Visas and work permits in APAC: Coronavirus updates

Governments together with health authorities from all over the world try to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). There is plenty of information out there about the taken measures. The regular advice on visas is currently not valid until further notice.

Here are the latest updates on travelling to some APAC countries.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China announced temporary suspension of the entry into China by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits, effective from 0 a.m., 28 march 2020. APEC Business Travel Cards and specified visa-free transit policies will also be temporarily suspended. Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected. Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates.

The Civil Aviation Administration issued notice on further reducing international passenger flights during the epidemic prevention and control period, which states that each Chinese airline is only allowed to maintain one route to any specific country with no more than one flight per week; each foreign airline is only allowed to maintain one route to China with no more than one weekly flight.


The Malaysian government implemented a Movement Control Order (MCO) for the period of 18 March 2020 – 14 April 2020. It includes general prohibition of mass movements and gatherings across the country including religious, sports, social and cultural activities. Malaysians who have just returned from overseas are required to undergo a health check and to do a quarantine (or self quarantine) for 14 days. There are also restrictions on the entry of all tourists and foreign visitors into the country.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam announced temporarily suspension of entry for all foreign nationals into Viet Nam, with the exception of those entering Viet Nam for diplomatic, official and other extraordinary purposes since 00:00, 22 March 2020. Allowed entrants should provide mandatory health declaration, take medical screening in designated areas at ports of entry, hold appropriate quarantine in a government-appointed place. Foreign travelers, who have obtained COVID-19 negative certificates issued by their host countries’ competent authorities and approved by Viet Nam prior to their arrival, shall be able to enter Viet Nam with tight quarantine.


The Indonesian Government implemented additional measures in relation to Covid-19 response since 20 March at 00.00. Entry or transit into Indonesia for visitors/travelers who have travelled to Iran, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, China, South Korea in the last 14 days is denied.

Visa exemption policy for short-stay visit, visa-on-arrival and diplomatic/service visa-free facilities for all countries are suspended for a period of 1 month. All foreigners/travelers who wish to visit Indonesia must obtain a visa from Indonesian missions in accordance with the purpose of their visit. Applicants must provide health certificate issued by relevant health authorities from their respective countries.

How we can help your business during coronavirus outbreak?

Sperton team’s operation is constant and our services doesn’t stop during quarantines. This gives us the ability to assist our clients in different countries with recruitment, human resources and business support, accounting and payroll management in these uncertain times. Read how we work and how we can help you during the coronavirus outbreak in our blog post.

Sperton team has Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Bangladeshi and Norwegian speaking people on the ground in China / APAC and can help you with tasks that require impossible travelling worldwide for your employees: follow up procurement, production, transportation, recruiting inspectors, consultants and much more. We can assist you with recruiting and hiring remote and local staff, as well as HR and business support.

In case of any questions contact us at

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