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EIG US and Global Update | December 4, 2020

December 4, 2020

With our mission to uncomplicate the complicated, we’ve always thought of our work in immigration as people-first. Our goal is for these updates to make sense of the changes happening across the world. Please share these updates with your colleagues who may find this information helpful, too.

International Updates

Germany | Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the current restrictions would be extended until January 10.  “In principle, things will remain as they are,” said Merkel.
Case Update: 23,448 confirmed cases. Last updated: 2020/12/4 3:30 PM CET

Greece | The government has extended the current lockdown another week to December 14. This is the second extension for the restrictions originally planned to end on November 30.
Case Update: 1,882 confirmed cases. Last updated: 2020/12/4 3:30 PM CET

Ireland | After being closed for 6 weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Registration Office in Burgh Quay has reopened for appointment holders only.  Priority will be given initially to those who had their appointments for first-time registrations canceled when the office closed and will be contacted directly by Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) with a new appointment. A full summary of these procedures is available at eiglaw.com.
Case Update: 162 confirmed cases. Last updated: 2020/12/4 3:30 PM CET

Italy | From December 21 to January 6, interregional movement will be allowed only for work, medical reasons, and emergencies. On Christmas, New Years’ Day, and Boxing Day, Italians will not be permitted to leave their hometowns. The Alitalia COVID-tested flights between Rome and US cities, New York and Atlanta, will begin from December 8.
Case Update: 23,219 confirmed cases. Last updated: 2020/12/4 3:30 PM CET

Spain | The government of Catalonia has canceled plans to ease restrictions on Monday and will extend the current rules until at least 15 more days.
Case Update: 4,570 confirmed cases. Last updated: 2020/12/4 3:30 PM CET

The United States | Trump Administration Issues Policy to Limit Visa Length for Chinese Travelers
On Thursday, the Trump Administration issued new rules to restrict travel to the US from China for members of China’s Communist Party and families. The policy would significantly reduce the length of the B-1 and B-2 non-immigrant business and tourist visas from 10 years to 1 month. US Immigration officials can collect party status in the application and interview process.

The administration promotes this policy change as a way to protect the US from the Communist party’s “malign influence” and said that party members come to the US to “unabashedly monitor, threaten, and report on Chinese nationals and Chinese-American groups.”

The Chinese foreign ministry has denounced the accusations and the policy change.

The existing COVID-related ban on travelers from China has meant a sharp decrease in total Chinese travelers to the US. According to the State Department, only 61 B-1/B-2 visas were issued in October 2020, whereas 60,000 were issued in October 2019.

In last week’s Immigration Nerds podcast, we talk to Erickson Immigration Group’s Managing Directors Justin Parsons and Hiba Anver about how President-elect Joe Biden could approach immigration. The last four years included significant policy and procedural changes. What would become of the Trump Administration’s travel ban under President Biden, and what does the future hold for DACA, the H-1B program, and public charge? Most of all, what would the Biden Administration try to accomplish in the White House?

We will continue to send updates daily or as more COVID-19-related news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or in past updates or want to hear more about a different topic, just reply to let us know. If you have specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.