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.
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- Argentina | In a statement, the government announced that Argentina is closing its borders to all non-essential transportation. This border closure goes into effect Friday at midnight. Restrictions had already been in place for air travel, so this expanded restriction applies to land and sea.
- Australia | The Australian Defense Force will help enforce a mandatory two-week quarantine for all arrivals at airports nationwide starting Sunday, March 29.
- Canada | Holders of valid work permits and Confirmations of Permanent Residence documents issued before March 18, 2020, are now able to travel to Canada. Travelers will need to pass a health check before boarding a flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air and must isolate for 14 days, even without symptoms. This is mandatory. Further details can be found at the link.
- China | Effective from March 28, 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has temporarily suspended entry into China by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits still valid to the time of this announcement. Entry by foreign nationals with APEC Business Travel Cards will be suspended as well. Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy, or C visas will not be affected. Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after this announcement will not be affected.
- India | All scheduled international commercial passenger services will remain closed until 6:30 PM GMT of April 14, 2020. Therefore, no incoming scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft will be allowed to land and disembark its passengers in India until then. This restriction will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. There is no specific announcement regarding the departure of flights from India, but they are virtually at a standstill.
Countries such as the U.S., France, and the UK are working with the Indian government and airlines to support their citizens by obtaining clearance for flights to leave India and enable their citizens to return to their home countries. Germany and Israel have already obtained permission from the Indian government with evacuation flights having left India to send their citizens back to Germany and Israel, respectively.
- Japan | As of March 26, travelers from the following countries are to be in quarantine for 14 days at a designated location and to refrain from using public transportation: Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland), Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino, the United Kingdom, Vatican, and United States.
As of March 27, there is an entry ban on foreign nationals with travel history to the following regions in the past 14 days: China: Provinces of Hubei or Zhejiang; South Korea: Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province / Gyeongsan, Andong, Yeongcheon, Chilgok, Uiseong, Seongju or Gunwi; Republic of San Marino; Switzerland; Spain: Comunidad de Navarra, Basque, Madrid or La Rioja; Iceland; All regions of Ireland, Andorra, Italy, Iran, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, France, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg.
As of March 28, for nationals from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Malaysia, there is a suspension of visa exemption measures, suspension of the validity of all visas, and travelers from these countries are to be in quarantine for 14 days at a designated location and to refrain from using public transportation.
- Russia | The government has ordered to suspend all regular and charter flights to foreign countries and back effective 12 AM, March 27, 2020, with exception to flights evacuating Russian nationals to Russia or flights specifically approved by the government.
- The UK | Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he has tested positive for coronavirus. Negotiators from the UK and the European Union will hold a post-Brexit meeting next week via video conference. From the UK’s point of view, there is no change in the timetable.
- The US | In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it is adopting measures to minimize the immigration consequences associated with responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020.
For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline outlined in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken.
Also, please listen to EIG’s Immigration Nerds podcast for this week in immigration, featuring policy updates from DOS, DHS, USCIS, and ICE.
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.