As a follow up to our prior announcements regarding travel bans from China and concerns about loss of consular services in various regions throughout the globe, the President last night announced a travel ban for individuals who are traveling from Europe, except those from the U.K and Ireland, who have visited there in the prior 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. This ban does not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and includes some additional exceptions. It goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday night. The ban does not apply to persons abroad a flight scheduled to arrive in the U.S. that departed prior to when the ban becomes effective.
This travel ban is initially in place for 30-days and exists at the same time as the China and Iran travel bans. We have also heard anecdotal reports of visa denials and announcements that visas are being suspended or refused in countries viewed as “Level 3” containment in relation to the virus. We assume this has to do with the Department of State’s own public levels related to the virus. It is clear given this latest travel ban, that as we previously reported, this situation is still in flux and individuals should plan any future travel with an eye to “what if” – “what if” I’m unable to get my visa, “what if” I can’t return home for 30 or more days, or “what if” I will be subject to quarantine for 14 days or more, and make your own decision based on your individual risk factor.
Those travelers who are concerned about being stuck abroad should consider their options to return to the U.S. at their earliest opportunity. Conversely, for those who may be stuck or are traveling with the fear of being stuck, you should ensure you have whatever key items you need with you, including a way of continuing to work remotely and that if traveling you are doing so in accordance with current employer policies. Given the volume of emails we are getting related to this issue during H-1B cap filing season, we may be delayed in responding, but know that we cannot know what may happen in the future insofar as consular services and travel bans that may apply – we cannot give anyone any guarantees about their eligibility to travel at this time given the uncertainty this announcement has caused. Again, you should make your own travel decisions based on your individual situation.
Please everyone stay safe and, as the CDC is recommending, our older clients should pay close attention to being in groups and consider social distancing to limit their introduction to the virus.
As a final reminder – David Brown – Managing Partner will be holding his latest H-1B update presentation at 2:00 pm EDT – at the outset of this presentation he’ll do a brief update on the Coronavirus before discussing the H-1B Cap Registration season. If you wish to join, register HERE.
Once registered, you will receive an email with a link to use to join the video chat on the day of the event. Please note: This link should not be shared with others; it is unique to you. If you ever misplace the invitation link, simply visit the webinar schedule on our website to join the LIVE chat.
Don’t miss these opportunity to increase your knowledge on important immigration issues!
Thank you and we look forward to having you at the event.
The Team at Brown Immigration Law
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **