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Immigration News

New Presidential Proclamations Impose Travel Restrictions


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Disclaimer: This immigration news posting is of a general nature and for informational purposes only. Information posted does not constitute legal advice, nor should it be construed to serve as a substitute for legal advice. Content is based upon information obtained through various public news resources and industry affiliates. For more information, please contact the Office of International Education.



Travel Restrictions & Novel Coronavirus Update



This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest updates, please visit the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov


On March 11, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, which suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States. These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: 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. This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020. The proclamations do not apply to U.S. citizens, or to any alien who is:

  • A lawful permanent resident of the United States;
  • A spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • A parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • A sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • A child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
  • An alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
  • C (transit) or
  • D (air or sea crewmember) nonimmigrants seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to an A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 visa;
  • An alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the CDC Director, or his designee;
  • An alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or
  • An alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.
Additional Information: Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf's Statement on Presidential Proclamation

Two New Presidential Proclamations Impose Travel Restrictions


Thursday, February 6, 2020


On Friday, January 31, 2020, President Trump signed the “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus.” This proclamation restricts and suspends entry to the United States for foreign nationals (immigrants and nonimmigrants) who were physically present within China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. This proclamation does not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and certain other groups.


A growing number of major airlines around the world have suspended flights to and from China, including American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all travelers from China to the U.S. are required to be monitored for up to 14 days after leaving China. Travelers should stay home and monitor their health with this 14-day period.


The University of Texas at Arlington continues to closely monitor the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China. On January 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” travel advisory for China. The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.


UTA’s top priority is to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. As a result of the most recent guidance, UTA has suspended all official university travel to China. All faculty, staff, and student university-related travel requests to China must be reviewed by the UTA International Oversight Committee. Any questions regarding UTA IOC approval should be directed to Jay Horn (horn@uta.edu).


Additional information and resources related to the novel coronavirus are found below.



Effective Date

This proclamation took effect at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 2, 2020.



Background

The 2019-nCoV novel coronavirus was discovered in December 2019, with the outbreak beginning in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The outbreak of 2019-nVoV has spread to multiple countries, with reported cases increasing daily.



Symptoms

According to the CDC, patients with 2019-nCoV have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The CDC recommends that if you have been in China within the past two weeks and develop symptoms, call your healthcare provider.



Preventative Measures

Please refer to the CDC for the latest information and prevention guidelines, which include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

According to the CDC, there is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection.



Additional Resources


UTA Health Services:
http://www.uta.edu/healthservices/index.php

CDC: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Situation Summary
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

World Health Organization (WHO): Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Advice for the Public
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Updated WHO Advice for International Traffic in Relation to the Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV https://www.who.int/ith/2019-nCoV_advice_for_international_traffic/en/

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE
https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus
January 31, 2020
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/

U.S. Department of State – China Travel Advisory
February 2, 2020
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/china-travel-advisory.html

NAFSA Resources
https://www.nafsa.org/regulatory-information/coronavirus-critical-resources



Trump Signs New Proclamation Impacting Travel for Nationals of Six Countries


On Friday, January 31, 2020, President Trump signed the “Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry.” This new proclamation has been issued in furtherance of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order 13780 (“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”). In addition, restrictions from the September 24, 2017 Proclamation 9645 remain in effect.

Notably, the new proclamation does not apply to nonimmigrant visa holders, such as F-1 students, J-1 exchange visitors, or H-1B temporary workers.

Nationals from the following countries will be restricted from entry to the United States under immigrant visa categories (including employment-based, family-based, and diversity visas), with some exceptions: Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, and Tanzania.

Meanwhile, previously issued Proclamation 9645 remains in effect for nationals of the following countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.



Effective Date

The new proclamation will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 21, 2020.



Summary

New Proclamation, Issued January 31, 2020

The following table summarizes the effect of the new proclamation, with conditions imposed on immigrants from the listed countries.

Country Conditions
Eritrea Suspended entry into the United States for immigrants, except Special Immigrants.
Kyrgyzstan Suspended entry into the United States for immigrants, except Special Immigrants.
Myanmar (Burma) Suspended entry into the United States for immigrants, except Special Immigrants.
Nigeria Suspended entry into the United States for immigrants, except Special Immigrants.
Sudan Suspended entry into the United States for Diversity Immigrants.
Tanzania Suspended entry into the United States for Diversity Immigrants.


Proclamation 9645, Issued September 24, 2017

The following table summarizes the effect of Proclamation 9645 on nonimmigrant visa holders and if F/J visas are allowed for the listed nationalities.

Country Nonimmigrant Visas Are F/J visas allowed?
Iran No nonimmigrant visas except F, M, and J visas Yes
Libya No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas Yes
North Korea No nonimmigrant visas No
Somalia Yes
Syria No nonimmigrant visas No
Venezuela No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members. Yes
Yemen No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas Yes

Travelers should expect increased scrutiny while passing through customs and immigration, including the possibility of being asked to undergo additional screening measures on a case-by-case basis.



Additional Resources

Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry
Issued on January 31, 2020
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-improving-enhanced-vetting-capabilities-processes-detecting-attempted-entry/

NAFSA Resources
January 31, 2020
https://www.nafsa.org/professional-resources/browse-by-interest/executive-order-travel-ban-nafsa-resources

Presidential Proclamation 9645
September 24, 2017
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/09/24/enhancing-vetting-capabilities-and-processes-detecting-attempted-entry