Trump Administration Announces New Restrictions on Foreign Nationals Traveling to the United States
In response to the widening COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, yesterday, on March 11th, President Trump announced new restrictions on international travel to the United States. The new travel ban goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2020, and will last for 30 days. It may be extended depending on how the situation with the coronavirus in Europe develops. With some exceptions, the ban applies to persons seeking to enter or reenter the United States in nonimmigrant statuses (e.g., H-1B, F-1, TN, etc.) who have been present in the "Schengen Area" of continental Europe during the last 14 days. The Schengen area encompasses most countries in Western Europe, including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Contrary to statements made by the President in yesterday’s announcement, the ban does not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) or immediate family members of citizens or lawful permanent residents. The ban also does not apply to persons who have only been present in the United Kingdom or Ireland during the last 14 days. Due to the Administration’s rapidly evolving policy impacting international travel, we are advising persons who are currently living and working in the United States in nonimmigrant status to avoid international trips where this is possible, and legally permissible. It is unclear at this point if or when additional travel restrictions will be put into place. Nonimmigrants who depart the United States may face difficulties reentering, even if traveling only to countries that are not covered by the travel bans currently in effect. We will be providing additional information on the new travel ban in our weekly immigration bulletin tomorrow. Please feel free to contact our office on any specific questions on the impact of this new policy.