Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus

January 26, 2021

On January 25, 2021, President Biden issued a proclamation maintaining travel restrictions on the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who were physically present within the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry.  These restrictions were in effect and were scheduled to be lifted on January 26, 2021.  In addition, President Biden’s Proclamation adds South Africa to the list of countries with restrictions on entry into the United States.

President Biden’s Order cites the “widespread, ongoing person-to person transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19,” including variants circulating in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa, and concludes that these travel restrictions are “required to protect the public health from travelers entering the United States from those jurisdictions.”

When does this proclamation go into effect?

  • The proclamation maintaining travel restrictions on the entry into the United States from the Schengen area, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil goes into effect on 12:01 A.M. on January 26, 2021, thereby continuing those travel restrictions that were already in effect.
  • The proclamation as it applies to the entry of foreign nationals arriving from South Africa is effective 12:01 AM on January 30, 2021.

What are the exceptions under this proclamation? 

Certain nonimmigrants and immigrants are exempt from these travel restrictions, including:

  1. Any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
  2. Any foreign national who is the spouse of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  3. Any foreign national who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, so long as that person is unmarried and under 21 years of age;
  4. Any foreign national who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
  5. Any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces;
  6. Any foreign national traveling at the invitation of the Government for the purpose of the mitigation of the coronavirus;
  7. Crewmembers and certain foreign government officials; and
  8. Any foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest.

 

Will there be changes to this proclamation?

The proclamation “shall remain in effect until terminated by the President,” and orders the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide a recommendation as to whether the proclamation should be continued, modified, or terminated 30 days from issuance, and by the end of each month thereafter.

 

We will be following all further developments closely, and we will update our website as changes are made. If you have any specific questions about your case and how this proclamation may affect it, please contact our firm and we will be happy to help with any questions or concerns during this uncertain time.

 


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