Biden Lifts US Travel Ban on New Green Card Holders

President Joe Biden has lifted the US travel and entry ban affecting certain Green Card applicants.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the President issued a proclamation revoking former President Trump’s Proclamation 10014 dated April 22, 2020, and its two extensions ahead of their expected March 31, 2021, expiration date.

The Trump Administration’s orders had banned the issuing of Green Cards and prevented foreign nationals from moving to the United States, which President Biden stated had “failed to advance American interests”.

The ban had effectively blocked most legal immigration to the US, with the rationale that it was a necessary measure to protect US jobs amid high unemployment rates caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden went on to highlight the harm caused by the ban, including disrupting the US economy and the ability of employers to mobilize international talent, and preventing certain family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families.

The ban is understood to have impacted over 120,000 family-based preference visas.

Revoking the ban is a further act by the new President to reverse immigration policies from the previous Administration and introduce a new set of rules.

Although the ban has been lifted, applicants now face a protracted wait as the substantial backlog of petitions is cleared.

In court filings, advocates say the State Department’s no-visa policy has left it with a backlog of 473,000 family-based visa applications.

Biden’s proclamation did not, however, affect the ban on employment-based visa holders, as prescribed under Trump’s Proclamation 10052.

The sections temporarily barring several types of work visa holders from entering the United States, including H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 visa applicants, remain in place except where a National Interest Exemption applies.

US immigration advice

NNU Immigration are a team of London-based US immigration attorneys. We are advising employers, entrepreneurs, investors, workers and other non-US nationals planning to travel or relocate to the US on the changes in US immigration policy and immigration rules under the new Administration. Please contact our US immigration specialists for the latest advice for your specific circumstances.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.