The United States Department of Homeland Security issued the current Level 4 Health Advisory, warning U.S. citizens not to travel out-of-country in part because the network of COVID-prompted travel restrictions within and between countries has gone global. With so many countries closing their borders, even to outgoing travel, it was and still is perilous to leave a permanent residence in the United States without long-term accommodations in the destination. Although developments continue to occur often and at a moment’s notice, the following outlines the restrictions, as of [PUB DATE], on travel to and from the U.S.  A note of caution:  travel and immigration restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic are constantly evolving, so it is important to stay on top of these restrictions when planning any international travel in upcoming months.  We recommend that you contact your Chin & Curtis attorney before traveling internationally so that you can discuss potential challenges, including the relevant details of any restrictions in place.


With that said, please see below for a non-exhaustive list of travel restrictions across the globe:


Travel to the United States


Restrictions on Entry Given Recent Travel to Certain Countries

The President has issued four COVID-19-related proclamations limiting travel to the United States. The proclamations name four sets of countries and include them all in the same rule: spending time in one of the specified places precludes entry or attempted entry into the United States travelers for at least two weeks from the end of the traveler’s stay. The travelers affected by the rule are largely nonimmigrants, though certain non-citizen, non-LPR immigrants are also affected. Citizens, lawful permanent residents and their families, among others, are exempt. The subject countries are China, Iran, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, and any country in the “Schengen Area,” which includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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“Essential Travel” between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S

On March 21 Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. closed their shared borders to any non-essential travel (by land) for the 30 days to come. The joint initiatives were extended by an additional 30 days and are set to expire on May 20 (as of May 15, 2020). Non-essential travel is “for tourism is purposes” (e.g. sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events).


“Congregate Settings” on Mexico, Canada, U.S. Borders

In addition to the two Border Closure Agreements, the CDC has ordered the suspension of any travel into the United States from Canada or Mexico by persons (regardless of their country of origin) “who would otherwise be introduced into a congregate setting in a land Port of Entry (POE) or Border Patrol station at or near the United States borders with Canada and Mexico.” The order does not apply to “[p]ersons from foreign countries who hold valid travel documents.” Rather, it aims to curb the introduction of “persons … who must be held longer in congregate settings in POEs or Border Patrol stations to facilitate immigration processing,” or undocumented migrants.

It is not clear whether a port of entry’s standard “secondary inspection” area is considered a “congregate setting” and whether persons with valid travel documents who must pass through these areas would be blocked from entry under the order



Travel Outside the U.S.


Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, diplomats, and their family members may travel to Australia. In general, foreign nationals are prohibited from entry. Additional exemptions are on a case-by-case basis.

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Effective March 19, only the following individuals may enter or transit Australia:

  • Australian citizens
  • Permanent residents (someone who holds a permanent visa in Australia, including a Resident Return visa)
  • Immediate family (i.e. legal guardians, spouses, de facto partners, and dependent children) of a citizen or permanent resident
  • Diplomats accredited to Australia who currently reside in Australia and their immediate family
  • New Zealand citizens who ordinarily reside in Australia (444 visa)
  • Citizens of the followings countries are permitted to transit through Australia to return home: New Zealand, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati Marshall Islands, Micronesia Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

If you have a temporary visa (except for Partner and Child visa holders): You can apply for an exemption HERE granted you have a “compelling reason to travel to Australia”

Additional requirements:

  • All passengers arriving in Australia except New Zealand citizens and permanent residents (and their immediate family) and citizens of any South Pacific Island who are transiting Australia on their way home, will be subject to a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days upon entry.
  • Quarantine passengers will be provided accommodations and will not be permitted to travel (including to their home residence) for the duration of the 14 day period.


Only permanent residents, US citizens, diplomats, and their immediate family members may enter Canada. Additional exemptions exist for certain persons whose entry would serve an essential purpose. The Canada-U.S. land border is closed to non-essential travel.

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Effective March 16, 2020, Only the following individuals may enter Canada:

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents
  • The immediate family of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (i.e. spouses, common-law partners, a dependent children, a dependent child of a dependent child; parents and step-parents, in-laws and step-in-laws, guardians and tutors)
  • U.S. citizens
  • Persons registered under Canada’s Indian Act
  • Protected persons (as defined by subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act)
  • Any foreign national who is coming for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose from the United States (U.S.)

