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covid19

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

President Trump signed the temporary Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 18, 2020. FFCRA is designed to provide relief in the form of paid and job protected sick leave for those impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). The current Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been expanded to include leave under FFCRA. FFCRA will be effective within 15 days and will expire on December 31, 2020.

US-Canadian Border Closed to All Non-Essential Travel

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the border between the United States and Canada has closed to all non-essential travel starting, Friday, March 20, 2020, at 11:59 PM at each border crossing’s local time. The international border will remain open for essential travel, but non-essential travel will be restricted until at least Monday, April 20.

USCIS will be Flexible with Submitting Required Signatures

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the agency will accept a reproduced original signature on all benefit forms and documents, including Form I-129 petitions, for submissions starting March 21, 2020 until the end of the coronavirus National Emergency.

Uscis to Exempt Foreign Nationals from Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Resulting from the Coronavirus

USCIS formally announced that the public charge ground of inadmissibility will not apply to foreign nationals who seek testing, screening, or treatment of any communicable disease, including the coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition, USCIS will take into consideration circumstances where a foreign national is prevented from working or attending school due to the coronavirus and must rely on public benefits during the outbreak.

Coronavirus & Force Majeure: What Businesses Need to Know

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted normal business operations all over the world. As of March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus as a pandemic. In light of this pandemic, many businesses are unable to perform some of their contractual obligations. Some are stuck with suppliers who are unable to deliver due to factory closures, while others must cancel mass events due to curfews or limitations on group gatherings. In challenging times like these, a key contractual provision is the force majeure clause, which allows one or both parties to be relieved of their contractual obligations based on unforeseen events. Given the increase in international force majeure cases, it is a critical time for businesses to review all their contracts to understand the various force majeure clauses at play.

USCIS Suspends in-Person Services Due to the Coronavirus

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is suspending routine in-person services until April 1, 2020, or until further notice, effective immediately. This includes biometrics appointments, adjustment of status and naturalization interviews, and oath ceremonies for naturalization.

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