The Covid-19 crisis has disrupted all aspects of daily life.  With both borders and Consulates closed, travel to and from the U.S. can be difficult.  For those who already have an E-2 visa in their passports, the question arises as to whether or not you can enter the U.S.  This blog post summarizes when an E-2 visa holder can enter the U.S. and some of the Covid-19 considerations surrounding this.

The answer to whether or not an E-2 visa holder can enter the U.S. will depend on where they are, and the travel restrictions associated with that country.  The U.S. currently has some form of travel bans with Canada, Mexico, Iran, China and almost all countries in Europe.  The bans are different and can be broken in to two categories.

Covid-19 Travel Bans with Canada & Mexico

The U.S. has closed the border to non-essential travel between Canada and Mexico.  There are exceptions though and entering the U.S. for “work” is included as one of the exceptions. You can find out more about the specifics of the travel ban between Canada and Mexico by clicking here.  While the proclamation exempts those traveling for work, there has been inconsistent treatment for those who have attempted to enter.  As such, you may be asked to show that your job is essential in some way.  If this occurs, you should point to the fact that the proclamation exempts those travelling for work but this may not guarantee entry.  You should also check with your immigration lawyer as they normally stay apprised of latest developments.

Covid-19 Travel Ban with China, Iran, and Europe

The Presidential Proclamation related to travel from Europe and other countries  related to the Corona Virus issued on March 11, 2020 can be found by clicking here.  There are a number of exceptions, but E-1 and E-2 visas are not on the exception list. Moreover, unlike the North American ban, those who are returning to work are not exempt from this proclamation.  The key here is that if you were in one of these countries (For example, France) 14 days before entering the U.S., you cannot enter.  There are two options here:

  1. Seek permission from the U.S. Consulate to waive the requirement. (very difficult and we have not seen this successfully done). That being said, if your job is considered essential or you have some other compelling reason that benefits the U.S., this is a very real possibility.  You would also likely need a negative Covid-19 test that was recently performed.
  2. Travel to another country, wait for 14 days and then enter the U.S. For example, we had clients fly from Spain to Mexico, wait in Mexico for 14 days and then enter the U.S.

You should note that one big issue is the lack of flights. In the case listed above, there were flights available from Spain to Mexico.  Also, Mexico does not have any travel restrictions so entering was easy.  Also, when entering the U.S., the proclamation indicates you can only enter through certain airports.  This further complicates the travel situation.

You can find key immigration information related to the Corona Virus below

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