/04/2020: United States – Court Invalidates DHS and DOL H-1B Program Rules - A federal district court has set aside new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) interim final rules affecting H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 workers. The interim DOL and DHS rules were the subject of multiple court challenges and would have significantly impacted the ability of U.S. employers to employ and sponsor foreign talent in the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa categories.
11/30/2020: United States – Border Restrictions with Canada & Mexico through December 21 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that it will continue to enforce the restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico through December 21, 2020, with possible extensions beyond this date if deemed necessary. “Non-essential” travel generally refers to travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. The restrictions are also applicable to travelers seeking admission to the U.S. via ferry and passenger rail, however air travel continues to be unaffected at this time.
11/17/2020: United States – Department of State Phased Resumption of Certain Visa Services - The U.S. Department of State, on November 12, 2020, announced that U.S. Embassies and Consulates will begin providing additional services, eventually leading to a complete resumption of routine visa services. The State Department has announced that the resumption of routine visa services will occur on a post-by-post basis, as post-specific conditions permit, and prioritized after services to U.S. citizens.
10/02/2020: United States - DOL Announces Permanent Issuance of Electronic PERM Labor Certifications - The United States Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification announced September 25 that the agency has permanently adopted the electronic issuance of PERM labor certifications to employers and their authorized attorneys or agents. The announcement makes permanent the agency’s temporary accommodation, first announced on March 24, 2020, that PERM labor certifications would be sent by email as opposed to postal mail due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This accommodation was originally set to expire on June 30, but was later extended to September 30, 2020.
09/28/2020: United States – USCIS Resumes Implementing Public Charge Rule - On September 22, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the agency will resume applying the public charge regulation nationwide, including in Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. USCIS’ announcement confirms that employers and employees must resume answering questions and providing documentation required by the public charge rule for pending Extension of Stay, Change of Status, and Adjustment of Status applications and petitions postmarked, or electronically filed, on or after February 24, 2020.
09/25/2020: United States – California: New Developments for Mobile Workers and Their Employers - A new California law that could affect a large number of mobile workers, permits electing nonresident aliens without identifying numbers such as a social security number or individual taxpayer identification number to be included in group returns. Also, California announced that it will treat out-of-state corporations with employees teleworking in the state in light of the coronavirus-related Executive Order as de minimis activity that does not create a state nexus requiring taxation.
09/23/2020: United States – Restrictions Extended for Land Borders with Canada and Mexico - To limit the further spread of COVID-19, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that it will continue to enforce the restriction on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico. This latest extension is scheduled to be in effect through October 21, 2020, with possible extensions beyond this date if deemed necessary. There is a non-exhaustive list of persons who are exempt from the border restrictions on U.S. entry by land, ferry, and commuter rail.
09/10/2020: United States – Changes to H-1B Visa Program Anticipated - On September 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security submitted a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget aimed at revising the H-1B visa program and eligibility criteria, which would include a revision to the definition of “specialty occupation” in order to increase focus on “obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B program.” The proposed H-1B changes are likely to create additional onerous steps and administrative obligations for H-1B employers as well as the H-1B visa holders.
08/28/2020: United States – USCIS Averts Planned Furloughs Scheduled for August 30 - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on August 25, 2020 that it will avert a planned furlough of approximately 70% of its workforce, scheduled for August 30.1 Unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in revenues from new immigration filings have provided the agency sufficient funding to maintain operations through fiscal year 2020; however, future furloughs after this fiscal year possible, and longer processing times may occur as a result of the internal cost-savings measures taken to avert the furloughs.
08/21/2020: United States – Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through September 21 - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has extended for another month restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land border with Canada and Mexico through September 21. Restrictions on “non-essential” travel at land borders between the United States, Canada, and Mexico were originally implemented on March 21, 2020 for a period of 30 days, and have been extended each month since. The restrictions are also applicable to international travelers seeking admission to the U.S. via ferry and passenger rail, however air travel remains unaffected at this time.
08/20/2020: United States – State Department Broadens Exemptions to Entry Ban - The U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued additional guidance on August 12 expanding the national interest exceptions to the June 22, 2020 Presidential Proclamation, which restricted the entry of certain nonimmigrants. The new guidance broadens the exemptions to the entry ban for certain H, L, and J nonimmigrants, and allows those who qualify to request an emergency appointment at U.S. Consulates to obtain their visa and enter the U.S. while the entry ban remains in effect.
