FAQ

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Immigration - Covid-19

Travel Ban

Who is included in the travel ban?

  

The entry into the U.S., as immigrants or nonimmigrants (any holder of non–immigrant visas), of all aliens who were present in the Schengen Area* including UK and Ireland during the 14-day period preceding their entry of attempted entry into the U.S., is suspended.

*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.

Who is NOT INCLUDED in the travel ban?

  

–Any U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident – Green Card holder – of the U.S.;
– Any alien who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident;
– Any alien who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
– Any alien who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
– Any alien who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
– Any alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
– Any alien traveling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crew member or any alien otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew;
– Any alien:
     - (A) seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to one of the following visas: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or the employee’s immediate family members), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO -1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a nonimmigrant in one of those NATO categories); or
     - (B) whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;
– Any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;
– Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees; or
– Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

    Since  when the travel ban has been implemented?

      

    The travel ban is effective since Friday, March 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

    Who is included in the travel ban?

      

    The entry into the U.S., as immigrants or nonimmigrants (any holder of non–immigrant visas), of all aliens who were present in the Schengen Area* including UK and Ireland during the 14-day period preceding their entry of attempted entry into the U.S., is suspended.

    *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.

    How long does the travel ban is going to last?

      

    The travel ban was planned to last thirty (30) days but shall last longer until terminated by President.

    Which airports will accept U.S. travelers from European Schengen countries?

      

    1. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
    2. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
    3. San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
    4. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
    5. Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
    6. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), California
    7. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
    8. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
    9. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
    10. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
    11. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), Michigan

    Can I travel from Canada back to the US?

      

    Canada has closed it border to Foreign nationals who have been traveling from the Schengen space prior to their arrival in Canada so this is no longer an option.

    In addition, as of March 21, 2020, there is a 30-day restriction on all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border

    Unemployment & Immigration:

    Am I allowed to request unemployment?

      

    It is a matter of State Law versus Immigration Law. Many states (like New York or California) allow unemployment benefits even to foreign nationals, as long as they are authorized to work in the U.S.  

    This may seem in direct conflict with USCIS regulations, which makes working a condition of valid status in the U.S. 

    Even though this is paradoxical, if it became necessary for someone in a temporary visa status (E, TN, L-1A or O1) to apply for unemployment benefits then he can do so [see more details below)

    It is to be noted that for those in H-1B, the employer is in theory always subject to paying the prevailing wage (DOL's rule) and going on unemployment would be in contradiction of that so in case of change of salary, it would be recommended to amend the existing petition to reduce the number of hours and thus salary. 

    Grace period: As an employee under a non-immigrant visa status, if your employment is terminated, you are allowed to stay a 60 day grace period in the United States, period during which you may seek sponsorship for an employment-based visa status with a different employer.

    People in the US pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program who are nearing the end of their 90-day stay may apply for a special extension of their stay called “satisfactory departure”. This satisfactory departure may be extended for 30 days. The main reason to be considered must be related to health issue due the COVID.

    Is unemployment considered to be a public benefit under the new public charge rule?

      

    Unemployment is NOT considered to be a public benefit under the new public charge rule.

    The rule explicitly lists benefits that can be considered in the public charge analysis, which are (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), most forms of Medicaid, and certain housing assistance programs. Notably absent from this list are state-funded programs and unemployment insurance.

    Note also the USCIS's own website which states that services received by noncitizens related to COVID-19 should not negatively affect the public charge analysis:

    • USCIS encourages all those, including aliens, with symptoms that resemble Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services.  Such treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis.  
    • 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).
    • USCIS considers the receipt of public benefits as only one consideration among a number of factors and considerations in the totality of the alien’s circumstances over a period of time with no single factor being outcome determinative.

    More info on USCIS web page https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/public-charge

    Still have questions? Email us at info@columbusconsulting.com