When US Lifts Travel Ban: COVID-Passport? Visa Renewal?

At some place this calendar year, we count on that the United States will lift the travel ban that includes all of the Schengen nations around the world, the United Kingdom, China, and some others.  Even though there have been numerous rumors about when this will happen, the US govt remains silent.

When the United States lifts the travel ban, US visa holders in the United States will have lots of thoughts about no matter whether they can travel overseas, when they can return, and what impediments they may encounter.  The subsequent FAQs address these thoughts.  We will update them as essential.

Table of Contents

1. When the United States lifts the travel ban, will I nonetheless need a Countrywide Fascination Exception?

Respond to:  No.  If the travel ban is completely lifted and no other limits are put in its spot, journey will return to pre-pandemic “normal.”  In other terms, you will not demand any unique progress permission to fly immediately to the United States from countries that had been previously underneath the vacation ban.  You will also not need to show that you are exempt for the reason that you have an immediate relative (husband or wife or boy or girl) who is a US citizen.

2. When the United States lifts the journey ban, will I need a Covid vaccination to return just after international vacation?

Remedy:  Maybe. The journey ban could be lifted in phases, enabling very first for travel of vaccinated people today.

3. When the United States lifts the travel ban, will I need to have a unfavorable Covid examination to return immediately after worldwide travel?

Answer:  Potentially. That will be up to the CDC. As of early June 2021, a detrimental Covid exam is essential for all US-sure air travellers 2 yrs of age or older, irrespective of where they are flying from. If the CDC decides to transform this rule, it will be declared on the CDC web page.

4. When the United States lifts the vacation ban, can I go away the United States and vacation to my property place to see my spouse and children and buddies?

Respond to:  As a US visa holder, you are generally absolutely free to go away. The situation is when you can return, which may perhaps depend on regardless of whether you call for a US visa in your passport that only US consulates can concern.  (See beneath.)

5. Will I require a US visa in my passport in buy to return to the United States to resume my existing nonimmigrant visa position?

Respond to:  Other than for Canadian passport holders (other than E visa holders), every work-based nonimmigrant visa holder will have to have a legitimate, unexpired visa in their passport that matches their do the job-licensed status, as indicated on their USCIS approval see (Varieties I-797 or I-129S) in order to return to the United States.  Spouse and children members keeping dependent standing should also have legitimate, unexpired visas in their passports to return to the United States.

6. My latest visa is unexpired and is in the exact group as my acceptance detect.  Will I need to have a new visa to return to the United States immediately after vacation overseas?

Remedy: As extended as you return with your unexpired, legitimate visa and your approval detect in advance of both expire, US Customs must acknowledge you in the very same visa standing as a result of the end day mentioned on the acceptance see.  For example, if you have in your passport an unexpired H‑1B visa that references a prior employer’s title and your most new H-1B approval recognize is for a new employer with a longer expiration day than shown on the visa, the two documents alongside one another will permit a US Customs officer to admit you in H-1B status. The visa and the acceptance recognize will have to be in the same visa classification, having said that.

7. My present-day visa has expired, but I have an approval see extending my status in the exact visa classification.  Do I need a new visa to return to the United States?

Answer:  Sure, you will will need to use the new acceptance discover to receive a new visa at a US consulate abroad.  Your relatives associates will have to have new dependent visas as properly.

8. The visa I applied to enter the United States is in a various visa classification than the acceptance observe my employer obtained for me, which adjusted my visa classification.  Do I require a new visa in get to return to the United States?

Solution:  If the USCIS changed your position following you arrived in the United States, you will will need a new visa in your passport in the similar visa classification stated on the new approval notice.  For instance, if you entered utilizing an F‑1 scholar visa, and then a US corporation submitted an H-1B transform of position petition for you and authorised by USCIS, you will have to have an H-1B visa in your passport to return subsequent vacation overseas.  Your loved ones users will will need new dependent visas as well.

