On November 26, 2021, Taiwan announced that it would add six African countries – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe – to its list of “key high-risk countries,” effective November 29, 2021. Effective December 1, Taiwan also added Malawi, Mozambique, Egypt, and Nigeria to the list of key high-risk countries. Individuals who have traveled in any of these ten countries within the past fourteen days must quarantine at government group quarantine facilities for fourteen days and complete an additional seven-day self-health management period. The announcements are part of Taiwan’s effort to slow the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Continue Reading Taiwan Updates Entry Restrictions in Light of Omicron Variant

On November 29, 2021, the Australian government announced that it would delay its plan to reopen the country to fully vaccinated visa holders in light of the identification of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The delay is effective through at least December 15, 2021, and applies to students, skilled workers, and those carrying humanitarian, working holiday, and family visas. In its announcement, the government cited the need to gather more information to better understand the omicron variant, including its transmissibility, severity, and interaction with existing vaccines.

Continue Reading Australia Postpones Relaxation of Entry Restrictions for Visa Holders

Effective January 1, 2022, Switzerland will grant complete freedom of movement to Croatian nationals. The government’s announcement means that Croatians will soon be able to live and work in Switzerland subject to the same immigration and work authorization rules as other EU nationals.

Continue Reading Switzerland Announces Freedom of Movement for Croatians, Visa-Exempt Status for Australians

In response to the identification of the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, several countries around the world have implemented new travel restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the disease. In the Americas region alone, several countries—including Brazil, Canada, Chile, and the United States—have announced new restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals. Other countries, such as Mexico, have insisted that such measures are of little use.

Continue Reading Countries Impose Travel Restrictions to Slow Spread of Omicron Variant

On November 1, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) found that labor shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic do not qualify as a “one-time occurrence” justifying the hiring of H-2B temporary workers.  The H-2B program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary non-agricultural positions in the United States. Before hiring an H-2B worker, the employer must file an application with DOL. In particular, the employer must demonstrate that a “temporary” need for foreign workers exists due to: (1) a one-time occurrence; (2) the seasonal nature of the business; (3) a short-term spike in demand (i.e., a peak load); or (4) the intermittent nature of the work.
Continue Reading DOL Finds that Pandemic is not Sufficiently “Temporary” for H-2B Program