Since President Trump’s announcement to ban Europeans from traveling to or from the United States, the country is preparing for the consequences of the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
This border closure has several consequences:
- Delays for immigration
- Financial losses
- Legal ramifications
The consequences in terms of immigration
Immigration concerns both non-residents seeking entrance to American territory and those who wish to leave the US. Currently, there are many confusing situations for which one may need an immigration attorney. The Boyer Law Firm specializes in many aspects of immigration law.
Entering the United States:
Regarding this situation, the President’s speech is very clear, Europeans from the European Union have been prohibited from entering American territory since March 12th. The British and those from the Republic of Ireland have similarly been restricted from entering the US since March 16th. This week, the border closure with Canada was announced.
For those who planned to go to the United States, it just became impossible. Having a visa, whatever it is, won’t change anything.
Be careful, however, if you are already in the United States. Indeed, the government has not announced any visa extensions for people already in the United States. Also, regardless of the current situation, if you exceed the maximum duration of your visa, or your ESTA, you will be considered an illegal immigrant. Though you are unlikely to be deported under the current circumstances, you take the risk of being unable to return to the United States in the future because of this violation. You will probably have to apply for a B visa to be authorized to return to the United States.
Leaving the United States:
If you are a citizen of one of the countries to which the United States no longer provides travels, the first step to take is to obtain information from your nation’s consulate in order to know if measures have been put in place to ensure repatriation of its citizens. If this is not the case, remember that the travel ban does not concern the whole world. It would be wise to consider a strategic withdrawal to another bordering country: Bahamas, Mexico, etc. It will of course be necessary to plan financially for this “exfiltration.” In this case, do not hesitate to use your insurance.
For those waiting for a visa, note that some American embassies and consulates, like the United States Consulate in Paris, are closed for health reasons. If you made an appointment to submit a visa application, we advise you to go directly to the website of the embassy concerned to verify it remains open. If it is closed, remember to postpone your appointment.
Any European citizen in the United States who has requested a status adjustment or a green card should know that the USCIS announced that all of its offices are closed from March 18 to April 1. This means that until at least this date, all requests to the administration will not be processed. The naturalization ceremonies are currently canceled. Further, a postponement date has not yet been set. The administration will send out notices with new meeting dates for all concerned.
Meeting with an Experienced Immigration Attorney
If you need assistance with immigration, or with negotiating with insurance companies for financial costs associated with expatriation, please contact us at the Boyer Law Firm. Our teams are highly specialized in the many complexities of immigration law, international law, visas, and citizenship. Contact us now, we’ll go over all your options and help you navigate the new laws and procedures.