Travel Requirements to Southeast Asia

  • By Bamaejuri Sohkhlet
  • on 30 Mar 2021
  • Categories : Destinations, Tips Advices, Travel, Welcome Guide

The information provided below has been updated on 30th March 2021 regarding pandemic regulations in Southeast Asia. These regulations are not constant and are subject to change frequently. Thus it is important to stay up to date with the travel restrictions in these countries from their official websites. 

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, countries all around the world have taken cautious measures to contain the spread of the virus by implementing a number of restrictions and regulations. In Southeast Asia, the pandemic regulations in each country are different and they continue to change with the number of cases they have in a month, or even within a week.

Singapore


Singapore has been proactive in their handling of the pandemic. A number of strict procedures have been put in place in order to regulate the flow of people in and out of the country

without increasing the risk of COVID-19. If you are planning to do an internship in Singapore, it is imperative to be informed of the latest visa requirements and travel arrangements.


People who have recently travelled to Italy, France, Germany, mainland China, South Korea and Iran will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. And Singaporeans who have travelled to the countries mentioned above within the last 14 days will be allowed in with a stay-home notice.


Marina Bay sands

Figure 1. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (Source: Pexels)


The type of visa required for an applicant to complete their internship in Singapore is called the Work Holiday Permit (WHP). To apply for a WHP, candidates must first submit an application to the sponsor company. The host company must then have the application issued by relevant government agencies in Singapore and get a notification letter. The final step is to register the fingerprints of the candidate to receive the WHP.


If you already have a WHP, you must meet the following additional requirements for COVID precautionary measures if:


  • You are a Malaysian citizen or holding a Malaysian PRs, entering by land or staying in Singapore for at least 90 days for work purposes, companies can bring the passenger in under the PCA scheme
  • A WHP holder entering Singapore from the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) counterpart countries/regions and staying for up to 14 days, companies or government agencies can bring the passenger through the RGL
  • All other WHP holders, including those on IPA, must get entry approval from the Ministry of Manpower (MoM)

To request approval from MoM:

  • Pay for a COVID test 72hrs before travelling and stay at the dedicated SHN facility
  • Use the entry approval calculator from MoM to apply for MoM’s entry approval
  • Ensure there are available flights and you can travel to Singapore on the set date before requesting MoM’s entry approval
  • Request for MoM’s entry approval
  • Wait for the approval. Once approved, confirm your flights immediately and make arrangements to enter Singapore

The situation in Singapore is constantly changing and therefore the information above is also going to be different, if not on a daily basis, then on a monthly basis. Therefore, it is important that you visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore for the latest developments and updates on travel restrictions to Singapore. 

    Vietnam

    Vietnam has imposed more rigorous restrictions in the country after confirming 2,329 positive cases of COVID-19 with 35 deaths as of February 18, 2021. To date, no entry is granted to tourists. The only exceptions are Vietnamese citizens, diplomats, officials, foreign investors, experts, skilled workers and foreign students.

    Vietnam Farmer

    Figure 2. Farmer in the paddy fields (Source: Pexels)

    If you are planning to do an internship in Vietnam, you can refer to the list below. The government has placed additional requirements for travellers to obtain a visa and be allowed into the country. The first step is to have a sponsor company/institution located in Vietnam and for them to get the entry permit issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. To obtain the entry permit, the company/institution in Vietnam have to prepare the following documents:

    • Form NA2 issued together with Circular No. 04/2015/ TT-BCA for foreigners. The company can also access and complete these documents online, print them, sign and seal them.
    • A copy of a valid Vietnam visa or a Temporary Residence Card (TRC), if any and note it on the Request Form NA2. Original or certified copy of the Written Approval by the Provincial People’s Committee, allowing foreigners to enter Vietnam to carry out their employment, family members visit, study, and approving their transport and quarantine plans.
    • Original or certified copy of the Written Approval for quarantine issued by the People’s Committee of the Province where the quarantine is taking place in case it is different from the Province mentioned in item 3.
    • Flight details if entering Vietnam via the airport. The details must include flight number, itinerary and arrival airport. If this information is not readily available, please contact the Immigration Department immediately when they are available.
    • If this is the first time applying for an entry permit to Vietnam, the following documents must be included: Certificate of Business Registration Certificate or Decision on Company Establishment issued by the competent authority and Form NA16- A registered form of seal and signature of the legal representative of the enterprise operating in Vietnam

    After preparing all the required documents, the sponsor company/institution can submit them to the Vietnam Immigration Department. The processing time will take 3-working days. After approval, it is advised that the required arrangement will be prepared by the host company in Vietnam like vehicles and hotels for quarantine.

    Thailand

    Due to the decrease in the number of cases in the country, Thailand will be reducing the length for quarantine to 10 days starting 1 April 2021. After completing the quarantine period, you are free to travel around the country.

    Right now, the only passengers allowed to travel to the country are Thai citizens, persons invited by the Prime Minister, the spouse, parents or children of a Thai national, foreign nationals holding a valid work permit or a valid certificate of residence, foreign nationals who are students at an educational institute approved by Thai authorities, holders of “Special Tourist Visa” and of a non-immigrant visa who are business people without a work permit.

    Thailand Temple

    Figure 3. Temple in Thailand (Source: Pexels)

    Before travelling to Thailand, you must complete the health declaration form, and Thai nationals must complete:

    • Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • A Fit to Fly certificate issued within 72 hrs prior to departure
    • A 14-day hotel booking confirmation at an approved Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel.

