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Volume XI, Number 134

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Immigration and Compliance Briefing: India Added to COVID-19 Geographic Travel Ban

Effective Tuesday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m. ET

In response to the increase in COVID-19 cases in India, a Presidential Proclamation was issued on April 30, 2021 to suspend the entry into the U.S. of nonimmigrant, noncitizen individuals who have been present in India within the fourteen (14) days prior to attempted entry into the U.S. This travel ban will continue in effect until rescinded.

U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPRs” or “green card holders”), certain family members of U.S. citizens or LPRs, members of the Armed Forces or their spouses and children, and certain other individuals are exempt from the travel ban, including university students. For a full list of exemptions, refer to the Presidential Proclamation here. Travelers exempt from the geographic ban may still be subject to additional security and health screening procedures and should carefully review changing travel guidelines.

Note that the suspension applies to temporary non-immigrants, such as H-1B and other work-based visa holders.  Impacted employees and their employers should plan accordingly given the new ban, ongoing U.S. consular visa processing delays throughout India, and the challenges in obtaining a National Interest Exception to any travel ban.

Ongoing Travel Restrictions

As a reminder, similar travel restrictions are still in place for the following countries/regions:

U.S. Land Border Restrictions Continue

  • The suspension of non-essential travel between land ports-of-entry across the northern and southern U.S. borders was implemented on March 21, 2020 and has been extended on a monthly basis since. The suspension currently remains in place through May 21, 2021 and may be extended again.

  • Recreational travel, such as for tourism or visiting relatives, remains prohibited. Land border closures do not prohibit travel for essential workers, military personnel, or medical personnel engaged in activities combating the effects of COVID-19, and the transportation of goods is also exempted.

All COVID-19 related policies, requirements, and timeframes may change, additional modifications are anticipated. Please refer to https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus for updates.

Given that this is a rapidly changing situation, please also refer to the following online resources, and be sure to review the “last updated” date:

© 1998-2021 Wiggin and Dana LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 123
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About this Author

Ashley Moore Immigration Attorney Wiggin and Dana
Associate

Ashley Moore is a Business Immigration Associate in Wiggin and Dana’s Labor, Employment and Benefits Department in the New Haven office.

Prior to joining Wiggin and Dana, Ashley worked for a boutique immigration firm in St. Louis, MO, as an associate immigration attorney.  She has experience with advising and counseling clients on immigration benefits and consequences and has worked on a wide range of immigration cases, including family-based immigrant visas, removal of conditions, naturalization, asylum, removal defense, employment-based visas...

203.498.4372
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