HRS COVID-19 Weekly Report

April 14, 2020

 Summary: The situation of all countries continues almost the same as last week, with some adjustments to the core measures previously adopted and a trending behavior to extend the quarantine/lock-down periods.

 

Argentina

 

2,208 positive cases, 95 deaths. Argentinian frontiers continue to be closed even for Argentine residents living abroad. Argentinian Foreign Affairs Ministry is assisting Argentines abroad with their basic needs until they are able to return to Argentina. Upon return, they are quarantined for 2 weeks in apartments provided by the government. Complete lockdown until April 26th, inclusive. Total quarantine countrywide. If stepping out for basic shopping, it is mandatory to wear face masks. If caught not following this rule, then high fines are applied. If driving, they need a special permit and without it they are heavily fined and cars are confiscated. Schools and universities continue to be closed. Classes are being delivered virtually in many establishments.

 

Public and Administrative offices, private offices, national parks, theatres and cinemas continue to be closed.  Banks will open as from April 13th attending with appointments only to pensioners and to the elderly.  To help alleviate financial problems, the government issued a decree to order the suspension of all evictions from properties for 180 days and prohibit any increases in rent and mortgage payments until the finalization of the quarantine when differences will be calculated and paid. Immigrations Office is closed as well as Consulates until April 26th inclusive.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? Yes

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Immigration Authorities have extended expiration dates for all residences (30 extra days)

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Each case is analyzed separately and consulates are working hard to repatriate their citizens.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? Yes

   

Aruba

 

92 positive cases, 0 deaths. From Friday the 10th, Sunday the 12th, Monday the 13th of April every establishment will be closed with the exception of pharmacies and gas stations, they will be open from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm. Take Away, delivery and drive-thru from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm. Nobody can enter the country. This restriction counts for residents of Aruba as well. Only empty flights can come in to pick up passengers leaving Aruba to take them to their destination. Residents who are abroad and are having difficulties to return to Aruba can contact cmo@crisis.aw for assistance. It is prohibited to visit retirement homes.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? Yes

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? No official information about this topic. Renewal/extensions will be resumed as soon as the quarantine has finished.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Each case is analyzed separately.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No official information available.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information available.

 

Barbados

 

67 positive cases, 4 deaths. Curfew still effective from March 28th 20:00 to 06:00 nationwide. All non-essential businesses remain closed across the island. New measures and communication from the local government expected for April 15th.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? Yes

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Only follow up of in-progress files.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Renewal/extensions will be resumed as soon as the quarantine has finished.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Each case is analyzed separately.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information available.

 

Brasil

 

23,000 positive cases, 1300 deaths. Most of the Brazilians believe these numbers are underestimated. All the states declare quarantine, except for the essential services. São Paulo extended the quarantine until April, 22nd .  

 

On March 27th, 2020, the Minister of State Chief of Staff of the Presidency, Justice and Public Security, Infrastructure and Health has just published the Ordinance Act 152, exceptionally and temporarily restricting the entrance of foreigners in Brazil by air, regardless their nationality, for a period of 30 (thirty) days.

 

The measure is necessary due to the recommendation from the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in order to combat the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

 

The restriction on foreigners entering the country does not apply to:

  • Brazilian, born or naturalized;

  • immigrant with permanent residence, for a fixed or indefinite period, in Brazilian territory;

  • foreign professional on mission at the service of an international organization, as long as duly identified;

  • foreign employee accredited by the Brazilian Government;

  • foreigner in the condition of: a) spouse, partner, son, father or curator of a Brazilian, b) whose entry is specifically authorized by the Brazilian Government in a clear public interest; and c) bearer of the National Migration Registry;

  • transport of goods;

  • passenger in international transit, as long as he does not leave the international area of the airport and the country of destination admits his ticket;

  • technical landing to refuel when there is no need to disembark passengers of restricted nationalities; and

  • flight crew and airline employees in the country for operational purposes, albeit foreign.

Public agencies remain closed, except for emergency cases.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? No, our immigration offices are open to emergency cases. The immigration processes at the Ministry of Justice may have a delay compared to usual deadlines.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Most of the services in Brazil are online and still can be proceeded, although it requires personal presentation and it is not possible at this moment.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? We still can file the renewal request, although the analysis may take longer than expected.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? As a general rule, with the protocol from the renewal is possible to return.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? We still do not have this information, although considering the situation all over the world we believe they will not.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? We still do not have this information, although considering the situation all over the world we believe they will not.

