Variety of Travel Bans Lifted By Biden Administration
In one of the first Presidential Proclamations issued by the new Biden administration, the White House has revoked various Trump-era travel bans, including the controversial bans on some Middle Eastern and African nations. These bans, which restricted the issuance of immigrant visas to nationals of countries such as Iran, Nigeria, and Sudan (among others) are described in this Proclamation as "just plain wrong" and are lifted with immediate effect.
Visa applicants covered by such bans should note that this Proclamation orders the relevant immigration officials to ensure that any active waivers of restrictions under these revoked Proclamations be expeditiously adjudicated and that any individuals whose immigrant visa applications were denied due to these bans have their applications reconsidered. While such actions are not expected for many months, this language signals that impacted parties should expect to hear from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate which adjudicated their case by mid-2021.
Applicants should further note that, due to the ongoing coronavirus consular and travel restrictions, it may still be quite difficult to schedule visa appointments or enter the United States. Nonetheless, this move should be a welcome development for thousands of visa applicants whose cases were denied or have stalled due to these previous travel bans. Visa applicants in need of assistance are encouraged to contact an immigration practitioner for more information regarding how to follow up with the Department of State regarding their case, as the backlog of cases due to these travel bans will likely be considerable and require significant consular resources in the coming months.
For more information regarding how your case may be impacted and whether or not an immigration attorney can help, please feel free to contact us directly and we will be happy to assist!