With the COVID-19 pandemic getting into its second 12 months, the US continues to implement world journey restrictions to sluggish the unfold of the virus. Varied Presidential Proclamations have continued to droop the entry of overseas nationals from or not too long ago current in China; Iran; South Africa; Brazil; the Schengen Zone, which incorporates most of Europe; the UK; and Eire. Restricted exceptions to those country-specific journey bans exist, together with for lawful everlasting residents and oldsters or spouses of U.S. residents. Underneath earlier coverage, Nationwide Curiosity Exceptions had been granted to senior-level managers and executives, technical consultants, skilled athletes, and merchants and traders. Nevertheless, in March 2021, the State Division rescinded this steering and restricted the issuance of Nationwide Curiosity Exceptions to these overseas nationals who will “provide important assist to crucial infrastructure sectors.” See our prior article here. Underneath the brand new steering, the State Division has been issuing fewer Nationwide Curiosity Exceptions to vacationers from these areas.
There was one space the place the U.S. has loosened its restrictions: it has allowed the bans on immigrant and non-immigrant visas to run out. Underneath prior coverage, overseas nationals in search of immigrant visas or new H-1B, H-2B, L-1, sure J-1 visa holders, and all dependents of overseas nationals in these visa classes weren’t permitted to use for these visas. See our prior article here. The administration has allowed these bans to run out. Nevertheless, even with out these visa bans, U.S. Consulates worldwide proceed to be closed or functioning with extraordinarily restricted staffing. Consequently, they’re working on a a lot decreased capability for visa appointments, solely providing emergency appointments or scheduling routine appointments very far into the longer term. Even after U.S. Consulates resume extra common visa providers, vital backlogs will proceed to trigger lengthy wait instances for visa appointments. Worldwide vacationers ought to be ready to attend weeks, if not months, for visa appointments, with the potential of remaining overseas indefinitely whereas ready for an appointment.
Lastly, the U.S. continues to require all worldwide vacationers, together with U.S. residents and everlasting residents, to offer documentation of a destructive COVID-19 check taken inside 72 hours of their arriving flight. It’s going to stay in impact till December 31, 2021 except terminated earlier if the COVID-19 public well being emergency expires or if the CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order.