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Coronavirus Response and Guidance
Erickson Immigration Group continues to update this page with all of the COVID-19 developments impacting global immigration and global travel.
- President Alberto Fernandez extended the quarantine in Buenos Aires, the country’s capital, until May 24. Elsewhere, restrictions are decreasing. Argentina has been under lockdown since March 20. (As of 5/11/2020)
- On Monday, Argentina suspended all commercial flight sales until September. The country’s borders have been closed since March, and while other neighboring countries have suspended commercial flights, Argentina’s timeline is the farthest out. (As of 4/28/2020)
- The government will extend the nationwide quarantine to May 10. The shelter-in-place orders, which had been in place since March was originally going to expire on Sunday, April 26. (As of 4/27/2020)
- The government extended the lockdown, which began on March 20, to April 26. (As of 4/13/2020)
- The country is beginning to open land borders for Argentines and foreign nationals. Initially, eight border crossings are open up to 500 people per day. The borders are Cristo Redentor (to Chile), Posadas (to Paraguay), Paso de Los Libres (to Brazil), San Sebastian (to Chile), Integración Austral (to Chile), Gualeguaychu (to Uruguay), Salvador Mazza (to Bolivia), and Clorinda (to Paraguay). All individuals arriving in the country must comply with the 14-day quarantine. (As of 4/3/2020)
- The quarantine has been extended for two more weeks until April 13. Immigration offices all closed. (As of 3/30/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/27/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison is meeting with cabinet members to determine which restrictions will be released and when. The easing will be done in four-week increments to ensure the virus doesn’t spike. (As of 5/8/2020)
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the rules would not be relaxed until Australia’s testing capacity is increased. (As of 4/16/2020)
- The government is limiting public gatherings with individuals outside of your household to no more than two people. During the Easter holiday weekend, houses of worship will be closed to the public. (As of 4/9/2020)
- In a message on Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned people to continue to stay home to curb the spread of new coronavirus cases. For the first time since the Spanish flu, 100 years ago, states in Australia are implementing internal checkpoints at their borders to restrict movement to only essential purposes. (As of 4/3/2020)
- The Australian Defense Force will help enforce a mandatory two-week quarantine for all arrivals at airports nationwide starting Sunday, March 29, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison today. (As of 3/30/2020)
- The Australian Defense Force will help enforce a mandatory two-week quarantine for all arrivals at airports nationwide starting Sunday, March 29. (As of 3/27/2020)
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced yesterday that a travel ban would be imposed in Australia from 9:00 PM AEDT, Friday, March 20, 2020. Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens who live in Australia as permanent residents, New Zealanders and Pacific Islanders in transit to their home countries and the immediate family of those groups are exempt from the travel ban subject to a strict 14 days self-isolation.
All other non-permanent visa holders, including 457/482 visa holders, will not be allowed to enter Australia after 9:00 PM AEDT Friday, March 20, 2020. (As of 3/20/2020)
- Qantas, the Australian carrier, announced all regularly scheduled international Qantas and Jetstar, it’s low-cost carrier, would be suspended from late March until at least the end of May. On Wednesday, the Australian government raised the advisory for all overseas travel to the highest level and told citizens not to travel at this time. (As of 3/19/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/17/2020)
- The government will further loosen the nationwide lockdown on May 15 as restaurants and cafes reopen and religious services resume. (As of 4/21/2020)
- The country’s borders will remain closed until May 31. (As of 4/29/2020)
- Effective March 22 – 31, most international passenger flights are suspended, except routes to the UK, China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. The affected routes include Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, India, and Bahrain. Since March 16, entry was suspended for all foreign nationals. (As of 3/22/2020)
- There will be no direct commercial air service from Belgium to the United States until at least late April. (As of 4/2/2020)
- A third-country national who is unable to leave Belgium for reasons of force majeure (quarantine, flight cancellation, border closure, etc.) may request authorization to extend his/her stay. For the time being and until further notice, Belgian embassies and consulates no longer accept any visa applications and no longer issue visas, except in exceptional cases (essential travel). In most countries, the Visa Application Centres are also closed. The examination of visa applications already submitted continues. However, in the event of a favorable decision, the visa will not be issued immediately, unless the applicant has an essential function or an essential need. (As of 3/31/2020)
- All international flights in and out of Bolivia are suspended, and land borders are closed to non-residents. (As of 3/23/2020)
- President Jair Bolsonaro fired the country’s health minister after disagreements about how to mitigate the spreading coronavirus. Mr. Bolsonaro has called for states to end their stay-at-home orders to kickstart the economy.
“We need to return to normal, not as fast as possible, but we need to start having some flexibility,” Bolsonaro said. (As of 4/17/2020)
- The government will accelerate its plans to join the Eurozone, applying for membership by the end of the month.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said, “This crisis has shown us that those who are in the Eurozone and in its ‘waiting room’ will have billions of euros for recovery. Those who are not will have to take on debt at high-interest rates.” (As of 4/10/2020)
- Entry into the country is temporarily banned to all foreign nationals except for citizens of 19 EU member states. Bulgarian citizens returning home and individuals with long-term permits to live in the country and their families are permitted entry.
The entry ban also applies to individuals coming from Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. (As of 4/7/2020)
- Ontario is extending it’s emergency shutdown orders until at least May 10; Quebec has extended its closures until early May.
Saskatchewan, where cases are significantly less than other provinces, will be the first to gradually reopen. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said the plan to take effect in May. (As of 4/23/2020)
- In an announcement on Tuesday, Air Canada said it would suspend flights between Canada and the United States between April 26 and May 22. (As of 4/22/2020)
- The border restrictions between the countries, which were set to expire on April 27, will extend for another 30 days. The terms remain unchanged, allowing essential service workers and goods to cross between the countries. (As of 4/20/2020)
- As previously reported, the US border with Canada closed on March 21, for 30 days subject to extension upon review. Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the restrictions with the US would remain “for a significant time” as the countries continue to manage the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s a recognition that as we move forward, there will be special thought given to this relationship. But at the same time, we know that there is a significant amount of time, still, before we can talk about loosening such restrictions,” Trudeau told a daily briefing. (As of 4/16/2020)
- The government’s Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act already requires persons entering Canada—whether by air, land, or sea — to isolate for 14 days if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or to quarantine themselves for 14 days if they are asymptomatic to limit the spread of COVID-19. As of April 15, any traveler arriving in Canada—whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic—can not isolate or quarantine in a place where they would be in contact with vulnerable people, such as adults aged 65 years or over and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Upon arrival, travelers will need to confirm their quarantine or isolation plans and arrangements. All travelers are also required to wear a non-medical face mask on route to their destination. Those without a mask will be provided with one. Individuals who regularly cross the border for goods and essential services are exempt from the quarantine requirements, so long as they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms. These individuals are still required to wear a mask or face covering. Failure to follow this Order may result in a fine up to $750,000 or prison for six months. (As of 4/15/2020)
- As of Monday, March 30, at noon, individuals showing any signs of COVID-19 will not be able to board any domestic flights or intercity passenger trains. A full summary of individual restrictions and permissions are at the link. (As of 3/30/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/27/2020)
- The House of Commons approved a $27 billion Canadian ($18.8 billion) stimulus bill to help people and businesses deal with the coronavirus outbreak. The bill also includes CA $55 billion in the form of tax deferrals. Government officials say they anticipate senators will quickly approve the measures. (As of 3/25/2020)
- Canada, Mexico, and the US | As previously reported, the US borders with Canada and Mexico are closed as of today, Saturday, March 21, for 30 days subject to extension upon review. All “non-essential-essential travel” is suspended at this time. (As of 3/21/2020)
- Canada and the United States will likely close their shared border for all “non-essential-essential travel” late Friday or early Saturday morning. (As of 3/19/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced “increasingly aggressive steps” in an announcement to close Canada’s borders to anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident. All flights will also be routed to one of four Canadian cities. This restriction does not currently apply to U.S. citizens. (As of 3/16/2020)
- Paula Daza, the sub-secretary of Chile’s Health Ministry announced that the country would move forward with “release certificates” for individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. Ms. Daza reiterated that the certificates are not a certificate of immunity. The World Health Organization has said there is no evidence that individuals could not experience a second coronavirus infection. (As of 4/27/2020)
- US citizens considering returning to the US are urged to make arrangements while flights are available. Contact airlines as international and domestic flights are being reduced/canceled. US carriers have suspended flights in/out of Santiago. (As of 4/1/2020)
- The government has decreed a mandatory quarantine for every Chilean or foreign citizen arriving in the country and a national curfew starting from 10 PM until 5 AM. Additionally, certain cities have sanitary customs or borders in place. (As of 3/26/2020)
- The government announced a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for all individuals arriving in Chile, and a nationwide daily curfew beginning March 22 from 10 PM to 5 AM (As of 3/22/2020)
- For the first time in 76 days, people were allowed to leave Wuhan, the central Chinese city, where the coronavirus had first emerged. State broadcast CCTV reported there 55,000 train tickets purchased for today. (As of 4/8/2020)
- The government has suspended cross-border transportation, closed ports, and restricted exits out of the country at the border between China and Vietnam in the Guangxi region. (As of 4/6/2020)
- According to a state-owned online newspaper, The Paper, Jia County, just north of Hubei province, is under a new lockdown after three doctors tested positive for COVID-19, without symptoms.
