In view of the ongoing COVID-19 situation we would like to inform all existing clients and the general public that Hansen & Company remains open for business as usual. We are providing fingerprint services, professional photography services and we are approved to do US notary.
Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM;
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; and
Sunday: Appointments Only
• Hansen and Company incorporates American corporate entities including corporations, limited liability companies (LLC) partnerships and limited partnerships in the United States. We also perform conversions and dissolution of corporate entities.
• We arrange registered agents for each state in which you intend to conduct business and obtain an Employment Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS which allows the corporate entity to open bank accounts, conduct business and comply with IRS requirements.
• We have contacts with CPAs who provide Canada/USA cross border tax advice including advice on the most suitable corporate entity structure and tax plan for your business.
COVID-19 VACCINATIONS REQUIRED FOR GREEN CARD AND IMMIGRANT VISA MEDICAL EXAMS STARTING OCTOBER 1 2021
Beginning October 1, 2021, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all immigrant visa applicants in the United States and abroad who receive their medical examination from a Civil Surgeon (inside US) or a Panel Physician abroad on or after October 1 2021.
This new requirement is according to recent instructions issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The requirement affects those applying for permanent residence in the US and immigrant visas abroad at US consular posts. COVID-19 infections are classified as a Class A medical condition of inadmissibility because they meet the definition of a severe acute respiratory syndrome.
During the exam applicants are required to show proof that they have received certain vaccines, soon to include the COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccination requirement will differ from previous requirements in that the entire vaccine series (1 or 2 doses depending on formulation) must be completed in addition to the other routinely required vaccines. Only records with dates of receipt (month, day and year) will be acceptable. The manufacturer and lot number should be included. Self-reported vaccinations without written documentation will not be accepted.
If an applicant does not have proof of having received the COVID-19 vaccine, the civil surgeon or panel physician may vaccinate the applicant at the time of the medical exam. Applicants will still need to complete the entire vaccine series (1 or 2 doses depending on formulation), which could delay completion of the exam. Although the COVID-19 vaccine schedules cannot be shortened, the other parts of the medical examination can be scheduled at the discretion of the applicant and the civil surgeon. The civil surgeon is required to confirm documentation in person that the applicant received all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. If applicants wish to complete the remaining exam components after they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, civil surgeons are encouraged to accommodate their requests.
COVID-19 VACCINATION WAIVERS
In certain situations, a blanket waiver of the COVID-19 vaccination may apply, meaning applicants in the following scenarios are not required to prove they received the COVID-19 vaccine:
• Not age-appropriate. Applicants who are younger than the lowest age limit (less than 12 years of age at present) for the specific formulations in use in their jurisdiction;
• Applicants with a documented contraindication or precaution to the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine formulation available; and
• Not routinely available. If no COVID-19 vaccine is routinely available in the state where the civil surgeon practices, or if the vaccine is available, but due to limited supply, it would cause significant delay to receive the vaccination.
• Religious or moral convictions. Applicants may request a vaccination waiver based on religious or moral convictions by submitting a waiver request to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will determine if this type of waiver is granted, not the civil surgeon or CDC.
• If an applicant refuses to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, the examining physician will document that the vaccine requirements are not complete and that the applicant refuses vaccination. These applicants are inadmissible to the US and therefore will not be eligible for a green card/immigrant visa.
Proof of immunity from COVID-19 cannot be used for the medical exam. Applicants are required to receive the vaccine series regardless of evidence of immunity or prior COVID-19 infection, as the duration of immunity due to natural infection is still being investigated and might not protect the applicant throughout the immigration process.
Applicants who arrive for their medical exams abroad with clinical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested for infection. Applicants with symptoms of COVID-19 must complete the required isolation period before returning for the exam even with a negative COVID-19 test result. In addition to symptom screening panel physicians may choose to require lab testing of all applicants 2 years of age and older. Close contacts of persons with laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 must complete 14 days of quarantine.
Green card and immigrant visa applicants should prepare well in advance of their medical exams to receive the entire vaccine series to avoid delays. Applicants who qualify for 1 of the blanket waivers should have their documents prepared in advance to help expedite the process. It is unclear how long the COVID-19 vaccine(s) will be required.
Published: January 11, 2022 | by: R. Oliver Branch JD
Since November 8, 2021, foreign travelers entering the US via air and those not classified as “essential workers” entering via land ports-of-entry have been required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. However, as of January 22, 2022, essential workers previously exempt from COVID vaccination requirements for land entry to the US must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Under current US Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, a person is considered “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 if they meet the following requirements:
• 2 weeks (14 days) after a dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine;
• 2 weeks (14 days) after a second dose of an accepted 2-dose series;
• 2 weeks (14 days) after receiving the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial; or
• 2 weeks (14 days) after receiving 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart
Entering the U.S. Through a Land Port of Entry or Ferry Terminal
Q. On November 8, the United States lifted travel restrictions for non-U.S. persons who are fully vaccinated. What changed?
A. Title 19 restrictions are still in place. But effective November 8, 2021, non-U.S. persons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation can seek to enter the United States from Canada and Mexico at land POEs or arrive in the United States by passenger ferry for non-essential reasons, such as to visit friends or family or for tourism. These travelers are required to be prepared to attest to vaccination status and present proof of being fully vaccinated to a CBP officer upon request. Starting in January, both essential and non-essential travelers will be required to be fully vaccinated.
Q: How and where will travelers be able to find answers to their questions about this new policy?
