The spread of Coronavirus has caused unprecedented changes to many aspects of life, with ramifications for immigrant workers. Here are a few major changes employers should know about:
- U.S. consulates and embassies around the world have suspended immigrant and nonimmigrant visa processing.
- Employers must still complete I-9 forms to verify work authorization for employees but there is some flexibility in the physical inspection requirement if workplaces are operating remotely.
- Layoffs, furloughs or reductions in pay may cause a foreign worker on an H-1b or other visa to be in violation of his or her status.
- Copies of original signatures may be accepted on some immigration forms during the crisis.
These are just a few of the situations that have arisen, and every day brings a new question – sometimes without answers- about the impact of COVID-19 on employers’ obligations and employees’ ability to enter or remain lawfully in the U.S. For these and other situations employers and employees may be facing, it is important to obtain as much up to date and accurate information as possible to remain in compliance with labor and immigration law.