Travel Alert – Update on US Travel Bans | Mintz – Immigration Viewpoints – JDSupra

As a COVID-19 pestilence and associated restrictions continue, we advise counsel per general travel. Everyone deliberation general transport is urged to delicately cruise a risks and be entirely wakeful of how ongoing conditions might impact travel. Due to singular accessibility of visa appointments and a probability of additional COVID-related transport restrictions, people should cruise not roving abroad, or else should be prepared to spend additional time outward a United States if needed.

CDC Update Requiring Negative COVID-19 Test

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an Order, effective Jan 26, 2021, requiring all general atmosphere passengers unfailing for a United States to be tested no some-more than 3 days before their U.S.-bound moody departs, and benefaction a disastrous viral exam result. As an choice to a disastrous COVID-19 exam result, general travelers might benefaction support of liberation from COVID-19, including a certain viral exam outcome and minute from a medical provider or open health central clearing them for travel. All passengers contingency benefaction a disastrous exam outcome or explanation of liberation from COVID-19 before boarding a flight. This new Order supersedes a Dec 25, 2020 Order requiring disastrous pre-departure COVID-19 explanation for all passengers nearing from a United Kingdom.

The CDC Order relates to all atmosphere passengers roving to a United States, 2 years of age or older, including U.S. adults and authorised permanent residents. Further, a CDC discipline and orders do not reinstate a Presidential proclamations. Finally, explanation of vaccination does not free general travelers from any of a restrictions or mandate now in place. Please see sum on a stream Presidential commercial transport bans below.

Current Travel Bans:

COVID-Related Country Bans

Between Jan and May 2020, President Trump released a array of transport bans to diminish a widespread of a Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, that sojourn in place. In addition, in Jan 2021 President Biden released an updated COVID-related transport anathema to supplement South Africa. Exempting U.S. adults and Lawful Permanent Residents, these transport bans postpone indefinitely a entrance of unfamiliar nationals who have been physically benefaction in certain countries during a 14 days before to entering a U.S. These bans will sojourn in place until they are consummated by President Biden. The cessation of entrance for unfamiliar nationals now relates to earthy participation in a following countries: China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, Brazil, a United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, and a Schengen area of Europe comprising Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Any earthy participation in these countries triggers focus of a ban, including moody connectors and layovers, so it is vicious to arrange any transport accordingly.

As mentioned above, U.S. adults and Lawful Permanent Residents are free from a transport ban. The full list of free people is as follows:

  • U.S. citizens;
  • U.S. official permanent residents;
  • Noncitizen nationals of a U.S.;
  • Spouses of U.S. adults and official permanent residents;
  • A unfamiliar inhabitant who is a primogenitor or authorised defender of an unwed U.S. citizen or official permanent proprietor underneath a age of 21;
  • A unfamiliar inhabitant who is a kin of a U.S. citizen or official permanent resident, supposing they are both underneath 21;
  • A unfamiliar inhabitant who is a child, encourage child, or sentinel of a U.S. citizen or official permanent resident, or who is a impending adoptee seeking to enter a United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa;
  • A unfamiliar inhabitant roving during a invitation of a U.S. supervision for a purpose associated to containment or slackening of a COVID-19 virus;
  • A unfamiliar atmosphere or sea crewmember;
  • Certain A, C, E-1 (TECRO or TECO), G, and NATO nonimmigrants, or nonimmigrants whose transport falls within a range of territory 11 of a United Nations Headquarters Agreement;
  • A unfamiliar inhabitant whose entrance would serve vicious U.S. law coercion objectives;
  • A unfamiliar inhabitant whose entrance would be in a inhabitant interest; and
  • Members of a U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of a U.S. Armed Forces.

Due to a boost in COVID cases, it is always probable that additional countries might be combined to these transport bans in a future; and that a serve of new countries will be finished with small notice.

Economic-Related Ban on Certain Individuals Seeking Entry in a H, L and J Visa Categories

The Presidential Proclamation banning H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and certain J-1 travelers from requesting for visas and entering a United States lapsed on Mar 31, 2021, and is no longer in effect.

However, for those who do not have a stream visa for lapse to a U.S., possibly since their standing was altered in a U.S. or a before visa has expired, receiving a new visa might infer challenging. Some consular posts are simply not scheduling slight visa appointments, and others are permitting appointments to be scheduled — infrequently months in a destiny — usually to cancel them. From a unsentimental standpoint, unless one is expected to validate for a National Interest Exception waiver, there is a good possibility that a new visa will not be issued. Individuals authorised to have a in-person visa appointment waived mount a best possibility of securing visas in these categories by submitting focus papers to a Embassy by dump box or bearer services,. Each consular post determines a criteria for a waiver of a talk requirement. At a minimum, typically, a consular post requires that a particular have already been postulated a visa in a same classification.

