New U.S. Travel Bans Announced on Friday, January 31, 2020
On January 31, 2020 President Trump issued a new Proclamation extending the “travel ban” to six additional countries. Unlike prior travel ban proclamations issued by President Trump, this new travel ban prevents certain citizens of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania pursuing immigrant visas (‘green cards”) from entering the United States. Only Diversity Visa immigrants from Sudan and Tanzania face restrictions, but all other immigrants (employment-based, family-based, Diversity Visa-based immigrants) face restrictions on their entry to the U.S. as a result of this proclamation. Also, there is an exception for all of these countries for Special Immigrant visa applicants who have provided assistance to the U.S. government. The new travel ban will take effect on February 21, 2020. The Trump administration’s initial travel ban, enacted in 2017, imposed stringent travel restrictions on immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries.
In addition, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced on January 31, 2020 that the United States is temporarily suspending the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who have been in China during the prior 14-day period, as the U.S. government is concerned that anyone who has visited China during the prior two weeks poses a risk of transmitting the 2019 novel coronavirus. In addition, any U.S. citizen who has been in the Hubei Province of China during the 14-day period prior to entering the U.S. will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon return to the U.S.