All travelers entering Shanghai and Chengdu are required to undergo concentrated medical observation for 14 days. This rule also applies to travelers who are currently in a home quarantine situation. (As of 4/2/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/27/2020)
- 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 January 23. (As of 3/24/2020)
- Travelers of all nationalities arriving in Shanghai from any country will be taken to temporary checking and observation sites upon arrival by district staff, where they will undergo nucleic acid tests for the coronavirus. Those with negative test results will be escorted to their residences or designated sites by district officials to undergo 14-day quarantine, while people testing positive will be transferred to designated medical treatment institutions. (As of 3/23/2020)
- In Bogota, outings for essential supplies or errands will be restricted by gender beginning Monday. The nationwide lockdown is set to end on April 27. (As of 4/9/2020)
- The government extends the nationwide quarantine until April 27. (As of 4/7/2020)
- Citizens and residents may still enter Colombia via airports as long as airlines continue to operate. The Government of Colombia also requires that all travelers arriving in Colombia must self-quarantine for 14 days and must complete a form with contact and arrival information.The Mayor of Bogota announced a drill from 5 AM, Friday, March 20, through Monday, March 23, when all people must stay off the streets or face possible fines. During this time, the US Embassy Bogota will be closed to the public and available by phone for US citizen emergency services only. (As of 3/19/2020)
- The government will begin easing restrictions related to the coronavirus on May 1. Currently, the government has restricted entry into Costa Rica by foreigners through May 15. (As of 4/28/2020)
The government has extended the ban on foreign national entry into the country until April 30. (As of 4/8/2020)
- The government recommends resident foreign nationals should stay in Costa Rica from now until April 12. Resident foreign nationals who leave during this window will receive an official impediment to return from the Health Ministry. (As of 4/2/2020)
- Beginning April 27, Croatia will begin easing its lockdown measures, starting with shops and public transportation. In the country’s plan, there are still a number of required protections in place regarding the number of people in a venue and space requirements. (As of 4/23/2020)
- The nationwide lockdown will begin to lift on May 4, and movement restrictions will be lifted on May 21. (As of 4/28/2020)
The Czech Republic
- On Monday, the government announced the ban on international bus and train travel would be lifted on May 11, at which time non-EU citizens will be allowed entry for seasonal work or healthcare work. Currently, Czechs are allowed to travel internationally, but those who do must provide a negative coronavirus test or self-quarantine. (As of 5/5/2020)
- The government has shared the initial plans for “returning to normal” across the country. Small stores and retailers will open on April 20, larger stores on May 11, and restaurants and shopping malls on June 8. (As of 4/15/2020)
- Officials said the government was evaluating and considering lessening the lockdown restrictions across the country. (As of 4/6/2020)
- The government has introduced plans to reopen the country. The Danish Immigration authorities / Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) remain closed until June; caseworkers are working from home but applicants should expect longer processing times.At this time, only the following are allowed entry into Denmark: Danish passport holders, EU passport holders showing Danish Health card (yellow card), Non-EU citizens with a valid Danish Residence Card, and those with special strong ties to Denmark which include individuals employed in Denmark with Danish work permit letters, those visiting critically or terminally ill family, those participating in a funeral, those exercising visitation rights with a minor or legal guardian(s) for a minor, those engaged in ongoing health treatments, those called for a court case, or passengers in transit.
Business travelers, tourists, and regular family visitors are not permitted to enter Denmark. (As of 5/11/2020)
- The government has introduced plans to reopen the country. The Danish Immigration authorities / Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) remain closed until June; caseworkers are working from home but applicants should expect longer processing times.
- Earlier than anticipated, the government moved to begin reopening the country, starting with daycare centers and primary schools on Wednesday, April 15. (As of 4/15/2020)
- The government has announced that the lockdown will begin to lessen after Easter, during which time nursery schools, grade school (0-5), and high schools for seniors will reopen. The closures for government offices, Danish immigration authorities, local registration, shopping centers, theaters, and restaurants remain. (As of 4/7/2020)
- Denmark, one of the first countries to implement a lockdown, is expected to introduce their plans to lessen restrictions this weekend. Earlier this week, the government said it would start to lift the lockdown after Easter. (As of 4/3/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/24/2020)
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 (As of 3/24/2020)
- Expo 2020, the six-month innovation fair planned to be hosted in Dubai, has been postponed to October 2021 – March 2022. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which plans the Expo, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is gearing up to help shape a post-pandemic world and create a better future for all. (As of 5/4/2020)
- On Saturday night, Dubai introduced a new two-week lockdown, expanding on the overnight curfew that has applied to all of the UAE for the past ten days. (As of 4/4/2020)
- Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced that, as Ramadan begins, the nationwide curfew would now begin an hour later. The new curfew is from 9 PM to 6 AM (As of 4/23/2020)
- The government has extended the curfew until April 23, though the curfew will now begin at 8 PM (As of 4/8/2020)
- All flights in Egypt are suspended from March 19 – 31, 2020. (As of 3/18/2020)
- President Nayib Bukele warned that security forces had been ordered to enforce quarantine orders more rigorously, confining offenders to “containment centers” and confiscating vehicles. (As of 4/7/2020)
- The government has started to reopen healthcare services and will open some schools on May 15 as the country begins to return to normal. (As of 4/22/2020)
- The government has declared a state of emergency. (As of 4/9/2020)
- As European Union states begin to ease their lockdown restrictions, the European Commission is urging the states to coordinate their plans to prevent new recurrences of the pandemic. (As of 4/14/2020)
- A day after finance ministers announced a half-trillion euro economic package, the President of the European Council Charles Michel announced that EU leaders would have a conference on April 23 by video to discuss the economic response to the coronavirus.
“It is time to lay the ground for a robust economic recovery. This plan has to relaunch our economies whilst promoting economic convergence in the EU. The EU budget will have to play a meaningful role here,” Michel tweeted. (As of 4/10/2020)
- As individual member states have introduced coronavirus tracking applications, the EU is determining standard rules to maximize technology and ensure data privacy. (As of 4/8/2020)
- Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, said the European Union member states are determining whether to extend border closures after Easter. (As of 4/3/2020)
- The EU Commission has introduced a financial proposal to support Member States’ healthcare sectors and COVID-19 response. Under the plan, the Commission would use €3 billion from the EU budget — €2.7 billion for the Emergency Support Instrument and €300 million for the rescEU medical equipment capacity. Commission Q&A (As of 4/2/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- From Brussels, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a plan for a 30-day ban on non-essential-essential travel into the EU in an effort to restrict the spread of the coronavirus. This significant measure will need to be formally approved by EU leaders on Tuesday, March 17. (As of 3/16/2020)
- The government announced that essential travel to countries within the Schengen area will be allowed beginning May 14. (As of 5/5/2020)
- The government will lift the roadblocks around the capital city on Wednesday after three weeks. This is the first step toward easing the coronavirus restrictions across the country. (As of 4/15/2020)
- The government has extended the travel restrictions in and out of the country to May 13. (As of 4/7/2020)
- As the nationwide lockdown is planned to end gradually, beginning on May 11, some restrictions will remain in the Paris region. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said France’s borders would remain closed until at least June 15. France’s lockdown began on March 17. (As of 5/8/2020)
- In an adjustment of policy, over the weekend, the government announced that the 14-day quarantine requirement would NOT apply to “anyone, regardless of nationality, from the EU, the Schengen area or the United Kingdom.” The details for who would be required to quarantine and for how long are to be released in the coming days. France has extended its state of emergency to July 24, though some restrictions will begin to ease May 11. (As of 5/4/2020)
- Beginning May 11, lockdown measures will begin to lessen across the country. France has had a nationwide lockdown since March 17. (As of 4/23/2020)
- President Emmanuel Macron announced he would be extending the nationwide lockdown until May 11. France has been under lockdown since March 17, and the lockdown was scheduled to end today. (As of 4/14/2020)
- From the Notre Dame cathedral, the Archbishop of Paris held a ceremony in celebration of the Easter holiday with a message of rebirth for a country battling the coronavirus.
