The previous administration temporarily stopped the entry of new green card holders into the United States. They argued that these immigrants would take jobs of U.S. citizens during the economic recovery from the pandemic. However, this policy has separated families, kept employees from coming to the U.S. to do their job, and harmed the U.S. and its economic recovery.
The Biden administration revoked this travel ban. Now all applicants for an immigrant visa may again complete the green card process. The Department of State has issued the following guidance to immigrant visa applicants:
- Not Yet Interviewed: The government will resume normal processing of immigrant visa applications. However, some consulates are still not back to the normal workload due to COVID-19. Backlogs likely still exist.
- Previously Refused: If your immigrant visa was previously refused because of the prior executive order, the U.S. embassy or consulate where you were interviewed will contact you with further instructions. The Department of State will reconsider your application and inform you if additional information is needed.
- Diversity Visa 2020 Applicants: Those holding valid diversity visas issued in 2020 may enter the U.S. immediately, even if you have a visa annotation showing otherwise. If your 2020 diversity visa has expired, you may still be able to enter the U.S. as a result of a recent court order.
While this is great news for immigrant visa applicants around the world, geographic COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in effect. Similarly, the nonimmigrant visa travel ban remains in effect. Fortunately, this travel ban does not affect most of our clients. We will continue to track these updates for our clients. Immigration related rules and regulations are changing quickly!