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New COVID-19 Biden Travel Ban

On Monday January 25, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order suspending and limiting entry by most non U.S. Citizens into the United States from certain countries/regions. The restrictions on entry from Europe and Brazil were implemented by the Trump administration throughout 2020 (Proclamations 9984 and 9992), and they were set to expire on January 26, 2021.

The new Biden Proclamation largely mirrors the prior Trump orders and expands to limit entry from the Republic of South Africa. Biden cites the new variant strains of the virus identified in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa as causing particular concern as well as the continued need to prevent future spread.

Effective January 26, 2021, this order prohibits entry to those who were physically present during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States within the following countries:

  • European Schengen Area*
  • United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe)
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Brazil
  • Republic of South Africa

This order does not apply to:

  • Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States (LPRs);
  • Noncitizen nationals of the United States (new with this order);
  • Spouses of a U.S. Citizen or LPR;
  • Parents, legal guardians, or siblings of a U.S. Citizen or LPR who is unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • Children, foster children, or wards of U.S. Citizens or LPRs or prospective adoptees seeking entry pursuant to IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
  • Noncitizens traveling by invitation of the U.S. Government for containment or mitigation of the virus;
  • C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrants as crewmember or noncitizen traveling as air/sea crew,
  • Any noncitizen member of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouse or children;
  • Any noncitizen or any noncitizen whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees; and
  • Certain other individuals described in the order.

There is no set end date for this travel ban. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will recommend whether the President should continue, modify, or terminate this proclamation every 30 days.

*The Schengen Area includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.