“Today we are in this half-collapsed cathedral to say that life continues… As we are going to celebrate Easter, we will celebrate life which is stronger than death, love stronger than hate,” said Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit. (As of 4/10/2020)
- In an evolving development, France Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the country’s economic stimulus package would be 100 bn euros. “These numbers could yet change as the economic situation, and companies’ need for support is changing fast. We’re going all out to save our companies,” Le Maire said. (As of 4/9/2020)
- Organizers of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity have postponed their festival and conference held in France each summer. (As of 3/18/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/17/2020)
- Beginning today through April 21, transportation in private vehicles is banned; public transit is already closed. The country is under a state of emergency until May 10 and has a curfew from 9 PM to 6 AM (As of 4/17/2020)
- Effective March 18, Georgia is closing its borders for entry of all foreigners.
- German schools begin to open on Monday, May 4. (As of 5/4/2020)
- Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country would begin easing out of the nationwide lockdown with the partial reopening of shops, and reopening schools on May 4. Social distancing rules apply through May 3. Another meeting is scheduled for April 30 to review the plan for after May 3. Large gatherings, including those for religious events, restaurants, bars, cafes, and entertainment venues, are banned until August 31.
Germany’s border controls with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland will remain until early May. (As of 4/16/2020)
- Chancellor Angela Merkel and the premiers of Germany’s 16 states will hear from the German National Academy of Sciences with their recommendation for how the country could begin to loosen restrictions in place since mid-March. (As of 4/13/2020)
- The Interior Ministry has drafted a plan with a number of public health measures, such as mandatory face masks in public, limits on gatherings, and infection tracing with the aim of a phased approach to normal life when its lockdown ends on April 19.
The infection tracking is set to identify upwards of 80% of people in contact with an infected person within 24 hours of their new diagnosis. Infected people and those they were in contact with would be quarantined at home or in hotels. (As of 4/6/2020)
- On Monday, Germany’s government declared its most expansive public restrictions to date, which include closing all non-essential businesses and religious services and gatherings. (As of 3/16/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- Travelers arriving into Hong Kong will be given a bracelet with embedded technology to ensure they follow the 14-day quarantine requirements. Individuals who are found to break the orders could be fined $645 or punished with six months in jail. (As of 5/4/2020)
- Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that civil servants would begin to return to work on May 4. Some outdoor and cultural venues will reopen but are limited to groups no larger than four people. Plans to ease the travel and social distancing restrictions, which are to expire next week, are still to be determined. (As of 4/28/2020)
- The government is extending the social-distancing policy, and closures for gathering places, until April 23. (As of 4/8/2020)
- For at least 14 days, entry will be suspended for all tourist and transit arrivals, including all non-residents and all arrivals from mainland China, Macao, or Taiwan who has a recent travel history elsewhere. (As of 3/23/2020)
- Beginning 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- Prime Minister Viktor Orban plans to release a plan in early May to outline Hungary’s return to normal life. (As of 4/17/2020)
- The government has extended the nationwide lockdown indefinitely. (As of 4/9/2020)
- The government will begin to decrease restrictions across the country, allowing large public gatherings to increase from 20 to 50 people on May 4. Schools will begin to reopen.
Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir stated that countries within the Schengen territory were planning to extend the territory’s border closures until May 15 and that Iceland would participate in that decision. The national state of emergency will remain in place so long as any restrictions are in place. (As of 4/15/2020)
- Beginning Thursday, May 7, 190,000 Indians who were stuck abroad due to the coronavirus will be repatriated to India from countries around the world, including the US, UK, UAE, and others. (As of 5/5/2020)
- The government has extended the nationwide lockdown for another two weeks beyond the original deadline of May 4, while segmenting the country into red, green, and orange zones. In all zones, though, travel by air, rail, and public transportation, schools, restaurants and shopping centers, and houses of worship will remain closed.
Major cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chenna, and Ahmedabad are classified as red zones and remain under strict lockdowns. Green zones will need to report no new cases for three weeks. (As of 5/4/2020)
- The government has extended the nationwide lockdown for another two weeks beyond the original deadline of May 4, while segmenting the country into red, green, and orange zones. In all zones, though, travel by air, rail, and public transportation, schools, restaurants and shopping centers, and houses of worship will remain closed.
Major cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chenna, and Ahmedabad are classified as red zones and remain under strict lockdowns. Green zones will need to report no new cases for three weeks. (As of 5/1/2020)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced he would be extending the nationwide lockdown until at least May 3. (As of 4/14/2020)
- The nationwide lockdown is set to end on April 14. However, Mumbai is going to extend its restrictions until at least April 30. (As of 4/8/2020)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India’s three-week lockdown, which had been scheduled to end on April 14, would end in a phased-approach. As India continues its shelter-in-place policies, the government has issued this FAQ document with recommendations for citizens and travelers. (As of 4/2/2020)
- All scheduled international commercial passenger services will remain closed until 6:30 PM GMT on 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. (As of 3/27/2020)
- 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.” (As of 3/24/2020)
- In a video on Thursday night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told residents to observe a one-day curfew on March 22 from 7 AM until 9 PM. (As of 3/20/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- The government announced Wednesday it would extend social distancing measures to May 22. (As of 4/22/2020)
- The government will reopen mosques in areas with no coronavirus cases — approximately 132 counties. (As of 5/4/2020)
- The government extended the stay-at-home order until May 5. (As of 4/10/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/24/2020)
- The GNIB and all local immigration registration offices closed Friday evening indefinitely due to COVID-19. All appointments which were already booked have been canceled. The GNIB has not confirmed if they will issue rescheduled dates, but this is most likely because it is too early to gauge when they reopen. (As of 3/21/2020)
- Israeli schools began to open on Sunday, May 3. (As of 5/4/2020)
- The government issued new orders requiring the majority of the public to wear masks outside of the home. In advance of the Passover holiday, which begins at sundown on Wednesday, there are heightened travel restrictions banning all unnecessary travel from Tuesday evening through Friday morning, and a shop ban from Wednesday afternoon until early Thursday morning. According to a government statement, the Wednesday night shopping ban would not apply to “non-Jewish minorities” in the country. (As of 4/7/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- Beginning Monday, Italy is easing restrictions that have been in place since March 9. Restaurants will be able to provide takeout service, parks are opening for walkers and runners, and Italians are allowed to visit family members in the same region. As the country reopens, the public is required to wear a mask on public transportation and in closed public spaces. (As of 5/4/2020)
- Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced he would release the plans for Italy’s gradual reopening after a lockdown that’s gone on for more than a month. “I wish I could say: let’s reopen everything. Immediately. We start tomorrow morning … But such a decision would be irresponsible. It would make the contagion curve go up in an uncontrolled way and would nullify all the efforts we have made so far,” Conte wrote in a Facebook post. (As of 4/21/2020)
- The government extended the lockdown, which began on March 9, to May 3. (As of 4/13/2020)
- On Saturday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that schools would remain closed beyond the initial April 3 deadline. “There is no prospect of returning to ordinary activities at school and university.” The government will revisit the timeline to resume non-essential production activities next week. (As of 3/30/2020)
- The US Mission Italy has suspended routine consular services. The country will also extend its lockdown and quarantine measures and timeline. (As of 3/19/2020)
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the government was extending the state of emergency until May 31. (As of 5/4/2020)
- On Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the government would declare a state of emergency on Tuesday for Tokyo, Osaka, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Hyogo, and Fukuoka, which is expected to last for a month. Additionally, Abe announced an economic stimulus package of 108 trillion yen ($989bn). The package would need to be confirmed on Tuesday. (As of 4/6/2020)
- Foreign nationals who are staying in Japan on a Temporary Visitor visa, which will expire by the end of June, will be able to continue to stay in Japan for up to 3 months from the expiration dates of the visa without applying for an extension. (As of 4/3/2020)
- Effective midnight on April 3, Japan will bar admission to travelers who have recently visited any country that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has designated “Level 3” for infectious disease concerns, which includes the United States. (As of 4/1/2020)
- The Ministry of Justice of Japan announced new entry bans applicable to all foreign nationals (RC holders included) who have traveled in the past 14 days to the following regions: China: Provinces of Hubei, Zhejiang; South Korea: North Gyeongsang Province / Gyeongsan, Andong, Yeongcheon, Chilgok, Uiseong, Seongju, Gunwi; Europe: All regions of Ireland, Andorra, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, France, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Iceland; All regions of Iran.
- Japanese citizens, RC holders, and valid visa holders who have traveled to the following regions must stay in quarantine for 14 days at a designated location and refrain from using public transportation: Asia: China, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia; Europe: Ireland, Andorra, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, France, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Iceland, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Rumania, UK, Cyprus, Croatia; Middle East: Iran, Israel, Qatar, Bahrain; Africa: Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo; United States of America. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended the visa validity for the following:
- Visas issued in consulates/embassies in China (incl. Hong Kong and Macao) and South Korea by March 8;
- Visas issued in consulates/embassies by March 20 in Europe: Ireland, Andorra, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, France, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Iceland, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Rumania, UK, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech; Iran; and Egypt;
- Visas issued in consulates/embassies by March 27 in Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippine, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia; Middle East: Israel, Qatar, Bahrain; Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo
(As of 3/30/2020)
- 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.
