Over the last two weeks, EIG has sent global digests to inform our clients of all the COVID-19 developments impacting global immigration and global travel. The reports from this past week are available here.
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- Argentina | The quarantine has been extended for two more weeks until April 13. Immigration offices all closed.
- Australia | The Australian Defense Force will help enforce a mandatory two-week quarantine for all arrivals at airports nationwide starting Sunday, March 29, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison today.
- Canada | As of Monday, March 30, at noon, individuals showing any signs of COVID-19 will not be able to board any domestic flights or intercity passenger trains. A full summary of individual restrictions and permissions are at the link.
- Italy | On Saturday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that schools would remain closed beyond the initial April 3 deadline. “There is no prospect of returning to ordinary activities at school and university.” The government will revisit the timeline to resume non-essential production activities next week.
- Japan | The Ministry of Justice of Japan announced new entry bans applicable to all foreign nationals (RC holders included) who have traveled in the past 14 days to the following regions: China: Provinces of Hubei, Zhejiang; South Korea: North Gyeongsang Province / Gyeongsan, Andong, Yeongcheon, Chilgok, Uiseong, Seongju, Gunwi; Europe: All regions of Ireland, Andorra, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, France, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Iceland; All regions of Iran.
Japanese citizens, RC holders, and valid visa holders who have traveled to the following regions must stay in quarantine for 14 days at a designated location and refrain from using public transportation: Asia: China, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia; Europe: Ireland, Andorra, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, France, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Iceland, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Rumania, UK, Cyprus, Croatia; Middle East: Iran, Israel, Qatar, Bahrain; Africa: Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo; United States of America.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended the visa validity for the following:
- Visas issued in consulates/embassies in China (incl. Hong Kong and Macao) and South Korea by March 8;
- Visas issued in consulates/embassies by March 20 in Europe: Ireland, Andorra, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, France, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Iceland, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Rumania, UK, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech; Iran; and Egypt;
- Visas issued in consulates/embassies by March 27 in Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippine, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia; Middle East: Israel, Qatar, Bahrain; Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo
- Mexico | In a report, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell encouraged residents to stay at home for a month to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
- New Zealand | All temporary visa holders set to expire between April 2, 2020, and July 9, 2020, will automatically be extended to September 25, 2020. This includes work visa holders, student visa holders, visitor visa holders, interim visa holders, and limited visa holders.
- Russia | March 30 – April 3 are declared “non-working” days in Russia for non-essential services. Moscow and the Moscow region are implementing a home isolation policy; as such, the migration offices are no longer accepting in-person appointments.
Effective 12 AM, March 30, 2020, the crossing of Russian state border through land border checkpoints as well as the crossing of the land border with Belarus by Russian nationals and foreign nationals (including permanent residents) is restricted.
- The UK | The government will review in three weeks the lockdown steps it put in place last Monday. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries said Britons may be subject to some form of lockdown measures for six months or longer.
- The US | The CDC has issued a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, advising residents of these states to “refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.” The advisory is effective immediately, CDC said in a statement.
US Immigration Policy Updates
- Effective March 20, 2020, the Dept. of State is offering passport services only for qualified life-or-death emergencies for immediate international travel within 72 hours. Expedited services requested on or before March 19, 2020, will be honored.
- Today, USCIS announced that it will reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to process valid Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, extension requests due to the temporary closure of Application Support Centers (ASC) to the public in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This announcement is consistent with existing USCIS authorities regarding the agency’s ability to reuse previously submitted biometrics.
- Applicants who had an appointment scheduled with an ASC on or after the March 18 closure or has filed an I-765 extension will have their application processed using previously submitted biometrics. This will remain in effect until ASCs are open for appointments to the public.
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.