In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the difficulties in screening incoming travelers, the Trump administration has issued a series of proclamations restricting travel from various countries to the United States. These are, for the most part, countries with serious outbreaks. The prohibition primarily affects people (other than U.S. citizens or permanent residents) who've been in those countries within the 14 days prior to arriving and requesting U.S. entry.
This article will look at which countries are affected, and discuss who is and isn’t subject to the bans.
Also bear in mind that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials will continue to screen entrants from all countries around the globe, and can individually declare someone inadmissible for health or other reasons.
Here is the complete list of countries from which travel is barred for an indefinite time (starting in early 2020 and ending when Trump issues a follow-up proclamation), with links to the relevant presidential proclamation:
These travel bans do not affect most U.S. citizens and residents and families, including:
Nevertheless, people in these groups can expect long waits at the airport or other port of entry to the U.S., and to be screened and possibly quarantined or asked to quarantine at home.
Basically, anyone traveling from one of the above countries on a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa that's not one of the few visas listed above will be barred.
That includes, for example, travelers on the Visa Waiver program (VWP) or holding B visitor visas, F, M, or J student/exchange visitor visas, H-1B specialty technical worker visas, and so on.
It is possible for such travelers to get around the bar by spending a minimum of 14 days in a country from which travel is not barred. Be ready to provide proof of your minimum 14-day stay there, however.
Of course, the next immigration-law concern will be whether you still have a valid basis upon which to use your U.S. visa. If the school you were to attend is closed, or the company you were to work for has furloughed its employees, you might not be able to enter or maintain valid status under that visa.
It’s possible to ask the U.S. government to make an exception to a travel bar, if your entry would either:
Speak to an attorney for more information or to apply for one of these exceptions.