Immigration and Travel Updates COVID-19

Posted on 3/23/2020. COVID-19 IMMIGRATION UPDATES 

Below please find a list of COVID-19 legal measures that relate to immigration enforcement (ICE), immigration services (USCIS), immigration court hearings (EOIR), visa issues, and travel restrictions (DOS).  Check back for further updates as these changes are ongoing.   

U.S. CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION SERVICE

3/13/20, Public charge rule limitedUSCIS notice

  • USCIS announces it “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… even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits.”

3/17/20, USCIS in-person services are suspended nation-wide until at least April 1, 2020 USCIS statement

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suspends routine in-person services including biometric and interview appointments until at least April 1st.
  • Effective March 18, 2020.

ICE UPDATES 

3/9/20, Student visa flexible studyICE guidance

  • ICE announces that it “intends to be flexible with temporary adaptations” to COVID-19 for students and OPT workers, including telework or remote classrooms.
  • Effective March 9, 2020.

3/17/20, ICE in-person check-ins cancelled until at least April 1, 2020ICE letter to Congress

  • ICE suspends in-person check-ins by immigrants considered a “low priority” for removal and ICE would give newly released immigrants at the border 60 days to check-in rather than 30.
  • Effective March 17, 2020.

3/18/20, ICE enforcement restrictionsICE statement

  • ICE suspends arrests of those who are not “public safety risks or individual subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds.” Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli has clarified that some non-priority arrests will still occur.
  • Effective March 18, 2020.

IMMIGRATION COURT (EOIR)

3/17/20, Immigration court closuresEOIR statement

  • The Executive Office of Immigration Review postpones all hearings for non-detained cases until April 10th, and closes 10 of its courts (Chicago doors remain open).
  • Effective March 18, 2020.

VISAS ABROAD

2/1/20, China visa suspensionembassy notice

  • U.S. State Department announces a total closure in China until February 7, 2020.
  • Effective February 3, 2020.

3/12/20, Italy visa suspensionembassy notice

  • U.S. State Department suspends regular visa processing at the U.S. Embassy in Rome and Consulates General Milan, Naples, and Florence.
  • Effective March 12, 2020.

3/18/20, Worldwide visa suspensionState Department notice

  • U.S. State Department cancels routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments worldwide, effectively prohibiting new authorizations to travel to the United States. Only emergency appointments will be allowed.
  • Effective March 18, 2020.

OTHER TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

1/31/20, China banPresidential proclamation 9984

  • Bans entry of all noncitizens who were in China in the last 14 days, except for LPRs, spouses of LPRs or U.S. citizens, unmarried children under 21, siblings under 21 of U.S. citizens or LPRs under 21, child of U.S. citizens or LPRs, crewmembers, government officials, or those exempted by the Secretary of State or DHS.
  • Requires quarantining of people who may have been exposed to the virus.
  • Effective February 2, 2020.

2/29/20, Iran banPresidential proclamation 9992

  • Bans entry of all noncitizens who were in Iran in the last 14 days, except for LPRs, spouses of LPRs or U.S. citizens, unmarried children under 21, siblings under 21 of U.S. citizens or LPRs under 21, child of U.S. citizens or LPRs, crewmembers, government officials, or those exempted by the Secretary of State or DHS.
  • Requires quarantining of people who may have been exposed to the virus.
  • Effective March 2, 2020.

3/11/20, Europe banPresidential Proclamation 9993

  • Bans entry of all noncitizens who were in the European Schengen Area in the last 14 days, except for LPRs, spouses of LPRs or U.S. citizens, unmarried children under 21, siblings under 21 of U.S. citizens or LPRs under 21, child of U.S. citizens or LPRs, crewmembers, government officials, or those exempted by State Department or DHS.
  • Requires quarantining of people who may have been exposed to the virus.
  • Effective March 13, 2020.

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