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Biden Administration Limits Exemptions from Travel Ban

Presidential Proclamation 10143 continues to ban entry to the United States of persons present in the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland.  Previously, exemptions were available for nonimmigrants including:

Travel in connection with investment or trade in the U.S. economy that generates a substantial economic impact, including investors and treaty-traders on E visas and the senior-level employees who provide strategic direction or expertise essential to the success of the investment, and their dependents.

Technical experts and specialists to install, service, maintain, or receive training for vessels, machinery and other specialized equipment used by U.S. and foreign firms with a substantial investment in the United States. Travel is temporary in nature and for a defined period of time.

Senior-level managers and executives, and their dependents, who provide strategic direction necessary for the success of the company or venture.

Professional athletes, dependents, and essential staff who enter the United States to participate in major sporting events, which bolster the U.S. economy.

Beginning March 2, 2021, these exemptions for business travelers have been eliminated. Visas will now only be granted to travelers who wish to visit the United States to offer vital support to critical infrastructure sectors. This includes chemical, communications and information technology, dams, defense industrial base, emergency services, energy, financial services, food and agriculture, government facilities, health care and public health, nuclear reactors, transportation and water systems.

Although the Biden administration recently lifted the restrictions for foreign nationals entering the United States as immigrants, the same has not been done to lift the ban on H-1B and L-1 visas. This latest move limiting exemptions for business travel may be worrisome as the current H/L travel ban set to expire March 31st may be extended.

By: Emily Neumann


Emily Neumann is Managing Partner at Reddy Neumann Brown PC with 15 years of experience practicing US immigration law providing services to U.S. businesses and multinational corporations. Emily has been quoted in Bloomberg Law, U.S. News & World Report, Inside Higher Ed, and The Times of India on various hot topics in immigration. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Society for Human Resource Management.