(As of 3/27/2020)
- After the city’s most significant one-day coronavirus spike, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike asked Tokyo residents to work at home as much as possible on weekdays and stay home in the evening and weekend. In the message, she called on people coming back from abroad to abide by the 14-day self-quarantine rule. (As of 3/25/2020)
- The foreign ministry raised the travel alert to level 2 (out of 4) for the entire world. The Japanese government has asked Japanese people to refrain from non-essential overseas trips. (As of 3/25/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/24/2020)
- Individuals who have traveled to or through the following areas in the past 14 days are barred from entering: Chinese Provinces of Hubei or Zhejiang; North Gyeongsang Province / Gyeongsan, Andong, Yeongcheon, Chilgok, Uiseong, Seongju or Gunwi, South Korea; Provinces of Qom, Tehran, Gilan, Alborz, Isfahan, Qazvin, Golestan, Semnān, Mazandaran, Markazi or Lorestan, Iran; Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Piemonte, Marche, Lombardia, Valle d’Aosta, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia or Liguria, Italy; the Republic of San Marino; Canton Ticino and Basel-Stadt, Switzerland, Comunidad de Navarra, Basque, Madrid or La Rioja, Spain; Iceland.
The immigration authorities have also decided to extend the expiration dates of foreign nationals’ work/resident permits that expire in April by one month. (As of 3/19/2020)
- Civil servants and public sector workers will return to work on May 26, after the end of Ramadan and Eid. Some evening curfews will remain in place until further notice. (As of 5/11/2020)
- The government has lifted all restrictions to allow economic activity to return to normal, but with new guidelines about maximum staffing, social distancing, and hygiene guidelines. (As of 5/4/2020)
- On Monday, the government began easing restrictions on movement and the nationwide curfew. However, during the month of Ramadan, government offices, schools, and universities will remain closed.
Jordan’s airports and the borders with Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Syria remain closed. (As of 4/28/2020)
- Prime Minister Omar al Razzaz announced the government would soon ease the nationwide lockdown by allowing businesses and some industries to return to work. However, the overnight curfews and weekend shutdowns will continue. (As of 4/16/2020)
- During the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, mosques across Jordan will not be open for worship. (As of 4/15/2020)
- The government extended the lockdown, which began on March 20, to the end of the month. (As of 4/13/2020)
- In an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Jordan issued a 24-hour curfew from Thursday to Friday, closing all shops, even pharmacies, only allowing hospitals and emergency services. The government relaxed the curfew on Saturday to allow for foot traffic and some stores to open. The ban on vehicles and the night curfew will remain in place until further notice. (As of 4/3/2020)
- The government has suspended commercial air travel, and in an alert, the State Department said they are considering all options to aid US citizens. (As of 3/20/2020)
- The Jordanian military sealed off its capital, Amman, from the rest of the country to try to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to media reports. (As of 3/19/2020)
- The government is extending the state of emergency until the end of April. Some businesses will be allowed to reopen at the initially planned end-date of April 15. (As of 4/10/2020)
- The government extended the state of emergency until April 30. (As of 4/14/2020)
- The government is expected to extend the nationwide lockdown until May 10. (As of 4/24/2020)
The government has extended the already nearly-month long lockdown another two weeks to April 26. There is also a nationwide curfew from 7 PM to 5 AM (As of 4/9/2020)
- The government has declared a state of emergency. (As of 4/9/2020)
- The government will allow shops, open-air restaurants, and other services to reopen beginning on Thursday.
“Due to the strict restrictions, Lithuania avoided a sharp increase of COVID-19 cases which was seen elsewhere in Europe, such as in Italy, Spain, Great Britain,” Lithuania’s public health authority chief said in a letter to the government. (As of 4/22/2020)
- Air and ferry travel are suspended after April 4, except for the Kiel to Klaipeda ferry service. (As of 4/1/2020)
- The government extended the nationwide restriction for business operations and travel until June 9. (As of 5/11/2020)
- The government extended movement and travel restrictions until April 28. (As of 4/10/2020)
- The government has extended the Movement Control Order (MCO) until April 14, 2020. As such, cancellation of work passes for Malaysian employees is only allowed after this time. (As of 4/2/2020)
- The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced earlier today that the Malaysian Movement Control Order had been extended to April 14, 2020. (As of 3/25/2020)
- The border restrictions between the countries, which were set to expire on April 27, will extend for another 30 days. The terms remain unchanged, allowing essential service workers and goods to cross between the countries. (As of 4/20/2020)
- The National Immigration Institute is closed until April 13. (As of 4/8/2020)
- In a report, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell encouraged residents to stay at home for a month to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (As of 3/30/2020)
- Canada, Mexico, and the US | As previously reported, the US borders with Canada and Mexico are closed as of today, Saturday, March 21, for 30 days subject to extension upon review. All “non-essential-essential travel” is suspended at this time. (As of 3/21/2020)
- Canada, Mexico, and the US | As reported yesterday, Canada and the United States will likely close their shared border for all “non-essential-essential travel” late Friday or early Saturday morning. On Friday afternoon, the Trump administration announced a similar restriction at the US and Mexico border for all non-essential-essential travel. Members of the White House coronavirus task force said that individuals entering from either Mexico or Canada without proper documentation would be immediately turned away. (As of 3/20/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/17/2020)
- Beginning this week, commercial shopping centers, restaurants, and theaters will reopen, and travel within New Zealand will be allowed. Schools will be back in sessions on May 18. Still, as restrictions are eased, gatherings may not exceed 10 people. (As of 5/11/2020)
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that on Monday, April 27, New Zealand would deescalate the nationwide restrictions, shifting from a level 4 alert to level 3.
At level 3, construction, manufacturing, and forestry industries will be able to operate. Additionally, the beach, walking, fishing will be allowed. Retail and restaurants will remain closed. (As of 4/20/2020)
- On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that even when the country lowers the level 4 restrictions to a level 3, significant restrictions will remain. There will be no “rush to normality.” (As of 4/16/2020)
- Prime Minister Jacinda Adern will announce whether to extend the nationwide shutdown on April 20. (As of 4/13/2020)
- In a policy change, all arrivals into New Zealand will now have to remain in managed isolation or quarantine for 14 days before they can continue to their next destination. More information about arrivals into NZ is here. (As of 4/9/2020)
- The government announced it would resume domestic air travel for foreign travelers on a limited basis. The revised regulations are posted to New Zealand’s government website. (As of 4/2/2020)
- All temporary visa holders set to expire between April 2, 2020, and July 9, 2020, will automatically be extended to September 25, 2020. This includes work visa holders, student visa holders, visitor visa holders, interim visa holders, and limited visa holders. (As of 3/30/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- Beginning Monday, March 16 at 1 AM, all arrivals, including NZ citizens and residents, from anywhere, with the exception of some Pacific islands, must self-isolate for 14 days. (As of 3/16/2020)
- Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the lockdown measures, which have been in place for nearly two months, would begin to ease next week and continue in a phased approach for four months. Beginning June 1, face masks will be required on all public transportation. (As of 5/6/2020)
- The Prime Minister said Dutch citizens returning from the United States should self-quarantine for 14 days. (As of 4/2/2020)
- The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that North Korea has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 and is continuing testing. Currently, there are 500 people in quarantine. (As of 4/8/2020)
- Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced plans to reopen the country by mid-June. Norway was one of the first countries in Europe to restrict activities, beginning on March 12. (As of 5/8/2020)
- Prime Minister Imran Khan announced plans to ease the lockdown in phases beginning Saturday, May 9. (As of 5/8/2020)
- The government has introduced a “Test, Trace, and Quarantine” system to allow for the safe and timely reopening of the economy. During the month of Ramadan, April 23 – May 23, the Pakistan government has allowed for congregating at mosques. (As of 4/29/2020)
- Prime Minister Imran Khan announced he would be extending the nationwide shutdown for two more weeks. In the announcement, Khan said industries would open in phases. (As of 4/14/2020)
- Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will restore flights on a limited basis between Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore, and select others. (As of 4/2/2020)
- All international air travel has been suspended. (As of 3/22/2020)
- On 11:59 PM, March 22, Panama will suspend all commercial flights in and out of Panama. The government also enacted a nationwide curfew from 9 PM to 5 AM (As of 3/22/2020)
- The country will ease the nationwide lockdown in May and initiate a “smart quarantine.”
