On December 31, 2020, just as it was about to expire, President Donald Trump extended the ban on immigrant and nonimmigrant visas until March 31, 2021. Initiated in April and June 2020, the bans were intended to block immigrants and nonimmigrants (with H, L and J visas) from coming to the United States due to economic concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nonimmigrant ban which has created a great deal of uncertainty for employers was partially blocked by a federal judge who determined that it likely exceeded the authority of the Executive Branch. The injunction, however, was not nationwide and only applies only to members of the plaintiff organizations: National Association of Manufacturers, Chamber of Commerce of the United States, National Retail Federation, Technet and Intrax. Some national interest exemptions are available but the requirements vary from consulate to consulate. Moreover, just obtaining visa appointments at the consulates can be challenging due to reduced operations.

These are far from the only travel restrictions that are still in effect. Presidential Proclamations blocking the entry of individuals who have been in 30 different countries during the 14-day period prior to admission remain in effect and due to the new strain of COVID-19 identified in the United Kingdom, air passengers from the United Kingdom are not allowed to board flights to the United States unless they have proof of a negative COVID test within no more than three days prior to the flight. Passengers must provide an attestation regarding the testing. This restriction, unlike the others, applies not only to foreign nationals but to U.S. citizens and green card holders as well.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist you with questions regarding these restrictions as well as those COVID-related restrictions such as those at the Northern and Southern borders which have been extended until January 21, 2021.

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.