Immigration Weekly Round-Up: Borders Reopen to Millions of Travelers; Employment Authorization Expanded for Spouses of Certain Visa Holders

U.S. Borders Lastly Reopen to Overseas Vacationers

This week, after 20 months of journey restrictions, the U.S. reopened its borders to thousands and thousands of vacationers all over the world, leading to emotional scenes at airports throughout the nation as relations embraced one another for the primary time in nearly two years.

In March 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic made its method to the USA, the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (“DHS”) imposed a journey ban for most non-U.S. residents touring from sure international locations. The ban included China, India, member international locations of the Schengen Space, the U.Okay., and Eire, which have been experiencing excessive charges of COVID-19 infections. The ban additionally restricted admission to the U.S. by land from each Mexico and Canada. On November 8, 2021, these journey bans have been formally lifted, and journey has resumed.

Nevertheless, to enter the USA, overseas nationals should nonetheless meet sure necessities. Vacationers should be vaccinated towards COVID-19 (with very restricted exceptions) and should additionally current a destructive PCR COVID-19 take a look at taken inside 72 hours of departure from their nation. Even for those that are vaccinated, there are nonetheless obstacles to entry to the USA if the vaccines acquired weren’t permitted by the World Well being Group (“WHO”), akin to China’s CanSino vaccine or Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

A number of airways skilled over 400% will increase in worldwide bookings, and airports all through the USA welcomed hundreds of vacationers from beforehand restricted international locations. Moreover, on the primary day that the Canadian/U.S. land borders reopened, U.S. border posts noticed heavy site visitors from Canadians driving throughout the border. Whereas the U.S. border with Mexico skilled fewer crossings than anticipated, Mexican authorities officers predicted that journey would decide up because the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays method.

Settlement Reached for Spouses of Immigrant Visa Holders

The Biden Administration has reached a settlement in a collection of class motion lawsuits that will make it simpler for spouses of sure U.S. visa holders to begin working in the USA with no need to individually apply for an employment authorization card and to obtain computerized employment extensions. This settlement is anticipated to assist hundreds of spouses of overseas executives, managers, and specialty occupation staff who themselves have been dealing with extraordinary delays due to backlogs in processing functions at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Companies.

Spouses of L-1 visa holders (who’re sponsored by U.S. corporations as executives, managers, or a place requiring specialised information) will mechanically obtain work authorization, fairly than making use of for a separate employment authorization card earlier than their arrival in the USA. The settlement additionally reverses a present USCIS coverage that barred spouses of H-1B visa holders (sponsored by U.S. firms for expert occupations) from having the ability to take benefit of the automated extension of their employment authorization whereas their functions have been pending. The settlement additionally institutes an computerized work authorization extension for sure spouses of H-1B visa holders for up to six months if their visa has not expired.  

These new laws will take away hundreds of pending functions from the USCIS backlog and scale back utility charges for many households.

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