Asked in Immigration Law for Florida

Q: Question regarding the New Nov 8 travel rules and how it would affect unvaccinated H1b and H4 visa holders

Hi,

I have an H1b visa and my wife has an H4 visa. We are currently in Canada and unvaccinated for COVID. So, based on the new travel policy of Nov 8 of the US government, will we be allowed to enter the US by land border post-Nov 8 irrespective of our vaccination status?

The US government memo mentions that essential workers will be allowed to enter the US. However, the definition of essential workers is not very clear and no one clearly knows if H1b and H4 visa holders will be considered as essential per this definition.

I tried checking with my company's attorney as well but they don't seem to have a clear understanding of this issue.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Alexander Ivakhnenko
Alexander Ivakhnenko
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Wheeling, IL

A: You are represented by a counsel of record. It would be improper to guide you overstepping the critical and vital role of the attorney who is professionally retained, familiar with your case and legally obligated to provide a clear, accurate and exact legal guidance to you.

If they do not have a clear understanding of the above issue the sponsoring company should retain professional counsel who may provide requisite legal support.

Linda Liang agrees with this answer

Linda Liang
Linda Liang
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Boca Raton, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: First of all, what type of visa you and your wife have has no bearing on whether you are essential workers or not. Secondly, you have a counsel on record. It is his or her job to read the policy for you and advise based on your circumstance.

Kyndra L Mulder agrees with this answer

Kyndra L Mulder
Kyndra L Mulder
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: It is a new issue and understandable that your employers attorney may not have had the question come up. I have had potential clients and clients with the same question recently. A memorandum from an attorney stressing that your employment is essential may be helpful when you proceed to the border. I have also had clients with employment visas that were passed through without any question.

If asked there are some types of employment that are clearly essential such as emergency responders. Others are not so clear such as grocery store employee. There has not been case law that clearly defines the concept.

I suggest contacting an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in preparation for crossing the border.

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