“The country is going to be divided by areas. We are going to have different phases in which different groups are going to join,” said Health Minister Julio Mazzoleni. (As of 4/27/2020)
- The Paraguayan government extended its order to close all international borders until further notice. Commercial flights are suspended at all Paraguayan airports, with limited exceptions for repatriation flights (none scheduled at this time). (As of 4/1/2020)
- No flights are scheduled for tomorrow, April 2, to the US. Flights out of Lima will resume on April 3. There are currently no repatriation flights scheduled from Cusco past April 3. (As of 4/1/2020)
- Following nationwide lockdown extensions in the capital and other cities, Philippines’ major airlines are continuing to suspend domestic and international flights through mid-May. (As of 4/24/2020)
In an order issued last week but made public today, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has banned healthcare workers from going abroad. The order is “to prioritize human resource allocation for the national health care system,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay tweeted. (As of 4/10/2020)
- Clark International Airport will suspend all commercial flights, effective April 3. (As of 4/2/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/24/2020)
- The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is operating with a skeletal workforce to service outbound passengers departing the Philippine territory during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Under the BI Advisory dated March 19, 2020, aliens whose visas shall expire during the implementation of the ECQ may file an extension within thirty (30) days from lifting of the ECQ. Further, the Department of Foreign Affairs shall be temporarily suspending visa issuances by Philippine Foreign Service Posts (PFSP) (primarily 9a Temporary Visitor/Tourist Visas) and will deem all previously issued visas by PFSP’s canceled starting March 22, 2020. (As of 3/20/2020)
- Beginning Monday, May 4, individuals who work or study near the Polish border in Poland, and also Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic will be able to cross back and forth without a two-week quarantine. For all other foreign nationals entering Poland, a two-week quarantine period is still required. (As of 5/4/2020)
- Beginning Monday, May 4, individuals who work or study near the Polish border in Poland, and also Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic will be able to cross back and forth without a two-week quarantine. For all other foreign nationals entering Poland, a two-week quarantine period is still required. (As of 4/30/2020)
- As of April 18, foreign national holders of Schengen visas, Residence Permits or long-term visas issued by another Schengen country, or foreigners staying in Poland based on the visa-free movement who were in Poland as of March 14 will have their right to stay in Poland extended until 30 days after cancellation of the epidemic state.
Foreign nationals who were not in Poland on March 14, 2020, will also have their right to stay in Poland extended until 30 days after cancellation of the epidemic state, provided that they submit a residence permit application by the end of the extension period. If they do not submit a residence permit application, but simply leave Poland after the cancellation of the epidemic state, then they will be considered to have stayed in Poland illegally.
Foreigners whose residence cards (plastic identity card with a photo) expire before 30 days from the end of the epidemic state, will not be obligated to exchange their cards to avoid a fine – the cards’ validity will be automatically extended.
Pole Card (Karta Polaka) is a document confirming Polish roots and special rights in Poland (such as the right to work without a work permit). The document is issued for 10 years and does not substitute a visa or residence permit. If the card expires during the epidemic state, it will be automatically prolonged until 3 months after the end of the epidemic state. In this period a Pole Cardholder should apply for a new card.
Immigration offices now have the right to deliver letters to applicants electronically and to allow applicants to review their case files electronically. The files can be sent to the applicant to an email address provided to the authority. Personal visits may now be substituted by a video chat or teleconference. (As of 4/21/2020)
- The government will end the nationwide lockdown in phases beginning on April 19. The country will hold presidential elections by mail on May 10. (As of 4/14/2020)
- The country’s borders will remain closed until May 3. Businesses will remain locked down until April 19. (As of 4/9/2020)
- The government will automatically extend Work Permits for 30 days beyond the end of the pandemic. National visas and residence cards that expire during the pandemic will also be automatically extended for 30 days after the end of the epidemic state. (As of 4/2/2020)
- The US Embassies in Krakow and Warsaw have canceled all visa appointments until further notice. (As of 3/16/2020)
- Portugal | Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced a sector-by-sector approach to end the nationwide lockdown, which has been in place for six weeks. The plan will begin on Monday, May 4. (As of 5/4/2020)
Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced a sector-by-sector approach to end the nationwide lockdown, which has been in place for six weeks. The plan will begin on Monday, May 4. (As of 4/30/2020)
- The Portuguese Council of Ministers has temporarily given all migrants, and asylum seekers full citizenship rights, granting them full access to the country’s healthcare as the outbreak of the novel coronavirus escalates in the country. The move will “unequivocally guarantee the rights of all the foreign citizens” with applications pending with Portuguese immigration until June 30. (As of 3/31/2020)
- All foreign national arrivals are suspended for 14 days. Qatari citizens who are returning may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. (As of 3/18/2020)
- President Vladimir Putin announced that the restrictions in place would gradually begin to ease as of Tuesday, May 12. Individual regions may tailor their response based on local conditions. (As of 5/11/2020)
- The government has extended the earlier set restrictions pertaining to document issuance for foreigners entering Russia. According to the original restrictions, the following are extended until further notice:
- Suspension of entry of foreign nationals into Russia and, accordingly, suspension of issue of invitation letters and visas to them by Russian consulates abroad.
- Suspension of issue of work permits and patents to those foreign nationals who are staying abroad. (As of 5/6/2020)
- During this period of high-alert, Moscow is introducing digital passes for trips in Moscow and the Moscow region. Digital passes are required for any personal or public modes of transportation, but not for walkers. For workers whose organization remains open and their presence in the workplace is necessary, the digital passes allow for unlimited trips to and from work. (As of 4/16/2020)
- With increasing coronavirus cases across the country, the government is increasing restrictions. From April 13-19, all non-essential businesses and organizations are temporarily suspended. Companies that are operating must change their work procedures to allow for personal distancing and work from home. (As of 4/13/2020)
- The government has introduced a curfew, from 8 PM to 8 AM, for the region of Chechnya. The borders between Chechnya and Russia, by road, rail, and air, will close beginning on April 5. This is the first curfew in Russia in response to the coronavirus. (As of 4/3/2020)
- March 30 – April 3 are declared “non-working” days in Russia for non-essential services. Moscow and the Moscow region are implementing a home isolation policy; as such, the migration offices are no longer accepting in-person appointments.
Effective 12 AM, March 30, 2020, the crossing of Russian state border through land border checkpoints as well as the crossing of the land border with Belarus by Russian nationals and foreign nationals (including permanent residents) is restricted. (As of 3/30/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/27/2020)
- The governments of Azerbaijan and Russia 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/17/2020)
- The government has indefinitely extended the suspension of international flights in and out of the country. (As of 4/2/2020)
- The Schengen travel ban is now in effect (as of March 14, 2020). Individuals who have been in any of the Schengen countries in the past 14 days (with certain exceptions for US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their family members) will be banned from entering the United States. The Schengen Area includes the following 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. (As of 3/15/2020)
- The Schengen travel ban will be expanded to include Ireland and the United Kingdom on Monday, March 16, 2020, at 11:59 PM EST. After said time, individuals who have been in the United Kingdom and Ireland in the past 14 days will be banned from entering the United States. The same exceptions for US citizens and lawful permanent residents will apply. (As of 3/15/2020)
- All international air travel has been suspended. (As of 3/22/2020)
- Serbia has closed its airports for international traffic. At this time, all borders – air, land, and river – are closed for travel. (As of 3/20/2020)
- The government is extending a partial lockdown until June 1; the original plan was to expire on May 4. (As of 4/21/2020)
- Starting Tuesday, wearing masks in public is mandatory. (As of 4/14/2020)
- The Health Ministry has announced that nearly 20,000 foreign resident workers in two dormitories will be quarantined for 14 days. The “isolation areas” have onsite medical care, food, and essential supplies.
The government is issuing its third economic stimulus package; this one is 5.1 billion Singapore dollars ($3.6bn). The three packages equal approximately 12% of Singapore’s GDP. (As of 4/6/2020)
- The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is advising all workers to observe safe distancing measures. MOM will be stepping up the monitoring of foreign work pass holders who entered Singapore between March 14-20, 2020, and was not issued a Stay-Home Notice. Employers are to monitor and report the health conditions of workers who came to Singapore between March 14-20. (As of 3/26/2020)
- Entry and transit are suspended for all short-term visitors from anywhere in the world. (As of 3/22/2020)
- Effective March 20 at 11:59 PM local time, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will require all new and existing work pass holders (including dependents) planning to enter/return to Singapore from any country, to obtain MOM’s approval before traveling. The entry approval requirement applies to existing work pass holders currently out of Singapore; and In-Principle Approval holders who have yet to enter Singapore. (As of 3/20/2020)
- Beginning on Monday, the government will step down the restrictions in place since the middle of March. Stores will reopen on April 20, schools universities, and cultural institutions and public transportation remain closed. (As of 4/17/2020)
- Beginning Saturday, April 4, Slovenia will require Slovenian citizens and foreign nationals entering the country to self-quarantine for 14 days. The mandated quarantine does not apply to people who are traveling for work, cargo traffic, or those passing through Slovenia to another destination within the same day. (As of 4/3/2020)
- President Cyril Ramaphosa has introduced new regulations to reopen the economy after five weeks of a strict lockdown. (As of 5/4/2020)
- President Cyril Ramaphosa has introduced new regulations to reopen the economy after five weeks of a strict lockdown. (As of 5/1/2020)
- President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the government would begin partially reopening the economy beginning May 1, lowering the lockdown level from 5 to 4. International borders will remain closed, and travel will be permitted only for essential services.
