From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has issued a series of restrictions on entry to the country. The latest restriction, effective January 26, 2021, mandates proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID prior to boarding any flight to the United States. As set forth below, it differs from the existing patchwork of COVID-related travel restrictions, in that it applies to all travelers age two or older–including US citizens and US permanent residents.

The new COVID testing mandate for all international air travelers was ordered by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC). The CDC’s Order, issued on January 12, 2021, is in response to the identification of a highly-transmissible variant form of the COVID virus. While the CDC Order impacts travel to the United States from abroad, it is a public health measure—not an immigration restriction. This is an important differentiation from the earlier Presidential Proclamations suspending travel. As a public health measure, the CDC’s order applies to all passengers, without consideration of US immigration status or immigration-based exceptions.Continue Reading US Requires Negative COVID Tests or Proof of Recovery for all International Air Travelers; Biden Expected to Reinstate Travel Suspension Proclamation

With continuing high unemployment rates and COVID-driven economic woes, on August 3, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) that could potentially lead to restrictions on the ability of government contractors and subcontractors to use foreign labor in the performance of government contracts.

Specifically, the EO (1) requires executive agencies to review and assess past

As anticipated, President Trump issued a proclamation on June 22, suspending the ability of foreign nationals in common employment-based non-immigrant (temporary) categories to enter the United States. The proclamation, which is valid until December 31, 2020, places a suspension on the L-1, H-1B, H-2B, and specified J-1 categories. While the proclamation is significant, there are

Update: On Monday, June 22, the Trump Administration signed a proclamation temporarily suspending H-1B and other work visas. Click here for our client alert discussing the impact of this new restriction.

Reports from well-placed sources indicate the Trump Administration will be announcing an additional round of immigration restrictions shortly. These measures are expected to include

On May 29, President Trump announced in a White House news conference the US government would “begin the process” to revoke the “full range of agreements” providing the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China separate treatment from mainland China under US law. Although the president’s announcement contained few specifics on the proposed measures or

As businesses remain closed and employees continue to work remotely, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has revisited COVID-19 related accommodations for Form I-9 Employment Verification. There have been several flexibility policy extensions, with related employer follow-up obligations that must be tracked. There also has been a scheduled Form I-9 update, with related guidance. Employers

On April 22, President Trump signed a proclamation titled “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the US Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.” This proclamation followed the president’s tweets about plans to suspend US immigration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While these developments raised many questions and concerns, the scope of the proclamation is limited. Under the current state of affairs with COVID-19 related closures of consulates and embassies, the proclamation will have no immediate impact. Its overall, long-term, impact will depend largely upon whether it is extended beyond its current 60-day duration.Continue Reading Client Alert: President Trump’s COVID-19 Immigration Proclamation Has Limited Scope

Many foreign nationals have found themselves unexpectedly unable to depart the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This presents a particular challenge for individuals present in the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), often referred to as ESTA, a category which precludes standard status extension options. In response to COVID-19, the US

Click here to read the full Client Advisory by Steptoe.

Due to COVID-19, we have seen a nationwide shift to remote work arrangements. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recognized the incompatibility of in-person employment-eligibility requirements with public health restrictions, and has therefore issued temporary accommodations to the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)

Click here to read the full Client Advisory by Steptoe. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted immigration with changes to travel bans, visa processing, and immigration interview suspensions. These changes, combined with the need for social distancing to inhibit the spread of COVID-19, have driven employers – voluntarily and involuntarily – to accommodate remote work wherever