The immigrant families in Palau are facing nightmares as the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard their earnings, falling lower than set requirements to stay in the Pacific island nation.

According to Palau’s Division of Immigration, immigrants have to earn no less than $15,000 a year to sustain their families on the island.

However, the pandemic forced reduced working hours and resulted in many companies shutting their business thus leaving many people unemployed. As a result, families are breaking.

This has raised concern among the immigrants from the Philippines living in Palau who have been given 30 days to send their dependents, mostly children, home, Palau-based daily Island Times reported on Tuesday.

“The Division of Immigration has informed many parents whose income in 2020 fell below $15,000 that they have 30 days to come up with a solution to their dependents’ status; if they can’t, they are given 30 days to send their dependents home,” the report said.

Those who fail to follow the law would be fined and penalized.

John Tarkong, director of Division of Immigration, Customs, and Border Security, said that they are “just following the law.”

The Filipino nationals are also facing double pressure since there are yet no direct flights to the Philippines from Palau.

One of the least affected nations, Palau, however, is of late witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

There are a total of 651 COVID-19 cases on the island with no death reported so far.

Authorities have enhanced measures after 10 cases were reported every day since Jan. 10.

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