In short: with a few exceptions, travel from Germany to the US is currently not possible, and likely won’t be until the end of the year or longer.
In detail: a very informative webinar this morning by an immigration attorney who’s admitted both at the German and Florida bar, Ellen von Geyso, addressed current travel restrictions and options between the US and Germany; I learned a lot. Other countries may have different restrictions, but since this webinar was offered through the GABC Miami, it was specific to Germany and German citizens:
- First off, the legal situation is fluid and can change any day without warning
- Per proclamation dated 11 March, German citizens are not allowed to enter the US
- Germans with a valid US-visa – incl. E2, H1-B, H2-B, L and J visa – are not exempt and can’t enter
- Allowed are: dual citizens of the US and Germany, spouses of US citizens, as well as Legal Permanent Residents (or LPRs, Green Card holders)
- Also allowed are flight crews, invitees of the US government, healthcare workers, diplomats and a few other categories
- This rule was expanded and prolonged in the last few days; it now runs at least through 31 December 2020, but can be modified or extended further at any time. Currently, there is zero intention to lift the ban, which was confirmed a few days ago
- Land travel via northern (Canada) and southern borders (Mexico) is not possible, as the borders are closed
- Flight travel on the sly – say to Canada and from there to the US – requires at least 14 days quarantine in the originating country followed by rather uncertain entry prospects. E.g.: you fly to Canada, go into quarantine for two weeks and then fly to the US... maybe, or maybe not. Then what? Years ago an acquaintance tried to sneak into the US, was caught and then barred from the country for 10+ years. His fiancée had to dissolve their US-household and ship everything overseas.
- Green Card validity: being absent from the US less than six months should theoretically not trigger any alarms. LPRs who stay 6-12 mos outside of the US – say to wait until the Corona situation has improved – could have their US residency questioned, and a 12+ mos stay outside US could be construed as giving up US residence. There is a Green Card reinstatement option, but that is untested waters, especially under the current circumstances
- Upon legal re-entry to the US, currently all the CDC recommends is a 14 day self-isolation
- And finally, since this came up a few times during the webinar: US citizens at this time are not allowed to enter Germany, with only very few exceptions.
This post summarises a webinar, and should not and can not be regarded as legal advice. For that, please contact an immigration attorney Ellen von Geyso, who held this webinar, at email@example.com or via sms or whatsapp at (+1) 305 298 4365, or another immigration attorney you know and trust.
For a German version of this post, or any real-estate related questions, please contact me at KaiserAssoc@gmail.com or by sms/voice at (+1) 954 834 3088.