People in the U.S. with temporary authorizations to work in the country have always faced uncertain futures amid immigration agencies’ constantly-changing policies. That uncertainty is elevated as the U.S. makes plans to protect employees from the spread of coronavirus.
The U.S. Department of State has cancelled visa interview appointments at most consulates and embassies around the world. Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has closed field offices and application support centers for at least a few weeks. The border between Canada and the U.S. has just announced closure to “non-essential travel.” Employer representatives and their employees are working from home.
To date, government agencies, including the Department of Labor, have not yet relaxed or altered requirements for: physically posting notices; timely filing paper applications with wet signatures; reviewing in-person I-9 documents for new employees; and departing the U.S. upon expiration of an authorized stay. We expect significant changes to the day-to-day requirements for immigration filings in the coming weeks.
Employers should take the following steps to remain compliant:
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