With over 88,000 confirmed cases and 3000 deaths around the world, US has issued a travel ban to most of the affected countries. While the initial announcement was just a warning to all US citizens and permanent residents against traveling to coronavirus-affected regions, it is now a full-fledged travel ban.
Besides, affecting general travel for Spring break and summer vacation this year, the Coronavirus travel ban is going to have a bigger impact on US immigration and immigrants to the US. With two confirmed deaths and over 75 confirmed virus-infected cases around the country, the US State Department strongly discourages big gatherings and has enforced strict restrictions to travel to any of the infected countries.
Do you have visa interview scheduled in the next few weeks?
Here’s what US Consulates are doing during the Coronavirus Travel Ban
H1-B Dependent US Companies Reacting to the Coronavirus Travel Ban
How will this Affect H1-B visa and Green Card Holders?
- An original entry travel ban on Iran nationals is now applicable to any foreign national who may have visited Iran in the last 14 days
- These companies have banned all business-related travel to anywhere outside of their own offices and countries
- Several conferences and symposiums, both domestic and international which are scheduled over the next couple of months have been cancelled employees have to consult their HR department about change in plans
- The Mexico borders will be shut for a limited period affecting anyone who has H1-B visa stamping scheduled. It is important to check with an immigration lawyer before planning any such move.
- Several employees who received their H1-B or L-1 visas and were to join their place of work, both in the US or abroad will now be given new dates of joining
Do you have all the information regarding Coronavirus?
Here everything you need to know
F1 Students Impacted by Coronavirus Travel Ban
- Several international students who were to join during Spring semester are unable to join classes
- STEM – OPT students who have internship opportunities abroad, are going to miss out on both time and opportunities
- OPT usually leads to permanent jobs for many of these students. This inability to join timely will lead to loss of job, pay and consequent increased student debt.
- With many students unable to return to classes graduations will be delayed
Which are the Countries Under the Coronavirus Travel Ban
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
How Will This Impact US Immigrants?
- Several US flights like Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines that fly internationally have temporarily suspended or altered flight services.
- Travelers entering or transitioning through (UK, Amsterdam) any of the infected countries will not be allowed to enter the US.
- This is especially going to impact H1-B, H-4 and Green Card holders who made plans to travel to the south-Asian sub-continent for summer vacation.
- Singapore which has the highest concentration of reported cases after China is another popular transiting airport which is severely impacted.
- Most gulf countries except Saudi Arabia has confirmed Coronavirus infection among its masses.
- Popular holiday destinations like Italy and South Korea have shut down businesses putting a temporary end to their tourism industry. With Spring break around the corner soon followed by summer vacation, most holiday plans will be disrupted.
What you can do to prepare for the Coronavirus Travel Ban
All US travel restrictions are going to be reviewed every 48 hours. Stay tuned to this space for the latest. In the meantime, you have the following options if travel plans are inevitable.
- Avoiding travel unless inevitable, is the best advice.
- Once finalized, it is important to connect with your airline officials to ensure your chosen route and/or destination is not impacted by the Coronavirus travel ban.
- Travel Insurance is the best route to go with. However, given that Coronavirus has already been deemed an epidemic, most travel insurance plans do not cover it.
- “Cancel for any reason” travel insurance allows trip cancellations 48-hours prior to departure.
- This allows travelers to recover almost 75 percent of prepaid expenses like flight and hotel reservations. Policy contract limits will apply.
- Talk to your insurance provider to ensure you know what will and what will not be covered during this phase.