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COVID-19 Travel Bans

The information below is provided as practical help from knowledgeable experts on the currently understood effects of the travel restrictions. However, nothing posted here is legal advice to any individual. Legal advice can only be provided by an attorney directly representing an individual client. If you need legal advice, the Reves Center can help refer you to one.

The Trump administration has issued various COVID-19-related proclamations to limit travel to the United States:

China Travel Proclamation

On January 31, 2020 - Proclamation 9984 titled Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The proclamation suspends entry into the U.S. of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the People's Republic of China, excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective starting 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 2, 2020.

Iran Travel Proclamation

On February 29, 2020 - Presidential Proclamation titled Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus. The proclamation suspends entry into the U.S. of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. This coronavirus travel ban is effective starting 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on March 2, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on March 2, 2020.

European Schengen Area Proclamation

On March 11, 2020 - Presidential Proclamation titled Proclamation - Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The proclamation suspends entry into the U.S. of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the U.S. that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020.

  • The European Schengen area includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. 
  • On March 14, the President added Ireland and the UK to the proclamation. This addition to the proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020. The link to the complete proclamation is here.
  • Note: On July 22, the Department of State announced that students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and J-1 visas may enter the U.S. Please see the "Travel, Visa & Document" section of the International Student COVID-19 FAQ page for documents you will need to enter the U.S.
Brazil Travel Proclamation

Proclamation of May 24, 2020. Suspends entry into the U.S. of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non-U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. Section 5 of the May 24, 2020 proclamation has been amended to provide: "This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on May 26, 2020."

The travel bans do not apply to any aliens who is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or a spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Canada-Mexico "Essential Travel" Restrictions

Two Federal Register notices published on March 24, 2020 announced the decision to temporarily allow entry to the U.S. through land ports of entry (does not apply to air travel) along the U.S.-Canada and U.S. Mexico borders for "essential travel" only. The restrictions have been extended three times, and are currently in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 21, 2020.

See U.S.-Canada Border Federal Register Notice and U.S.-Mexico Border Federal Register Notice for more information.

According to the notices, during the effective dates of the restrictions:

"... travel through the land ports of entry and ferry terminals along the [... United States-Canada and United States-Mexico borders] ... shall be limited to "essential travel," which includes, but is not limited to-

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
  • Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;
  • Individuals traveling to work in the United States
Travel Advice

We encourage you to refer to the following resources before making travel plans:

If you plan to travel internationally, please be sure to have the proper documents to re-enter the U.S.:

We also recommend the following documents:

  • A copy of your unofficial transcript. Unofficial transcripts can be accessed via Banner Self-Service.
  • A copy of your U.S. arrival and departure history  
  • Proof of stay from your travel destination such as hotel reservation

If your entry or return to the U.S. is affected by any of the travel ban, please contact the Reves Center for assistance.