COVID-19 Related Immigration Agency Actions

The nation’s immigration apparatus, including the Department of State (DOS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the immigration court system (EOIR) has taken dozens of measures in response to the growing reach and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes happen virtually daily. Please follow the links below to learn more about just some of the current actions most relevant to Maine that impact not only immigrants, nonimmigrants, and U.S. citizens, but also public health, and business and economic activity.

DOS changes:

  • Routine visa services are suspended at all U.S. embassies and consulates abroad as of March 20, 2020.   All routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa interviews are cancelled until further notice.
  • H-2 visas are deemed “essential to the economy and food security” and as a result, as of March 26, 2020,  normally required interviews will be waived for most beneficiaries of H-2A or H-2B visa petitions.
  • J-1 International Exchange visa programs that involve travel to or from countries subject to heightened CDC or DOS alert levels are temporarily suspended as of March 17, 2020.
  • However, certain J-1 physicians and medical professionals received additional guidance on March 26, 2020.
  • DOS advises U.S. citizens and residents to avoid all international travel as of March 19, 2020.  Country specific warnings are here.

USCIS changes:

 ICE changes:

CBP changes: 

EOIR changes: