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

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 26, 2021, in response to the discovery of the omicron variant of the virus which causes COVID-19, the Biden Administration issued a Presidential Proclamation banning the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of noncitizens who were physically present within Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe during the past 14-day period.  This ban comes only 19 days after the U.S. government ended its COVID-19 travel bans worldwide and replaced them with a vaccine mandate for travel to the United States.  The Proclamation is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on November 29, 2021 and does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the U.S. that departed prior to 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on November 29, 2021.

Continue Reading Omicron Variant Triggers U.S. Travel Ban from Eight African Countries

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

On November 1, 2021, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that entry restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue through at least February 14, 2022. Under the CECC restrictions, arriving passengers are required to quarantine for 14 days following arrival, and to complete a 7-day self-health management period after the end of quarantine.

Continue Reading Taiwan Entry Restrictions Extended Through February 2022

On October 30, 2021, the Chilean government announced another extension of the country’s border closure due to COVID-19, effective through November 30, 2021. However, the extension comes with important modifications to the country’s “Protected Borders Plan,” including relaxed quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers and the addition of the Punta Arenas airport for international travel.

Continue Reading Chile Extends COVID-Related Entry & Exit Restrictions

Effective November 8, 2021, the Biden Administration will rescind the COVID-19 travel restrictions banning most travel from Europe, Brazil, India, China, Iran, and South Africa.  In its place, the Administration will impose new COVID-19 prevention protocols on all international air travelers, including those coming from countries not previously impacted by the COVID-19 travel bans.  On October 25, 2021, the White House provided specific operational details describing how the program will be implemented and who will — and will not — be impacted by the new rules. 
Continue Reading U.S. Announces Operational Details for Replacement of Travel Bans with Vaccine Mandate on November 8

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many countries have imposed both inbound and outbound restrictions on international travel. These restrictions can affect the ability of foreign national residents to reenter their host countries after even brief trips abroad. With the holidays approaching, resident foreign nationals who wish to travel outside their host countries must plan well in advance to ensure compliance with all departure and reentry requirements. Failure to do so could negatively affect their immigration status.

Continue Reading COVID-Related Departure and Reentry Requirements: Plan Ahead for International Travel

On October 15, 2021, the Biden Administration confirmed that it will rescind the COVID-19 travel restrictions banning most travel from Europe, Brazil, India, China, Iran, and South Africa effective November 8, 2021.  In its place, the Administration will impose new COVID-19 prevention protocols on all international air travelers, including those coming from countries not previously impacted by the COVID-19 travel bans.

Continue Reading U.S. to Replace Travel Bans with Vaccine Mandates on November 8th