The U.S. Department of State has issued extensive guidance on what could be the basis for a national interest exception.
On December 31, 2020, President Trump issued a new proclamation extending to March 31, 2021, the application of the prior Proclamation 10014 (suspension of entry of certain immigrants, initially effective on April 23, 2020, for 60 days) and Proclamation 10052 (suspension of entry of certain nonimmigrants, initially effective June 24, 2020, to December 31, 2020, and extending Proclamation 10014 effective June 22, 2020, to December 31, 2020) to protect the U.S. labor market.
Proclamation 10014 continues to suspend the entry of immigrants who were (a) outside of the United States on or after April 23, 2020; (b) did not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and (c) did not have a valid travel document such as a transportation letter or advance parole. Certain individuals are exempt, for example: lawful permanent residents, certain healthcare workers, those whose entry would serve the national interest, EB-5 immigrants, spouses and children (but not parents) of U.S. citizens and children at risk of aging out of eligibility for an immigrant visa due to the proclamations.
Proclamation 10052 continues to suspend the entry of H-1B (but not H-1B1), H-2B, L-1 and certain J-1 nonimmigrants (such as interns and trainees) who were (a) outside of the United States on June 24, 2020; (b) did not have a nonimmigrant visa in one of those categories, on which he or she is seeking entry, that is valid on the effective date; and (c) did not have a valid travel document, such as a transportation letter or advance parole, that was valid on June 24, 2020. Exempted are lawful permanent residents, spouses and children of a U.S. citizens, Canadians (as they do not require a visa), individuals coming to provide service essential to the U.S. food supply and individuals whose entry would be in the national interest. The U.S. Department of State has issued extensive guidance on what could be the basis for a national interest exception, including entry by applicants who will be resuming ongoing employment with the same employer in the same position and in the same visa classification.
Other Measures Remain
COVID-19 health-related travel bans, such as from the Schengen area, the UK, Ireland, China and Brazil, remain in effect, and U.S. consular closures and capacity limitations for visa interview appointments remain in place at different levels worldwide.
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