Trump Extends Visa Ban Through March 2021

The US travel ban of entry for certain nonimmigrant and immigrant visas has been extended until March 31, 2021.

National interest exemptions remain effective for eligible individuals.

The ban had been due to expire on December 31, 2020, but on the same day the Trump administration issued a presidential proclamation which extended the ban as outlined in its previous proclamations of April 22, 2020, and June 22, 2020.

The scope and reach of the ban have not been changed, and it continues to apply to certain applications for work visa routes such as the H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 visas where the applicant was not present in the US on the effective date of the proclamation, as well as all Green Card applications.

The administration justified the extension by citing the continued issues underlying the original proclamations, specifically weaknesses in the US labor market due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ban on new green cards and work visas will therefore be in effect when Biden takes office, and potentially for months after Trump leaves office. However, provision has been made within the latest proclamation for regular reviews of the ban, “within 15 days of December 31, 2020, and every 30 days thereafter”, when “the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend any modifications as may be necessary.”

The National Interest Exemptions remains unchanged and in place for eligible business travellers and certain workers under the L-1 and H-1B routes. We have a proven track record in securing NIE waivers to allow visa workers to travel to the US, and would be delighted to advise if you have any queries about NIE eligibility and travel options under the current restrictions.

US immigration advice

NNU Immigration is actively monitoring the impact of the pandemic on US immigration policy and application processing.

As the situation continues to develop, 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.

Last updated: December 31, 2020