March 12, 2020

U.S. will suspend entry for certain individuals who have been physically present in Schengen Area countries

On March 11, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation restricting the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants who have been physically present in the Schengen Area during the 14-days preceding their entry to the United States. These new travel restrictions will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, March 13, 2020. The purpose of the new proclamation is to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

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

Several groups of individuals are exempt from the travel restrictions, including, but not limited to:

· U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to the U.S.,

· Spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents,

· Parents or legal guardians of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents if the citizen or permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21,

· Siblings of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents as long as both individuals are unmarried and under the age of 21,

· Children, foster children, or wards of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident,

· Individuals traveling at the invitation of the U.S. Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus.

The proclamation directs the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, and Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that individuals covered by the proclamation do not board aircraft traveling to the United States. Likewise, the Secretary of Homeland Security is directed to set forth procedures to apply the proclamation at land ports of entry. Any individual who circumvents the application of the proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation, or entering without inspection will be made a priority for removal from the United States.

Individuals who currently have pending visa interview appointments should monitor the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for information on whether their interview will be rescheduled.

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