Contact Us Today

News & Resources

State Department Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations

Posted July 17, 2020Stephanie Wedel - Sr. AssociateArticles

Exceptions to European Travel Restrictions

In March President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation suspending entry for immigrant and nonimmigrants from certain European countries in light of the spread of the coronavirus. The proclamation restricts entry for individuals who were in the Schengen Area “during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.” The State Department issued exemptions to this 14-day ban for the following categories:

  • Those with valid ESTA registrations for business travel;
  • Students traveling in F, M and J status, (though J-1 students must seek a national interest waiver at a U.S. consular post before traveling); and
  • E-1/E-2 treaty traders and investors. 

Exceptions to immigrant and nonimmigrant visa bans

The State Department addressed exceptions to the presidential proclamations barring certain immigrant and nonimmigrant entries. In addition to the humanitarian, public health responses, and national security exceptions already set forth in the bans, the State Department announced the following exceptions:

  • Children who will turn 21 and age out of their current immigrant visa classification before presidential proclamations expire or within two weeks thereafter.
  • Certain H and J visa applicants who are traveling to work in support of a critical U.S. foreign policy objective (such as COVID-19 response) and/or traveling at the request of the U.S. government
  • Spouses and children of H, J, and L visa holders who are already excepted from or not subject to the proclamation. If the primary visa holder is excepted because they were in the U.S. at the time of the proclamation, or already had a valid visa stamp at the time of the proclamation, the dependent spouse and children will also receive the exception.

Please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney with any questions.