re-posted from VISA PLACE

written by:By Casey March 13, 2020

How the Coronavirus Will Affect US Immigration

As the world deals with a public health emergency in the shape of the COVID-19 outbreak, experts worry President Trump’s immigration policies may put everyone at risk.

Struggles to contain the spread of Coronavirus, its immigration policies may well heighten this crisis. The “public charge” rule discourages immigrants from accessing health care. The “Remain in Mexico” policy has created conditions ripe for a viral outbreak along the border.

Earlier in the outbreak, U.S. officials restricted entry from China, where the disease originated and which still has the most Coronavirus cases, but where the infection rate is slowing down.

The United States government has prohibited non-US citizens who are from the 26 countries that make up the European Union’s Schengen Area or who have visited the Schengen Area in the previous two weeks from entering the United States. These countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The United States government’s policy goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 13, 2020 but does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 13, 2020. The United States government has stated that they intend for this policy to be in place for the next 30 days.

This Policy Does Not Include or Impact:

  • American citizens, permanent legal residents and their immediate families
  • Any child, foster child or ward of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Anyone traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for virus-related work, certain travelers related to NATO or United Nations work, and certain travelers doing work related to the CDC, Department of Homeland Security, State Department and other law enforcement issues
  • Certain classes of air or sea crew members
  • Anyone traveling from the United Kingdom who has not been to the Schengen Area in the last 14 days

While not prohibited from entering the United States, these travelers who have been to the Schengen Area may be required to return to the US through select airports where enhanced screening procedures have been established.

What to Expect at US Airports:

Travelers are likely to come into contact with many high-touch objects such as self check-in kiosks, escalator handrails and tray tables, so airports and airlines are making changes aimed at reducing the potential for what’s called community transmission.

They are working in concert with the C.D.C., the World Health Organization and local public health officials to come up with the best policies and procedures, with changes made as new information comes in.

The C.D.C. has offices and quarantine stations at 20 United States airports. As of March 12, the C.D.C. says that those who have been in Level 3 countries, China, Iran, South Korea and now most of Europe, in the previous two weeks but exhibit no symptoms, need to stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.

Travelers coming in from all other countries are asked to monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.

Anyone with symptoms should call ahead before seeking medical care.

USCIS Office Closings

Here you can find a list of US offices that are closed or have temporarily changed hours. This information can change quickly, so please check this page on the day of your appointment for any office closures or other important information.

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