Jan 03, 2023 COVID-19 Guidance

CDC to Require Negative Covid Test for Travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau

Beginning on January 5, 2023, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require proof of a negative Covid test or documentation of recovery from Covid for all travelers over age 2 who are boarding flights to the U.S. from China, Hong Kong and Macau. The new requirement is in response to the recent surge in Covid infections in China. All passengers, regardless of vaccination status or nationality, are subject to the policy. It will also apply to travelers who are only stopping in China/Hong Kong/Macau or the U.S. for a layover or while in transit.

Under the new rule, travelers will be required to obtain a negative Covid test by an authorized telehealth service or licensed provider no more than 2 days before departing from China, Hong Kong or Macau. Those who tested positive more than 10 days before the flight can instead provide documentation of recovery. Airlines will be responsible for checking and confirming the required documentation.

In addition, travelers who are passing through Incheon (South Korea) International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, or Vancouver International Airport on their way to the US and have been in China in the past 10 days will be required to provide a negative Covid test taken no more than 2 days before their departure to the US.

Please contact your KM&M attorney with any questions.

USCIS to Automatically Extend Green Cards for Naturalization Applicants

 Effective last month, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will automatically extend the validity of green cards for lawful permanent residents (LPRs) with pending naturalization applications. Applicants who file for naturalization on or after December 12, 2022 will be issued receipt notices with language that automatically extends their green cards for up to 24 months. USCIS expect this new policy will help alleviate long processing times, as naturalization applicants will no longer have to file additional I-90 forms to extend their green card validity. However, LPRs who lose their green cards will generally still have to file a Form I-90 to obtain a replacement, regardless of whether they benefitted from the automatic extension policy.

USCIS’ 2022 Year in Review

USCIS has released information about its efforts to address historic backlogs in Fiscal Year 2022. Steps the agency has taken to reduce case processing times include temporarily extending Employment Authorization Document (EAD) validity periods for some foreign nationals; implementing operational improvements and allocating resources to bring EAD processing times back to their pre-pandemic level; and utilizing all available employment-based immigrant visas for FY 2022. In FY 2023, the agency intends to expand premium processing options for certain immigrant workers and EAD applicants; eliminate biometrics requirements for applicants seeking to change or extend their status; and streamline several major application forms. Only time will tell whether these efforts will be successful in reducing the agency’s historically long processing times. We will continue to update you on developments at USCIS and other government agencies in future bulletins.