Coronavirus Outbreak US Travel Ban Expanded To Include Europe Schengen Area
President Trump has issued another Presidential Proclamation expanding the scope of two previously issued travel bans suspending entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States, subject to certain exceptions detailed below, due to the global outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (also referred to the as the coronavirus disease 2019 or“COVID-19”). This Proclamation, entitled, Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus, dramatically broadens the scope of Proclamation 9984 issued on January 31, 2020 and expanded on February 29, 2020.
Effective from 11:59 p.m. EDT, March 13, 2020, the United States will restrict entry to foreign nationals (immigrants or nonimmigrants) who were physically present within the European Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. The Schengen Area includes the countries of 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.
In his televised announcement, President Trump indicated this additional entry ban would last for 30 days. However, the text, as issued by the White House, states the proclamation shall remain in effect until terminated by the President.
The following categories of individuals continue to be exempt from this temporary entry ban:
- U.S. citizens (including those holding dual citizenship);
- U.S. lawful permanent residents (or “green card” holders);
- The spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
- The parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, if the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
- The sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
- The child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
- A foreign national traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
- Nonimmigrant crewmembers (C-1, D or C-1/D visa holders);
- Foreign nationals seeking entry or transiting the United States under an A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of such official), E-1 (as an employee of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) TECRO or Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) or immediate family member of such employee), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4 or NATO-6 visa;
- A foreign national whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;
- A foreign national whose entry would not pose a significant risk of transmitting the virus, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
- A foreign national whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives as determined by the State Department or Department of Homeland Security;
- A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the State Department or Department of Homeland Security; or
- Foreign national members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children.
To summarize, any foreign national (unless exempt per above), who was physically present in the following countries during the 14-day period preceding their travel to or attempted entry into the United States will be denied entry in the United States:
- People’s Republic of China (Mainland China), excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
- Iran (certain Iranian nationals are also subject to an earlier travel ban)
- European Schengen Area countries of: 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.
US Embassies and Consulates in these and other countries could limit or suspend consular operations at any time with little or no notice. For the latest updates, as announced by the Department of State, consult travel advisories at travel.state.gov and the State Department’s Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 page.
We will continue to monitor and provide updates on these fast-moving developments and travel restrictions.