President Joe Biden has terminated the U.S. entry ban on new immigrants implemented by the Trump administration under Presidential Proclamation 10014. This ban, which had been set to expire on March 31, 2021, prevented new immigrants, or “green card” holders, from entering the United States beginning in April 2020.
This ban temporarily suspended the entry into the United States of individuals who:
were outside the United States on the April 23, 2020 effective date of the proclamation; and
had not yet been issued an immigrant visa or similar travel document, which allows entry into the United States as a permanent resident.
An immigrant visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to individuals applying for permanent residence from outside the United States. The ban did not impact individuals applying for permanent residence inside the United States through Adjustment of Status processing. The ban also did not affect the travel of existing permanent residents; it applied only to those making an initial entry pursuant to an immigrant visa issued abroad.
While the immigrant visa ban implemented by former President Trump contained some narrow exemptions (such as for spouses of U.S. citizens, etc.), with President Biden’s termination of Proclamation 10014, now ALL immigrant visa cases at U.S. Consulates and Embassies throughout the world may move forward.
A number of other travel restrictions have been implemented over the prior year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those restrictions remain in place.
Travel restrictions related to COVID-19 include:
A ban on entry into the United States of certain nonimmigrants who, in the prior 14 days, were physically present in any of the following countries: the United Kingdom, Ireland, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and all Schengen countries (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)
A ban on entry into the United States of certain H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and certain J-1 visa holders and their dependent family members (this ban will expire on March 31, 2021)
A requirement for all international air travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test result or alternative medical documentation in order to board U.S.-bound flights
These restrictions, as well as exemptions and available exceptions, are detailed in a prior Mintz Travel Advisory. This is a complex and constantly changing area, and we encourage clients to contact their Mintz immigration team for travel advice specific to their circumstances.