The worst of the pandemic has come and gone. The pandemic has worsened, but there are signs that it is slowing down. Everyone is waiting to see what the next few months are holding, but you need to be prepared for US immigration under pandemic conditions until then.
We’ve all heard horror stories about what happens when countries close their borders during health emergencies. People getting stuck at airports, people trying to sneak across borders – it’s a nightmare for everyone involved.
That’s why experts are so eager for other countries not to close their borders during this pandemic. To understand more, you can always consult with an immigration lawyer you trust.
If your home country closes its borders during the pandemic, you could find yourself stranded in another country without any way of returning home. And even if there are no pandemic breakout announcements in your home country, there are still ways to keep yourself safe when traveling.
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Here are Some Things You Can Do Right Now to Prepare For US Immigration Under Pandemic Conditions:
If you have a passport from an affected country, get it reissued if possible. That will be the only time you’ll ever need two valid forms of government-issued ID, so take advantage of that fact while you can. If this isn’t possible or financially feasible, make sure that both pieces of ID are entirely up to date.
- If you need more than one form of government-issued ID during US immigration (for example, if you’re trans), make sure at least one is an unexpired passport from an unaffected country.
- Prepare in advance for the length and cost of US immigration in pandemic conditions. No matter how smoothly your flight goes, getting out of an airport can be a nightmare when there are thousands of people around you all trying to get where they need to go.
- Keep this in mind if you’ll need any medications during US immigration because it will add time and expense to the process. If you use any mobility aids or other equipment, make sure someone can aid with transportation.
- If you have not yet received your green card (or whatever the equivalent is where you live) but might need it during US immigration, get it before the pandemic gets worse! You may also want to consider getting yourself added as an “immediate relative” on your spouse’s green card if possible. That will expedite the process and make everything go much more smoothly.
- Keep updated backups of any important documents you might need, either in a cloud-based storage service or as physical copies. If your wallet is lost or stolen during US immigration under pandemic conditions, it may take weeks to get a new passport issued by your home country – if they can even issue passports at all!
- If you don’t own a passport from an unaffected country, figure out how you’ll get one quickly and easily. There are probably certain countries where this won’t be difficult (for example, France and Spain report that people will require less paperwork to get passports issued during the pandemic). Still, there’s no guarantee that this will apply to you.
- Keep up with current news – if your home country closes its borders, it might be time to find a new one. There are still many places where the pandemic has not had much impact, so now is an excellent time for research and planning.
If there’s somewhere, in particular, you’ve always wanted to live; this may be your chance! Once the pandemic is over and things have returned to normal (or at least as usual as they can get), any immigration decisions made during the pandemic will hold up in court.
Don’t worry about whether this was “the right thing.” What matters is living through the pandemic and getting back to your life. It also helps to get opinions from a reliable immigration attorney.
Suspension Of Immigration Protection Amid The Pandemic
As a pandemic continues, there may be some US immigration protections. That is to prevent the spread of diseases and to help contain outbreaks where they happen. It will also help stop those exposed from coming into the country.
The suspension of these protections includes suspending visas and any appeals for visas already submitted. Immigration Services may also deny anyone with a visa from an infected area.
That could last until the verification of the status. There are instances that new visas are not accepted if the countries affected by a pandemic issue them. Contacting immigration law firms about the availability of visas may help you.
That can happen either during or after a pandemic event – this includes re-entry if you were previously in the United States before a pandemic began. People without papers at US borders won’t be allowed entry even if they are US citizens.
What Happens To People Who Are Suspected Of Infection?
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People who have had contact with an infected person may be detained and held in isolation for up to 14 days if they cannot prove that the infection is not present anymore. That also applies to people considered high or even low risk who may continue to threaten others.
Those suspected of having pandemic flu undergo testing by their local health department, but don’t expect any information on the results – that’s private information between you and your doctor. If you refuse testing or quarantine, it could affect your immigration status.
Every person must have some proof of their legal presence during this period, either through documents issued by the government or other immigration programs (i.e., military, student visa). Without these documents, the government may not assist you during a pandemic.
During a pandemic, immigrants need to prepare for US immigration by ensuring they have the necessary legal paperwork to show that they are legally present in the country and can prove their identity. Immigration attorneys can help you with your legal paperwork.
Start Processing Your Papers Early
The process of applying for this paperwork will take time and money, so it’s essential to start as soon as possible. Applicants should also plan on being without their original citizenship documentation during this application period and doing everything possible not to infect other people until their application is complete.
People waiting for final approval from an immigrant petition or green card should have all their required documents ready to submit their application – even if those documents are only valid for a short time.
If you are applying for US citizenship, make sure all your paperwork is complete at least six months before the projected pandemic flu arrival date so that you have plenty of time to submit it and have your interview.
At this point, it’s not necessary to schedule a consultation or exam with your local immigration office – be ready to file out the application when the virus has passed its peak period. If you need assistance, you can always contact immigration lawyers.
Everyone should also have copies of their visa records, if possible, and proof of identity documents. For people who may not have access to these records, now would be an excellent time to apply now for visas or passports from their home countries that they could use if needed during or after a pandemic.