Response to the Spread of COVID-19: The Impact on Employment of Foreign Nationals
The response to the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus has impacted various aspects of employment based immigration in the U.S. Employers are faced with closing facilities, working remotely, furloughs, layoffs, and possible terminations. Prior to COVID-19, the employer's main focus was obtaining and retaining talent. Employers have relied on foreign nationals to fill some of the talent gaps.
Foreign national employees generally have one of the following nonimmigrant visas/status: H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, TN/TN2, O-1, E-2, E-3, F-1/OPT, etc. In some instances, spouses with dependent visas also have employment authorization. Furloughs, layoffs, and terminations all affect the foreign national employee and his/her family. Many foreign national employees are also being sponsored by their employers for permanent resident status (“green card”). These processes are also affected by furloughs, layoffs, and termination.
What are available options for employers to retain talent and allow for foreign national employees to maintain status and remain in the U.S. legally? We will discuss the following:
- Impact of furlough and layoffs on foreign national employees in the most utilized nonimmigrant classifications
- Options available to maintain status and retain talent
- Changes in Form I-9 and e-verify
- Most recent updates from Government