Trump Administration Expands Travel Ban to 6 Additional Countries – (02/07/20)

On January 31, 2020, the Trump Administration issued immigrant travel restrictions on nationals of Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria. Travel restrictions for nationals of Sudan and Tanzania are being imposed only on Diversity Visas. Tourist, business, or other non-immigrant travel, such as non-immigrant O and P visas for artists, is not being barred for nationals of any of these six countries.

In all, thirteen countries are currently under some form of travel ban, though a waiver of restrictions has been possible in some employment situations for some nationals on the list of otherwise travel-banned countries. In 2017, President Trump had issued a proclamation barring nearly all nationals from seven countries from entering the United States. Several proclamation were issued, and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 ruling to uphold the proclamation, affecting nationals from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. (A travel ban on Chad was initially imposed but then lifted in April 2018).

Country specific restrictions for the original and new list of travel restricted countries are as follows (please note that O and P visas used by artists are non-immigrant visas):

  • Burma (Myanmar): entry into the United States of nationals of Burma (Myanmar), as immigrants is suspended, except as Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government.
  • Eritrea: entry into the United States of nationals of Eritrea as immigrants is suspended, except as Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government.
  • Iran: entry into the United States of nationals of Iran as immigrants and as nonimmigrants is suspended, except that entry by nationals of Iran under valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas is not suspended, although such individuals will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements. Waivers may be available to allow nonimmigrant visas.*
  • Kyrgyzstan: entry into the United States of nationals of Kyrgyzstan, as immigrants is suspended, except as Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government.
  • Libya: entry into the United States of nationals of Libya, as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended.
  • Nigeria:  entry into the United States of nationals of Nigeria, as immigrants is suspended, except as Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government.
  • North Korea: entry into the United States of nationals of North Korea as immigrants and nonimmigrants is suspended. Waivers may be available to allow nonimmigrant visas.*
  • Somalia: entry into the United States of nationals of Somalia as immigrants is suspended, and nonimmigrants traveling to the United States will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements. Waivers may be available to allow nonimmigrant visas.*
  • Sudan: participation in the diversity visa lottery is suspended.
  • Syria: entry into the United States of nationals of Syria as immigrants and nonimmigrants is suspended. Waivers may be available to allow nonimmigrant visas.*
  • Tanzania: participation in the diversity visa lottery is suspended.
  • Venezuela: entry into the United States of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas is suspended.
  • Yemen: entry into the United States of nationals of Yemen as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended.

 *The policies include a list of potential circumstances under which individual waivers might apply, including:  

(C)  the foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry would impair those obligations… 

Therefore, it is possible that case-by-case waivers from the restrictions may be available for O and P nonimmigrant visas. These waivers are sought after USCIS has processed the visa petition, and when the artist visa application undergoes consular processing.

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