Like a number of states across the country, DC, Maryland, and Virginia (collectively, “the DMV”) have begun to reopen their economies by gradually easing restrictions introduced in late March to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Virginia and Maryland moved to Phase 1 of their respective reopening plans on May 15, 2020, while a number of local jurisdictions in both states and DC opted to delay their Phase 1 transition until May 29. Although the collective DMV has begun reopening, differences among the area’s jurisdictions persist. The easing of restrictions under the DC statewide plan is more limited than Virginia’s or Maryland’s Phase 1 plans, and several Maryland local jurisdictions are leaving in place some of the restrictions that are eased under Phase 1 of the Virginia statewide plan. Businesses with a presence in multiple DMV jurisdictions will need to understand and incorporate these distinctions as they restart operations across the region.

Continue Reading DC, Virginia, and Maryland Reopen Their Economies at Different Speeds, With DC and Several Local Authorities Lagging Behind

On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States for 60 days.  As reported on this blog, although the proclamation is currently limited to aspiring immigrants who are outside the United States and do not yet have a valid immigrant visa, it has the potential to affect other visa categories. Specifically, the proclamation requires the Secretary of Labor (“DOL”) and the Secretary of Homeland Security (“DHS”), in consultation with the Secretary of State, to review nonimmigrant programs within 30 days and to recommend “other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”

Continue Reading Suspension of H-1B, L-1 and H-2B Visas Reported To Be Under Consideration by the White House

Effective May 27, 2020 at midnight Japan time, the Japanese government announced that it is banning entry of foreigners who have visited India, Argentina, South Africa or eight other countries for the past 14 days prior to arriving in Japan.  On May 22, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had placed a Level 3 travel warning

On May 25, 2020, the Japanese government announced that it is lifting the state of emergency for all of Japan.  Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa and Hokkaido had still been under a state of emergency.  The Japanese government will continue to monitor the state of COVID-19 in each prefecture every three weeks.

While the national government

On May 21, 2020, the Japanese government announced that it is lifting the state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo.  The largely voluntary measures under the state of emergency will remain in place with respect to Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures (Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa), as well as Hokkaido.   The state of emergency with respect

On May 14, 2020, the Japanese government announced that it has lifted the state of emergency for 39 prefectures, including Aichi, Fukuoka and Ibaraki. Although the largely voluntary restrictive measures under the state of emergency have been lifted with respect to these 39 prefectures, the Japanese government requests that people within these prefectures try to

Background

COVID-19 has left employee workforces separated from their country of assignment.  To continue operations, employers transitioned employees to work-from-home or other virtual work arrangements. Globally, tax authorities are considering how to address unintended corporate and individual tax consequences of displaced individuals physically present within a particular jurisdiction and those who are also performing business activities within such jurisdiction due to travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders.


Continue Reading COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: US Tax Relief and Cross-Border Tax Considerations

The Japanese government announced that it is extending the state of emergency for all of Japan through May 31, 2020.  The state of emergency was initially announced on April 7 for Tokyo and six prefectures but was the expanded to all prefectures on April 16.  The Japanese government may extend the state of emergency further depending on the spread of COVID-19 within the country.  The state of emergency may be lifted with respect to certain prefectures prior to May 31 depending on the spread of infections within those prefectures.

Continue Reading Japan Extends State of Emergency Through May 31

The Japanese government announced that it is extending the entry restrictions into Japan, which we discussed in detail in our prior blog post , through the end of May. This extension applies to entry restrictions placed on all countries globally, including the entry ban on foreigners who have visited the United States, Canada, China or

President Trump signed an executive order, the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States for 60 days.  The order, which takes effect at 11:59 pm Eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020, is limited in its current scope, as it only affects individuals who are outside the United States and do not have a valid visa.

As reported in our post yesterday, the order thus does not currently impact temporary workers, such as H-1B specialty occupation workers, L-1 intra-company executives and specialized knowledge transferees from overseas, treaty visa holders including NAFTA entrants, O-1 extraordinary ability aliens, and F-1 students. Nine categories of aliens also are exempt from the order’s suspension and limitations on entry:

  1. lawful permanent residents;
  2. health care workers, medical research personnel, and other workers deemed essential to combat the spread of COVID-19, and their accompanying spouse and children, seeking to enter on immigrant visas;
  3. EB-5 immigrant investor visa candidates;
  4. spouses of US citizens;
  5. children under 21, including prospective adoptees, of US citizens;
  6. individuals whose work is deemed to further law enforcement objectives;
  7. US military personnel and their spouse and children;
  8. certain holders of Special Immigrant Visas and their spouse and children; and
  9. individuals whose work is deemed to further national security interests.

In addition, the order allows applications for asylum, refugee status, withholding of deportation, or other relief under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to continue without limitation.
Continue Reading Trump Signs Executive Order Imposing 60-Day Pause on Green Card Issuance