South Africa has had a nationwide shutdown since late March. (As of 4/24/2020)
- The country will be in lockdown from Thursday, March 26, at midnight to Thursday, April 16, at midnight. (As of 3/24/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- Beginning Wednesday, March 18, a travel ban will be applicable to foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, and the United States. Previously approved visas from these countries will be revoked. South Africans returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-quarantine. (As of 3/16/2020)
- Prime Minister Chung Sye-Kyun announced social distancing restrictions would ease on May 6, which will allow businesses and offices to resume more normal operations. (As of 5/4/2020)
- Beginning March 19, all international arrivals, including South Korean citizens, are subject to special entry procedures, including the installation of a self-diagnosis app on their phone and reporting any suspicious symptoms for 14 days. (As of 3/18/2020)
- The current state of emergency is scheduled to end on May 24. Spain has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 14. (As of 5/11/2020)
- The government has extended the state of emergency for two more weeks from Sunday, May 10. Spain has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 14. The current state of emergency was originally planned to end on Saturday, May 9, at midnight. (As of 5/6/2020)
- Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Spain’s four-phase approach to lifting the nationwide lockdown in an effort to return to normal by the end of June. Spain has been under lockdown since March 14. (As of 4/29/2020)
- The government published in the official gazette the Order INT/368/2020 to extend the inland border controls to May 10, 2020. (As of 4/27/2020)
The government has extended the temporary travel restrictions from third countries to EU and Schengen associated countries until May 15, 2020. (As of 4/21/2020)
- Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will ask parliament for another 15-day lockdown extension. The new extension would end on May 9. (As of 4/20/2020)
- The government extended the state of alarm to April 26 at midnight. (As of 4/13/2020)
- Lawmakers are expected to extend the state of emergency for two more weeks until April 26. (As of 4/9/2020)
- To mitigate the lack of farmworkers in the country, Spain’s government will allow farms to hire between 75,000-80,000 people. Under this decree, if jobless people and legal migrants join the farm sector, they would still receive welfare benefits and be able to extend their work permits, respectively. Agricultural Minister Luis Planas said the new rule would be enacted until June 30. (As of 4/7/2020)
- As of midnight on March 23 and for the 30 days following, Spain will deny entry to EU country nationals and their dependents and third-country nationals, unless they belong to one of the following categories:
- Residents in Spain or those residents traveling directly to their residence in another Member State or Schengen State;
- Holders of a long-term visa issued by a Member State or Schengen State, traveling to the Member State or Schengen State;
- Cross-border workers or healthcare or elderly care professionals to undertake their work activity, or personnel engaged in the transport of goods while undertaking their work activities, and flight crews required to carry out commercial air transport activities;
- Members of the diplomatic missions, consular offices, international and military organisms, provided their mobility is related to the performance of official duties;
- Persons traveling for imperative family reasons duly accredited and persons who provide documentary evidence of force majeure or necessity, or whose entry is permitted on humanitarian grounds. (As of 3/23/2020)
- The government will introduce a lockdown for the capital city, Khartoum, for the next three weeks. (As of 4/13/2020)
- Sweden is no longer accepting visa applications for non-essential travel. (As of 4/1/2020)
- On Friday, the government detailed how current restrictions would be eased, including border restrictions with neighboring countries and Europe.
When migration resumes, the government will prioritize processing the backlog of applicants seeking work in Switzerland and allowing for families to reunite. (As of 5/8/2020)
- Beginning May 11, the current border restrictions will begin to lift. (As of 4/29/2020)
- The government has extended national restrictions until April 26, noting that measures would lessen in a phased approach this month. (As of 4/8/2020)
- Swiss authorities are now categorizing the condition in Switzerland as an ‘extraordinary situation’ under the Swiss Epidemics Act. (As of 4/1/2020)
- Entry restrictions extend from today onwards to all countries (except the Principality of Liechtenstein). Only Swiss citizens, persons with a residence, or cross-border permit for Switzerland or who are in a situation of absolute necessity (death of a family member, a continuation of urgent medical treatments, etc.) are allowed to enter Switzerland. (As of 3/25/2020)
- The Swiss Government has prohibited entry for individuals from risk states or regions; this includes all non-Schengen countries, and Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Visas will not be issued to non-Schengen nationals until June 15. Swiss nationals, persons who have a valid residence title in Switzerland, have a professional motive for entering the country or who only wish to travel to a third country for transit through Switzerland are still entitled to enter Switzerland. (As of 3/19/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- The government has approved a second automatic visa extension for three more months to prevent foreign nationals from having to wait in long lines at the Immigration Bureau to file visa extensions. Foreign nationals whose visas had expired since March 26, 2020, will be permitted to stay until July 31, 2020, without having to apply for an extension. (As of 4/22/2020)
- The government extended the ban on incoming passenger flights until the end of April. The ban, which was introduced on April 4, was supposed to end on April 18. (As of 4/15/2020)
- The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has announced a temporary ban on all international flights into Thailand until April 18. Due to the entry ban, the BOI and IEAT are no longer accepting pre-visa applications until further notice.
For foreign nationals in Thailand with ANY visa type set to expire from March 26 onwards are eligible for an automatic extension until April 30, 2020. (As of 4/9/2020)
- All foreign nationals who legally entered the country will receive automatic visa extensions. (As of 4/8/2020)
- All passenger flights are temporarily banned from landing in the country from Saturday morning through the end of Monday. (As of 4/4/2020)
- The government is imposing a nationwide curfew beginning on Friday, April 3, from 10 PM to 4 AM. The curfew is set to be indefinite. (As of 4/2/2020)
- The Thai Government has announced the issuance of the Emergency Decree, initially in effect from midnight, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, until April 30, 2020. This Emergency Decree will impose a travel ban on all non-Thai citizens by land, sea, and air with certain exceptions for goods transportation, diplomatic missions, and foreigners with work permits. (As of 3/26/2020)
- The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has announced the guidelines for Air Operators performing flights into Thailand. As of midnight on March 22, passengers of ALL nationalities will be required to provide a health certificate certifying that the passengers “poses no risk of being infected by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19),” issued within 72 hours of the date of travel and a health insurance policy that shows minimum medical coverage of 100,000 USD in Thailand and covers the COVID-19 Disease. If the passenger is unable to present the required documents, the Air Operator shall NOT issue a boarding pass, and the boarding shall be denied. (As of 3/20/2020)
- President Tayyip Erdogan said the country would begin lifting coronavirus related restrictions as of Monday, and continue phasing out the measures through May, June, and July. (As of 5/5/2020)
- The government aims to reopen the economy in late-May, easing restrictions slowly between now and then. (As of 4/28/2020)
- President Tayyip Erdogan has stated he aims to return Turkey to normal after the end of Ramadan.
“We aim to achieve maximum observance of measures during the month of Ramadan and, God willing, a transition to normal life for our country after the holiday (at the end of Ramadan),” Erdogan said. (As of 4/21/2020)
- Following a weekend lockdown, President Tayyip Erdogan announced a new weekend lockdown to begin on Friday, April 17. (As of 4/13/2020)
- The government will use mobile phones to track individuals in quarantine to make sure they don’t break the restrictions. (As of 4/8/2020)
- The government has shut down 31 cities’ borders, including Istanbul, for all traffic other than essential services and goods. Starting Friday, citizens young than 20 years old have a curfew of midnight. (As of 4/3/2020)
- President Yoweri Museveni extended the national lockdown by three weeks to end on May 5. (As of 4/15/2020)
- The government has extended the nationwide lockdown to May 22, though some restrictions will begin to ease on May 11. Ukraine has been under lockdown since March 12. (As of 5/4/2020)
- On Friday, the government is banning gatherings of more than two people, asking everyone to wear masks, and carry identification. Regional authorities will establish border checkpoints for inspections, and all arrivals must self-quarantine for 14 days. Schools, restaurants, and other gathering places remain closed. The government said it hopes to decrease the restrictions later in the month. (As of 4/3/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/17/2020)
The United Arab Emirates
- Over the weekend, shopping malls, restaurants, and salons began to reopen in the UAE. Businesses and commercial centers will have restrictions for customer capacity and new safety measures, including thermal inspection devices, shorter hours, and all customers are required to wear a face mask. (As of 5/4/2020)
- As Ramadan begins, the nationwide curfew has been shortened by two hours and will now be from 10 PM to 6 AM (As of 4/23/2020)
- The United Arab Emirates will waive residency visa fines for the rest of the year. (As of 4/6/2020)
- The UAE has suspended all commercial passenger and transit flights. (As of 3/17/2020)
- Effective immediately, entry is suspended for holders of valid residence permits and visas, until further notice. Effective immediately, issuance of all types of visas, including visas on arrival, is suspended. The issuance of all types of work permit is suspended until further notice. UAE residents returning to the UAE are subject to self-quarantine for 14 days. (As of 3/22/2020)
- The UAE suspended entry for all valid visa holders who are currently out of the country for a renewable period of two weeks effective from noon today. The Federal Authority for Citizenship and Identity temporarily suspended issuing all visas on arrival. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also announced a temporary ban on citizens traveling abroad until further notice. (As of 3/19/2020)
The United Kingdom
- The nationwide lockdown will be in place until at least June 1. Still, the government has introduced a phased approach to returning to normal; beginning Monday people who cannot work from home are encouraged to return to work, and on Wednesday, individuals will be able to go outside for as long as they like while maintaining social distance.
