Last updated April 3, 2020

Looking for a specific country? Click the links below to jump each respective section.

Canada | Costa Rica | Mexico | United States

Canada

Government Services

  • Social Insurance Number application is no longer available in person. Only urgent requests will be processed by mail/courier. For more  information, visit the Canadian government site.
  • In Ontairo and Quebec, all non-essential businesses and stores are closed until April 16, at minimum.
  • Ontario has extended validation to expired and expiring driver's licenses, health cards, Ontario Photo Cards, and license plate stickers. Renewal is not required at this time.
  • Immigration application processing times will take longer due to service reductions.

Travel Restrictions

  • Government advises against all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
  • Canada’s borders are closed to all foreign nationals with limited exceptions.
  • The Canada - US border is closed for all non-trade related travel. If traveling by air from the United States, business visitors may be permitted entry to Canada if they resided in Canada or the US for at least 14 days prior to their trip.
  • If traveling by air from any country other than the US, temporary residents are only allowed to board a flight to Canada if they qualify under an air travel exemption, which are limited.
  • All travelers from outside of Canada must quarantine for 14 days.
  • Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board domestic flights or intercity trains.

Isolation Level

  • The government is recommending work from home and social distancing for everyone not providing essential services (such as workers in hospitals, grocery stores, etc.).
  • In many locations, recreation facilities and bars are closed and restaurants are operating take out or drive-thru only.
  • No public gatherings of more than 2 non-family members

Landlord/Leasing Agent Protocol

  • Landlords and property agents are placing limitations on property viewings.
  • Newfoundland, PEI and Northwest Territories have instituted restrictions on domestic moves.

Schools

  • All schools and daycare centers are closed.

Helpful Resources

 

Costa Rica

Government Services

  • Government workforce is temporarily reduced by 80 percent. 
  • The Driver's License Department is closed until April 14.
  • New visa issuance is currently suspended until May 17, 2020.
  • Tourist visas for those entering the country after Dec 17, 2019 are extended until May 17, 2020,
  • Foreign driver’s license 3 month usage extended until May 17, 2020 for anyone entering the country after Dec 17, 2019

Travel Restrictions

  • Non-Costa Rican citizens or residents are not allowed in the country.
  • Vehicle travel is restricted from 10:00 pm-5:00 am Monday-Thursday and 8:00 pm-5:00 am Friday-Sunday. Violators will be fined.
  • Vehicle travel restrictions for Easter Week April 4-7
    • 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. – no vehicles allowed on the street.
    • Cars with license plates ending with an even number are not allowed on the street Saturday and Monday 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Vehicle travel restrictions for April 8-12
    • All public transportation is suspended, only taxis are allowed.
    • All other vehicles are permitted only if going to the supermarket or pharmacy on the following schedule:
      • April 8 for license plates ending in 0 and 1
      • April 9 for license plates ending in 2 and 3
      • April 10 for license plates ending in 4 and 5
      • April 11 for license plates ending in 6 and 7
      • April 12 for license plates ending in 8 and 9
  • Management of both airports that receive international flights (San Jose and Liberia) have protocols in place in order to deal with suspected COVID-19 cases.
  • Puerto Caldera, the main commercial port on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, has  established a protocol for suspected COVID-19 cases.
  • All legal residents exiting the country will forfeit their immigration status.

Isolation Level

  • All citizens are recommended to stay home.
  • Anyone arriving in Costa Rica from another country must self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Social gatherings are prohibited.
  • Bars, public facilities, churches, gyms, and fitness centers are closed. Restaurants and public transportation are operating at 50% capacity.

Landlord/Leasing Agent Protocol

  • Services are being provided virtually, if possible.
  • Third-party property visits are prohibited.

Schools

  • All schools are closed.

Helpful Resources

 

Mexico

Government Services

  • All government offices are closed until further notice and all but essential activities are suspended. Online services are still available
  • Citibank and BBVA are only conducting business online.

Travel Restrictions

  • The Mexico/US border is closed for all non-essential border crossings.
  • Mexico has implemented temperature screening measures at some of its airports as land border ports of entry.

Isolation Level

  • Many employers are allowing work from home.
  • Some businesses are only offering services online.
  • Movie theatres, bars, restaurant, gyms and other entertainment are closed in 9 states.
  • In the state of Mexico only grocery and medical offices are open.
  • Suspension of events or meetings of greater than 50 people.
  • A suspension on all non-essential activities in the public and private sector will be extended until Thursday, April 30, as a precautionary measure. Additionally, private events or meetings are restricted to 50 people. The government has advised individuals over 60 and those with pre-existing medical conditions to stop working and strictly observe stay-at-home measures. 
  • All public events prohibited until April 19.

