US has imposed visa restrictions on nationals of 13 countries. The 2017 Trump executive order listed seven countries and in 2020 six more countries were included in the visa ban in 2020 making a total of 13. The countries will be monitored once every six months and will

The  Executive Order Proclamation by President Trump for six countries with new travel restrictions are Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania implemented on 12:01am on February 21st

The ban affects travel from 13 countries:

  1. Eritrea
  2. Iran
  3. Kyrgyzstan
  4. Libya
  5. Myanmar
  6. Nigeria
  7. North Korea
  8. Somalia
  9. Sudan
  10.   Syria
  11.  Tanzania
  12.   Venezuela
  13.   Yemen

Note: The list is subjected to change anytime.

Why these Visa restrictions?

These restrictions were implemented for non-cooperation and sharing of information related to international security and management.

1. Identity-Management Information

  • Does a country issue modern, electronic passports?
  • Does a country report on the loss of theft of their nationals’ passports to Interpol or directly to the U.S.?
  • And, does a country share, on request, other identity information that we can use to validate the identity of the passport holder?

2.  Information Sharing

  • Does a country share information on known or suspected terrorists?
  • Does a country share information on criminals in a manner that allows them to be identified prior to admission to the U.S.?
  • And, does a country share examples of passports so we can train our officers to detect fraudulent documents or alterations?

3.  Terrorism and Public Safety Risk

  • Does the country pose an elevated risk to the United States due to terrorist travel, crime or illegal migration?

Scope of Restrictions

The Proclamation only restricts entry on certain categories of immigrant visas. Family members can still visit their loved ones, businesses can still employ qualified candidates, and other visits can take place on a temporary basis with a non-immigrant visa.

It also applies to intending immigrants abroad who have not yet received an immigrant visa. Intending immigrants abroad who have a valid visa, but have not yet entered the United States, may still do so—so long as they meet all other conditions of admissibility under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Legal permanent residents may continue to reside in the United States, as long as they continue to meet the terms of their residency.

13 Countries  Visa Restrictions
 Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visas
Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria Immigrant visas
Sudan and Tanzania Diversity visas

Iranian nationals will no longer be eligible for E-1 and E-2 trade and investment visas.

Another important change is curbing birth tourism, effective from January 24, 2020 that no B-1/B-2 visas will be issued to those seeking to enter the US primarily to give birth.

As of 5:00PM EST on February 2, 2020, the United States will severely prohibit the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants traveling to the United States within 14 days of having been physically present in mainland China due to Corona virus epidemic.

What this means for CBI industry?

Although the travel ban will have minor implications applying for passport programs.

  • Nationals of 13 countries will be placed on high risk list applying for passports and applications will be scrutinized closely.
  • Malta will not accept citizens of these countries in US travel ban for IIP, since Malta is a part of visa waiver program (VWP) with United States.
  • Iranians will no longer be able to apply for E-2 visas using CBI passports.
  • Cyprus will closely scrutinize applicants from these countries applying for investment scheme.

What this means to EB-5 program?

Nationals from these restricted countries can still apply for EB-5 program, but they need to file a waiver.