EIG US and Global Update | January 22, 2021

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.

US Updates

On Thursday, January 21, President Joseph R. Biden signed “Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.” The executive order outlines measures to prevent the ongoing spread of COVID-19, particularly as it relates to travel within the United States and to the United States from abroad.

The Biden administration reinforces the consensus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Surgeon General, and the National Institutes of Health that wearing a mask, physical distancing, appropriate ventilation, and testing are all actions that can mitigate the travel-induced spread of COVID-19. The administration implements these public health measures for all public transportation modes and at all US ports.

International Updates

Australia | All people traveling to Australia on flights departing on or after January 22, 2021 (local time at departure point) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result at the time of check-in. The test must have been conducted within the previous 72 hours.

Exemptions do apply to the following groups:

  • Children younger than four years old
  • People that present a medical certificate which indicates that due to a medical condition they are unable to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test
  • Travelers departing from a designated ‘green zone’ country — only New Zealand at this time
  • People traveling from a country where PCR testing is not reasonably available

Israel | Recently the UAE and Israeli governments ratified the visa waiver program between the two countries. However, the UAE announced that the visa waiver program is being postponed until July 2021, as part of an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result nationals of both countries will still have to apply for a pre-entry visa. Additionally, the $95 fee Israelis are required to pay before traveling to the UAE will remain until the implementation of the visa waiver program.

Italy | The validity of residence permits has been extended to April 30, 2021. The decree also extends the validity of “nulla Osta” (entry clearances for family reasons, work permits) for the same period and the terms for conversion of study permits into work permits.

Russia | The government has decided to resume air travel with Finland, India, Qatar, and Vietnam.  This policy change goes into effect on January 27, 2021.

Spain | As per the Order PCM/14/2021, travel restrictions with the UK are maintained until February 2, 2021 (6:00 pm). Additionally, the Ministry of Health has published an updated list of countries considered areas of risk and whose travelers shall undertake a COVID-19 test prior to traveling to Spain. This list is current from January 25 — February 7, 2021.