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EIG COVID-19 Update | March 18, 2020

March 18, 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. Tuesday’s update is available at this link. 

March 18, 2020

  1. Argentina | Effective March 17, for two weeks, all government offices and agencies will only process applications with a prior appointment. As of March 16, Argentina added Brazil and Chile to the list of high-risk countries, which already included China, EU member states and all Schengen states, Iran, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Entry into Argentina for anyone, including Argentine citizens, traveling from these countries is based on a commitment to self-quarantine at a private residence or a hotel for 14 days. On March 15, Argentina banned entry for all non-residents for 15 days.
  2. Armenia | All foreign nationals, if they are from or have been in countries significantly affected by the coronavirus, will be banned from entering. The Armenian Commandant’s Office will determine the specific countries.
  3. Azerbaijan and Russia | Effective March 18, both governments decided to suspend travel for citizens between the two countries temporarily.  Visa registration service ASAN has temporarily stopped issuing electronic visas.Citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan returning home from China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Spain, and South Korea will be subject to quarantine for a period of 14 days, or if needed, 21 days.
  4. Canada | Effective March 18, entry is suspended for foreign travelers. Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, and their immediate family members, diplomats, transport crewmembers, and other necessary essential service workers are exempt. Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board planes flying to Canada.
    Beginning today, only Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver will accept international flights.
  5. Egypt | All flights in Egypt are suspended from March 19 – 31, 2020.
  6. European Union | The EU member nation leaders agreed to close the EU’s external borders, while still allowing for movement between the EU member nations. The rules will apply to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland and will last for 30 days.
  7. France | Organizers of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity have postponed their festival and conference held in France each summer.
  8. Georgia | Effective March 18, Georgia is closing its borders for entry of all foreigners.
  9. Guatemala | Entry is suspended for all nationalities for 15 days, beginning March 17. Guatemalan citizens, foreign residents, and diplomatic staff can enter by land but will be subject to quarantine.
  10. Hong Kong, China | Beginning tomorrow, March 19, all travelers arriving in Hong Kong from any foreign country, other than Macao or Taiwan, will be put under 14-day home quarantine or medical surveillance.
  11. India | Entry into India is suspended for all arrivals from the European Union, European Free Trade Association, Turkey, and the UK, from March 18-31. Passengers from the UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait will be placed under mandatory quarantine for at least 14 days.
  12. Israel | The Israeli Ministry of Interior announced a total entry ban for all foreign nationals. Previously foreign nationals who could prove their ability to stay in home isolation were permitted entry.
  13. Korea | Beginning tomorrow, March 19, all international arrivals, including South Korean citizens, are subject to special entry procedures, including installation of a self-diagnosis app on their phone and reporting any suspicious symptoms for 14 days.
  14. New Zealand | Immigration New Zealand declared that all travelers must follow instructions from a Medical Officer of Health relating to COVID-19 from Wednesday, March 18, or risk being detained or deported. If a traveler is not subject to travel restrictions, they may travel to New Zealand. Everyone must follow the Ministry of Health guidance for self-isolation, including registering with Healthline and self-isolating for 14 days when arriving in New Zealand if they have been in a Category 1 or Category 1B location.
  15. Qatar | All foreign national arrivals are suspended for 14 days. Qatari citizens who are returning may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  16. South Africa | Beginning today and until further notice, South Africa issued a travel ban to individuals traveling from China, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and any other high-risk country determined by the government. All pending and recently issued visas for applicants from these countries will be canceled. Chinese Nationals who hold intra-company transfer visas due to expire on or before July 31, 2020, will be permitted to apply for a three-month visitor’s visas with authorization to work.
  17. Taiwan | Effective March 19, entry into Taiwan is suspended for all except Taiwanese citizens and alien residents. An exemption applies to ARC holders, diplomatic officials, and businesspeople with special entry permits authorized by the ROC Taiwan government.
  18. The United Kingdom | UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) asks applicants with coronavirus symptoms to not attend their appointment at a UK Visas and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) center.Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced school closures beginning Friday afternoon until further notice.
  19. The United States | This morning, President Trump tweeted that the United States and Canada “through mutual consent will temporarily close their borders with each other to non-essential traffic. However, trade will not be affected.” The details of this arrangement have not yet been announced.This afternoon, the US Census Bureau announced it would suspend the 2020 field operations for two weeks.

    Effective March 18, USCIS is suspending in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This suspension of services will be effective until at least April 1.

    The US Embassy and Consulates in the following countries are suspending or limiting routine visa services: Dominican Republic, Denmark, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, France, Lebanon, Spain, Sweden, and Ukraine.

  20. Uzbekistan | As of March 16, the government has suspended air and rail traffic with all foreign countries.

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.