On March 14, 2020, President Trump issued a Proclamation extending the travel ban on foreign nationals to the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), and the Republic of Ireland, effective midnight tonight, March 16, 2020. As discussed in our March 12, 2020 Alert, on March 11, 2020, the President issued a Proclamation prohibiting foreign nationals from entering the United States if they have been physically present in Europe within 14 days, because of the risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus. These two recent Proclamations echo the Proclamations issued in January and February restricting entry of foreign nationals coming from China and Iran, which remain in effect.
The travel ban applies widely based on travel history, not just to citizens of the named countries. The following categories of people are not subject to the ban:
- U.S. citizens;
- Lawful permanent residents ("green card" holders);
- Spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents;
- Parents or legal guardians of an unmarried U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under the age of 21;
- Siblings of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided they are both under 21;
- Children or wards of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or prospective adoptees seeking to enter the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa;
- Anyone traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the COVID-19 virus;
- Foreign air or sea crewmembers;
- Certain foreign nationals who hold A, C, E-1 (TECRO or TECO), G, and NATO visas;
- Any foreign national whose entry would not pose a risk of transmitting the virus as determined by the CDC;
- Any foreign national whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives;
- Any foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest; and
- Members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses and children.
What to Expect
While implementation policies have not yet been released, this Proclamation will impact multiple aspects of immigration and travel for foreign nationals wishing to enter the United States.
The State Department, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Homeland Security are charged with ensuring that no foreign national subject to the travel ban boards an aircraft traveling to the United States. The Secretary of Homeland Security may establish new procedures for all U.S. ports of entry. The travel ban will very likely impact visa adjudication as well. The Proclamation warns that any alien who circumvents the travel ban through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry will be a priority for removal (deportation).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.