Suspension of Travel
In response to the COVID- 19 pandemic, President Trump signed a series of Proclamations banning foreign nationals from entering the country if they had been in China, Iran, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and Brazil within 14 days before entry.
Among those exempt from the suspensions were:
Lawful permanent residents of the United States; and
Spouses or other eligible immediate relatives of US citizens and lawful permanent residents.
Crew members traveling to the US on air or sea vessels;
Diplomatic and U.N. representatives
Any foreign nationals who would further important US law enforcement objectives or whose entry would be in the U.S. national interest as determined by relevant U.S. government agencies.
Members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses and children
The suspensions will remain in effect until terminated by the President and will be reviewed regularly by the Administration to address the changing environment.
Those who are exempted from the travel ban are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival in the United States. Upon arrival, they need to undergo enhanced screening for COVID-19, which includes questioning about their medical history and current medical condition, as well as a request for contact information to be shared with local health authorities. Select travellers are also required to have their temperature taken.
US-bound flights from the restricted countries are required to fly to one of the following 13 US airports where the US government has implemented enhanced COVID-19 passenger screening procedures.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York;
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois;
San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California;
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington;
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii;
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), California;
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia;
Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia;
Newark-Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey;
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas;
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts; and
Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida.
The administration has also placed restrictions on nonessential travel through the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico land borders.
U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, business travellers, and those with valid U.S. travel documents are exempt from the border restrictions
Presidential Proclamation suspends entry into the US of certain students and researches from China
On May 29, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending the issuance of F-1 and J-1 visas for students and researchers from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) if they had been associated with entities that support the Chinese government’s military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy. The proclamation claims that the PRC uses Chinese post-graduate and post-doctorate researchers to collect U.S. intellectual property. The proclamation went into effect on Monday, June 1 and will remain in effect until terminated by the President.
Visa Appointment Suspension at All U.S. Consulates Abroad
In mid-March the US Department of State suspended all routine visa services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most consulates, with a few exceptions, have now started to open up appointments from June or July. The US Consulate in London will open up for non-immigrant visa appointments in July and is already booked up for some visa categories until early September. E visas appointments, however, are not yet available in London.
The most up-to-date and country-specific guidance is available on individual Embassy websites.
L Blanket Visas
Due to the consulate closures, employers were unable to avail of a Blanket L petition to renew the status of L-1 intra-company employees since these applications require an appointment at a U.S. Consulate abroad.
Instead, employers had to file an individual petition directly with USCIS in the United States. These applications are subjected to increased scrutiny and require substantial documentation to evidence the individual’s eligibility for L-1 status.
The London Consulate is currently booked up for L visa appointments until early September.