By Maud Poudat | US Immigration Attorney
Posted: August 14, 2020
Seven presidential proclamations issued by President Trump in 2020 have restricted travel to the United States for immigrants and nonimmigrants, that is, all foreign nationals (non-US citizens). Here is the list of the proclamations along with applicable exceptions. *The following is an explanation of each proclamation and corresponding FAQs in chronological order as they remain in force as of August 14, 2020.
PP 9984- On January 31, 2020, the Trump administration suspended the entry of all immigrants and nonimmigrants who had been present in the People’s Republic of China during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions, effective February 2, 2020.
PP 9992: On February 29, 2020, the Trump administration suspended the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who had been present in Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions, effective March 2, 2020.
PP 9993- On March 11, 2020, the Trump administration restricted travel to the United States for persons who were physically present in the European Schengen zone during the 14-day period prior to their attempted entry in the United States. This proclamation prevents the entry of all travelers with a valid U.S. visa or ESTA who initiate their journey in a country located in the EU/Schengen zone. Exceptions to PP 9993 are extremely limited. It became effective on March 13, 2020.
The Schengen Countries are: 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.
PP 9996- United Kingdom and Ireland are added to the list of banned countries, effective March 16, 2020.
PP 10041- On May 24, 2020, the Trump administration suspended the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions, effective May 28, 2020.
Exceptions to the China, Iran, Schengen, UK and Ireland and Brazil COVID-19 Travel Bans:
Some additional exceptions for Iran, Schengen, UK and Ireland and Brazil:
No. Your travel is prohibited under PP 9993.
You will not be able to apply for a visa and travel to the United States from Spain until routine visa processing resumes and PP 9993 is lifted.
Yes, you may. Make sure you look at that specific country’s restrictions before scheduling your trip to the United States.
Every U.S. Consulate will have their own procedure to request an exception. Please follow the instructions listed on their website and make sure to document such dire situation. You can find US consulate and embassy websites at travel.state.gov
Every U.S. Consulate will have their own procedure to request such exception. Please follow the instructions listed on their website. Most US consulate will require that you include documentation from a United States entity (vendor, client, affiliate, etc.) detailing the intended activity and quantifying the economic benefit. Please note that the criteria for exceptions in these categories is quite strict. It is intended that these exceptions be rarely granted.
Yes. The U.S. Consulate will grant you the National Interest Exception in conjunction with your E-2 visa and an annotation will be added to your actual visa stamp, that way you will not have any issues entering the United States.
No. Unless you are granted a national interest exception by the DOS, you may not as you would be departing from a country banned by the proclamations during the 14 days prior to your entry or attempted entry in the United States.
Yes. You may travel to the United States. Present yourself to the airport earlier than normal and explain that you are “excepted by virtue of having a valid student visa”. On July 22, 2020 DOS clarified this fact.
If you are applying for a student (F1 or M1) visa or an academic/research exchange (J1) visa, please apply on the U.S. Consulate online system to complete the application form, pay your fee, and set an appointment date (if available). Those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1, M-1 or J-1 visa will automatically be considered for a national interest exception to travel. On July 22, 2020 DOS clarified this fact.
Yes, just present yourself at the airport with your marriage certificate and proof of your spouse’s US citizenship.
Yes. Just present yourself at the airport with your children’s birth certificates and proof of their U.S. citizenship.
PP 10014- On April 22, 2020 the administration suspended the issuance of certain immigrant visas and entry of immigrants to the United States, effective April 23, 2020 for 60 days (and now extended by June 22, 2020 order until December 31, 2020 with PP 10052). This proclamation contains certain exceptions and does not apply to:
No. All immigrant visa appointments for those subject to the proclamation have been suspended until at least December 31, 2020. You must qualify for a National Interest Exception to be scheduled for an interview and be granted the immigrant visa. You would have to prove to the consular officer that the travel if necessary for humanitarian reasons, public health, or diplomatic/government interest.
While PP 10014 does not specifically provide for the revocation of unused immigrant visas; DOS mentions on its website that no valid immigrant visas will be revoked under the Proclamation.
Yes you may. A consular officer may, in his discretion, reissue an immigrant visa if circumstances beyond the applicant’s control prevented use of the visa before it expired. You will bear the burden of demonstrating eligibility for the visa issuance based on your unique facts and circumstances. If applicable, new fees will be paid at the post and not the NVC.