 

Bolivia

 

354 positive cases, 28 deaths. Quarantine to be extended. Permissions to leave home between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 (noon), allowed only for specific critical needs: Grocery/pharmacy, etc. organized by last digit of ID card: Mon: 1-2 Tues: 3-4 Wed. 5-6 Thurs: 7-8 Fri: 9-0. Must have ID card. Age requirement 18-65. Saturday and Sunday there is no permissions to stay out. If found in violation of this, then a fine will be applied and also incarceration. No transportation. Transportation violation implies a fine plus jail.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Renewal/extensions will be resumed as soon as the quarantine has finished.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Each case is analyzed separately. There is no official information about a common policy.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? Unknown.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information available.

 

Chile

 

7,525 positive cases, 82 deaths. Control measures for the entry of foreigners have been reinforced, only Chileans are allowed to enter Chile and foreigners with an actual residence (not in process). Curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 is still in place. There are sanitary barriers in various cities along Chile with strict control of entry and exit. Schools, Universities and group activities are still suspended. Restaurants, bars, shops, shopping and malls are closed, with the exception of Pharmacies, Supermarkets and Banks, which have office hours. Some state offices are attending but only special cases. Businesses that would be possible to perform remote work are doing so, but those that are strategically important continue to operate with minimal staff on shifts. Use of face masks is now mandatory on public transportation. Some locations have implemented use of face masks mandatory while in the streets, but it is not countrywide yet.

 

New status on Immigration procedures: All Consular processes are suspended at least for 1 month. There is not a fixed date to have the system available yet. All Chilean consulates are closed for visa processing. Immigration processing system in Chile is working and we continue processing new cases and monitoring cases in progress. All tourist entrance must be extended before the due date.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Yes, the online processes are in force.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Permanent Residency renewals can be submitted online, as well as Visa renewal except from Visa Mercosur.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Up to this moment must do the regular renewal process or get a fine later. 

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? Yes, if they do not renew their status.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? Applying fines to companies is being reviewed on a case by case basis. It is possible that if it is the first time for this particular company, the fine can be avoided, but the record remains.

 

Colombia

 

2,776 positive cases, 109 deaths. Quarantine remains active countrywide. Border and airports also remains closed, all non-essential businesses are closed. Starting April 13th and according to Bogotá Major, the city will start a new measure called “Pico y Género” (Peak and Gender), which is a measure where only certain genders are allowed to go out in order to do the essential diligences. Female may go out only on even number dates and males on odds number dates. This measure is mandatory only for the Bogotá city that had been the most affected area in the country.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Yes, the online processes are still being received.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Renewal/extensions will be resumed as soon as the quarantine has finished.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Expiration date will be extended. 

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information about this topic.
     

Costa Rica

 

612 positive cases, 3 deaths. Costa Rican Government has decided that effective March 24th, 2020, all foreigners residing or with a valid immigration condition in the country, who leave the national territory, will automatically lose their immigration status. Countrywide lockdown until April 17th. Only grocery, medicines or supply shopping is allowed.

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Renewal/extensions will be resumed as soon as the quarantine has finished.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Expiration date will be extended. 

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information about this topic.
     

Dominican Republic

 

As of April 6, 2020 the Dominican Republic has 1,828 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 86 confirmed deaths.

 

General Purpose Measures:

  1. The government has declared the country in state of Emergency until May 10th, 2020;

  2. Suspension of all consular services in the Dominican Republic and in the consulates abroad;

  3. Cancelation of  flights scheduled to and from Europe China, Korea and Iran;

  4. Forced home quarantine for passengers who arrived from any of those countries into the Dominican Republic in the last 2 weeks;

  5. Suspension of all cruises and port activity;

  6. Closing of borders (except for departure of foreign nationals and cargo ships that carry basic supplements and fuels);

  7. Suspension of School instruction until further notice;

  8. Suspension of massive gatherings until further notice (restaurants only open for delivery and take out);

  9. Suspension of commercial activities (except for pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations, medical laboratories, hospitals);

  10. Rigorous social quarantine for people 65+ years of age;

  11. Implementation of home office and flexible hours;

  12. Continue implementing social quarantine and hygiene measures.

 

Specific Health Purpose Measures:

 

1. Release of COVID – 19 tests to certified labs;

2. Enable more Quarantine Centers;

3. Limit the number of visits of people in hospitals and clinics;

4. It is imperative to notify the authorities of any new case of COVID – 19;

5. Private Health Centers can enable special areas to treat COVID - 19;

6. ARS Insurance companies in order to support prevention and containment measures have agreed to include in their covered services the COVID -19 test.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed?  Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? None at this time.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases?  No cases are being managed at this time.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? The government has not determined how they will handle travelers with expired immigration documents once the travel ban is removed. 

