On March 31, 2022, the Chilean government issued an extension of its border restrictions through the end of April 2022. Specifically, the government issued Decree No. 142, modifying Decree No. 295 of 2021, to continue the government’s legal authorization to impose restrictions on the entry and exit of individuals through the country’s borders. In issuing the new decree, the government emphasized that further modifications may be made in response to the changing nature of the pandemic around the world.

Continue Reading Chile Extends Authorization for Border Restrictions through End of April 2022

As of April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers entering South Korea through designated airports, including Incheon Airport, will be exempt from the government’s seven-day quarantine requirement. To be eligible for the exemption, travelers must upload proof of their vaccination status and negative COVID-19 test results and obtain a “Q-code” through an online application before entry. Travelers are advised to carry a print-out of the Q-code at the time of entry.

Continue Reading South Korea Updates COVID-Related Entry Requirements

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced several new measures including expanding premium processing to additional form types, providing relief to individuals waiting for work permits and setting agency-wide backlog reduction goals. USCIS, a fee-based organization, faced an unprecedented budgetary shortfall and backlog of cases to be processed in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and resource constraints. According to data published by the agency, there are approximately 9 million forms pending adjudication.

Expanding Premium Processing

As part of the these efforts, USCIS published a final rule that expands premium processing (expedited adjudication for a fee). The final rule is expected to take effect at the end of May 2022, and USCIS will begin implementation – through a phased approach – as soon thereafter as feasible.

Continue Reading US Immigration Agency Announces Measures to Expedite Services and Decrease Pending Caseload

Updated April 1, 2022: Effective April 1, 2022, South Korea will no longer require certain long-term visa holders to obtain a reentry permit prior to traveling overseas.  Specifically, long-term visa holders who either hold residence cards or are waiting for residence cards to be issued and whose travel period outside South Korea does not exceed one year will no longer need to apply for a reentry permit prior to international travel.  The government’s announcement is a significant relaxation of reentry requirements for foreign nationals, which were increased in mid-2020 in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Continue Reading South Korea Drops Reentry Permit Requirement for Many Long-Term Visa Holders

Ukraine At A Glance Since 02/24/2022

3.8 Million – Number of People Fleeing Ukraine

6.5 Million – Number of People Displaced Internally in Ukraine

On March 24, 2022, the White House announced a new set of initiatives designed to address the humanitarian and economic impacts of the Ukraine-Russia crisis. According to a White House statement, the U.S. government will expand its refugee resettlement capabilities and other immigration pathways in order to facilitate the entry of up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing the conflict. The U.S. government will also provide more than $1 billion in new funding toward humanitarian assistance for those affected by the crisis, with a focus on securing food, water, shelter, medical supplies, and other vital forms of assistance. In addition, the White House announced that $320 million would be allocated toward democracy and human rights funding for Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Continue Reading Ukraine: White House Announces New Humanitarian Measures

Effective March 18, 2022, the Australian government implemented a set of changes that have opened a new pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers who have been living and working in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Australian government will allow Subclass 482 visa holders in the short-term stream to access permanent residency through the Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) visa. Certain foreign nationals who previously held 457 visas but now hold 482 visas will also be eligible for permanent residency.

Continue Reading Australia Creates New Pathway to Permanent Residence for Some Skilled Workers

Federal law requires that employers attest to verifying each employee’s identity and authorization to legally work in the United States. By regulation, employees must present original, unexpired documents from the U.S. government’s published lists of acceptable documentation, which are classified as List A (Documents that Establish Both Identity and Employment Authorization), List B (Documents that Establish Identity) and List C (Documents that Establish Employment Authorization).

Continue Reading Change to Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification: List B (Documents that Establish Identity)

On March 15, 2022, the Indian government announced a significant relaxation in COVID-19 travel restrictions. Under the terms of the announcement, tourists will be able to enter the country on either paper or e-Tourist visas for the first time since March 2020. All international flights to and from India will also resume as of March 27, 2022. The Indian government’s move comes as several countries throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland, have relaxed or eliminated their pandemic-related restrictions on international travel.

Continue Reading India Relaxes Pandemic-Related Travel Restrictions

In the past three weeks (since February 24, 2022), approximately 3.5 million people have left Ukraine due to the Ukraine / Russia crisis, and many experts believe that number will continue to climb.  Among the issues employers need to address is support for employees trying to leave the country as well as resources for those that remain.  Mayer Brown’s Ukraine Crisis: Movement Options for People Departing Ukraine is an interactive resource for up-to-date information on the international community’s response to the movement of people from Ukraine.

Continue Reading Ukraine Crisis: Movement Options for People Departing Ukraine

On March 17, 2022, the Canadian government announced that the country will end its pre-entry COVID-19 testing requirement for all fully vaccinated* travelers arriving via land, air, or water, beginning on April 1, 2022.

Canada’s Minister of Health, Jean Yves-Duclos, noted as part of the announcement that “as vaccination levels and healthcare system capacity improve, we will continue to consider further easing of measures at the borders-and when to adjust those measures-to keep the people in Canada safe.” The announcement signifies Canada joining other countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland, and Ireland in dropping pre-travel testing requirements. The Canadian travel and tourism lobby cheered the announcement, citing the hassle of getting tests in the United States as an onerous inconvenience for those travelling to Canada.

Fully vaccinated travelers seeking to arrive in Canada before April 1, 2022, must still have one of the below valid pre-entry tests:

  • Negative antigen test, administered or observed by an accredited lab or testing provider, taken outside of Canada no more than one day before the initially scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry;
  • Negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before initially scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or
  • Previous positive molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before their initially scheduled flight or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry. Positive antigen test results will not be accepted.

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers who are currently allowed to enter Canada must still adhere to the pre-entry test requirements, even after April 1, 2022. Exemptions apply for children under the age of 5, crew, essential service workers, and cross-border communities.

As of April 1, arrival testing is no longer required for vaccinated travelers entering Canada, but randomized selective COVID-19 molecular testing will be done at the border and in airports.

Canada also continues to require all adults traveling in the country by rail or air to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The requirements apply to those traveling within Canada and to those departing from Canada for international destinations. The rules apply to all persons ages 12 and up, with limited exceptions for emergency travel and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

All travelers must still submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN before their arrival in Canada. Those who arrive without completing their ArriveCAN submission may be subject to testing upon arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status.

Please continue to follow updates on our blog, The Mobile Workforce.

 

*To qualify as a fully vaccinated, travelers must have received at least 2 doses of a vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of 2 accepted vaccines or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine; have received your second dose at least 14 calendar days before entering Canada; and have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19.