*COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, and U.S. and non-U.S. governments are making frequent policy changes which impact travel and immigration. Please do not make any international travel arrangements without checking relevant government websites and consulting your immigration legal team.*
This article was last updated March 16 at 3:30 P.M. Central.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATES
Update March 16:
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will be shutting the border to non-Canadian citizens, with the exception of, permanent residents, the immediate family members of Canadian citizens, diplomats, flight crews, and U.S. citizens at this time.
Additionally, starting Wednesday, March 18, international flights will only be allowed to land in Canada at four airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
All travelers seeking entry into Canada will have to answer the health screening questions and CBSA officers will be on the lookout for visible signs of illness.
Envoy is closely monitoring the developments and updates will be posted as they come in from the Canadian government.
Update March 15:
The White House has expanded its European travel ban to now include the U.K. and Ireland. This will take effect at midnight Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, March 16. In line with the prior European (Schengen Area) travel ban, U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPRs) will not be affected. However, the U.S. has indicated that all individuals traveling from countries with a travel ban in place may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.
In addition, the U.S. Embassy and consulates in many countries (including India) have indefinitely cancelled immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments.
Update March 12:
In his address to the nation, President Donald Trump announced an expansion to the travel ban. This new travel ban will impact all non-U.S. citizens and non-lawful permanent residents who were physically present within the Schengen Area in the 14 days prior to their attempted entry into the U.S. This travel ban goes into effect March 13 at 11:59 p.m. EDT and is effective for 30 days. Only highly limited exceptions apply to this travel restriction.
The Schengen Area consists of 26 member countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Additionally, the State Department has issued a Global 3 Health Advisory. As such, the State Department advises U.S. citizens to reconsider any travel abroad.
CURRENT U.S. TRAVEL ADVISORIES
The latest travel advisories and restrictions can be found here. These include:
- U.S. Embassies and consulates: Many U.S. embassies and consulates (including India) have indefinitely cancelled immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments.
- UK and Ireland: On March 14th, the European Schengen Area travel ban was extended to include UK and Ireland, effective midnight Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, March 16.
- European Schengen Area: On March 12, a presidential proclamation suspended entry to the U.S. for non-U.S. citizens and non-Lawful Permanent Residents who have been in any of the European Schengen Area countries in the 14 days prior to their intended U.S. entry. This suspension is effective for 30 days, starting 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time on March 13, 2020.
- China and Iran: Entry to the U.S. is suspended for all non-U.S. citizens and non-Lawful Permanent Residents if they have been in China or Iran during the 14 days prior to their intended U.S. entry.
- Broader travel: the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3 Global Health Advisory, urging those with international travel plans to reconsider.
- U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Resident: US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who do travel from countries with a travel ban in place may be subject to entering the US only at designated airports, undergoing enhanced medical screenings and required to self-quarantine
- Exceptions: Only limited exceptions apply to the above travel restrictions, these can include, but not limited to:spouses of US citizens and LPRs; parents with children (under 21, unmarried) who are US citizens or LPRs; members of the U.S. Armed Forces. You can view a list of all exceptions here. In all instances please contact your immigration legal team if you have questions about whether you'd be able to enter the U.S.
CURRENT GLOBAL (NON-U.S.) TRAVEL ADVISORIES
Every country is implementing unique admission criteria amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Entry into these other countries may be challenging, as criteria can be based on place of birth, nationality, recent travel history and many other factors.
As of March 9, the U.S. government has compiled an updated list of COVID-19 country specific information. Within that list, you will find entry and exit requirements, quarantine information and a list of local resources.
Please refer to this link for information regarding a specific country's approach to COVID-19.
During the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, it's important for foreign nationals and their employers to stay informed of the latest developments, particularly surrounding travel. Helpful government resources include:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.