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? The government has agreed to waive penalties while in state of emergency but we do not know for how long penalties will continue to be waivered after the state of emergency is removed.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? The government has agreed to waive penalties while in state of emergency but we do not know for how long penalties will continue to be waivered after the state of emergency is removed.

 

Ecuador

 

7,529 positive cases, 355 deaths. Country is under state of emergency as of March 17th, 2020. All borders are closed. All incoming flights are cancelled, both national and international, until further notice. Mandatory Quarantine has been declared. Only Health professionals and institutions, banks and food providers are open. Car circulation is restricted by plate number and only to provide medicine, food or any health emergencies. Curfew is still in place. Schools are closed until further notice. As of yesterday, 1,890 cases and 57 deaths.

 

 

El Salvador

 

149 positive cases, 6 deaths. Curfew continues in place.

 

Guatemala

 

167 positive cases, 5 deaths. Borders are closed for foreign visitors. Legal residents can only arrive in Guatemala by land from Mexico. 15-day Mandatory quarantine for residents arriving. All ongoing/incomplete immigration processes of foreigners that were left due to the virus spread are on hold. Until now, no prolongation for visitors visa due to the COVID-19 situation. Quarantine extended with curfew from 16h00 until 4h00.

 

Guyana

 

29 positive cases, 5 deaths. Airports in Guyana still partially closed. Only outgoing, cargo, medevac, technical and any other specially authorized flights are allowed. Schools remains closed until further notice. Many non-essential business are starting to close down in order to secure social distance.  Mandatory curfew has started since April 3rd from 07:00 pm until 6:00 am for all citizen, except those that has any confirmed emergency.  Mask up campaign is ongoing; several mask are being freely delivered by the local government in order to incentivize the mask wear at all times.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed?  Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases?  All immigration processes are suspended.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? No official information released. 

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No official information released.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information released.

 

Honduras

 

407 positive cases, 26 deaths. Borders are closed for foreign visitors. 15-day Mandatory quarantine for residents arriving. All ongoing/incomplete immigration processes of foreigners that were left due to the virus spread are on hold.

 

Mexico

 

5,014 confirmed cases with 332 deceased.  Federal Government declared suspension of all non-essential activities from March 30th to April 30th, including a social quarantine applicable nationwide. Northern States are implementing a mandatory face mask use.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? No, they are currently operating at a slower pace and with fewer personnel. They are also restricting the number of people that can enter the Immigration offices at once. The Immigration offices closed from April 6th to April 10th apparently due Holy week. However, as of today (April 13th) they restored its operation.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? The Immigration Offices are still updating information on ongoing cases on the official website. However, there are several restrictions on the website to schedule appointments at the Mexican Consulates abroad.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? The Federal Government released a statement on April 1st  in regards to the National Institute of Migration. The document states that all procedures that would have to take place from April 1st - April 30th , 2020 (e.g. renewals) wouldn’t be considered within the legal framework. This means that the expiration dates on the cards would be postponed, since the timeframe wouldn’t be considered as working days.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? The Immigration Office is currently open and receiving requests including renewals.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? The exception would only be applicable for foreigners that would have to renew their residence card within April 1st - April 30th. Beyond this timeframe, the authority hasn’t mentioned any exception. Therefore, the renewals would have to be filed on time and before the card’s expiration date to avoid any fines.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? The exception would only be applicable for foreigners that would have to renew their residence card within April 1st - April 30th. Beyond this timeframe, the authority hasn’t mentioned any exception. If a foreigner doesn’t renew his/her card on time and before the expiration date, the company would have to remove him/her from the Mexican Payroll as a result of the irregular status in the country. Once the renewal is finished, the company would be able to enroll the foreigner again under the Mexican payroll.

 

Panama

 

3,400 positive cases, 87 deaths. Most of them are between the ages of 20-80. There are 78 people in critical conditions. People only have 2 hours a day to buy essential supplies at the supermarket and the pharmacy depending on the last number of the ID cards plus Curfew from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Closure of borders. All Flights were canceled for 30 days. Suspension of classes at all levels. Cancellation of social, sporting, cultural and religious events. Sanitary checkpoints between cities to prevent people from going out of the city and to the beaches. Mandatory quarantine for the entire population. Isolation for 14 days people coming from abroad is mandatory. The only places that should be opened are the pharmacies and supermarkets. Some restaurants are opened only to order by delivery. Price and quantity control for cleaning and personal hygiene products.

