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United States - Travel from EU’s Schengen Area Suspended for 30 Days or Longer

US - Travel from EU’s Schengen Area Suspended

In addition to the existing travel restrictions in place due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on March 11, 2020, President Donald Trump introduced a travel suspension from Europe to the United States, with some exceptions. This suspension goes into effect on Friday, March 13, 2020. Travelers who have been in the European Union’s (EU) Schengen Area within 14 days preceding their anticipated entry to the U.S. will be denied boarding an airplane. Read this newsletter for more details on the countries concerned, travel to/from such countries, and the exceptions.

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In addition to the existing travel restrictions in place due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on March 11, 2020, President Donald Trump introduced a travel suspension from Europe to the United States.1  This suspension goes into effect on Friday, March 13, 2020, at 11:59pm EDT.  The unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by the White House will not impact the United Kingdom or Ireland.  (For related coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-050, March 6, 2020.)

Travelers who have been in the European Union’s (EU) Schengen Area within 14 days preceding their anticipated entry to the U.S. will be denied boarding an airplane.  The Schengen countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.  The U.K. and Ireland are not part of the Schengen Area.  Other EU countries not currently part of the Schengen Area are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania.

WHY THIS MATTERS

This new travel ban will have considerable impact on U.S.-Schengen Area globally-mobile employees and could delay, if not prevent, cross-border transfers of such employees and their family members who are covered under the scope of these new rules.  Employees and their families who may have received offers of international assignments to the U.S. and were making plans to relocate to the U.S. may experience some anxiety and inconvenience.

Employers with a global workforce must establish that their employees can continue to travel to the U.S. without disrupting business operations and without prejudice to the health and safety of their workers.

Moreover, this will affect employees who planned to travel and renew their visas abroad in the Schengen countries. 

Are There Any Exceptions?

U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, spouses, children, siblings, parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents, government employees, crew-members, members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their relatives, along with foreign government representatives will not be subject to the suspension.  Additional exceptions exist and ongoing reports indicate that more changes can be expected.

Those exempted individuals would still be required to follow a strict process when returning to the U.S. and self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.

The White House confirmed that the travel restriction will not apply to goods and cargo coming from the EU. 

KPMG NOTE

Outbound Travel

Any nonimmigrant visa holders intending to travel to the Schengen countries should re-evaluate the necessity of their trip as they would be unable to re-enter during the suspension period and potentially beyond.

Limiting Travel Due to Potential Expansion of Suspension

Given the fluidity of the circumstances and the need to adopt rapid measures, it may be prudent to remain in the U.S. and avoid international travel where possible.

Existing Consular Appointments in the Schengen Countries

Employees who planned to travel and renew their visas abroad in the Schengen countries should consider filing extensions of their status via United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  In addition, limitations on consular processing may be anticipated as shown in certain jurisdictions already.

Impact of Self-Quarantine on Your Business

Those exempted from the suspension but returning from the affected countries will be required to follow a 14-day self-quarantine.  Employers must assess how such a self-quarantine will affect their business and take measures to avoid business disruption where possible.

We Are Monitoring the Situation

Our office is tracking these matters closely.  We will endeavor to keep readers of GMS Flash Alert posted on any important developments as and when they occur.

FOOTNOTE

* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services or legal services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.   

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.

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© 2020 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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