EIG COVID-19 Update | April 21, 2020

With our mission to uncomplicate the complicated, we’ve always thought of our work in immigration as people-first. Our goal is for these updates to make sense of the changes happening across the world. Please share these updates with your colleagues who may find this information helpful, too.

International Updates

The United States | Late Monday night, via Twitter, President Donald Trump said he would be signing an executive order to suspend immigration into the United States temporarily. At this time, there are no updates from the Department of Homeland Security or details on what such an executive order could entail.

According to Politico, “DHS is still drafting the executive order… When asked what prompted the decision, a top DHS official responded: ’22 million unemployed Americans and counting due to COVID-19.’”

We will continue to closely monitor this situation for updates.
Case Update: 27,668 new cases, -584 daily change, Last updated: 2020/4/21, 9:00 PM CEST

Austria | The government will further loosen the nationwide lockdown on May 15 as restaurants and cafes reopen and religious services resume.
Case Update: 73 new cases, 25 daily change, Last updated: 2020/4/21, 9:00 PM CEST

Italy | Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced he would release the plans for Italy’s gradual reopening after a lockdown that’s gone on for more than a month.

“I wish I could say: let’s reopen everything. Immediately. We start tomorrow morning … But such a decision would be irresponsible. It would make the contagion curve go up in an uncontrolled way and would nullify all the efforts we have made so far,” Conte wrote in a Facebook post.
Case Update: 2,256 new cases, -791 daily change, Last updated: 2020/4/21, 9:00 PM CEST

Poland | As of April 18, foreign national holders of Schengen visas, Residence Permits or long-term visas issued by another Schengen country, or foreigners staying in Poland based on the visa-free movement who were in Poland as of March 14 will have their right to stay in Poland extended until 30 days after cancellation of the epidemic state.

Foreign nationals who were not in Poland on March 14, 2020, will also have their right to stay in Poland extended until 30 days after cancellation of the epidemic state, provided that they submit a residence permit application by the end of the extension period. If they do not submit a residence permit application, but e.g. simply leave Poland after the cancellation of the epidemic state, then they will be considered to have stayed in Poland illegally.

Foreigners whose residence cards (plastic identity card with a photo) expire before 30 days from the end of the epidemic state, will not be obligated to exchange their cards to avoid a fine – the cards’ validity will be automatically extended.

Pole Card (Karta Polaka) is a document confirming Polish roots and special rights in Poland (such as the right to work without a work permit). The document is issued for 10 years and does not substitute a visa or residence permit. If the card expires during the epidemic state, it will be automatically prolonged until 3 months after the end of the epidemic state. In this period a Pole Cardholder should apply for a new card.

Immigration offices now have the right to deliver letters to applicants electronically and to allow applicants to review their case files electronically. The files can be sent to the applicant to an e-mail address provided to the authority. Personal visits may now be substituted by a video chat or teleconference.
Case Update: 306 new cases, -239 daily change, Last updated: 2020/4/21, 9:00 PM CEST

Singapore | The government is extending a partial lockdown until June 1; the original plan was to expire on May 4.
Case Update: 1,426 new cases, 830 daily change, Last updated: 2020/4/21, 9:00 PM CEST

Spain | The government has extended the temporary travel restrictions from third countries to EU and Schengen associated countries until May 15, 2020.
Case Update: 4,266 new cases, 48 daily change, Last updated: 2020/4/21, 9:00 PM CEST

Turkey | President Tayyip Erdogan has stated he aims to return Turkey to normal after the end of Ramadan.
“We aim to achieve maximum observance of measures during the month of Ramadan and, God willing, a transition to normal life for our country after the holiday (at the end of Ramadan),” Erdogan said.
Case Update: 4,674 new cases, 697 daily change, Last updated: 2020/4/21, 9:00 PM CEST

Erickson Immigration Group’s Immigration Nerds podcast is sharing stories at the cross-section of immigration, culture, travel, and, for now, the coronavirus. If you have stories to share, like this week’s guest Amin Hasani, who shares his experience as an immigrant entrepreneur pursuing the American dream one product at a time, we want to hear from you.

We will continue to send updates daily or as more COVID-19-related news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or in past updates or want to hear more about a different topic, just reply to let us know. If you have specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.