COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients.
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Immigration Law FAQ


Q: Are There New Travel Restrictions in Place Due to COVID-19?

A: Yes. The President has implemented numerous travel restrictions affecting United States citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPRs”), and others due to COVID-19. On January 31, 2020, the President signed an Executive Order prohibiting the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of “all aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.” This Executive Order, however, does not apply to individuals who are United States citizens or LPRs of the United States. The President has also signed additional, similar Executive Orders suspending the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants from Iran, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and over two dozen European countries.

Additionally, the U.S. has reached agreements with Canada and Mexico to limit all non-essential travel across borders. This is a collaborative and reciprocal measure taken in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus and address the economic effects resulting from reduced mobility along our shared boarders. Effective March 21, 2020, travel for tourism or recreation is suspended for 30 days (subject to extension upon review). Travel for essential commerce or essential trade/travel is unaffected by this new measure.
Fact Sheet: DHS Measures on the Border to Limit the Further Spread of Coronavirus
Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel

While Tennessee has not implemented any definitive travel restrictions, Tennessee is under a statewide “Stay at Home” executive order that mandates Tennesseans stay home unless conducting essential business. Residents and visitors are encouraged to follow CDC guidance to avoid discretionary travel.

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Q: Have Deportations Been Stopped Due to COVID-19?

A: Not completely. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”), the part of the Department of Justice primarily responsible for adjudicating removal actions in the United States, has postponed all non-detained hearings scheduled through May 1, 2020. However, depending on the specific orders of the Immigration Court in which a particular case is pending, removal hearings for detained individuals in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) or other federal agencies can still proceed despite the pandemic.

Aliens will not be held in congregate areas for processing by CBP and instead will immediately be turned away from ports of entry. Those encountered between ports of entry after illegally crossing the border similarly will not be held in congregate areas for processing and instead, to the maximum extent feasible, will immediately be returned to their country of last transit. CBP facilities are not structured or equipped to effectively quarantine an infected population, thus in an effort to aliens from exposure to the virus in holding centers, and to avoid stretching already overwhelmed health care professionals to attend to such facilities, the optimal line of action is to immediately return aliens to their country of origin.
Fact Sheet: DHS Measures on the Border to Limit the Further Spread of Coronavirus

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Q: How is USCIS Responding to COVID-19?

A: USCIS has closed its offices to the public at this time. Nevertheless, USCIS is continuing to conduct mission critical actions, and USCIS continues to accept new applications and petitions for immigration benefits during this time. More information about the response of USCIS to COVID-19 can be found here.

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