As a result of the situation of crisis that still affects many countries in the world, India, among those, President Biden issued Proclamation 10199 of April 30, 2021, suspending the entry into the United States, as nonimmigrants, of certain individuals who were physically present in India during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry.
The decision of the President has been motivated by the situation still tense in the United States. As of April 29, 2021, the United States had experienced more than 32 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 570,000 COVID-19 deaths. The decision is part of the current Administration's policy to implement science-based public health measures, to act swiftly and aggressively to prevent further spread of the disease.
Considering the situation in India, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), within the Department of Health and Human Services, working with the Department of Homeland Security, has determined that the Republic of India is experiencing widespread, ongoing person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, the World Health Organization has reported that the Republic of India has had more than 18,375,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The magnitude and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of India is surging; the Republic of India accounts for over one-third of new global cases, and the number of new cases in the Republic of India is accelerating at a rapid rate.
Will the Geographic Ban Affect US Citizens and Residents?
U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, certain family members, members of the Armed Forces or their spouses and children, and certain other individuals are exempt from the travel ban, including university students with an approved student visa. For a full list of exemptions, refer to the Presidential Proclamation here. That said, travelers exempt from the geographic ban could still be subject to additional security and health screening procedures and airport and borders. Travelers should carefully review changing travel guidelines beforehand.
What Non-Immigrant Visas will be affected?
The Proclamation applies to foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States with temporary non-immigrant status. Its covers employment-based non-immigrant categories, such as H-1B, L-1A/B, and O-1. It also includes the B-1/B-2 visitor category. There are, however, important blanket National Interest Exceptions (NIE) for certain F-1 and M-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors.
How Can We Help?
If you or your family are planning to travel overseas while having a pending application, or you are a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident who has not been able to travel, do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a legal consultation and evaluate your options. The first consultation is free!