Greenspoon Marder Client Alert: US-Canada and US-Mexico Travel Restrictions and April 2020 Visa Bulletin
Mar 20, 2020
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published notice regarding the US-Canada
Joint Initiative in the Federal Register restricting non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is effective tonight at midnight, March 21 st, until 11:59 pm on April 20 th. Under this initiative, all non-essential travel across its borders is restricted. This partial closing does not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the United States and Canada, but does apply to passenger rail and ferry travel between the United States and Canada. The restriction will remain in place for 30 days, at which time the restriction will be reviewed by both countries.
The notice defines “essential travel” as including, but not limited to the following:
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States);
Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;
Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada in furtherance of such work);
Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies);
Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada);
Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel;
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and
Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
The following travel does not fall within the definition of “essential travel” for purposes of this notice
Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events).
US-Mexico Joint Initiative to Restricting Travel Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic
The DHS released a statement today on March 20
th summarizing the Joint Initiative between the US and Mexico in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to the US-Canada initiate, the US and Mexico have agreed to temporarily restrict non-essential travel across its borders. As above, non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. The travel restrictions across the border will take effect today after midnight, March 21 st and will remain in effect for 30 days subject to extension upon review.
USCIS Announces Visa Bulletin Dates for April 2020
The DOS has released the
Visa Bulletin for April 2020 and USCIS has made the determination that for all employment-based preference categories, applicants must use the Final Action Dates chart. Family-sponsored preference categories may use the Filing Action Dates chart, with the exception of F2A as it is Current in the Final Action Date. Please select the links above for the dates.
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This Greenspoon Marder LLP Client Alert is issued for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed or used as general legal advice nor a solicitation of any type. Please contact the author(s) or your Greenspoon Marder LLP contact if you have any questions regarding the currency of this information. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision. Before you decide, ask for written information about the lawyer’s legal qualifications and experience.