08/11/2020: United States – President Trump Signs Memorandum Deferring Payroll Taxes - On August 8, 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 health crisis, the U.S. president issued a memorandum directing the Treasury Secretary to defer the collection of certain payroll taxes for the period of September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. This is a deferral of payroll taxes owed not an exemption from one’s liability to payroll tax. In particular, the memorandum directs the Treasury Secretary to defer the collection of the employee portion of OASDI, but does not defer the collection of the employee portion of Medicare. Given the relatively low bi-weekly wage threshold amount, many assignees subject to U.S. payroll taxes may not qualify for this deferral.
08/06/2020: United States – Proposal Would Limit State Tax and Withholding for Nonresident Employees - Republicans in the U.S. Senate released several legislative proposals intended to serve as components of a broader Senate legislative response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. One of the proposals could significantly impact global mobility and business traveler programs, as it imposes limitations on state and local taxing jurisdictions’ ability to withhold and tax nonresident employee income through 2024.
07/22/2020: United States – COVID-19: State Department Announces Limited Exemptions on Entry Bans - According to recent policy announcements from the U.S. Department of State, certain business travelers and foreign students present in the European Union’s Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, or Ireland within 14 days of their entry into the U.S. are now exempt from the travel/entry bans. Moreover, there is a certain liberalizing of the ban rules for spouses and children of H, J, and L nonimmigrants and certain child immigrant visa applicants. The State Department also clarified that certain groups of foreign nationals are exempt from the nonimmigrant and immigrant visa bans introduced in April and June 2020.
07/17/2020: United States – Trump Administration Rescinds Latest F-1 & M-1 Student Directive - On July 15, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rescinded its July 6, 2020 directive, which would have prohibited F-1 and M-1 international students from remaining in the United States if their full course load will be conducted online for the fall 2020 semester. Instead, ICE will continue to apply the temporary measures it adopted in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which allows F-1 and M-1 students to take more online courses than normally permitted while continuing to maintain their nonimmigrant status.
06/23/2020: United States – Presidential Proclamation Further Restricts Entry to the Country - On June 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a proclamation to temporarily suspend the entry of certain nonimmigrants to the United States (U.S.). The proclamation prevents the entry of individuals who would be coming into the country under the H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 categories and their dependents until December 31, 2020, with limited exceptions. The proclamation also extends the previous suspension on entry of certain immigrants.
06/22/2020: United States – Flexibility in Physical Inspection Requirements for Form I-9 Extended - The current relaxation in I-9 verification, for employment purposes, only defers the in-person physical inspection requirement on a temporary basis. This was implemented on March 19, 2020, to accommodate remote work arrangements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced that the expiration date for these accommodations is now July 19, 2020.
06/17/2020: United States Border Restrictions Extended for 30 Days with Canada, Mexico - In light of the ongoing coronavirus health emergency, on June 16, 2020, the United States (U.S.) announced that the land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21, 2020. The restriction on non-essential travel is also applicable to travelers seeking admission to the U.S. via ferry and commuter rail. There are exemptions from the restriction on U.S. entry by land, ferry, or commuter rail.
06/16/2020: United States – IRS Updates FAQs for Nonresidents Affected by COVID-19 Emergency - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service made and update to its FAQs that provides a newly-added section “General Information,” which clarifies withholding issues related to U.S.-source payments to nonresident aliens and foreign corporations, protective filings for U.S. tax returns, and the need for contemporaneous documentation to establish the period chosen as the COVID-19 Emergency Period under Revenue Procedure 2020-20.
06/08/2020: United States – DOL Will Not Extend Certain COVID-19 Accommodations - On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced that it will not extend temporary extensions of time and deadlines to respond to certain inquiries and recruitment for PERM filings for employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These accommodations allowed for an automatic extension (until May 12, 2020) to respond to OFLC inquiries with an initial deadline falling between March 13, 2020 and May 12, 2020. In light of OFLC’s action, now employers must submit responses to inquiries and file PERM applications by the designated deadlines.
06/01/2020: United States – USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service in Phases - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 29, 2020, the agency will resume its premium processing service (i.e., expedited government review) for certain employment-based visa petitions in a phased approach over the course of the month of June.
06/01/2020: United States – IRS FAQs: Claiming Medical Condition Exception for COVID-19 - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is providing additional guidance in a set of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) for certain nonresident individuals who were present in the United States and intended to leave but were unable to do so because of a medical condition or travel interruptions in the U.S. due to COVID-19. These individuals may be eligible to claim the Medical Condition Exception to exclude certain days of U.S. presence from the substantial presence test. The new FAQs give guidance regarding how to claim one of these special relief provisions.
05/28/2020: United States – USCIS to Resume In-Office Operations June 4 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that certain field offices, application support centers and asylum offices that have been closed since March 18, will re-open June 4, 2020. In-person services will resume with precautions to ensure safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
05/27/2020: United States – Travel from Brazil Suspended Starting May 26 Due to COVID-19 - On May 24, 2020, the U.S. administration issued a proclamation imposing a travel suspension for individuals who have been to Brazil within the 14 days preceding their intended entry into the United States, with some limited exceptions. The proclamation cites ongoing widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Brazil as justification for introducing the travel suspension. This suspension goes into effect on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at 11:59pm EDT.
05/21/2020: United States – Land Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through June 22 - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced a one-month extension of restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico through June 22, 2020. Those who do travel across the U.S. via land borders and ferries must be prepared to explain how their work can be defined as essential and they should have pertinent documentation ready to show CBP officials.
05/05/2020: United States – USCIS Extends COVID-19 Flexibility on RFEs, NOIDs, Other Responses - In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USCIS has extended for an additional 60 days (until July 1, 2020) the period for responding to certain notices, including requests for evidence (RFEs), continuations to request evidence (N-14), notices of intent to deny (NOIDs), notices of intent to revoke (NOIRs), notices of intent to rescind and notices of intent to terminate regional investment centers, and filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
04/28/2020: United States – May 2020 Visa Bulletin Released; USCIS Final Action Announcement - The Department of State has released its May 2020 Visa Bulletin with priority cutoff dates and USCIS has announced that it will adhere to the final action dates in accepting employment-based applications for U.S. Permanent Residence next month.
04/27/2020: United States – USCIS Extends Office Closures, Suspends Certain Services Through June 3 - On April 24, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that its field offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) will continue to be closed through June 3, 2020 . This means that all in-person interviews, naturalization ceremonies, biometric collection appointments, and InfoPass appointments scheduled at USCIS field offices and ASCs, have been cancelled. Applications for adjustments of status, I-539 applications, initial I-765 applications requiring biometrics, and other applications requiring interviews and/or biometrics may see a delay in processing until offices and ASCs are reopened.
04/27/2020: United States – Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspends Entry for Certain Immigrants - On April 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation implementing a 60-day suspension on the entry of certain immigrants to the United States. The proclamation took effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020, and may be extended beyond the initial 60-day period. The proclamation has no immediate impact on nonimmigrants, including visitors, students, and temporary workers.
04/23/2020: United States – Border Restrictions with Canada, Mexico Extended Through May 20 - The United States has announced a one-month extension -- through May 20, 2020 -- of restrictions on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
04/22/2020: United States – Executive Order Expected to Impact Applicants for Permanent Residence - U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans to introduce an Executive Order limiting immigration to the United States. The president said he will pause all immigration – although there will be some exceptions – for a period of 60 days. Individuals seeking permanent residency will be impacted. The Executive Order is expected this week.
04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19: Waiver of Sec. 911 Time Requirements Announced - On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2020-27, which provides that qualification for the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign housing cost amount (together, the “FEIE”) from gross income under Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) section 911 will not be impacted as a result of days spent away from a foreign country due to the COVID-19 pandemic based on certain departure dates. The Rev. Proc. 2020-27 aims to provide relief for individuals and employers who have had to cut assignments short as a result of COVID-19.
04/22/2020: United States – COVID-19 Relief for Nonresidents Remaining in United States - In light of the COVID-19-related emergency travel disruptions, on April 21, 2020, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance providing relief for certain nonresident individuals who would not have been in the United States long enough during 2020 to be considered resident aliens under the substantial presence test, or would not have become ineligible for treaty benefits in relation to dependent personal services income due to overstaying the time limitation related to such benefits.
04/07/2020: United States – Summary of Immigration, Travel Changes in Response to COVID-19 - The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ability of workers to cross borders around the world. This GMS Flash Alert provides an overview of the measures that various agencies of the United States government have taken to address the new restrictions on cross-border travel, including the suspension and alteration of immigration services and procedures.
03/30/2020: United States – Changes in USCIS Procedures Resulting from COVID-19 - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced three procedural changes, including suspending premium processing service and adding flexibility in signature requirements and certain response deadlines.