 

There is a call center to answer questions – 169. R.O.S.A virtual platform (automated health response) digital medical office attended by doctors and can be used also by WhatsApp. All migratory processes are suspended. Authorities are not going to ask for updated visas on the streets.  Expired passports are allowed. All embassies are closed. All the Immigration offices are closed up to April 30th. Labor offices for work permits are closed as well. There is a solidarity plan for vulnerable people. The government is distributing in the neighborhoods food bags and bonds of $ 80 to be used in markets and pharmacies to minimize the impact of people losing their jobs, not having funds/food to eat.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed?  Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed?   No, only the follow up of the cases already filed.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases?  We begin with the contact of the assignee, share requirements, prepare Power of Attorney, Sworn Declaration, receive electronic copies, prepare labor letter, PoA for company and any other document need, so when we are back in office, we just pick up documents, and coordinate filing.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is each government doing in regards of the immigration status?  No fines will be imposed for expired visas, but must review case by case.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future?  No, if expired between March 12th and April 30th.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status?  No, if they expiration falls between the above mentioned period.  If the expiration was before the closure, there might be a fine, but will not count during the period of March-April.
     

Paraguay

 

159 positive cases, 7 deaths. Paraguay is in total quarantine. The Government allows the essential workers to work and included construction sector as well. The non-essential workers that need to transit for groceries of Pharmacy can leave with license plat pair or impairs numbers depending on the day.  Everybody is encouraged to wear face masks.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? The immigration offices in Paraguay are closed to public, but still working to control immigration movement in the borders, in connection to the Health Ministry to make sure an appropriate quarantine is taking place. They are working with the minimum personnel but no document can be picked up nor application submitted. 

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Renewal of documents cannot be processed until the end of the quarantine.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is each government doing in regards of the immigration status? Expats can still leave Paraguay (not sure if he/she will be accepted in his/her Country or other Country in the region), but no expat can arrive in Py unless he/she has the permanent/temporary residency valid. When leaving the country, he/she will be subject to a penalty fee, in case his/her stay exceeded the authorized period of 3 months and/or in case he/she has no type of valid residence permit. 

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? As mentioned before, so far the expat will be subject to a penalty fee when departing Py if the authorized stay is over. 

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No.

 

Peru

 

9,784 positive cases, 216 deaths.  The most important measures that the Peruvian Government has implemented are:  Limitation of movements to citizens; all citizens must stay at home, except in cases of force majeure; at any case the movement of citizens will be always unaccompanied; closure of all establishments carrying out public activity except for the distribution of food and basic needs; all educational activity in person is suspended; terms are suspended and time limits for processing procedures of public sector entities are interrupted; Government has declared a curfew from 6pm to 4am every day from Monday to Saturday and an all-day curfew every Sunday until the end of the quarantine. In some regions such as Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad and Loreto, the immobilization is in force from 4:00 p.m. m. until 5:00 a.m.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? Yes, all the Immigration offices are closed until the end of the State of Emergency decreed by the Government.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Yes, users can track their file online. On the other hand, if they have a query, they can call the Migrations telephone exchange. Only the two procedures mentioned above can be carried out.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Immigration Office issued a statement in which indicates that all the terms to carry out the renewals are suspended until the end of the State of Emergency. So when the state of emergency ends we will proceed to obtain appointments in migrations to carry out the renewals.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is each government doing in regards of the immigration status? For people who cannot renew their visa and cannot leave the country, the Government has suspended the term so that after the end of the State of Emergency they can do so if their immigration procedures are harmed.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? The applicants won’t be penalized. But when the State of Emergency ends, they must regularize their procedures

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No.
     

Trinidad

 

109 positive cases, 8 deaths.  “Stay at home” measures still in effect for the non-essential labor force. Borders remains closed and all airports are closed. Only Cargo flights with special authorizations are allowed. All public transportation vehicles should operate with windows open and limit their occupancy by 50 percent. The Ministry will continue providing information in the days to come.

 

Suriname

 

10 positive cases, 1 death. Airports and Borders remains closed since March 14th. Nationwide curfew from 20:00 to 06:00 is still in place as a counter measure to the spread of COVID-19. All non-essential businesses remain closed.

 

Venezuela

 

189 positive cases, 9 deaths. School and non-essential businesses remains closed. Quarantine still active in all regions, all international and domestic flights still banned. No further measures have been taken by the local government. Quarantine and State of Emergency have been extended 30 days (until May 13th).

 

In addition, fuel crisis had affected all mobility inside the country, only a few gas stations are providing services for medical personnel, official transportation and special government authorized vehicles.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed?  Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Only PCC requests and appointments for Apostille request. Nevertheless, appointments will be scheduled after the quarantine has finished.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases?  All immigration processes are suspended. No renewals can be filed.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? His migratory status will be on hold until the end of the quarantine. 

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No official information released.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information released.

     

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