    If you are planning to do an internship in Thailand, foreign nationals must also complete the COE and get a Fit to Fly certificate issued within 72 hrs before departure. Non-Thai nationals must have with them a medical certificate that indicates a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hrs before departure. Passengers must also have travel and health insurance in the amount of USD 100,000, hotel confirmation for 14 days at an approved ASQ and a valid visa. 

    Currently, there are three visa types being provided by the Thai government to foreign nationals:

    • Special Tourist Visa (STV): This visa was implemented by the Thai government in September 2020 to allow for a limited return of long-stay tourists. On 8 December 2020, it was further adapted to allow more people to travel to Thailand, including from the UK and Ireland. With this visa, people are allowed to stay for 90 days in the country. Tourists are able to extend it twice at 90 days each while in Thailand.
    • Tourist Visa (TR): With this visa, tourists are allowed to stay up to 60 days in the country. This new agreement was issued at the beginning of December 2020.
    • Visa Exemption: In mid-December, 2020, Thai authorities agreed on a scheme that allowed tourists to travel to Thailand under the visa exemption scheme. This visa usually allows passport holders from certain countries like the UK to stay for 30 days. However, now this has been extended to 45 days and allows an extra 15 days to cover the mandatory quarantine period.

    The Thai government has estimated that by October 2021, there will be no need for any mandatory quarantine when entering the country.

    Indonesia

    The government has taken multiple measures to contain the virus; from quarantine measures within the country to travel restrictions of tourists to Indonesia. Now with the wide distribution of the vaccine in the country, more people have been vaccinated with as many as 5,567,280 people being vaccinated as of 22 March 2021. Because of this, travel restrictions have been partially lifted. Foreign nationals are now allowed to travel to Indonesia if they have the following visa types

    • Official Visa
    • Diplomatic/Service visa
    • Official Residence visa
    • Diplomatic Residence Permit
    • Temporary Stay Permit (ITAS)
    • Permanent Stay Permit (ITAP)
    • E-visit visa with a visa number ending with LN
    • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) card

    Only Single Entry visas are allowed right now and all categories under ITAS are open. Please note that a work permit for the Work ITAS is required by the Ministry of Manpower (MoM). If there is a specific bilateral travel corridor arrangement (BCA) between Indonesia and the foreign country you are flying from, then you may follow the rules set in this BCA.

    Indonesia

    Figure 4. Indonesia (Source: Pexels)

    Upon entry, passengers are required to undergo a 5-day self-imposed quarantine. All passengers must also have a medical certificate indicating a negative result of the COVID-19 PCR test result. The test must be taken within 72 hrs before departure. Travellers must also complete a health declaration form before their arrival in Indonesia. If you are planning to complete an internship in Indonesia, please refer to the Indonesian immigration website for specific information regarding updates on internship/student visas. 

    For more information on the specific documents required and procedures to travel to Indonesia from your country of residence, please contact your embassy or consulate.

    Malaysia

    In response to the pandemic, the Malaysian government implemented the Movement Control Order (MCO) based on the country’s pandemic situation. A Conditional MCO was implemented until 18 March 2021 in nine places in the country and Recovery MCO in seven other places in Malaysia until 18 March 2021.

    Foreigners are still prohibited from entering the country until 31st March 2021. The only exceptions are those holding the following visas and permits:

    • Foreigners on the Long Term Social Visa Pass (LTVS) list and those who hold an approval letter from the Malaysian Department of Immigration or a Malaysian Consulate overseas.
    • Permanent Residence (PR)
    • Diplomats and dependant on foreign missions in Malaysia
    • Long term spouse Visa Pass and dependant
    • Employment Pass (Category 1), Dependants and Maid
    • Resident Pass- Talent & Dependant and Maid
    • Seafarers

    The Long Term Social Visit Pass is issued to a foreigner who wishes to stay in Malaysia temporarily for a period of not less than 6 months. Extensions of the period of stay can be given based on the eligibility criteria and under certain conditions. 

    The Malaysian government has also suspended new visa applications for Chinese nationals and foreign nationalities who have visited Hubei, Zhejiang or Jiangsu Provinces in the last 14 days. 

    If you hold one of the visa types mentioned above, you are eligible to enter and complete an internship in Malaysia

    Once permitted into the country, Malaysian citizens and foreigners must observe a 10-day quarantine at a designated location set up by the government upon arrival. Passengers have to pay for the cost of the quarantine requirements.

    The moment passengers arrive in Malaysia, they are required to take a COVID-19 test. This test will be conducted at the Health Inspection and Screening International Gate (PMA) at Kuala Lumpur (KUL) airport. Passengers will bear the cost of the COVID-19 tests done at the PMA.

    This information is meant to help and aid you to be informed of the latest updates on travel regulations and restrictions to the destinations we provide internships in. As mentioned before, all the information provided above is subject to change and so it is imperative that you check for the latest updates from the official government websites of the respective countries. 

    Passport and devices

    Figure 5. Travel documents and devices (Source: Pexels)

    Now it's time to apply to AIP!

    Now that you are up to date with the visa requirements and travel restrictions to the SEA destinations, you can start your internship journey with AIP in the near future! AIP provides internships that help a student grow professionally and also exposes them to diverse cultures.

    By starting an internship with us, you have a chance of improving your professional skills and experiencing a diverse culture in the country of your choosing. These skills will benefit you in your professional and personal life for a long time.  

    The aim of AIP is to ensure students, who complete an internship with us, have an all-around learning experience and self-growth during their time interning with AIP. For more information, visit our website and stay updated on our programs and packages!

    About author

    A Social Science graduate from Mahidol University International College in Thailand. Passionate about writing, specifically on social and economic issues.

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