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Presidential Proclamation Limits Entry of Noncitizens from 8 African Countries

Presidential Proclamation Limits Entry of Noncitizens from 8 African Countries

December 2, 2021

Effective November 29, 2021, in response to the identification of a new COVID “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, President Biden issued a Proclamation suspending and limiting the entry for certain immigrants and nonimmgrants who were physically present in countries where the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected.  

The Proclamation covers individuals who were physically present within the following African nations during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States:

  • Republic of Botswana
  • Kingdom of Eswatini
  • Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Republic of Malawi
  • Republic of Mozambique
  • Republic of Namibia
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Republic of Zimbabwe

The Proclamation also mentions that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shall also implement other mitigation measures for travelers from these countries destined for the United States.

The Proclamation DOES NOT apply to citizens, permanent residents, and certain close family members, as well as:

  • Air or sea crew members traveling on C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visas.1
  • Any noncitizen traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for purposes relating to containing or mitigating the COVID-19 virus.
  • Any noncitizens who are:
    • seeking entry pursuant to the following visa classifications: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or the employee's immediate family members), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a nonimmigrant in one of those NATO classifications), or
    • whose travel falls within section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement.
  • Any noncitizen who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or a spouse of child of a member.
  • Any noncitizen whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives.
  • Any noncitizen whose entry would be considered in the national interest, as determined by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security.

CBP has issued guidance that any NIE granted to a noncitizen under previous proclamations are void with respect to this Proclamation. 

The Proclamation will remain in effect until it is terminated by the President. 

Weaver Schlenger still advises that, overall, international travel remains risky due to COVID-19 related travel bans that change with little notice, quarantines, vaccination and testing requirements and limited consular operations worldwide.

We will continue to provide travel updates on our website.

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