COVID-19 Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions on Immigration Status of Foreign workers

Ayleen QuinteroBy Ayleen Quintero – Associate

 

Given the situation that our country is facing, the National Immigration Service and the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development have adopted measures that aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Based on these regulations and in response to the most frequent questions that companies, expatriates and their families, and other foreign workers have, we have prepared a frequently asked questions guide.

 

What will be the validity of the migratory cards, both pending and approved?

All the expiring cards, including the ongoing process cards and those approved in general, will be valid until April 30, 2020, as long as the expiration date is March 13, 2020 or later.

 

What will be the validity of the approved work permit cards?All approved work permit cards will be valid until April 30, 2020, as long as they expired on March 12, 2020 or later.

 

What happens if I was notified of my approved Resolution, but I do not have the corresponding ID card?

For Resolutions issued by the National Immigration Service:

Even if the corresponding ID cards have not been obtained, the effect of the resolution protects the foreigner during its validity. If it expires during this period, its validity will extend until April 30, 2020, or for the period that the authorities may establish.

 

For Resolutions issued by the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development:

Similar to the previous case, even when the corresponding ID cards have not been obtained, the effect of the resolution protects the foreigner during its validity. If it expires during this period, its validity will extend until April 30, 2020, or for the period that the authorities may establish.

 

What happens if I have a Resolution issued, but I could not be notified?

For Resolutions issued by the National Immigration Service:

The ongoing process card will be valid until April 30, 2020, or for the time that the authorities may determine in the future. Once the extension period of validity ends, the foreigner may proceed to be notified. Otherwise, the fine for the expiration of the processing card, which is fifty US dollars (US$50.00) per month expired, may come into effect. The period for purposes of the penalty would be taken into account from the expiration of the last extension period established in the regulations, this is without prejudice to the fact that the authorities may determine a different treatment later on.

 

For cases of Resolutions issued by the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development:

If it is a Resolution that approved a work permit, in case the interested party has not been notified, it is not in effect. Therefore, for purposes of their labor immigration status, the foreign worker will maintain the validity of the previous work permit until April 30, 2020, or the effective date determined by the authorities in future regulations, as long as the last work permit expired on March 12, 2020 or later.

 

Curfew and identity document to carry

Regardless of immigration status, all foreigners have the right to use their passport during the hours established by the authorities as a result of the decreed total curfew. Given that the last number of the passport will determine the hours during which the foreigner can leave his/her home, in case of passports that have a letter as the last digit, the last number right before the letter shall be the relevant number.

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