You May Be Refused Entry To US Despite Holding A Valid Visa: US Suspends Entry Of Certain Immigrants During The Economic Crisis Impacted By COVID-19


On 12 March 2020 US president Donald Trump declared Proclamation 9994 in which he stated that the COVID-19 outbreak had constituted a national emergency. The national US unemployment rate now stands at an historic high, with over 22 million Americans having filed for unemployment as a result of the mitigation strategies in place for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to limit the impact from certain categories of immigrants on the interests of US nationals, particularly the US labour force, Donald Trump declared national entry restrictions for foreign nationals in the Presidential Proclamation signed on 22 April 2020. The suspension of a right to enter the country will apply to immigrants who:

  1. • are outside the US on the effective date of the proclamation;
  2. • do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of the proclamation; and
  3. • do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of the proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the US to seek entry or admission.

In accordance with this proclamation, the US Department of State will not issue immigrant visas, with certain exceptions, for a period of 60 days. Exceptions include lawful permanent residents, immigrants seeking to enter as healthcare professionals, spouses, children and prospective adoptive children of US citizens and certain Special Immigrant Visa applicants such as those applying for entry under the EB-5 investor programme. However, it has been stated that no valid visas will be revoked under this proclamation. The restrictive period may be extended upon review at the end of the current 60-day timeline.

If you are unsure whether you can enter the US holding your current visa, or wish to make further enquiries regarding the implications to any future application, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Discreet Law accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Discreet Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Discreet Law.

©Discreet Law 2020