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United States Bans Travelers from Europe

New Travel Ban to Take Effect at 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, March 13

In a speech to the nation last night regarding the coronavirus, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation that prohibits many foreign nationals from entering the United States if they have been physically present in the Schengen Area of Europe within 14 days before their attempted entry. The proclamation takes effect at 11:59 pm EDT on Friday, March 13, and will remain in effect until terminated by the President.

This is President Trump’s third coronavirus-related travel ban.[1]

The Schengen Area comprises the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Travelers to the U.S. from the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) and Ireland are not included in this travel ban.

Exceptions to the Travel Restrictions

Travelers who have been present in the Schengen Area will be permitted to enter the United States if they are on flights that depart before 11:59 pm EDT on March 13, 2020.

Persons Exempt from the Travel Restrictions

The following travelers are not subject to the ban, but may be required to undergo screening and other measures upon arrival:

  • U.S. citizens;
  • U.S. lawful permanent residents;
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents;
  • A foreign national who is the parent or legal guardian of an unmarried U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under the age of 21;
  • A foreign national who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided they are both under 21;
  • A foreign national 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 on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa;
  • A foreign national traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the COVID-19 virus;
  • A foreign air or sea crewmember;
  • Certain A, C, E-1 (TECRO or TECO), G, and NATO nonimmigrants;
  • A foreign national whose entry would not pose a risk of transmitting the virus as determined by the CDC;
  • A foreign national whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives;
  • A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest; and
  • Members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses and children.

Immediate Action Steps for Employers/Employees Impacted by the Travel Ban

It is critical for employers to contact their Mintz immigration attorney immediately to discuss the impact of the travel ban on employees and business partners.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. We expect the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security to issue further information about implementation of the travel ban, and we will update our clients as new information becomes available.

1 Please refer to our prior alerts from March 2 and February 6 for information on these earlier travel restrictions


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Susan J. Cohen

Member / Founder and Chair Emeritus, Immigration Practice

Susan J. Cohen is Chair of Mintz's Immigration Practice and a nationally recognized Immigration lawyer. She helps corporate clients manage immigration challenges. Susan is an American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) member and she's contributed to state and federal immigration regulations.