COVID-19 Vaccination Planning for Employers: Questions to Consider for Policy and Practice

As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely accessible, and certain localities relax COVID-19 restrictions, employers hoping to ramp up on-site operations or reduce absenteeism face a new challenge: navigating employee vaccination. Employers are evaluating whether to mandate, strongly suggest or simply remain neutral regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and on-site work.

The considerations surrounding workplace vaccination programs are complex. Business justifications and accommodation issues, potential public relations and employee relations pitfalls, the impact of vaccination on workforce safety procedures, litigation risks on multiple fronts — these are just the beginning. To help piece together this business and regulatory puzzle, we have compiled a list of issues organizations should consider as they set policy and communication plans regarding on-site work and COVID-19 vaccines. We have also identified issues to consider with regard to the practical application of any such policy and the development of related communications to employees or others.

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CDC: All Air Passengers Traveling From the U.K. to the U.S. Must Have Proof of a Negative COVID-19 Test

In a bid to help contain the new coronavirus strain found in the U.K., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order requiring proof of a pre-departure, negative COVID-19 test result for all airline passengers — including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents — traveling from the U.K. to the U.S. The order officially went into effect on December 27, 2020.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Immigration Updates: Visa Processing, Travel Bans and the New USCIS Fee Schedule

Read on for an overview of updates on immigration and global mobility issues, including those involving visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates, restrictions on travel and the new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee schedule.

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The U.S. Bans Entry of Foreign Nationals Coming From Brazil

In accord with travel bans previously issued by President Trump against foreign nationals coming from Europe’s Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, China and Iran, on May 24, 2020, President Trump issued a Proclamation suspending entry to the U.S. of foreign nationals who have been in Brazil in the 14-day period preceding planned entry to the U.S. The ban was originally set to be effective on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. However, on May 25, the White House advanced the effective date to Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.

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Cancellations, Closures and Travel Restrictions: Coronavirus Strikes Immigration System Again

Since our last update a week ago, additional and significant immigration developments have taken place in the U.S. and around the world and continue to change. Reports on March 19, 2020, also indicate that the State Department will be announcing a Level 4 travel advisory applying to all international travel. It is expected that this announcement will tell Americans that they must remain in the U.S., and Americans also would be instructed not to travel abroad. With such fluidity of country and border closures, closures of embassies and consulates around the world, and now U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices, we are providing an overview of the issues and links to government websites where you can find the most updated information on these important immigration and global mobility issues affecting companies in the U.S. and around the world.

For the full alert, please visit the Faegre Drinker website.

U.S. Hikes Visa Fees, Changes Validity Periods for Dutch Citizens

Visa issuance fees and validity periods are set based on reciprocity. If a country charges U.S. citizens $50 to receive a visa, then the U.S. will charge citizens of that country a similar amount for a U.S. visa. In 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13780, which requires that the U.S. State Department undertake a worldwide review of reciprocity arrangements with a view to updating any discrepancies.

Reciprocity Updates

Without notice, and effective immediately on January 31, 2020, the U.S. State Department’s visa reciprocity chart was updated to reflect new visa issuance fees for Dutch citizens applying for Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) nonimmigrant visas. Additionally, E-1 and E-2 visa validity periods have been significantly shortened — from five to three years. The chart below highlights the most significant changes to routinely used visa categories:
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