In the world of global mobility, immigration comes with plenty of questions, no matter the destination. Add a global pandemic, and these questions are multiplied. In March and April, new travel bans were enacted almost on a daily basis, and today we are continuing to see those bans evolve. Two major areas of specific note are entry bans and quarantines.
Generally speaking, every country that welcomes foreign nationals for business or work purposes has some sort of COVID-19 related restriction in their current immigration policies. More than 100 countries have some form of entry ban in place at this time. These can and are changing on a daily basis. Most often, airlines and travel companies are aware of the ban in place, but this is not a guarantee. These bans may be applied to the traveler’s nationality, residency status, country last visited, family status, or reason the person is entering the host country. Always check before booking travel if your destination and transit countries (if applicable) have any type of entry ban in place.
Another point to keep in mind is the typical quarantine requirement. You should expect some form of quarantine when entering another country, typically for 14 days. Some mandatory quarantines need to be spent at government facilities, hotels, or other designated locations. If quarantining is not a requirement, then a COVID-19 test or medical statement will likely be needed. You should ask yourself, “Can I complete my business or work activities under quarantine?”
Travelers need to keep these points in mind when preparing for entry abroad, especially with regard to assignment start dates. We would advise mobility/HR departments and their transferees to keep assignment start dates flexible to fit with the ever-evolving situation.
Below is a brief entry ban and quarantine summary for three countries that are typically high-volume move locations: U.S., China, Netherlands. This is to provide you with a glimpse of how drastically countries can vary in their response to COVID-19. For information regarding other countries, please contact your Aires representative.
- The United States is restricting new L-1, H-1b, H-2b, and J-1 visa applications.
- S. requires a 14-day self-quarantine in accordance with state and local law.
- Entry to China is only allowed for Chinese citizens, permanent residents of Mainland China, and residents of Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan. There are exceptions; however, entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after March 28, 2020 is permitted.
- Varying mandatory 14-day quarantines based on province entered and country traveled from.
- The Netherlands has a banned-country list discussing some non-resident foreign nationals. It changes by the day, depending on the disease’s grip in that particular location.
- No mandatory quarantine at this time. Travelers are asked to complete a medical questionnaire.
If you would like to receive more information on immigration impacts due to COVID-19, please check with your Aires representative.