The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) recently announced the decision to continue to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Canada into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Canada border as well as to continue to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Mexico border. Such travel will continue to be limited to “essential travel,” as defined below. The travel restrictions went into effect at 12 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on May 21, 2020 and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 22, 2020.
On March 24, 2020, DHS published notices of the Secretary’s decision to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Canada and Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Canada and United States-Mexico borders to “essential travel.” DHS later published notices continuing such limitations on travel until 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 20, 2020.
According to DHS, “essential travel” includes, but is not limited to:
• U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
• Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States);
• Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;
• Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada and between the United States and Mexico in furtherance of such work);
• Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies);
• Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada and between the United States and Mexico);
• Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel;
• Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and
• Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
DHS’ notices provide that individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events) does not fall within the definition of “essential travel.”
DHS further provides that the notifications do not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the United States and Canada or between the United States and Mexico, but does apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel between the United States and Canada and between the United States and Mexico.
Companies and individuals with ongoing or prospective immigration processes and their employees, colleagues or family members who may be affected by these notifications should consult with counsel on individual situations. We remain available to answer your questions.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
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