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EIG COVID-19 Update | March 17, 2020

March 17, 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. Monday’s update is available at this link. 

March 17, 2020

  1. Australia | The United States Consulates in Australia are reducing immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments. In a notice from the U.S. Consulate Australia, they said visa services would resume as soon as possible, but they are not able to provide a date at this time.
  2. France | Officials in France have ordered residents to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19. President Emmanuel Macron issued a directive to limit French residents’ movement for the next 15 days. Macron also said the country’s borders would close starting Tuesday, March 17, at noon local time.
  3. Mexico | The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and all U.S. consulates in Mexico will suspend routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services starting March 18, until further notice.  The U.S. Embassy and consulates will continue to provide essential consular services to U.S. citizens as well as emergency visa services. Routine passport (including consular reports of birth abroad) and notarial services will be limited starting March 18.  Individuals with appointments after March 18 may be asked to reschedule their appointments for a later date. Routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services will be suspended starting March 18, 2020, and until further notice.
  4. Russia | The government announced it would ban the entry of foreign nationals and stateless people from March 18 to May 1 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The ban will not apply to diplomatic representatives, airplane crewmembers, and some other categories of people.
  5. San Francisco, CA | The USCIS San Francisco Field Office announced that all interviews scheduled for today, March 17, through April 6, are canceled at the S.F. Field Office. Officers are attempting to contact all scheduled interviewees and their reps. On Monday, Northern California officials declared a “shelter in place” order for residents of six Bay Area Counties, including San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties. Nearly 7 million residents are asked to stay home. San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted, “Effective at midnight [March 16], San Francisco will require people to stay home except for essential needs.”
  6. Ukraine | Ukraine has temporarily closed 107 of its border checkpoints, including those with neighboring Russia, as it seeks to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Ukraine has registered five cases of coronavirus.
  7. The United States | On Tuesday, March 17, USCIS tweeted that in accordance with CDC guidelines, they can only accommodate 50 individuals inside of an Application Support Center at any one time, inclusive of staff. Therefore, they will not be able to accommodate walk-in visitors or unscheduled appointments.

Also, please listen to EIG’s Immigration Nerds podcast for the country by country updates on all travel and border restrictions as of Tuesday, March 17.

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.