The following people may travel to Canada for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose from a country other than the U.S.:

  • Temporary foreign workers
  • Some international students
  • Some approved permanent residents
  • Immediate family members with written authorization from the Government of Canada to reunite with a family member living temporarily in Canada (see below for more information)
  • Members of the Canadian forces, visiting forces, Department of National Defense and their immediate family members
  • Accredited diplomats and immediate family members (includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations)
  • Air and marine crew members
  • French citizens who reside in Saint-Pierre-et- Miquelon and who have not traveled outside Saint-Pierre-et- Miquelon, the United States or Canada during the 14 days preceding entry
  • Individuals who do not pose a risk of significant harm to public health, or who will provide an essential service while in Canada, as determined by the Chief Public Health Officer;and,
  • Individuals whose presence in Canada would be in the national interest, as determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

European Union, Schengen Area

The European Commission has invited EU members states and the Schengen Associated Countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) to prohibit non-essential travel into the EU from third countries until June 15.

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Only the following individuals may enter an EU Member State or Schengen Associated Country from a third party country:

  • Citizens of EU or UK countries;
  • Family members of EU and Associated State citizens;
  • Long term residents and those with a legal right to reside or hold long term visas (D-visa) in any of the above countries;
  • Travelers fulfilling an essential function or need, such as:
  • Passengers in transit (unless in transit to another EU or associated country where their entry would be banned)
  • Healthcare professions, healthcare researchers and elderly care professionals Frontier workers
  • Transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary
  • Diplomats and staff of international organizations
  • Military personnel
  • Humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their function
  • Individuals traveling for imperative family reasons (e.g. attending a funeral)
  • Those in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons

Hong Kong

Non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas countries and regions by plane will be denied entry to Hong Kong; and Non-Hong Kong residents coming from the Mainland, Macao and Taiwan will be denied entry to Hong Kong if they have been to any overseas countries and regions in the past 14 days.

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Effective March 25, only the following individuals will be allowed into Hong Kong:

  • Permanent Residents as evidenced by a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card;
  • Hong Kong citizens as evidenced by a Hong Kong SAR passport or British National (Overseas) passport;
  • Hong Kong residents with the right of abode (ROA) as evidenced by a Hong Kong Identity Card and a valid work or study visa;
  • Passengers travelling from Mainland China, Taiwan or Macao SAR, and have not been to other country/region in past 14 days;
  • Diplomatic/official passport holders (subject to prevailing visa requirements);
  • The immediate family (i.e. spouses and children) of Hong Kong residents
  • Local government personnel performing official duties
  • Personnel approved by the Hong Kong SAR government to carry out anti-epidemic work
  • Passengers holding a visa to work, study, establish or join in any business, or to take up residence in Hong Kong


All flights to India have been suspended through May 25, 2020. Citizens who are currently stranded outside the country will need to register themselves with the Indian Missions in the country where they are, at which point the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) can help arrange a non scheduled commercial flight home.


Short-term visitors regardless of origin are prohibited from entering or transiting through Singapore; Citizens, permanent residents, long term pass holders, and certain work pass holders may return to Singapore. Pass holders must be approved for entry.

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Effective March 23, only the following individuals will be allowed into Singapore:

  • Singapore citizens
  • Permanent residents
  • Long Term Pass holders, and individuals granted In-Principle Approval (IPA) for a Long Term Pass, including the following, who have been approved for entry by the Immigration &
  • Checkpoints Authority (ICA)
  • Individuals with a Student Pass issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE)
  • Individuals with any long term work pass or dependent’s pass (and the accompanying documentation).
  • Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders
  • Individuals with a work pass who have been approved for entry by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

Additional requirements:

  • All passengers arriving in Singapore must submit a health declaration up to three days prior to their arrival, which must be completed electronically via the Singapore Arrival Card e-service.
  • Work pass holders and their dependents must obtain an approval letter from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower prior to travel. The MOM will only allow the entry/return of work pass holders who are seen to be providing essential services (i.e. health care and transport, not including air transport)

Please note that travel restrictions could be extended and/or modified as the coronavirus pandemic situation evolves.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]