Coronavirus Crisis: Impact Of COVID-19 On Sports Immigration

It seems like a decade has gone by in the immigration world during the last two weeks! Per my article of March 16 in the following link, foreign athletes and their support personnel have been dramatically impacted by policy changes that have taken place over a wide range of immigration issues.

TRAVEL BAN: The Travel Ban currently bans the entry of non-U.S. citizens who are from or have recently been in China, Iran, or certain European countries per the DHS link below. Notably, American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families are exempt but if arriving from an impacted area, they must travel through one of 13 airports where DHS has established enhanced entry screening capabilities. All American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families who are returning from the impacted area must self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: The ever-changing landscape of worldwide travel restrictions can be confusing as many foreign governments are restricting entry into their respective countries due to COVID-19. You can find more information about each travel restriction (by country) via the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This website provides specific details regarding international travel requirements worldwide due to COVID-19.

PLAYERS ON ESTA (VISA WAIVER) ADMISSIONS: The ESTA (VWP) ADMISSION is generally valid for 90 days. No routine extensions or changes of status are permitted. However, as I stated in my original article, there is an emergency extension permitted for an additional 30 days under the regulations. This process is evolving and parties needing this extraordinary assistance should contact their closest CBP deferred inspection site as listed below.

CONSULAR VISA APPOINTMENTS: In response to worldwide challenges related to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Department of State has suspended routine visa services in most countries worldwide. Embassies and consulates in these countries cancelled all routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments as of March 18, 2020. You should check the website of the individual embassy or consulate for its current operating status. As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urg