03/27/2020: United States – President Trump Signs CARES Act into Law - On March 27, 2020, U.S. President Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” (“CARES Act”) into law. The CARES Act contains measures designed to bring some economic and fiscal relief to companies, small businesses, and individuals facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis.
03/26/2020: United States – Senate Passes COVID-19 Fiscal Stimulus Bill - On March 25, 2020, the United States Senate voted on and passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“the bill”), also known as the CARES Act, in order to respond to the economic impact caused by COVID-19. However, even though the bill passed in the Senate, it still needs to be voted on and passed in the House of Representatives and then signed by President Trump in order for it to become law.
03/25/2020: United States – U.S.-Canada Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and Canada are temporarily restricting all “non-essential travel” across its borders. The restriction, which took effect on March 20, 2020, applies to land ports of entry along the US-Canadian border.
03/24/2020: United States – New IRS FAQs on Federal Tax Filing and Payment Extension - On March 21, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced special Federal income tax return filing and payment relief in response to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency.
03/23/2020: United States – DHS Defers Physical Inspection Requirements for Form I-9 - On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as U.S. employers have rapidly shifted toward remote work arrangements to protect the health and safety of their workforce.
03/21/2020: United States – UPDATE: Treasury Announces Filing Extension - The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued Notice 2020-18, which provides additional details on the extension until July 15, 2020 to file 2019 U.S. Income Tax returns.
03/21/2020: United States – President Signs Paid Leave and Benefits Relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) - The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“the Act”), was signed into law March 18, 2020. The Act provides for paid leave and enhanced unemployment benefits for workers affected by COVID-19, and temporary tax credits for certain employers and self-employed individuals in relation to the payment of those benefits.
03/20/2020: United States – All Taxpayer Assistance Centers Closed - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) until further notice. The IRS is also discontinuing face-to-face service indefinitely.
03/20/2020: United States – USCIS Office Closures - This report explains the details of the temporary closure of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices and Application Support Centers in response to the COVID-19 crisis, until at least April 1, 2020.
03/20/2020: United States – Treasury Announces Filing Extension - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Twitter that the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are extending the filing deadline for 2019 U.S. federal income tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020.
03/19/2020: United States - Managing Employer I-9 Requirements and COVID-19 - U.S. employers are still required to comply with in-person documentation verification requirements as part of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification process. Employers may need to swiftly incorporate new processes and the use of designated representatives in their employment authorization verification procedures to help ensure continued compliance with I-9 federal requirements.
03/19/2020: United States – KPMG Report on Telecommuting and Compensation Concerns during Uncertain Times - KPMG LLP (U.S.) has published a report that focuses on the initial approaches employers are implementing in response to COVID-19, such as increased telecommuting, and the resultant U.S. tax considerations for themselves and their employees.
03/18/2020: United States – UPDATE: IRS Announces Tax Payment Extension in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance on deferring tax payments due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
03/18/2020: United States – Social Security Administration Announces Office Closings in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that all of its local offices will be closed to the public for in-person service with immediate effect. Applications for social security numbers can continue to be made by mail.
03/17/2020: United States - U.S. Embassies and Consulates Suspend Services; USCIS Office Closures - Additional U.S. Consulates and Embassies around the world have cancelled nonimmigrant and immigrant visa appointments until further notice. This newsletter provides responses to commonly asked questions in light of multiple U.S. Consulate and Embassy suspensions of routine visa services.
03/17/2020: United States – IRS Announces Tax Payment Extension in Response to COVID-19 Emergency - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin publicly announced that individuals who owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) up to $1 million can defer that payment, interest-, and penalty-free, for 90 days.
03/15/2020: United States - Travel Ban from European Countries to Include U.K. and Ireland - The White House issued its new policy on the addition of the United Kingdom and Ireland to the list of countries that are subject to COVID-19-related travel restrictions. The restriction on travel for visitors from the U.K. and Ireland went into effect on Monday, March 16, 2020, at midnight (EDT).
03/12/2020: United States – COVID-19 Emergency Has Treasury Considering Tax Return Filing Delay - Some recent media reports and informal statements from U.S. government officials suggest that the U.S. Treasury Department may be planning to extend the federal income tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 tax year.
03/12/2020: United States - Travel from EU’s Schengen Area Suspended for 30 days or Longer - On March 11, 2020, President Donald Trump introduced a travel suspension from Europe to the United States, with some exceptions. This suspension goes into effect on Friday, March 13, 2020.
03/06/2020: United States - Immigration Updates: COVID-19 Entry Restrictions, TPS and Yemen - In this newsletter, we report on recent U.S. immigration-related developments, including the February 29 presidential proclamation concerning restrictions on entry to the United States if an individual has come from Iran, a similar proclamation issued January 31 concerning the People’s Republic of China, and the government’s extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen, with a brief mention of TPS developments for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan.
09/02/2021: Uruguay – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - The Uruguayan government issued a decree on 31 August modifying the conditions to enter the country under the national emergency declared as a consequence of COVID-19. In addition to the already approved exceptions to enter the country, the new decree authorizes foreign nationals (accompanied by spouse or concubine and family members through the second straight line of consanguinity) to enter the country as from 1 September if they can prove ownership of real estate located in Uruguay or are shareholders of companies that own real estate located in Uruguay.
06/18/2020: Uruguay – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Modified - The Uruguayan government has loosened travel restrictions under the national COVID-19 to authorize some foreigners to enter the country for family reunification cases and previously authorized transitory entrances regarding labor, economic, business or judicial related affairs.
03/31/2020: Uruguay – Updated Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to COVID-19 - In an update to earlier travel restrictions, Uruguay’s president closed the country’s borders to non-citizens.
03/19/2020: Uruguay - Travel Restrictions Imposed Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic - The President of Uruguay has announced the total closing of the border with Argentina, except for Uruguayan citizens or residents who want to come back to Uruguay, as from 17 March 2020. Beginning 20 March, Uruguay will suspend all incoming flights from Europe.
02/02/2022: Vietnam – New Entry and Quarantine Rules in 2022 - The Vietnamese competent authorities have issued several regulations to relax the quarantine and entry requirements for Vietnam-inbound travellers. In addition, the government has negotiated agreements to resume international regular flights with several jurisdictions.
01/13/2022: Vietnam – New Policy on Tax Treatment of Coronavirus - Related Expenses - The General Department of Taxation (“GDT”) of Vietnam issued new policy concerning coronavirus-related expenses reimbursed to employees that will not be part of an employee’s Personal Income Tax (“PIT”) calculation. Under OL4110, the GDT lists out a number of expense items that shall not be taken into account for an employee’s PIT calculation although it will be deductible for Corporate Income Tax (“CIT”) as long as the expenses are in fact incurred and are supported by legitimate supporting documents. Until this recent guidance came out, the tax treatment in practice has faced controversial interpretation, including different guidance among tax authorities.
10/05/2021: Vietnam – Resolution No. 105 Affecting Foreign Labour in Vietnam - New Resolution 105, which is effective on the same date, gives specific instructions from the Vietnamese government to various ministries on production, work permits, vaccination passports, and financial support to businesses. Among the provisions of the new Resolution is one concerning supporting documents required to back up a work permit application. Another concerns the ability to dispatch, or second a foreign worker to work in another province or city for a period not exceeding six months without having to re-apply for a work permit.
01/13/2021: Vietnam – COVID-19: Restrictions for Travellers from U.K. and South Africa - Concerning the rapid spread of new coronavirus variant, on 5 January 2021, the Vietnamese prime minister announced the suspension of all flights from countries seriously affected with the new coronavirus variant – specifically the U.K. and South Africa – to Vietnam.
09/15/2020: Vietnam – COVID-19: Extra Guidance on Visas, Entry for Foreign Experts - To mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Vietnam’s government has devised policies and guidance in respect of relaxing (under strict conditions) restrictions on international travel, to balance economic recovery and safety concerns. The government has recently issued guidance to allow entry of long-term and short-term foreign investors, managers, experts, highly-skilled workers, and their family members.
05/01/2020: Vietnam – COVID-19: Immigration, Tax/Social Security, and Income Support Measures - In an effort to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, Vietnam’s government recently introduced multiple incentives in the form of tax and social insurance relief, land-use fee deferment, and interest rate cuts for the benefit of affected businesses. The government has also introduced income support measures for employees that have been laid off. And, finally, the government is loosening the rules that had limited cross-border travel and is seeking to restore many of the country’s immigration-related services.
03/20/2020: Vietnam – Immigration, Travel, Quarantine Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19 - The Vietnamese government is currently implementing multiple measures, including travel restrictions, compulsory medical declaration, medical checks, and quarantine upon arrival, with immediate effect, as well as limiting approval for new foreign workers to travel to and work in Vietnam.
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