On October 6, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced new interim final rules (IFRs) that have left employers reeling in the wake of their effect on foreign national employees on H-1B visas or in the
On April 22, 2020, the President signed a Proclamation to suspend the issuance of immigrant visas (i.e., non-temporary visas) for the next 60 days to individuals who are currently outside of the United States and do not currently have an immigrant visa. The proclamation is not a broad restriction on all immigration that many feared might be the case from comments earlier this week. Since Embassies and Consulates remain closed, the status for immigrant visa applicants abroad remains unchanged. Yet, as we saw with the 2017 Buy American and Hire American Executive Order, the most recent Proclamation, intended to protect the U.S. workforce amidst the COVID-19 related economic downturn, could have a much wider impact beyond the narrow scope of the proclamation itself.
Who is impacted?
Due to the coronavirus and the resulting travel restrictions, many foreign nationals may be unwilling or unable to return to their home country. This unfortunate reality is particularly problematic for foreign nationals whose immigration status may be expiring in the near future and are unable to extend their status. Thus far, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued no policies or other guidance granting widespread relief for foreign nationals with upcoming immigration status expirations. Nevertheless, if a foreign national’s immigration status is expiring in the near future, there are a few actions that can be taken at this time.
Contact the Nearest Embassy or Consulate for Your Home Country
Foreign nationals should first contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of their home country to determine if any assistance is being provided by their home country to similarly positioned travelers. A foreign national’s home country may have options for returning to the foreign national’s home country that are only available to citizens. These kinds of options may offer the best chance to return to the foreign national’s home country in the short term.
Seraphim Ma, a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Taiwan office, shares a broad overview of Taiwan’s new Act for Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals.
The Act provides a package of benefits designed to increase the desirability and convenience for foreign nationals to work in Taiwan. Currently, the Executive hopes to promulgate the Act by the end of February. While the Act is limited in applicability to specific fields, the passage of this legislation marks the start of an exciting era for Taiwan as it begins to compete for foreign talent.