A: Approved vaccinations and required documentation for travel at land POEs mirror the requirements for international air travel. Those details are available on the CDC website.
Q. What types of vaccinations will be accepted?
A. CDC has determined that all FDA approved and authorized vaccines, as well as all vaccines that have an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization will be accepted for air travel. Travel at land POEs will mirror the same guidelines.
• CDC has determined that for purposes of travel to the United States, vaccines accepted will include current FDA approved or authorized vaccines and World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listed (EUL) vaccines.
• Individuals are considered fully vaccinated:
o 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine;
o 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series;
o 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial;
o 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of a Novavax (or Covovax) COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a phase 3 clinical trial; or
o 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart.
Q. What are the requirements for travelers entering the United States through land POEs?
A. Before embarking on your trip to the United States, travelers who are non-U.S. persons should be prepared for the following:
• Possess proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website.
• During border inspection, verbally attest to their travel intent and COVID-19 vaccination status.
• All travelers are reminded to bring a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliant document, such as a valid passport (and visa if required), Trusted Traveler Program card, Border Crossing Card, Enhanced Driver’s License or Enhanced Tribal Card when entering the country. Travelers (including U.S. citizens) should be prepared to present the WHTI-compliant document and any other documents requested by the CBP officer.
Q. What are the requirements to enter the United States for children under the age of 18 who can’t be vaccinated?
A. Children under 18 years of age will be excepted from the vaccination requirement at land and ferry POEs.
Q. Do you expect border wait times to increase?
A. As travel begins to resume, travel volumes and wait times are expected to increase. Travelers should plan for longer than normal wait times and long lines at U.S. land border crossings when planning their trip and are reminded to exercise patience.
To help reduce wait times and long lines, travelers can take advantage of innovative technology, such as facial biometrics and the CBP OneTM mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP mobile applications and services.
Q: How is Customs and Border Protection staffing the ports of entry, given the expectation of longer wait times and lines when the new rules go into effect?
A: CBP is doing everything it can to be prepared for November 8 and allocating resources as done pre-pandemic. Long lines are expected in the initial days following pent-up demand, and CBP will continue to adjust its resources as needed, while balancing its trade facilitation and national security missions. Travelers are advised to expect longer wait times and to assist the process by familiarizing themselves with the new guidelines and having appropriate documentation ready ahead of time.
Q: How will the Title 19 modifications affect U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents?
A: U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and those traveling for essential reasons are exempt from the non-essential travel restrictions on entry at U.S. land POEs. U.S. citizens returning to the United States at a land POE need to present themselves for inspection by presenting a WHTI-compliant document to ensure the inspection process is streamlined.
The CBP One I-94 features are not intended for use by U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, foreign travelers with immigrant visas, or most Canadian citizens visiting the United States, as these particular travelers do not need I-94s.
Q: Do U.S. citizens need proof of vaccination to return to the United States via land POEs and ferry terminals?
A: Vaccination requirements do not apply to U.S. Citizens, lawful permanent residents, or anyone crossing for an essential reason. Travelers that exhibit signs or symptoms of illness will be referred to the CDC for additional medical evaluation.
Q: Do individuals need proof of a negative COVID-19 test like you do to travel by plane?
A: No. There is not a COVID-19 testing requirement for travelers at land POEs.
Q: What happens if someone doesn’t have proof of vaccine status?
A: If a non-U.S. person traveling for non-essential purposes does not possess proof of vaccination, they will not be admitted and will be allowed to withdraw their application for entry.
Q: What documentation is accepted as proof of vaccine?
A: Documentation accepted as proof of vaccination is outlined on the CDC website.
Q: What constitutes essential travel?
A: Essential travel includes, but is not limited to:
• Citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States.
• Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States).
• Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions.
• Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada or Mexico in furtherance of such work).
• Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies).
• Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada and Mexico).
• Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel.
• Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
Q: What happens if a vaccinated individual is traveling with an un-vaccinated individual?
A: The unvaccinated individual (if 18 or over), if traveling for a non-essential reason, and not otherwise exempted, would not be eligible for admission.
Q: If I am traveling for an essential reason but am not vaccinated can I still enter?
A: Yes. The current changes to the Title 19 travel restriction apply to non-essential travel by non-U.S. persons. However, beginning in early January 2022, DHS will require that all inbound non-U.S. persons crossing U.S. land or ferry POEs – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.
Q: Are crew members on vessels required to have a COVID vaccine to disembark?
A: Commercial vessels and crew are not subject to these travel restrictions.
ENTERING THE U.S. VIA AIR TRAVEL
Q: What are the COVID vaccination requirements for air passengers to the United States?
A: According to CDC requirements, most non-citizens who are visiting the United States temporarily must be fully vaccinated prior to boarding a flight to the United States. These travelers are required to show proof of vaccination. A list of covered individuals is available on the CDC website.
Q: What are the COVID testing requirements for air passengers to the United States?
A: According to CDC requirements, all air passengers two years of age or older traveling internationally, regardless of vaccination status, must provide a negative test to the airline before boarding the flight. Passengers who are fully vaccinated must provide a negative test no more than three days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country, in addition to showing proof of vaccination. Passengers eligible to travel (U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents or others who fall under the limited exemptions) over two years of age who are not fully vaccinated must provide a negative test no more than one day before the flight’s departure. Those who recently recovered from COVID-19 may travel with documentation of recovery and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official indicating the patient is cleared for travel. For more information on this requirement, please visit the CDC International Travel webpage.
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