The 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a disease primarily marked by flu-like symptoms, such as a dry cough, fever and difficult breathing, although it is substantially more infectious and lethal than the seasonal flu. Although originally detected in the Wuhan province of China in November 2019, it has since spread throughout the world, with infection rates increasing rapidly with every day. This has led to many countries (including the United States) implementing travel and immigration restrictions, in the hopes of at least slowing the spread of the disease.
Most recently, the United States government has implemented immigration restrictions on countries known to have large numbers of coronavirus infections, including implementing a two-week delay on immigration from all 26 countries in the Schengen Area. It has also begun health screenings for all international travelers at all airports, causing massive delays and crowding as authorities rush to implement the new screening measures. Unfortunately, immigrants are left to navigate the mess, as governments around the world implement increasingly draconian measures to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Many consulates have closed for routine processing of both immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Additionally, the immigration courts in New York City and New Jersey have cancelled master non-detained cases. However, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services remains open, but is accepting requests to reschedule.
We at Bretz & Coven are setting up staff to rotate working from home and doing consults via phone and Skype, while all three offices remain open to serve our clients’ needs. The lawyers at Bretz & Coven, LLP are experienced in handling various immigration matters, including removal defense, asylum applications, visa applications, waivers and more. For more information or to schedule a consultation
at our New York City or New Jersey law office, call (212) 267-2555.