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-   -   Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/covid-19-travel-immigration-usa-please-check-here-ask-questions-932378/)

petitefrancaise Apr 25th 2020 6:09 pm

Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
Trying to keep an eye on changes to immigration to the USA with changes to come in the next few months. I will be keeping an eye on the following sites to monitor updates. Please check to see if your question is answered below and if not, then ask.


FCO - updates regarding coronavirus travel restrictions to the USA for British nationals.
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-ad...sa/coronavirus


https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...-services.html
Embassies and consulates are still NOT processing applications - services limited to consular services for USC only. No opening dates set as of 04/25/2020

04/25/2020https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/us...-reopen-june-4
US field offices/application support offices due to start opening in June.

ESTA
Worried about over-staying on an ESTA visa waiver? You can now extend it an extra 30 days without penalty but you must do it before the ESTA expires.
https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-offers-flexibility-departing-visa-waiver-program-travelersExtension of Stay/Change of Status Filing Delays Caused by Extraordinary Circumstances Related to COVID-19

Extension of stay - non-ESTA
USCIS is being more lenient over timing of filing for extensions.
https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-covid-19
scroll down to " extension of stay/change of status filing delays causes by extraordinary circumstances related to Covid-19

Presidential Proclamation April 22nd regarding Green Card applications.
also gives link to actual proclamation
https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...or-market.html

Fragomen information regarding who the proclamation affects and doesn't affect. I searched around the web for a good explanation from a reliable source and thought this was a good one. https://www.fragomen.com/insights/al...-entry-60-days

tht Apr 29th 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
Not sure if this is the right thread to post this but it seemed to have some recent analysis:

Over 200,000 H-1B Workers Could Lose Legal Status by June

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ive-in-the-u-s

petitefrancaise Apr 29th 2020 2:08 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 

Originally Posted by tht (Post 12845915)
Not sure if this is the right thread to post this but it seemed to have some recent analysis:

Over 200,000 H-1B Workers Could Lose Legal Status by June

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ive-in-the-u-s

I hate Bloomberg, it's pure clickbait. Did you read the article and follow the link provided where they got this information from? You should.
https://www.niskanencenter.org/how-t...f-the-country/
the figures quoted are made up or as they write "back of the envelope". They make assumptions that I think are incorrect . Read the notes at the bottom of their blog post.
"[2] This very rough estimate makes the simplifying assumption that unemployment among H-1B workers would be the same as for the general population, and that H-1B workers would be unable to transfer to another H-1B eligible job within the 60 days necessary to retain status.

[3] While there is no publicly available data on the total number of H-1B workers working in the United States or how many H-1B workers have immigrant intent, we use three years of initial petitions (H-1Bs last for an initial period of three years) and then apply the same assumption about unemployment as above. While many H-1B workers may not in fact have immigrant intent, this figure is still likely to be an underestimate because it does not include any of those who have extended their H-1B status but do not have an approved I-140."

tht Apr 29th 2020 5:52 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise (Post 12845931)
I hate Bloomberg, it's pure clickbait. Did you read the article and follow the link provided where they got this information from? You should.
https://www.niskanencenter.org/how-t...f-the-country/
the figures quoted are made up or as they write "back of the envelope". They make assumptions that I think are incorrect . Read the notes at the bottom of their blog post.
"[2] This very rough estimate makes the simplifying assumption that unemployment among H-1B workers would be the same as for the general population, and that H-1B workers would be unable to transfer to another H-1B eligible job within the 60 days necessary to retain status.

[3] While there is no publicly available data on the total number of H-1B workers working in the United States or how many H-1B workers have immigrant intent, we use three years of initial petitions (H-1Bs last for an initial period of three years) and then apply the same assumption about unemployment as above. While many H-1B workers may not in fact have immigrant intent, this figure is still likely to be an underestimate because it does not include any of those who have extended their H-1B status but do not have an approved I-140."

I had not read the link, it was more interesting than the Bloomberg article. Not sure I would call it clickbait. They seem to be a lobbying association. It makes sense to me to make assumptions while building a model and then to refine as and when they get better data.


E3only Apr 30th 2020 3:42 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
Having the right data matters but there is no disputing how disruptive the last few months have been (non-immigrants and citizens alike). Just based on my own situation. Here for 10 years, paid taxes, did the right thing, contributed via community service, owned 3 homes over that time, paid to the schools (property taxes) etc....list goes on. And all of a sudden the entire life that we built over a decade could be over. There isn't a question that we know we are visitors. Even with some very conservative estimates, the green card is about 10 years away....so suffer that as well.

I always say this to my wife. We are visitors, and feel very fortunate for this country to have offered us the career progression, chance to settle down, etc. but that didn't come without incredible hard-work and sacrifices.

Back to it; 10 years here and all of a sudden we are not welcome? The article hits true- if you lose your job, you have 60 days. What can you do in 60 days? Nothing. My visa type doesn't allow me to start work with a new employer until the petition is approved (which onshore can take months and months). I can't travel because there is a ban, and who knows that the next tweet will do. So effectively the little life we have built over 10 years could be over.

Very easy to say protect the Americas first but there has to be some thoughts behind existing people already in the country, other considerations etc.

TexanScot Apr 30th 2020 4:28 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 

Originally Posted by E3only (Post 12846362)
The article hits true- if you lose your job, you have 60 days. What can you do in 60 days? Nothing.

No, not nothing.

If you're in H-1B status and you lose your job, you do your best to find another employer that you can transfer your work authorization to. That's going to be a lot easier for some people than for others, but it's not nothing.


My visa type doesn't allow me to start work with a new employer until the petition is approved (which onshore can take months and months).
I don't know what visa your on, but mine doesn't allow me to transfer employers full stop.

Nonetheless the article explicitly mentioned H-1B, and from what I understand you can risk joining a new employer on a receipt notice rather than waiting for the approval. Perhaps not the best situation to be in if one were to lose their job, but it's still a better situation than you or I would be in.


Very easy to say protect the Americas first but there has to be some thoughts behind existing people already in the country
Why does there have to be any consideration for us at all?

Immigration is a hot topic at the best of times, and the optics of clamoring to do something for foreign workers whilst 30 million Americans are unemployed are not great, to put it mildly.

It's not that we're not welcome, or that people don't want us here, but the first priority of government in a crisis - any government - is to safeguard and protect it's citizens, and to be blunt that doesn't include us.

I don't intend to get into the nitty gritty about what the Federal Government has done or how effective it's been in safeguarding and protecting US Citizens through this crisis, but elected politicians aren't going to be going out of their way to help foreign workers right now, at least not unless those workers are from certain industries (tech, agriculture etc) with strong lobbying efforts.


Having the right data matters
It does, however I take issue with the assumption that H-1B holders are going to be losing their jobs at anything near the same rate as we're seeing among the general populace.

I'd be willing to bet that the bulk of the job losses we've seen so far have been in the hospitality and travel sectors, and those aren't really industries that compete for the same pool of labor as the large companies that obtain the bulk of the H-1B visas every year. Yes there have been job losses in the tech industry and yes there will be more if this continues for a prolonged period of time, but the tech industry isn't nearly as exposed to this crisis in the way that the hospitality and travel industries are.

sevorg May 2nd 2020 9:29 am

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
Slightly mixed question.Whilst not strictly immigration

I am UK passport holder and want to visit my Son(American citizen).

Firstly,do I qualify to visit as a close relative.

Secondly,he lives in Dallas and I would fly into DFW.(Which I understand is one of the designated airports for arrivals)

Dallas has just announced that from the 1st of May they are no longer in “”lockdown”.

Does this mean that I can fly into DFW and are not forced into 14 days quarantine? Or does the 14 day quarantine over ride the Dallas “unlockdown”

Hope this is clear,thanks for any assistance.



Ps I have a valid visa B1/B2 etc so I would not have to request an ESTA

Boiler May 2nd 2020 12:56 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
Immigration is Federal, and I am not aware of any changes. Have any of the lock downs required compulsory quarantines anyway, I know in Colorado it is recommended, my County has over 50% second home owners and am not aware of any that have quarantined.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...formation.html

cautiousjon May 2nd 2020 2:04 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 

Originally Posted by sevorg (Post 12847186)
Slightly mixed question.Whilst not strictly immigration

I am UK passport holder and want to visit my Son(American citizen).

Firstly,do I qualify to visit as a close relative....

