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EIG COVID-19 Update | March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

All week, 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.

International Updates

  • China | Hubei province announced that travel restrictions on the capital city of Wuhan would be removed starting April 8, which would end a lockdown that began on Jan. 23.
  • Denmark | The Danish Government has announced that the public offices, schools, universities, etc. will be closed until April 13, 2020. Only grocery and pharmacy shops are allowed to stay open. That means SIRI offices, CPR offices, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are closed for personal appearances.
  • The Dominican Republic | The country has declared a state of emergency until April 13 and has implemented a curfew from 8 PM until 6 AM.
  • India | In a televised address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a “total lockdown” in the country. The 21-day lockdown is set to begin at midnight. Mr. Modi said, “To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes…If we don’t handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backwards by 21 years.”
  • Ireland | Effective March 20, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service have stopped accepting new visa applications. It is still possible to apply for an Irish visa online in the normal manner, but these current and temporary measures mean applicants will not be able to complete their application. Any application made online will remain valid until restrictions are lifted.

    Certain Priority/Emergency cases will continue to be processed, and these include emergency visa (e.g., Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals); immediate family members of Irish citizens; persons legally resident in the State; and persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive.

  • Japan | The International Olympic Committee postponed the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, officials announced Tuesday. The event was scheduled to start on July 24 in Tokyo.
  • The Philippines | From a Department of Labor and Employment advisory, all AEP clients are informed that the processing of their permit is suspended until further notice. The Office will not impose a penalty or administrative fine on all soon to expire AEPs or permits that expire during the suspension period.
  • South Africa | The country will be in lockdown from Thursday, March 26, at midnight to Thursday, April 16, at midnight.
  • The UK | The UK Government has tightened restrictions; as of Tuesday morning, all nonessential public buildings and places are closed. In a televised address on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “you must stay home.” The measures will be reassessed in three weeks.
  • The US | The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced that beginning March 25, 2020, and through June 30, 2020, the Atlanta National Processing Center (NPC) would issue PERM labor certification documents electronically to employers and their authorized attorneys or agents.

    For this period, employers or their authorized attorneys/agents who file the application and are granted a permanent labor certification by OFLC will receive the certified Form ETA-9089 and Final Determination letter by email, or in cases where not possible to receive an email, by UPS regular delivery (i.e., approximately 2 to 8 days depending on delivery location).

    Upon email receipt, the form must be printed, and then signed and dated by the foreign worker, preparer (if applicable), and the employer before filing the Form I-140 with USCIS, which will then consider this printed Form ETA-9089 as satisfying the requirement that petitioners provide evidence of an original labor certification issued by DOL.

FAQ for SEVP Stakeholders, SEVP-Certified Schools, and F and M Students | On March 23, USCIS released a FAQ to address the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19 on SEVP-certified schools and F and M students. The full update is available here.