Landlord/Leasing Agent Protocol

  • Properties are still being shown under the social distancing policy.

Schools

  • All schools are closed until April 20, at minimum.
Corporate Housing
  • All properties are accepting reservations with minimal disruptions to guests aside from closed amenities such as fitness centers, pools and AV rooms at certain properties and reduced housekeeping services. Meet and greet is done under social a distancing policy.

Helpful Resources

 

United States

Government Services

  • Social Security Administration (SSA) offices are closed for walk-in services. Delay in applying for and receiving a social security number (SSN) may impact becoming established on US payroll, securing a credit card, initiating utility accounts and applying for a driver’s license. Some options are available for SSN application:
    • Appointments may be granted for critical situations and will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Application for a new SSN may be deemed critical if the employer cannot pay the employee any other way. Appointments are requested by calling the local SSA office.
    • For government/tax purposes, an employee can arrange for an Independent Tax Identification number (ITIN) through their employer’s HR department if SSN application is unavailable.
    • The employee can send original passport and visa, copy of I94 and SSN application via insured mail to the local SSA office for processing. This option carries more risk as current application processing time as well as return of original documents cannot be guaranteed and will vary from office to office.
    • This may impact becoming established on US payroll, securing a credit card, initiating utility accounts and applying for a driver’s license.
  • The State Department is suspending visa services at all embassies and consulates except for extreme emergencies. This includes petitions for the following visa types:
    I-129: E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-1, and TN-2
    I-140: EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3
  • Many states have closed or modified available services at DMV/BMV offices.

Travel Restrictions

  • The US has closed its borders to travelers from Canada, Mexico, Europe, China, Iran, and South Korea.
  • US domestic travel has come to a virtual standstill.
  • The State Department issued a Level 4 Do Not Travel Advisory against global travel.

Isolation Level

  • US citizens and legal permanent residents entering the US from a restricted country will be subject to enhanced entry screening and directed to home-quarantine in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Many states have issued shelter in place or stay at home orders. The NY Times is updating this map with current restrictions
  • All US residents are advised to avoid nonessential travel and gatherings of more than 10 people until at least April 30.

Landlord/Leasing Agent Protocol

  • In person showings are extremely limited and by appointment only.
  • Video and virtual tours are the norm, where available.

Schools

  • All 50 states have closed schools, some for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Most universities are finishing the year with online classes only.

Corporate Housing

  • Teams are completing enhanced cleaning and sanitizing at checkout before new guest check-in.
  • New reservations and cancellations are being handled on a case by case basis.
  • Corporate Housing remains a viable option for locations where assignees are unable to move into their long term housing as well as where hotels have, or will be, closed.

Property Management

  • The health of customers, transferees, and field agents is being supported by heightened safety measures.
  • Scheduled services and cancellations are being handled on a case by case basis.
  • Situations are being evaluated where a tenant ceases paying rent due to income loss etc. compared to governmental restrictions on evictions.

Appraisal Services

  • Heightened measures to support health and safety of customers, transferees and appraisers
  • Some secondary market investors including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA have issued temporary guidance on appraisal requirements, including allowing desktop and exterior-only appraisals on many mortgage transactions, in Lender Letter LL-2020-04, Impact of COVID-19 on Appraisals, which will be updated as needed. Page 4 of LL-2020-04 includes links to modified certifications and instructions for both Desktop Appraisals and Appraisals with Exterior-only Inspections. Please review these documents and note instructions for appraisers to copy the text indicated in its entirety and paste into their reports. You can access the Lender Letter and other resources on the Appraisers Page.
  • We stand prepared to revise open appraisal orders to Exterior-Only or Desktop appraisals per your guidance. Please have your loan processors/officer instruct our appraisal manager on a case-by-case basis for any files you would like to switch. We will relay this message to the appraisers in the field immediately.
  • Though this does not directly pertain to relocation transactions, it is important you are updated on market investor's most recent announcement concerning mortgage appraisals. Worldwide ERC™ guidelines do not allow for a relocation appraisal to be completed without interior inspection. Given this, we must still expect our appraisers to complete interior inspections and are working on a case-by-case basis to ensure inspections are completed, delayed etc. based on the reported health condition of the participants and the local restrictions.
  • Scheduling of services and cancellations are being handled on a case by case basis.

Helpful Resources

Many companies are stepping up to offer useful services during this time:

Beware of these coronavirus scams!

 

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