It's not just a case of being a close relative. Your son would have to be under the age of 21 and unmarried. I assume that that's not the case. See section two of this article/document: https://www.whitehouse.gov/president...l-coronavirus/

As for the Dallas lockdown being lifted, as has been said, it's not up to the city, county or even state to decide whether you can fly to the USA. It's a Federal government issue and the Presidential-mandated travel restrictions are still in full effect.

LouisB May 2nd 2020 7:20 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
Minor question for near future, my I-94 renewal is up in October and I expect we’ll be fully in the middle of this by then. However with pressure to open up economy etc, who knows what might be open and legal. Including flights and so on. Normally we’d just take a holiday overseas before then, that was the idea, but not anymore.

my slight concern is not wanting to travel for the sake of it, due to risks, but being asked to for this renewal process (I.e. leave the country and come back to get a new stamp). I believe you can ask to extend but is it going to be reasonable to say, I think the risk to my family and I is too high, while others and officials might say it’s ok...

basically, I don’t want to subject my family to risk for this important but ultimately paperwork exercise. Should I be worried? I doubt I’d be happy travelling Internationally until next year. I mean, just myself maybe, but not the whole family, too risky.

sdegs May 6th 2020 11:57 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
Hi all!

My name is Susan, and I'm an American citizen currently living in the UK with my fiance - Lee. I moved here in September of 2018 to pursue a Master's Degree and we began our immigration process last summer filing for a K1/Fiance Visa (we picked it because of our timeline). We were in a long-distance relationship for over 3 years before I moved here, and neither one of us want to go back to that. We'd lined everything up so that we could enter the US together once my degree is over in June. Lee has just finished his medical exam and has an interview (tentatively) scheduled for June 12th, but we're both very worried that Coronavirus travel restrictions and bans will make it so that we can't enter the States together by the time my visa runs out (which is October). I know a lot of this is speculative, but I'd be interested in getting you guys' feedback - what do you think/what would you do in our situation? We could restart the process and do a marriage visa, knowing that we'd be most likely separated for at least a year - but that at the end of that we'd be able to be together, or we could wait it out and hope that he's able to come some time this year, or...what do you guys think?

Thanks, and warmest wishes to you all! <3

Boiler May 7th 2020 12:08 am

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
The biggest issue is likely to be getting an interview, whether they will be moved back. DCF would have been ideal but you missed that boat by going K1 which has lots of disadvantages but that is in the past.

andyrebell May 8th 2020 10:12 pm

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
Have their been any changes to the Travel Information Section of the ESTA? And does it ask if you have been to the UK in the last 14 days (I live here so yes I have). And when you say YES will it decline?. I ask because mine runs out in a few months.

With the travel ban would the answer of YES lead to decline? If it would I will just wait until their is a vaccine and the ban is lifted at which point if won't matter if you have been in UK or not. The FAQ section implies consequences for lying or if a 3rd party lies so it may have been updated. It also saying ESTA's are cancelled but nothing has been cancelled it is still approved?

petitefrancaise May 9th 2020 12:24 am

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 
You're not a USC or a LPR so if you have been to the UK/EU Schengen area in the last 14 days, you cannot enter the USA.
Doesn't matter if you have an ESTA or not.
When the travel restrictions are lifted then you can come.
I'd wait to renew your ESTA.

andyrebell May 9th 2020 10:56 am

Re: Covid 19 Travel/Immigration to USA - please check here and ask questions
 

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise (Post 12850340)
You're not a USC or a LPR so if you have been to the UK/EU Schengen area in the last 14 days, you cannot enter the USA.
Doesn't matter if you have an ESTA or not.
When the travel restrictions are lifted then you can come.
I'd wait to renew your ESTA.

I understand all of that but since our cruise has been cancelled they are now showing now cruises for late 2021 which we are looking at. I don't book travel to the USA unless I am covered by a current or an updated ESTA as I would never get a visa and would not want be out of pocket. I understand that an approved ESTA now would only be realistically good for the period after the ban is lifted to the end 2 year period so I would lose a number of months. But would an ESTA application done now be declined because purely because I am in UK? Does the Travel Information Section ask that question or a question like in the past 14 days have you been present in the United Kingdom/Ireland/Schengen area?


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