Those who need to obtain a new nonimmigrant visa should determine a standing of visa estimate operations during a consular post where they will apply.

Exemptions and Waivers for Individuals Subject to Travel Bans:

For those wishing to transport and theme to a transport bans, there might be options available.

Options for COVID-Related Country Bans

Individuals seeking to lapse to a U.S. from one of a COVID-banned countries generally have dual options:

  1. Securing a “National Interest Exception” (or “NIE”) waiver from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in their home country

For people roving from a UK, Ireland or a Schengen country, waivers might be postulated for transport associated to charitable travel, open health response, and inhabitant security. These requests contingency be submitted to a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in a individual’s home country. Most consular posts will not perform a ask for an NIE waiver unless a particular is outward of a U.S., so accede to lapse to a U.S. can't generally be cumulative in allege of departure. Further, consular officers have far-reaching choice with courtesy to extenuation these waivers, and singular consular operations frequently outcome in prolonged waits. As a result, roving with a expectancy of being postulated a waiver continues to be risky. Procedures change widely, though are generally summarized on a Consulate’s website. Note that this NIE waiver choice is singular to travelers entrance from a UK, Ireland and a Schengen area countries.

The Department of State recently revised and singular a criteria for extenuation an NIE waiver of a COVID transport anathema from a Schengen Area, U.K. and Ireland. Please see a before alert for some-more details.

Students seeking to transport to a U.S. on stream F-1 or M-1 visas from a UK, Ireland and a Schengen segment do not need to hit a Consulate or Embassy, though are automatically postulated a NIE waiver.

  1. Individuals seeking to lapse to a U.S. from a COVID-banned nation who are incompetent to secure an NIE waiver – since a ask is denied, behind or not accessible – might select to lapse to a U.S. usually after a 14-day “quarantine” stay in a non-banned country. The COVID-related anathema usually relates to anyone who has been physically benefaction in one of a criminialized countries during a 14 days before to admission. Spending a 14 days before to acknowledgment in another nation removes a anathema on entrance into a U.S.

When deliberation general transport and a accessible waivers, it is vicious to remember that a COVID-related transport bans free people in a series of categories listed above, though these categories are not free from a contrast requirement.

Individuals in a free categories might continue to transport to a U.S. though securing a waiver, and should lift strange support that evidences a grant as good as a compulsory COVID exam outcome or choice documentation.

Visa Processing and Impact on Travel Options

The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) primarily dangling slight visa estimate in Mar 2020 due to COVID-19 and began phased reopenings opposite Consulates starting in Jul 2020. The Consulates have resumed slight visa services on a post-by-post basis, though many Consulates are still handling during reduced ability and charity usually really singular services. Some Consulates resumed slight visa services usually to revoke their ability in Oct due to a boost of COVID cases in a series of countries. The DOS is incompetent to yield dates on when any Consulate will resume specific visa services or when all posts will lapse to pre-COVID estimate times. Most Consulates do have puncture and “mission-critical” services accessible on a case-by-case basis. Please be certain to check a U.S. Consulate website in allege to endorse stream manners on visa issuance.

If an particular is means to secure a nonimmigrant visa appointment, many appointments will follow slight estimate and a applicant will be told of an capitulation following a interview. If approved, a visa stamp is routinely placed in a pass within several business days following a appointment. In certain instances, if a Consular Officer conducting a talk can't settle visa eligibility during a time of a interview, a focus will be placed in executive estimate and will bear serve review. If a focus is comparison for executive processing, a applicant can't lapse to a U.S. until a visa is released and, while many cases are resolved within 2-3 weeks, on occasion, executive estimate might extend to several months, or even longer. Visit a Mintz Resources page here and here for serve sum on visa processing.

Entry into a U.S.

In serve to a COVID-19 Test Order released by a CDC when entering a U.S. following general travel, unfamiliar nationals should be prepared to answer questions from a Customs and Border Protection officer per a inlet of due entrance and education for a designated waiver or exemption. All unfamiliar nationals should lift support evidencing standing as good as any support ancillary a individual’s specific grant from a transport anathema or waiver requests. Visit a Mintz Resources page here for sum on compulsory papers for travel.

Following entrance into a U.S., it is vicious for people to check a I-94 acknowledgment record to safeguard that it scrupulously reflects their standing and certified stay in a U.S. We suggest verifying a correctness of Form I-94 sum within 48 hours of entrance to a U.S. in sequence to scold any errors in a timely manner.

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