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New US Travel Framework for All Travelers
The new US travel framework for all international travelers went live on November 8th. This marks the end of Presidential travel restrictions that have been in place since January of 2020. Travelers must have proof of vaccination and have a test three days before entry to the US. Unvaccinated US Citizen travelers must have a negative test one day before travel and will also face issues in their destinations. Unvaccinated non-citizens face an uncertain time.
Huge Victory for H4 and L2 Nonimmigrant Dependents
The DHS has settled an ongoing class action suit in regard to the extreme delays in obtaining employment authorization for certain classes of dependent applicants, specifically L2 and H4s. With processing times reaching over a year and half the DHS has agreed to overhaul the process. H4 EAD applicants with validly filed EAD applications can obtain 180 day extension of authorization upon filing. For L2s the DHS is changing their employment authorization to “inherent” to their status which means they will not need EADs in the future. However, this will take time to implement as changes need to be made to the I-94 system.
Land Borders have reopened
November 8th also saw the reopening of the land borders of the United States. The new travel framework still applies but these vital ports of entry are now operating almost as normal. It is hoped that these changes will lead to easing of the global supply chain issues that have becoming increasingly prevalent in the lead up to the holiday season.