COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a viral infection which has recently sent the entire world into a pandemic and caused almost every nation to enact stringent guidelines in an effort to prevent the transmission of the virus.
In an effort to reduce the transmission of the virus and protect the citizens and residents of the United States, travel bans have gone into effect and are restricting travel from many areas of the world.
Which Countries Does the Travel Ban Affect?
Since January 31, 2019 there have been four proclamations released by the Trump administration in regards to travel of any kind by non-citizens who are looking to come to the U.S. from differing areas of the world. As the virus continues to spread, more and more proclamations may be released by the administration and this may lead to restriction of all travel into and outside of the United States. Listed below are the current proclamations restricting travel:
- The first proclamation was released by the Trump administration on January 31st barred entry into the United States of most foreign nationals who had traveled to China within the previous 14 days.
- The second proclamation was released by the Trump administration on February 29th, and it expanded the restrictions to include all non-citizens who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran within the last 14 days before their entry or attempted entry into the United States.
- The third proclamation was released by the Trump administration on March 11th and it restricted the travel of foreign nationals who have recently been in certain European countries. This travel ban does not apply to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents (green card holders) and they must be granted reentry into the United States.
- The fourth proclamation was released by the Trump administration on March 14th and it restricts travel to the United States by foreign nationals who have been in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This does not apply to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents(green card holders).
Who is Affected by the Covid-19 Travel Ban?
A common misconception that is going around is that the travel bans close all of the U.S. borders and restrict the travel of all individuals into the United States. This is not true. The travel bans only apply to foreign nationals, defined as individuals who are not citizens, do not have a green card, or do not have a visa.
If you are a citizen, a visa holder or a legal permanent resident with a green card you are not affected by the travel bans and must be allowed reentry into the United States.
Who Are the Exceptions to the Covid-19 Travel Ban?
The major exceptions to the travel bans are United States citizens, individuals with valid visas, and legal permanent residents. But, these individuals are not the only exceptions. According to the U.S. State Department and the proclamations themselves, the following individuals are also exempt from the travel ban:
- Any non-citizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Any non-citizen who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21
- Any non-citizen who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21
- Any non-citizen who is 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 pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications
- Any non-citizen traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus
The coronavirus has caused a major commotion and this has led to strict travel bans being brought into effect in an effort to control the virus. Even though these bans should help control the spread of the virus, they are seriously impacting the lives of many Americans. If you or a loved one are unsure how the travel ban affects your ability to travel into and out of the United States, contact our experienced immigration law team for assistance.