EIG COVID-19 Update | April 2, 2020

Erickson Immigration Group continues to provide country by country updates with the various COVID-19 developments impacting global immigration and global travel. Past updates are available here.

Please consider sharing this email with colleagues and peers who would benefit from this information. We’re all in this together.

From Politico: At least nine-tenths (93%) of the world’s population, or 7.2 billion people, lives in countries with restrictions on people arriving from other countries who are neither citizens nor residents, such as tourists, business travelers and new immigrants. Roughly 3 billion people, or 39%, live in countries with borders completely closed to noncitizens and nonresidents.


International Updates

Belgium | There will be no direct commercial air service from Belgium to the United States until at least late April.

China | According to a state-owned online newspaper, The Paper, Jia County, just north of Hubei province, is under a new lockdown after three doctors tested positive for COVID-19, without symptoms.

All travelers entering Shanghai and Chengdu are required to undergo concentrated medical observation for 14 days. This rule also applies to travelers who are currently in a home quarantine situation.

Costa Rica | The government recommends resident foreign nationals should stay in Costa Rica from now until April 12. Resident foreign nationals who leave during this window will receive an official impediment to return from the Health Ministry.

EU | The EU Commission has introduced a financial proposal to support Member States’ healthcare sectors and COVID-19 response. Under the plan, the Commission would use €3 billion from the EU budget — €2.7 billion for the Emergency Support Instrument and €300 million for the rescEU medical equipment capacity. Commission Q&A

India | Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India’s three-week lockdown, which had been scheduled to end on April 14, would end in a phased-approach.

As India continues its shelter-in-place policies, the government has issued this FAQ document with recommendations for citizens and travelers.

Malaysia | The government has extended the Movement Control Order (MCO) until April 14, 2020. As such, cancellation of work passes for Malaysian employees is only allowed after this time.

The Netherlands | The Prime Minister said Dutch citizens returning from the United States should self-quarantine for 14 days.

New Zealand | The government announced it would resume domestic air travel for foreign travelers on a limited basis. The revised regulations are posted to New Zealand’s government website.

Pakistan | Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will restore flights on a limited basis between Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore, and select others.

The Philippines | Clark International Airport will suspend all commercial flights, effective April 3.

Poland | The government will automatically extend Work Permits for 30 days beyond the end of the pandemic. National visas and residence cards that expire during the pandemic will also be automatically extended for 30 days after the end of the epidemic state.

Saudi Arabia | The government has indefinitely extended the suspension of international flights in and out of the country.

Thailand | The government is imposing a nationwide curfew beginning on Friday, April 3 from 10 PM to 4 AM. The curfew is set to be indefinite.

The United States | According to USCIS, the field offices plan to reopen on May 4 unless public closures are extended further.  Employees in these offices continue to perform mission-essential services that don’t require face-to-face contact with the public.

The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have extended the postponement of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) hearings scheduled through Friday, May 1, 2020. All already scheduled hearings will be rescheduled. Individuals with an MPP hearing date through Friday, May 1, 2020, should present themselves at their designated port of entry on their previously scheduled date to receive a tear sheet and hearing notice containing their new hearing dates.


Also, please listen to EIG’s Immigration Nerds podcast for this week in immigration, featuring policy updates from DOS, DHS, USCIS, and ICE.

We will continue to send updates daily or as more COVID-19-related news is available. We recognize this situation continues to evolve; if you have specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.