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The Canadian government has now published guidance for travelers on the scope of the US-Canada border closure. Last month, the United States and Canada announced that the two countries would jointly and temporarily close the border, until April 20, 2020, to non-essential travel in an effort to limit the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The statement from the Prime Minister defined “non-essential” travel to include “travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature,” as described in our post from March 24, 2020.

Persons engaged in “essential services” are exempt from most of the restrictions.  While the new guidance provides a number of examples of “essential services,” it does not attempt, perhaps intentionally, to provide a single definition of the term. Nonetheless, the new detailed guidance should make determinations by border officials on the eligibility of travelers to enter Canada more predictable.
Continue Reading Update: Canada Clarifies Scope of Cross-Border Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the .US. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Notification in the Federal Register providing the details of last week’s announcements by the United States and Canada of a bilateral decision to temporarily close the US-Canada land border to non-essential travel.  This measure is in addition to restrictions on air travel to Canada implemented on March 18, 2020.  The air travel restrictions include an exemption for flights arriving from The United States.
Continue Reading United States and Canada Close Land Border to Non-Essential Travel

On Friday, March 20, 2020, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a virtual verification process that an employer may adopt as a temporary measure when onboarding employees who are located remotely during the COVID-19 national emergency. This temporary measure, which will be available to employers for a period of 60 days from the date of the notice (i.e., through May 19, 2020) or up to 3 business days of the termination of the national emergency, whichever comes first, supplements existing law that allows employers to onboard remote hires through the use of an authorized agent.
Continue Reading Remote Verification of New Hires Allowed for Employers to Meet I-9 Obligations During The COVID-19 National Emergency

As the novel Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) prompts such workplace responses as “work from home” arrangements, lockdowns and “skeleton crew” operations, among others, employers in countries that require right to work (RTW) validation are facing logistical challenges in onboarding new employees. Authorities in some countries permit the employer to designate a responsible adult to serve as the employer’s agent for purposes of an in-person review of RTW documentation submitted by the new employee. Others allow for the review of scanned documents to be followed by the standard in-person review when operations return to normal. Still others have created government-administered online portals for purposes of validating certain specified RTW documents.

The following is a sampling of practical approaches employers can adopt to fulfill RTW validation requirements remotely during the current pandemic.
Continue Reading Right To Work Validation While COVID-19 Encourages – or Mandates – Work From Home