International air travelers who arrive in the United States are used to stringent controls at the customs and immigration checkpoints. However, as concerns rise over the outbreak of Ebola in the U.S., customs and immigration checkpoints have enhanced security measures even further. According to recent news reports from the New York Times and the Associated Press, air travelers entering the U.S. at five different airports should expect to see additional screenings when their flights land at:
- JFK International in New York City
- Dulles near the District of Columbia
- Chicago O’Hare
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International
Travelers whose flights originate in the three West African countries that have been affected by the Ebola epidemic will be subject to health screenings that may include a body temperature check and medical history questionnaire. Due to the high degree of risk with regard to contamination, the body temperature checks will be performed with a special device that will minimize contact between travelers and screeners. Medical history and travel information questions will be asked of passengers who arrive from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries that have been more deeply affected by a significant and dangerous Ebola outbreak in the last few months.
The five airports chosen for additional screening cover nearly 95 percent of all travel from the aforementioned nations in West Africa. In addition to the screening steps, travelers will be handed informational cards advising them about the outbreak and the health measures they should be taking for the purpose of taking immediate action should they experience symptoms of illness.
The US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has also said they are closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and are offering relief measures to nationals of those countries who are currently in the United States, which can include:
– Change or extension of nonimmigrant status
– Extension of certain grants of parole
– Expedited approval of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship
– Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives
– Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications
If you are interested in learning more about the possible relief measures that may be available to you if requested, please contact KS Visa Law today. We are professional San Diego immigration attorneys and invite you to schedule a free consultation with us to further discuss your needs. Call 858-874-0711 today.