The government has told the airlines that it will require a 14-day quarantine period for most people arriving from abroad. (As of 5/11/2020)
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government would outline details of how the country would ease the lockdown measures on Sunday, May 10 with some measures beginning as soon as the next day. (As of 5/6/2020)
- In a press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain has passed the coronavirus peak and that the government would introduce its plan to end the nationwide lockdown next week. (As of 4/30/2020)
- The UK Home Office has issued guidance for those who have been unable to enter the UK due to COVID-19 but have an expired 30-day entry Visa that is issued to those entering the country to activate a work permit.
The Home Office’s guidance for visa applicants and temporary UK residents now says that applicants can request a replacement visa with revised validity dates free of charge. This service will be available until the end of 2020.
To request a replacement, visa applicants need to email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre at CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk with their name, nationality, date of birth, and GWF reference number with ‘REPLACEMENT 30 DAY VISA’ in the subject line. When the visa application centers reopen, the Home Office will contact applicants to arrange for a replacement visa to be placed in their passport. (As of 4/29/2020)
- In reports from Brussels, the negotiations between the European Union and Britain over the future trade agreement terms have stalled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The talks, which had been on pause, resumed last week.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the London team was ready to keep talking, “but that doesn’t make us any more likely to agree to the EU’s proposals in areas where they are not taking into account the UK’s status as an independent state.” (As of 4/28/2020)
- In a tweet, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab announced that Britain would host a virtual international summit focused on developing a vaccination for the novel-coronavirus. (As of 4/24/2020)
- Dominic Raab, standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from COVID-19, extended the nationwide lockdown for at least three more weeks.
“We have just come too far, we’ve lost too many loved ones, we’ve already sacrificed far too much to ease up now, especially when we are beginning to see the evidence that our efforts are starting to pay off,” he told reporters.
The UK has been under lockdown since March 23, and in the press conference, medical advisors said the country had reduced the rate of transmission to below 1, indicating their efforts are working. (As of 4/17/2020)
- Northern Ireland will extend restrictions until May 5, in line with Ireland. (As of 4/15/2020)
- Foreign Minister Dominic Raab is expected to announce that the nationwide lockdown will continue until at least May 7. (As of 4/14/2020)
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is out of the ICU and still in the hospital recovering from symptoms related to COVID-19.
A new COVID-19 symptom tracker is showing evidence that the current lockdown measures are working. (As of 4/10/2020)
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “clinically stable” in ICU for treatment for COVID-19. (As of 4/8/2020)
- Over the weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized due to symptoms related to the coronavirus. At around 7 PM GMT, Johnson was transferred to the ICU as a precaution in case he would need ventilation. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will temporarily fulfill Mr. Johnson’s duties while he is hospitalized. (As of 4/6/2020)
- The UK has stopped accepting visa applications globally. (As of 4/1/2020)
- Doctors, nurses, and paramedics with visas due to expire before October 1, 2020, will have them automatically extended for one year. The extension will apply to around 2,800 migrant doctors, nurses and paramedics, and their families. More information available here. (As of 3/31/2020)
- The government will review in three weeks the lockdown steps it put in place last Monday. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries said Britons may be subject to some form of lockdown measures for six months or longer. (As of 3/30/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/27/2020)
- If your visa was set to expire between January 24 and May 31, 2020, your visa would be extended to May 31, 2020, if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes those whose leave has already been automatically extended to March 31, 2020. In this case, you must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) to update your records. (As of 3/26/2020)
- The UK Government has tightened restrictions; as of Tuesday morning, all non-essential-essential 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. (As of 3/24/2020)
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new lockdown measures for London, asking cafes, bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and other places where large groups congregate to close this evening or earlier. (As of 3/20/2020)
- All non-premium biometric application centers ASCs operated by USCIS in the US are closed as of yesterday. (As of 3/19/2020)
- London | Beginning today, the London underground system will be partially shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (As of 3/19/2020)
- 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. (As of 3/18/2020)
- London | The US Embassy in London has canceled all visa appointments for the next five weeks. April 20 appointments will remain as scheduled. (As of 3/16/2020)
The United States
As of 5/6/2020
- USCIS has transferred cases between various service centers to balance workload.
Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, for H-1B cap-subject petitioners requesting H-1B nonimmigrant classification for FY 2021 (regular cap and advanced degree exemption) have been transferred from the Vermont Service Center to the Nebraska Service Center and from the California Service Center to the Texas Service Center.
Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, for petitioners seeking O and P nonimmigrant classification have been transferred from the California Service Center to the Vermont Service Center
As of 5/4/2020
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a temporary policy for expired identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.
Employers who receive an acceptable expired List B document not extended by the issuing authority, should record the document information in Sec. 2, under List B, and enter COVID-19 in the additional information field.
Within 90 days after DHS terminates this temporary policy, the employee will be required to present a valid, unexpired document to replace the expired document presented when they were initially hired.
As of 4/27/2020
- On Friday, the Supreme Court denied the request from states to block the “public charge” rule from being in effect during the coronavirus pandemic. The public charge rule heightens the criterion for immigrants to obtain legal status if they use public benefits.As previously reported in an Immigration Nerds podcast, in March, USCIS announced that in light of the coronavirus, immigrants who undergo medical testing or receive treatment for it, will not be penalized when applying for green cards and visas under the public charge rule.
As of 4/24/2020
- According to a report in Reuters, the US will begin testing some migrants in detention for COVID-19 before deportation. ICE will have 2,000 tests per month to screen deportees. After reports of migrants arriving with positive cases of the novel-coronavirus, the governments of Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Jamaica have requested testing.
As of 4/23/2020
- On Wednesday, April 22, at 7:00 PM EDT, President Trump released the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.” This Executive Order has no impact on immigrant and nonimmigrant employment-based immigration processes for individuals already living and working in the U.S.As EIG continues to monitor this situation, we’ve packaged our Immigration Executive Order summary and analysis in this PDF as a quick-reference for you, and to share with your teams and employees. EIG will continue to monitor this situation and will issue additional updates or reports if any changes are made.
As of 4/22/2020
- As of 6:00 PM EST, Tuesday | President Trump held a press conference and confirmed the impact of the Immigration Suspension he tweeted about on Monday and the contents of the Executive Order.According to the President, the EO will effectuate a 60-day suspension on immigrant visa cases, subject to extension. Nonimmigrant visas are unaffected. However, Trump did allude to a second order that is currently being considered which would contain more restrictions.The President confirmed that the EO would most likely be signed today. EIG will review the final EO and provide additional details regarding the scope of the impact.We will continue to closely monitor this situation for updates.
As of 4/21/2020
- Late Monday night, via Twitter, President Donald Trump said he would be signing an executive order to suspend immigration into the United States temporarily. At this time, there are no updates from the Department of Homeland Security or details on what such an executive order could entail.According to Politico, “DHS is still drafting the executive order… When asked what prompted the decision, a top DHS official responded: ’22 million unemployed Americans and counting due to COVID-19.'” We will continue to closely monitor this situation for updates.
As of 4/20/2020
- The border restrictions between the countries, which were set to expire on April 27, will extend for another 30 days. The terms remain unchanged, allowing essential service workers and goods to cross between the countries.
“As President Trump stated last week, border control, travel restrictions, and other limitations remain critical to slowing the spread of coronavirus and allowing the phased opening of the country,” Acting Secretary, Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, said in a tweet. (As of 4/20/2020)
As of 4/17/2020
- At the daily coronavirus press conference, President Donald Trump outlined the Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. The three-phased approach is presented as guidelines for state and local officials to follow when they begin to reopen ease down restrictions.According to Whitehouse.gov, decision making is based on up-to-date data and readiness. It is designed to “mitigate [the] risk of resurgence, protect the most vulnerable, and is implementable on statewide or county-by-county basis at the governors’ discretion.”
As of 4/16/2020
- President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he would introduce “new guidelines” for reopening the economy on Thursday. “The battle continues, but the data suggests that the nation has passed the peak on new cases,” Trump said during his daily White House news briefing.
As of 4/14/2020
- The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Monday that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there would be data processing delays for the H-1B FY 2021 cap season. The 90-day filing period began on April 1. Additional guidance is available here.
As of 4/13/2020
- For the first time, the US Supreme Court will hear cases by conference call instead of in the Court. The justices will hear arguments on May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13.
