Today, immigration between countries has largely been brought to a halt due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases are on the rise around the world, especially in the United States. Most countries do not allow commercial travel to or from the United States except for citizens returning home.
These conditions mean that international immigration has been impacted severely by COVID-19. Effective treatments for the coronavirus have not yet been found, and a vaccine is months or a year away according to most sources.
Travel Restrictions to and From China
As of September 2020, non-citizens are not allowed to travel between China and the United States. The People’s Republic of China may approve travel on a case-by-case basis, but travelers should expect severe quarantining and testing regulations. U.S. citizens who have been in China in the past 14 days are allowed to return home, but they will be quarantined for up to 14 days when they arrive in the country.
As of September 3, 2020, travel restrictions between China and many Asian and European countries have been lifted. Since the United States has continued to exhibit poor case numbers and high positivity rates, it is difficult to say when immigration between China and the United States will return to normal, but immigration to other countries may be restored soon.
In order to immigrate to a different country, people need the right type of visa or certification. Tourist visas often allow someone to visit for up to 60 days. After that time period has passed, a person will need to get a specific type of visa, most often a work visa.
In the United States, special types of work visas are available to immigrants with high levels of skill. The EB-1 visa provides first preference for priority workers. This includes foreign nationals with extraordinary skills in arts, sciences, education, business, and athletics.
EB series visas are often available to Chinese immigrants, but the most likely category of any work visa to be awarded is the H2-B temporary non-agricultural visa. Once a foreign national is in the United States, they may be able to have an employer sponsor them for a more permanent visa. Unfortunately, this program has been severely restricted thanks to COVID.
The most desired certification is the Green Card. This card enables a foreign citizen to live and work freely in the United States. Getting a Green Card is a long process, and a lottery may choose who is eligible to apply.
Discrimination and Xenophobia
It is an unfortunate truth that people of Chinese origin are often treated poorly in the United States. Nationalist and xenophobic views blame the Chinese people, as well as residents of other Asian countries, for the COVID pandemic. Angry citizens can even be violent. Even if a Chinese citizen has never traveled to one of the virus hot spots, American citizens will be skeptical of their intentions. Sadly, this problem stems from the highest levels of the United States government.
Dealing with xenophobia and prejudice requires a great deal of patience. It is unfortunate that the public climate regarding immigrants has become so punitive since foreign immigrants have a great deal to offer to American society. Chinese immigrants may also face challenges in European countries like Germany and the UK.
When a Chinese national wants to immigrate to another country, it is a good idea to contract with an immigration lawyer. Immigration lawyers can help people navigate difficult application processes and ensure that their information is fairly handled.
An immigration lawyer can be a liaison between the applicant and the consulate or embassy belonging to the country where the citizen wants to immigrate. Having an immigration lawyer like Jean Danhong Chen can help Chinese nationals go into the process with an advantage.
As the world’s alert levels regarding the COVID-19 pandemic drop, regular immigration may be able to begin again. It is impossible to say how difficult it may be to get a visa in post-COVID America, but other countries in Europe might be a better choice at this time. Having a skilled immigration lawyer like Jean Danhong Chen will give you the greatest possible chance at succeeding in your green card or work visa application.
While immigrating at this time may be next to impossible, conditions are sure to change in the near future. Finding a job opportunity outside China may be easier in the future. Talented workers may be eligible for more visa opportunities, so it is best to make sure your resume is fully built and up to date.