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Coronavirus Outbreak U.S. Travel Ban Update: UK and Republic of Ireland Added

Just three days after issuing a Proclamation expanding the scope of the temporary travel (entry) bans, due to the global outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), which restricted entry and travel to the United States of foreign nationals (immigrants or nonimmigrants) who were physically present within the European Schengen Area, President Trump’s Proclamation now includes the United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, and the Republic of Ireland. This new restriction takes effect at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020.

While the President and others in the administration indicated these new travel restrictions should last for 30 days, the proclamations do not specify an expiration date. Each of the COVID-19 travel ban proclamations state the restrictions will “. . . remain in effect until terminated by the President. The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall recommend that the President continue, modify, or terminate this proclamation as described in section 5 of Proclamation 9984, as amended.”

U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and other exempt individuals (listed below) traveling to the United States should consult the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) procedures for “Americans Returning from Certain European Countries, China, and Iran” restricting air travel through 13 U.S. airports.  In addition, U.S. Embassies and Consulates 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.

The following categories of individuals continue to be exempt from this temporary entry ban:

  • S. citizens (including those holding dual citizenship);

  • 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 exempted 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 into 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;

  • The United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe; and

  • The Republic of Ireland.

© Copyright 2022 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 76

About this Author

Gregory Wald, Immigration Attorney, Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm

Gregory Wald’s experience includes representing multinational and Fortune 500 companies and individual clients in all aspects of immigration law including nonimmigrant visas, and immigrant matters regarding multinational executives and managers, individuals of extraordinary ability and professionals.

He has appeared before the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Department of Labor, US Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review and various federal courts.

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