COVID Travel Ban Updates for South Africa, UK, Ireland, Brazil, Schengen Area

January 25, 2021

On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed a new proclamation suspending indefinitely the entry into the U.S. of immigrants and non-immigrants who pose a risk of transmitting the coronavirus disease. 

Except for immediate family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and others excluded in section 2 of the proclamation, this proclamation suspends the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of noncitizens who: 

  1. were physically present within the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), the Republic of Ireland, and the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.  

  2. were physically present within the Republic of South Africa during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.

The proclamation is effective for group (a) above at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 26, 2021 except for any aircraft that already departed prior to this effective time and for group (b) at 12:01 EST January 30, 2021 except for any aircraft that already departed prior to this effective time. 

F-1 Student UK, Ireland, and Schengen Area Travel Ban Exemptions

The Department of State confirmed that the prior  "National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland" will remain in place and will continue. This exemption allows F-1 students an automatic national interest exemption from the Schengen, UK, and Ireland travel ban, but J-1 scholars or J-1 students will require an application for national interest exemption for approval for entry. Please check with your local consulate or embassy regarding whether a national interest exemption will be required for your entry. 

Previous Travel Bans

In addition to this, the previously announced travel suspensions for any foreign national (except immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents and others excluded in section 2 of the prior proclamations) who was physically present within Iran, and China during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States continue to be implemented until further notice.