Trump Expands Ban on Entry Due to Coronavirus to U.S. to Travelers From Iran

Iran added to list of countries from which non-citizen or green-card-holding travel is banned, to limit spread of COVID-19 virus.

** LEGAL UPDATE **

In a followup to Trump's Proclamation 9984 (January 31, 2020), which barred most travelers from China from entering the U.S. due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, Iran has been added to the list.

Trump issued a new proclamation that suspends and limits U.S. entry by travelers holding immigrant or nonimmigrant visas if they were physically present in the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 14-day period before requesting U.S. entry.

The proclamation mentions high transmission rates as the main issue, stating that as of February 28, 2020, Iran already had 388 known cases.

There are several exceptions to who this will travel bar will apply to.

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders or LPRs) will not be barred from U.S. entry, and nor will their spouses, parents, or siblings (though in the latter two cases, the U.S. citizen/LPR must be unmarried and under age 21).
  • Children being adopted by citizens or LPRs are also not barred.
  • People traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for reasons having to do with containment or mitigation of the virus will be allowed entry, as will U.S. military servicepeople and travelers on various other types of visas related to United Nations or government business (A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, E-1 if an employee of TECRO or TECO, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, and NATO-6).
  • Crewmembers and others traveling to the United States as air or sea crew will be allowed entry.

Special exceptions can also be made for people whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading COVID-19 in the U.S. or whose entry would assist U.S. law enforcement objectives or the national interest. Speak to an attorney for help in seeking such an exception.

Also realize that, even if you fall into an exception, claiming it could be tricky. The U.S. government will expect air carriers to block travelers before they board a plane or ship to the United States. Again, speak to an attorney about how to handle this.

Effective Date: March 2, 2020