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Coronavirus-Related Travel Alert Likely to Cause U.S. Visa Processing Delays in China

Due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, and has since spread to other parts of China, the U.S. State Department has issued a level 4 travel advisory – the highest advisory level, which is issued when there is a “greater likelihood of life-threatening risks” – advising citizens not to travel to China. 

In addition, on Jan. 29, 2020, the State Department issued a related health alert allowing for the voluntary departure of nonemergency personnel and family members of U.S. government employees to return stateside from China. 

While the State Department has made no further announcements, it is expected that the departure of many U.S. government employees from China will have an adverse impact on visa processing and may considerably delay timelines for the issuance of visas to Chinese nationals. 

Further travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government in certain parts of the country may also impact the ability of Chinese citizens to depart China. 

© 2020 BARNES & THORNBURG LLP

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Tejas Shah Immigration Lawyer Barnes & Thornburg Chicago
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Tejas Shah has the ability to take the complex and confusing nature of immigration law and simplify it for his clients. His goal is to not only help them comply with the multifaceted requirements of U.S. immigration law, but also to ensure that as clients source global talent, they thrive in environments that can be hostile to migration.

As employers increasingly seek to hire and retain talented foreign national employees to maximize competitiveness, Tejas is empathetic to their needs and offers practical immigration law advice. He is committed to guiding employers of all sizes –...

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Mercedes Badia-Tavas Immigration Attorney
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Mercedes Badia-Tavas provides legal and business guidance to clients on a broad range of immigration law cases, with focus on Fortune 500 and small companies alike. Mercedes supports her firm’s offices and clients across various states on immigration employment transfers and up-to-date compliance.

As an immigrant herself, Mercedes finds particular fulfillment in helping companies and individuals immigrate to the United States and participate in the American dream through startups and business transactions that also can benefit the U.S. economy.

Mercedes attributes much of her practice today to her dedication to resourcefulness from years of experience, meticulous preparation and organization skills. This entails a thorough understanding of her client’s industry, operations, culture, practices and financial goals in order to lay out realistic expectations and alternative strategies, as needed. Mercedes believes in being organized in her approach and documentation as a way of helping her clients manage costs. She and her team are committed to employing systems-driven tracking, timely updates and follow-ups with clients, and being pragmatic when unexpected issues arise.

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Born in Cuba and bilingual in Spanish and English, Mercedes has sincere compassion for and sensitivity to her clients, keenly aware of the legal land mines and tedious pathways they would navigate through the U.S. immigration system. Whether Mercedes is advising on an immigration matter for an individual relocating from abroad, transferring within the U.S. from another employer, entering the U.S. workforce from student status, looking to build a U.S. business or someone part of a cultural exchange program, she provides her experience with the same strong zeal and commitment toward the best outcome.

Notably, Mercedes has been featured on NPR and Spanish-language broadcasts on immigration topics, many of which included audience call-ins. Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Mercedes had built her own legal practice over nine years as the founding partner of Badia-Tavas Law Group, representing similar categories of clients she now services, with a little more individual and family-type immigration cases involved. She has traveled and lived throughout Latin America.

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