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Grace Shie is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office and a member of the Employment & Benefits group focusing on global mobility and immigration. She advises multinational companies on employee mobility and management of the work corps across the globe, including in major financial centers and emerging markets. Grace’s background includes five years in Hong Kong where she managed a top-ranked immigration practice covering Greater China and coordinated matters for clients in the Asia-Pacific region. Grace, who is fluent in Mandarin, continues to maintain a practice focus on inbound expatriate movement into China and Hong Kong, as part of Mayer Brown’s new global worksite initiative. In addition, she has a longstanding command of US immigration and manages global immigration matters across all worldwide regions.

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President Trump signed an executive order, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause for 60 days the issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States.  The order, which takes effect at 11:59 pm Eastern

The United Kingdom, like the United States, has formally announced an alternative, temporary method by which employers may conduct right to work (RTW) checks during the coronavirus pandemic, when employers have instituted telecommuting and work-from-home arrangements and thus are onboarding newly hired employees remotely.  Because it remains an offence in the United Kingdom to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK, these temporary measures provide a practical means for an employer to conduct these checks and verify a worker’s right to work when employees are telecommuting during the COVID-19 period.
Continue Reading The United Kingdom, Like the United States, Formally Sanctions Video Checks of Right to Work, As COVID-19 Work From Home Arrangements Continue

China’s rate of COVID-19 infections has declined significantly, and there have been very few domestic infections with most new cases resulting from people flying in to China from overseas.  However, the rules on movement of people and quarantine remain complicated, and it is important that anyone planning a visit to the PRC prepare carefully.  Continue

Following the March 11, 2020 “Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus,” which suspends travel from the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, the White House has expanded the ban’s coverage to include the United Kingdom and Ireland.  The March 14, 2020 Proclamation is based on World Health Organization reports on the growing number of COVID-19 cases in both countries.  Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, travelers who have been physically present in the United Kingdom or Ireland in the prior 14-day period will not be admitted to the United States.  US citizens are not subject to the Proclamation. 
Continue Reading US Travel Ban Expanded to Include the United Kingdom and Ireland

As of February 24, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is free to impose the regulation it unveiled in August 2019, which gives its officers significantly expanded authority to deny visas and green card applications from immigrants and prospective immigrants whom the government determines rely, or could rely, on certain public benefits like food stamps and government housing programs.  A narrowly divided Supreme Court lifted the nationwide injunction in January 2020, ruling 5-4 that the administration could begin enforcing the controversial policy, leaving lower courts to wrestle with multiple lingering legal actions challenging the rule.  On February 21, 2020, the Supreme Court lifted the last remaining injunction, which had applied to Illinois residents.

As a result, USCIS has reissued new versions of existing application and petition forms which include attestations regarding the redefined public charge policy.  USCIS has also issued a new form, “Declaration of Self-Sufficiency” (Form I-944), which requires comprehensive information about a beneficiary and accompanying family’s assets, resources, and financial status, including liabilities, debts, credit report and credit score, health insurance, and public benefits. Form I-944 also requires information about the beneficiary’s educational history and skill level.
Continue Reading The Top Issues For Global Employers as Nationwide “Public Charge” Rule Affects Millions of Visa and Green Card Applicants

Since January 30, 2020, when the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (“WHO”) declared the outbreak of the current novel coronavirus (now officially designated by WHO as “coronavirus disease 2019,” abbreviated as “COVID-19”), the total number of cases globally has now reached 80,980, and nearly 3,000 have died. While all but 55 of reported deaths are in China, more new cases were reported outside China than inside for the first time this week, on February 25, 2020. The first case in Latin America was detected in Brazil; Germany is declaring an epidemic; and the United States is bracing for an outbreak, with the president tapping Vice President Pence to coordinate the US response.

Among the issues employers need to address is managing the myriad travel restrictions stemming from host governments as multiple countries and localities seek to prevent further spread of the virus. Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 Global Travel Restrictions by Country, a Global People Solution™ travel tool, provides a summary of the latest country reports Mayer Brown has received regarding travel restrictions.
Continue Reading Travel Disruption Due to the Coronavirus – What Employers Need to Know

Members of Parliament narrowly passed an amendment during an emergency session on Saturday, October 19, 2019, to postpone the decision on whether to vote “yes” or “no” to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.  Parliament said it needed more time to review the deal, which Prime Minister Johnson concluded last week with European leaders.  The primary aim of the amendment is to ensure the UK cannot leave the EU on October 31, 2019, the current Brexit date, without enacting detailed legislation governing the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Saturday’s vote effectively required the Prime Minister to request a third extension of the withdrawal date, which would postpone Brexit until January 31, 2020.  Prime Minister Johnson, who had vowed never to seek an extension, sent an unsigned letter to the EU asking for the required three-month extension.  But he also sent a signed letter to European Council President Donald Tusk urging EU leaders to turn down the extension request, and has stated he will bring his proposal back before Parliament on Monday, October 21, 2019.


Continue Reading UK Parliament Passes Amendment to Postpone Brexit Vote in Emergency Session on Saturday, October 19, 2019

Draft Deal Does Not Change Previously Announced Scheme for Citizens’ Rights or Movement of People

Yesterday, negotiators from the United Kingdom and the European Union agreed to a draft Brexit deal. The proposed withdrawal agreement would replace the one negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May. The new agreement addresses the timetable for a transition

Last Thursday, President Trump unveiled an immigration plan that prioritizes skilled workers entering the United States and introduces a new “Build America” visa based on a points-based system.  Law360 spoke to Mayer Brown’s Elizabeth Espin Stern and Paul Virtue about the potential impact of the plan, including whether raising the bar for what constitutes a skilled worker might reduce the overall number of skilled workers admitted into the United States. Read the article here.


Continue Reading Elizabeth Stern and Paul Virtue Offer Commentary on New Immigration Plan