What are the current US travel restrictions?
The latest Presidential Proclamation restricting travel to the US was passed on January 25, 2021 by President Biden. The ban applies to non-US nationals who have been in one of the following countries within 14 days of travel to the US: European Schengen countries, the UK, Ireland, South, Brazil, China and Iran. The Schengen zone 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.
There is no date for the ban to expire, and it will remain in place until withdrawn by President Biden.
Who is exempt from the US travel ban?
The ban does not apply to:
- US citizens and nationals
- US lawful permanent residents
- Foreign nationals who are the spouses or children of US citizens or lawful residents
- Foreign nationals who are the parent or legal guardian of an unmarried US citizen or lawful permanent resident under the age of 21
- Foreign nationals who are the child, foster child or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the
- United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa
- Foreign nationals who are the sibling of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, where both are under 21
- Foreign nationals seeking to enter the US at the invitation of the US government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the COVID-19 virus
- Members of the US armed forces and their spouses and children
- Foreign air or sea crewmembers
- Certain A, C, E-1 (TECRO or TECO employees), G, and NATO nonimmigrants
- Foreign nationals whose presence in the US would be in the national interest (see below), or would advance US law enforcement objectives
Who is eligible for travel under the National Interest Exception?
A ‘212(f) waiver’ to the Proclamation exempts individuals who can show they qualify for travel that is in the ‘national interest’. Currently, this includes some business travelers (B-1 visa, ESTA), E-2 visa investors, E-1 visa treaty traders, L-1, O-1 and H-1B visa workers, academics, students, and journalists.