China, Israel, Russia, and Singapore: Pro-Link GLOBAL Dispatch

Discover key changes to immigration regulations in China, Israel, Russia, and Singapore.

Russia Cityscape

Featured Update

 RUSSIA | New Stricter Health Insurance Requirements Being Enforced

On June 1st the Russian Department of Federal Migration Service (FMS) began enforcing new stricter minimum requirements regarding voluntary medical insurance (VMI) for foreign employees working in the Russian Federation.Pro-Link GLOBAL began seeing active enforcement of these new standards in the Moscow office of the Federal Migration Service, with some enforcement in other FMS regional offices beginning to follow soon after the June 1 roll out. The new standards are not currently being applied to voluntary medical insurance policies which were in effect prior to May 30, 2016. However, the standards appear to be being applied more strictly in some regional offices. Combined with the ongoing restructuring of the FMS into the Ministry of Internal Affairs, many mobility professionals in Russia expect the new stricter standards to begin being applied uniformly across the Federations.While some of the standards are not new, the key minimum standards for voluntary medical insurance are as follows:
  • The validity term of the VMI agreement must be equal to the full term of the work permit.
  • The VMI must cover primary health and specialized emergency treatment, including drugs, medical products, donated blood, and clinical nutrition at a hospital.
  • The VMI coverage limit must equal or exceed RUB 100,000 per person.
  • The VMI’s coverage territory must include the region of Russia where the employee intends to live and work.
  • The VMI policy must contain certain required details regarding the insurance carrier and the insured employee.
  • The VMI policy documents must meet the technical requirements for safe printing products manufacture.
  • The insurance company and its policies must be in compliance with the new requirements beginning May 30, 2016.
The requirements for documenting that the foreign worker is a VMI policy holder remain the same. It is the coverage details in those VMI policies and the insurers themselves that are now being scrutinized more closely by the FMS for the above minimum standards. Note that, at the time of this writing, it is still acceptable practice for employers to provide their foreign employees’ health care needs in Russia either on the basis of individual VMI policies issued by foreign or local insurance companies or through corporate VMI agreements.

Immigration Changes from Around the World

CHINA / ISRAEL | New Bilateral Ten-Year Multiple Entry Visa Coming Soon

Vice Premier Liu Yandong of China and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel were in Jerusalem on March 29th to witness the signing of an agreement to provide ten-year multiple entry visas to business and tourist travelers to each other’s countries. The signing was part of the Second Meeting of the China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation, where the two nations have been meeting to discuss ways to foster mutually beneficial economic activity between them.The implementation of these new visas are in various stages within the two countries. In Israel, a resolution approving the new ten-year visa was passed by the Israeli Knesset’s Committee on Internal Affairs in late June. The resolution goes next to the Minister of the Interior for signature, after which time it will be implemented. To date, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not publically announced when China will begin granting the new ten-year multiple visas to Israeli visitors. But when implemented, Israel will join only the US and Canada as the third nation to be given this ten-year visa option by China.When available, this new visa should make business travel to China and Israel more convenient and much cheaper for citizens of the other country, as they will only need to obtain the visa every ten years. It is anticipated that this visa will allow visits of up to 90 days on each entry. Pro-Link GLOBAL continues to monitor these developments from its PLG | KGNM Israel Office and its PLG Offices in Shanghai and Tianjin.

SINGAPORE | New Online Process for Police Certificates of Clearance

Singapore Police Force (SPF) criminal record Certificates of Clearance (COCs), also commonly referred to as Police Clearances, will now be processed through an electronic application process available online at the Singapore Police Force’s eServices website. The previously available walk-in service has been discontinued.Applicants can apply and pay for the COC and schedule their fingerprinting appointment all through the online system. After appearing in-person for fingerprinting at their scheduled appointment time, the applicant, in most cases, will receive their Certificate of Clearance the same day.This new e-service process is available to both Singaporean citizens and foreign citizens who have resided in Singapore for at least six months. Applicants residing overseas can also apply and pay for the COC via the new online process, but they must mail in the printed online receipt and finger print impressions taken by an authorized institution in their country of residence. They will then receive their COC by mail. Note that foreign citizens must first file an “appeal to apply,” which can also be completed on the SPF eServices website as well.This new online process should make it more convenient for applicants to obtain their Certificates of Clearance from the Singapore Police Force and should shorten the current processing time to one week from the previous time of two weeks.

Caveat Lector – Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change at a moment's notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Pro-Link GLOBAL's Counsel and Knowledge Management teams. We worked with our PLG | KGNM Israel Office “Herzog, Fox & Newman,” our PLG | KGNM Russia Office “Intermark Relocations,” our PLG | KGNM Russia Office “Move One Inc.,” and our PLG | KGNM Russia Office “Smithbridge Advisory Services” to provide you this update.

Information contained in this Global Immigration Dispatch is prepared using information obtained from various media outlets, government publications and our KGNM immigration professionals. Written permission from the copyright owner and any other rights holders must be obtained for any reuse of any content posted or published by Pro-Link GLOBAL that extends beyond fair use or other statutory exemptions. Furthermore, responsibility for the determination of the copyright status and securing permission rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Interested parties are welcome to contact the Knowledge Management Department () with any additional requests for information or to request reproduction of this material.

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