On November 26, 2021 President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation suspending and limiting the entry for certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present in countries where the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected. The Proclamation became effective at 12:01AM on November 29, 2021.
Who is Covered Under the Proclamation?
The Proclamation covers individuals who were physically present within the following African nations during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States:
- Republic of Botswana
- Kingdom of Eswatini
- Kingdom of Lesotho
- Republic of Malawi
- Republic of Mozambique
- Republic of Namibia
- Republic of South Africa
- Republic of Zimbabwe
The Proclamation also mentions that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shall also implement other mitigation measures for travelers from these countries destined for the United States.
Who is Excepted from the Proclamation?
The Proclamation DOES NOT apply to the following individuals:
- Any lawful permanent resident of the United States.
- Any noncitizen national of the United States.
- Spouses of U.S. citizens or LPRs.
- Parents of U.S. citizens or LPRs that are unmarried and under the age of 21.
- Siblings of U.S. citizens or LPRs, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21.
- Any noncitizen who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications.
- Air or sea crew members traveling on C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visas.1
- Any noncitizen traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for purposes relating to containing or mitigating the COVID-19 virus.
- Any noncitizens who are:
- seeking entry pursuant to the following visa classifications: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or the employee’s immediate family members), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a nonimmigrant in one of those NATO classifications), or
- whose travel falls within section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement.
- Any noncitizen who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or a spouse of child of a member.
- Any noncitizen whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives.
- Any noncitizen whose entry would be considered in the national interest, as determined by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security.
Customs and Border Protection has issued guidance that any NIE (National Interest Exemption) granted to a noncitizen under previous proclamations are void with respect to this Proclamation. AILA will continue to update members with additional information concerning this national interest exception.
If you or a family member are affected by this proclamation, and wish to travel to the United States, please contact us.