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EIG COVID-19 Update / March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020

As COVID-19 impacts the United States and countries around the globe, EIG is sending global digests to inform our clients of all the developments impacting global immigration and global travel. Yesterday’s update is available at this link.

March 16, 2020

  1. European Union | From Brussels, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a plan for a  30-day ban on nonessential travel into the EU in an effort to restrict the spread of the coronavirus. This significant measure will need to be formally approved by EU leaders on Tuesday, March 17.
  2. Canada | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced “increasingly aggressive steps” in an announcement to close Canada’s borders to anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident. All flights will also be routed to one of four Canadian cities. This restriction does not currently apply to U.S. citizens.
  3. Germany | On Monday, Germany’s government declared their most expansive public restrictions to date which include closing all non-essential businesses and religious services and gatherings.
  4. London | The US Embassy in London has canceled all visa appointments for the next five weeks. April 20 appointments will remain as scheduled.
  5. New Zealand | Beginning Monday, March 16 at 1 am, all arrivals, including NZ citizens and residents, from anywhere, with the exception of some Pacific islands, must self-isolate for 14 days.
  6. Poland | The US Embassies in Krakow and Warsaw have canceled all visa appointments until further notice.
  7. South Africa I Beginning Wednesday, March 18, a travel ban will be applicable to foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, and the United States. Previously approved visas from these countries will be revoked.  South Africans returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-quarantine.
  8. USCIS | The USCIS has stated that they will not be conducting H-1B or L-1 site visits for companies that are closed due to COVID-19.
  9. The United States | For individuals who entered the US at JFK or Newark International Airport under the VWP/ESTA status but are unable to travel due to international COVID-19 restrictions, they will be able to extend their status/I-94 at Deferred Inspection at each airport. As of today, this process only exists at Newark and JFK.
  10. US Supreme Court | On Monday, the Supreme Court canceled hearings through the end of March. In a statement, the Court cited precedent, “The court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic. The court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.”
  11. US Airport Routing | American citizens who are returning to the US after travel from the affected/listed countries (China, Iran, and the Schengen Zone) will now be required to travel through 13 airports:
  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois

  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas

  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan

  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York

  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California

  • Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida

  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California

  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington

  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia

    Travelers will proceed to standard customs and will then continue to an enhanced screening to review medical history, current health, and some travelers will have their temperature taken. After the screening, passengers will receive written information about COVID-19 and must self-quarantine in their homes and monitor their health. Local and State public health officials will contact individuals in the days and weeks following their arrival.

We will continue to send updates daily or as more COVID-19-related news is available. We also encourage you to tune into our podcast – Immigration Nerds – where we will cover all the late-breaking COVID-19 developments, in podcast format.