As of 4/10/2020
- According to a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), three local governments will sign agreements to become the first to adopt a location-tracking app to prevent new community outbreaks of the novel coronavirus
As of 4/9/2020
- As office closures limit overseas passport operations due to COVID-19, the State Department is no longer shipping full validity passports overseas. Embassies and consulates may issue limited validity emergency passports for urgent travel needs.
As of 4/8/2020
- California | Santa Clara County public health officer Sara Cody announced at a Board of Supervisors meeting that the county, which was initially on track to have an estimated 50,000 cases of COVID-19, has significantly slowed the spread. In early March, case counts were doubling every three days; it is now doubling approximately every two weeks.
- On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin consulted with congressional leaders to secure an additional $250 bn in aid for US small businesses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated the funding could be approved as soon as Thursday.
As of 4/2/2020
- According to USCIS, the field offices plan to reopen on May 4 unless public closures are extended further. Employees in these offices continue to perform mission-essential services that don’t require face-to-face contact with the public.
- The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have extended the postponement of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) hearings scheduled through Friday, May 1, 2020. All already scheduled hearings will be rescheduled. Individuals with an MPP hearing date through Friday, May 1, 2020, should present themselves at their designated port of entry on their previously scheduled date to receive a tear sheet and hearing notice containing their new hearing dates.
As of 4/1/2020
- San Francisco | In light of the Shelter in Place order that was extended to May 3, the SF USCIS field office has confirmed that interviews “will not resume by April 7” as originally planned.
Requests for Evidence that are due during the closure for the San Francisco or San Jose Field Offices will have a one-month extension. However, SF USCIS has advised that any RFE/NOID, etc. issued after March 1, should be reviewed carefully.
As of 3/31/2020
- The Department of State advises US citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, US citizens who live abroad should arrange for an immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. At present, the Department of State is making every effort to assist US citizens overseas who wish to return to the United States. As the COVID-19 situation develops, the State Department’s ability to provide such assistance working with commercial airlines or arranging for evacuation flights may become more limited or even unavailable. There is no guarantee that the Department of State will be able to continue to provide repatriation assistance, and transportation options to the United States may be unavailable in the future. According to the DOS, travelers who choose to remain overseas should be prepared to stay where they are for the foreseeable future.
As of 3/30/2020
- The CDC has issued a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, advising residents of these states to “refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.” The advisory is effective immediately, CDC said in a statement.
As of 3/27/2020
- 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.
As of 3/25/2020
- The White House and Senate leaders reached a deal overnight on a $2 trillion stimulus bill to support the US economy, businesses, and workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.USCIS announced the temporary closure of the offices in Rome, Italy, and Nairobi, Kenya, to the public. USCIS will post updates on their office webpages and will reschedule all appointments. Additionally, USCIS will continue to respond to email inquiries.USCIS is extending its temporary suspension of face-to-face services at all offices until April 7, unless the public closures are extended further. This suspension extension applies to interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and biometric appointments. USCIS will continue to provide emergency services during this time.
As of 3/24/2020
- 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.
As of 3/23/2020
- The Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services — including all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments — at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services. Services to U.S. citizens continue to be available. More information is available on each Embassy’s website.
As of 3/21/2020
- E-Verify has confirmed that employers are still required to create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire. Employers must use the hire date from the employee’s Form I-9 when creating the E-Verify case. If case creation is delayed due to COVID-19 precautions, select “Other” from the drop-down list and enter “COVID-19” as the specific reason. E-Verify is extending the timeframe to take action to resolve Social Security Administration (SSA) Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) due to SSA office closures to the public. E-Verify is also extending the timeframe to take action to resolve the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) TNCs in limited circumstances when an employee cannot resolve a TNC due to public or private office closures. (As of 3/21/2020)
- The DOL has released guidance on whether employers will be required to re-post Labor Condition Applications if employees work from home. To read about the posting requirements for employees working from home during COVID-19, please read the DOL FAQs. (As of 3/21/2020)
As of 3/20/2020
- California | Thursday evening, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the “Safer at Home” order, which requires LA residents to adopt additional emergency measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 further. Similar to the Bay Area’s restrictions earlier this week, the order states, “wherever feasible, City residents must isolate themselves in their residences, subject to certain exceptions.” Exceptions include those whose jobs are critical to the safety, health, and security of the city, as well as an “economy of recovery.” The order went into effect on March 19 at 11:59 PM and goes until April 19, 2020, and it may be extended. (As of 3/20/2020)
- New York | Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered non-essential-essential businesses to keep 100% of their workforce at home and introduced new restrictions on all New Yorkers starting Sunday. Businesses that provide essential services, like grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks, must implement rules that ensure employees and customers maintain at least 6 feet of space between each other. Public transportation should be used only if it’s absolutely necessary. (As of 3/20/2020)
- The Department of Homeland Security announced it would defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Read more.US Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency announced by President Trump on March 13, 2020, it will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures, including the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond. Read more. USCIS has suspended premium processing for all I-129 and I-140 petitions due to the pandemic, effective immediately. Petitions that already have a pending I-907 who receive no agency action on the case within the 15 day period will receive a refund on the premium processing filing fee. Read more.
As of 3/19/2020
- On Wednesday evening, President Trump approved a relief package to provide sick leave, unemployment benefits, free coronavirus testing, and food and medical aid to those affected by the coronavirus. Additionally, the White House and lawmakers and working out the details of an economic stabilization package to send direct payments to taxpayers and provide loans to businesses. (As of 3/19/2020)The US Embassy and Consulates in the following countries are suspending or limiting routine visa services: Dominican Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and elsewhere are also suspending or limiting routine visa services. (As of 3/19/2020)
As of 3/18/2020
- 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.
As of 3/17/2020
- 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. (As of 3/17/2020)
- 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.” (As of 3/17/2020)
As of 3/16/2020
- USCIS | The USCIS has stated that they will not be conducting H-1B or L-1 site visits for companies that are closed due to COVID-19. (As of 3/16/2020)
- The United States | For individuals who entered the US at JFK or Newark International Airport under the VWP/ESTA status but are unable to travel due to international COVID-19 restrictions, they will be able to extend their status/I-94 at Deferred Inspection at each airport. As of today, this process only exists at Newark and JFK. (As of 3/16/2020)
- US Supreme Court | On Monday, the Supreme Court canceled hearings through the end of March. In a statement, the Court cited precedent, “The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic. The Court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.” (As of 3/16/2020)
- US Airport Routing | American citizens who are returning to the US after travel from the affected/listed countries (China, Iran, and the Schengen Zone), will now be required to travel through 13 airports: Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California, Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey, San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington, Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia.
As of 3/15/2020
- US Embassies and Consulates in India cancel visa appointments. The US Embassies and Consulates in India have canceled all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments, starting March 16, 2020. The State Department has indicated that once visa processing resumes, all appointments will be rescheduled. When EIG learns more about the rescheduling plans, we will notify our clients. If you are a client who is in India waiting for your visa appointment, we ask that you notify your employer and your EIG attorney. (As of 3/15/2020)
- The US Embassy and Branch in Israel cancel visa appointments. The US Embassy and Branch in Israel have canceled all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments, starting March 16, 2020. The State Department has indicated that once visa processing resumes, all appointments will be rescheduled. When EIG learns more about the rescheduling plans, we will notify our clients. If you are a client who is in Israel waiting for your visa appointment, we ask that you notify your employer and your EIG attorney. (As of 3/15/2020)
- COVID-19 testing and treatment will not be a factor in USCIS Public Charge analysis. In a statement released by USCIS, the agency has stated that “USCIS will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination nor as related to the public benefit condition applicable to certain nonimmigrants seeking an extension of stay or change of status, even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits, as defined in the rule (e.g., federally funded Medicaid).” (As of 3/15/2020)
- USCIS office closure in Seattle. Due to COVID-19, the USCIS has closed one local field office in Seattle. USCIS has stated it will be rescheduling interviews and appointments once they deem the office safe from the spread of COVID-19. EIG is monitoring USCIS office closures carefully, including I-485 interviews in the Bay Area, which we anticipate will stop in the upcoming weeks. If EIG learns of widespread interview/biometrics cancellation, we will notify our clients immediately. (As of 3/15/2020)
- The government has suspended air and rail traffic with all foreign countries. (As of 3/18/2020)
- The government announced Wednesday that it would begin lifting the stringent movement restrictions. Vietnam has reported fewer than 300 cases and no deaths since the virus was detected in January. (As of 4/22/2020)
- As a result of the recent social distancing measure extension to April 22, the immigration department remains closed. Visas and temporary residence cards set to expire during this time will not be considered overstays.
The suspension of entry visa issuance is extended until at least April 30. (As of 4/17/2020)
- The government extended the lockdown in the country’s main cities – 12 provinces in total – including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City until April 22. (As of 4/15/2020)