- President Biden signed an executive order on January 20, 2021 reversing travel bans that had affected citizens of certain predominantly Muslim countries and certain African countries
- The executive order rescinds a travel ban on Muslim-majority countries implemented in 2017 via Proclamations 9645 and 9983, and expanded in subsequent proclamations and executive orders under the Trump administration
- Restrictions on travel and visa issuance will be lifted for individuals in the affected countries
- Changes will not be effective immediately due to ongoing travel restrictions related to COVID-19
On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order as planned to end a travel ban against several Muslim-majority and African countries. The bans were initially issued in 2017 under the Trump administration.
What are the Changes?
On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order to rescind a travel ban against several predominantly Muslim countries and several African countries. The bans on Muslim majority countries were issued through Proclamations 9645 and 9983 in 2017 under the Trump administration and expanded in subsequent proclamations and executive orders. These travel bans restricted entry into the U.S. for citizens from those countries and restricted the types of visas for which they could apply.
Who is Affected?
The lifted restrictions apply to individuals in the countries covered in the ban, including Iraq, Nigeria, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Libya.
What Should Employers and Applicants Know?
By signing the executive order, President Biden orders the State Department to resume visa processing for the impacted countries. Additionally, the agency is tasked with creating a proposal to undo damage caused by the travel bans.
Global Immigration Associates (GIA) has advised that clients contact their legal teams for further guidance and to assess whether foreign nationals face any additional travel restrictions or visa suspensions.
Although the travel ban has been lifted, its changes will not be effective immediately. Many travel restrictions still remain in place due to COVID-19 that may impact travel from the affected countries to the U.S. Additionally, reductions in consular operations due to the ongoing pandemic, will still prevent entry and/or visa issuance for some foreign nationals.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Managing Attorney at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.