It depends. PP 10014 does not apply to persons in possession of an advance parole document, transportation letter, or boarding foil, valid on April 23, 2020 or is issued on any date thereafter. However, PP 9993 still applies and if you do not meet the exceptions (married to USC or LPR, child of USC or LPR, etc…) you will need to request a national interest exception to be able to return.
No, the determination is discretionary and not subject to review.
Yes, PP10014 exempts physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals. More specifically, it exempts those seeking to enter the U.S. to perform medical research to combat COVID-19 or to perform work “essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of COVID-19.” Your dependents may accompany you as well.
You must satisfy the National Interest Exception. It is unclear whether those approved under the NIW will automatically be granted the NIE since the NIE decision is made by the Consular Officer. We recommend you document the NIE as much as possible by following the U.S. Consulate’s instructions.
Yes. PP 10014 does not preclude the filing and adjudication of an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, or I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. USCIS is still adjudicating those petitions. It is important to note that USCIS may see the furlough of 13,000 of its employees on August 31, 2020, unless the agency receives a requested $1.2 billion bailout from Congress. A furlough of USCIS employees would likely have a major impact on the agency’s operations in the coming months.
Yes, you can apply for adjustment of status, if you are eligible, by filing form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Your permanent residence can even be granted. The current restrictions are limited to persons outside the United States.
PP 10052- On June 22, 2020, the administration suspended the issuance of three nonimmigrant work visa types: L, H-1B, H-2B, some J visas, and their dependents in each category, effective June 24, 2020.
Exceptions to the PP 10052
Yes. You may schedule an interview through the U.S. Consulate appointment website. Check If box 4 of your DS-2019 indicates that you are coming under any of those categories.
More than likely. If resuming work in the H or L category with the same employer/same company, you should obtain a national interest exception from the U.S. Consulate. The DOS issued some guidance on August 12, 2020 clarifying the national interest exception. Visit the official page of the U.S. Department of State for a more detailed non-exhaustive list of exceptions to PP 10052 contemplated by DOS
Yes, more than likely. The DOS clarified on August 12, 2020 that: Travel by a senior level executive or manager filling a critical business need of an employer meeting a critical infrastructure need. Critical infrastructure sectors include chemical, communications, dams, defense industrial base, emergency services, energy, financial services, food and agriculture, government facilities, healthcare and public health, information technology, nuclear reactors, transportation, and water systems. An L-1A applicant falls into this category when at least two of the following three indicators are present AND the L-1A applicant is not seeking to establish a new office in the United States:
L-1A applicants seeking to establish a new office in the United States likely DO NOT fall into this category, unless two of the three criteria are met AND the new office will employ, directly or indirectly, five or more U.S. workers.
Yes, more than likely. The DOS clarified that in these circumstances, the consular officer may determine that an L-1B applicant falls into this category if all three of the following indicators are present:
Yes, more than likely. DOS has found that this situation would be considered in the national interest provided the child is a U.S. citizen, LPR, or nonimmigrant in lawful status and that the child’s medical issues are diagnosed by a qualified medical professional. Also, the au pair must possess the skills to care for such child (medical, special education or sign language).
Yes, that is a national interest exception considered by DOS.
Very possibly. The DOS has issued updated guidelines in the NIE for H1B applicants.
Travel by technical specialists, senior level managers, and other workers whose travel is necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States. Consular officers may determine that an H-1B applicant falls into this category when at least two of the following five indicators are present:
For a non-exhaustive list of exceptions to PP 10052 contemplated by DOS, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/exceptions-to-p-p-10014-10052-suspending-entry-of-immigrants-non-immigrants-presenting-risk-to-us-labor-market-during-economic-recovery.html
Per instructions issued by DHS for inbound flights with individuals who have been in China and Iran, the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Transportation Security Administration, Center for Disease Control, and airlines, has directed all such flights to the United States to eleven airports, where health protocols have been implemented to account for treatment and handling of individuals who might have contracted the virus. Those returning from the Schengen nations may also be routed to these 11 airports. These airports include:
Additional airports have been designated to receive flights from Brazil to the United States: