Now that we have returned to some normalcy, we understand many of our clients are eager to travel again. However, COVID-related travel restrictions remain in place and are constantly changing.
COVID Travel Ban
Foreign nationals physically present in one of the following countries 14 days before traveling to the U.S. may not enter the U.S.:
- European Schengen area
- United Kingdom
- Republic of Ireland
- South Africa
If you are planning to travel to one of these countries to renew your travel visa, you may be eligible to do so without attending an in-person interview. However, under the current travel ban you would still be unable to return to the U.S. even with a renewed visa.
Given the new COVID-19 variants, nobody knows when the travel ban will be lifted. If possible, avoid leaving the U.S. for non-emergencies until the travel ban is rescinded. If you are thinking about entering the U.S. from one of the above countries, we recommend the following:
- Seek a consultation with our firm to determine whether you are eligible for an exception to the travel ban, knows as a National Interest Exception (NIE) Waiver.
- Consider spending 14 days in a safe third country before re-entering the U.S.
- Seek a consultation from our office at least 60 days before their desired departure date.
- If you book travel, make refundable travel arrangements that can be cancelled or rescheduled if needed.
Applying for a U.S. Travel Visa
Leaving the U.S. to apply for a travel visa also carries some risk and is likely to be challenging. For example, the U.S. consulates in Mexico and Canada are scheduling appointments in a year or more. Canada also currently has restrictions against non-Canadians entering the country.
In addition, we always recommend applying for a travel visa in your home country. If there is an unexpected problem with your application you cannot reenter the United States. Instead, you would have to travel to your home country, wait for a new consulate appointment, and re-apply at the consulate in your home country. Unless there is an urgent need to travel abroad, we do not recommend applying for a visa in a third country at this time.