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Travel Ban Expanded to include Six more Countries

By February 4, 2020March 31st, 2021COVID-19
Creative Commons photo by Wilerson S. Andrade - labeled for reuse.

On January 31, 2020, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation that suspended certain immigrant visas to foreign nationals from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. Nonimmigrant visas are not affected by the proclamation. The government stated the cause for the additional bans are due to these new countries posing a national security risk for failure to meet baseline requirements.

Starting on February 21, 2020, foreign nationals from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar (Burma), and Nigeria will not be issued any immigrant visas, with the exception of Special Immigrant visa based on having provided assistance to the U.S. government.

Foreign nationals from Sudan and Tanzania will not be issued Diversity immigrant visas, while still being eligible for other immigrant visas.

There are exemptions to the new proclamation, listed below:

  • Current U.S. lawful permanent residents;
  • Dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country;
  • Foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. visa or advance parole; and
  • Those who are physically in the United States or hold a valid visa or other travel document on the effective date of the new proclamation.

Those who are not exempt may request a waiver when applying for an immigrant visa. To be eligible for a waiver, a foreign national must demonstrate that they would suffer undue hardship if denied entry, and that their entry would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety and would be in U.S. national interest. To learn more about the waiver, please click here.

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