9. I heard that if the USCIS prolonged my status and/or improved my status to a new visa classification, I can journey to Canada or Mexico and again without having receiving a new visa in my passport.  Is this genuine?

Response: Yes, it is real, but only if you are checking out both of those nations around the world for 30 days or significantly less, you do not utilize for a US visa even though there, and you do not journey to an additional place in among departing from and returning to the United States.  This approach is the “automatic revalidation of visa at port of entry”.  You really should check with with an attorney just before using this provision of law to make positive that it is nonetheless offered when you strategy to return and that you have the needed documentation to return soon after your limited trip.

10. I heard that scheduling visa appointments at US consulates has been incredibly hard through the pandemic and although the journey ban has been in location.  When the United States lifts the vacation ban, will it be less difficult to routine visa appointments abroad?

Solution: Possibly, but almost certainly not promptly. We expect lingering backlogs in visa appointments. Even though we do expect that US consulates will return to pre-COVID appointment scheduling, we do not assume it to transpire quite immediately.  When the United States lifts the travel ban, the consulates may well not be operating at full personnel.  Even individuals that will be absolutely staffed will not very likely return right away to pre-COVID scheduling, as there is however a threat of COVID transmission in many international locations.  As the vaccine rollout turns into more popular, US consulates are most likely to make extra appointments out there.  For international locations with growing COVID circumstances, appointments will stay hard to protected.  At this time, most US consulates are only scheduling emergency appointments, and those scheduling frequent appointments are doing so for late 2021 and early- to mid-2022.

11. I have a visa appointment scheduled for early 2022.  If the consulate opens up more appointments, will my appointment be moved to an before date?

Reply:  It may count on the certain consulate whether it will quickly go appointments to previously dates, or no matter if it falls on the applicant to reschedule.  It is recommended to look at the consulate’s web page typically to see if earlier appointments develop into accessible.  This may perhaps require examining every day.

12. What are the chances that I can safe an emergency appointment to acquire my visa?

Reply:  Very low. At this time, US consulates are inundated with crisis appointment requests, most of which are denied.  Unless of course the unexpected emergency rises to a everyday living-or-demise situation, you can presume that you will not get one.  However, there is no damage in building the ask for.

13. Can I implement for a US visa at a US consulate in a country other than my home region?

Answer: Probably not. Mainly because visa appointments are challenging to routine, most US consulates are not entertaining visa apps from third-region nationals and are only granting visa appointments to area citizens or very long-time period residents.

14. Can I renew my visa whilst I am in the United States?

Reply:  However no. The potential to apply to the State Department for “visa revalidation” finished immediately after the tragic activities of 9/11/2001.  Hence, you must implement at a US consulate overseas.  There are rumors that the US may well reinstate visa revalidation in the United States at some stage to minimize the backlogs at US consulates, but we do not know if or when this could develop into a reality.

15. I have an unexpired B-1/B-2 visitor’s visa in my passport.  Can I use it to return to the United States to carry on my employment?

Respond to: No. You are not able to use a B-1/B-2 visa (or any other nonimmigrant visa not linked to your function-licensed approval notice) to enter the United States for employment.  Executing so would be visa and immigration fraud, and your US employer would be at risk for utilizing you when not authorized to do so.  You also ought to not use it to enter the United States intending to have your employer re-sponsor you for a operate-approved adjust of standing, as you can not enter as a customer with the intention of shifting position after arrival.

16. I have an unexpired ESTA (Visa Waiver) registration (or can attain the registration). Can I use it to return to the United States to continue on my work?

Respond to:   No. You are unable to use ESTA to enter the United States for employment.  Doing so would be visa and immigration fraud, and your US employer would be at danger for using you when not licensed to do so.  You also cannot utilize to increase your ESTA take a look at or to modify to a new position although you are in the United States.

17. Can I ask for Congressional assistance to program a visa appointment?

Remedy: You can definitely attain out to your member of Congress for these types of guidance nevertheless, it is unlikely that you will be profitable, as Congressional offices are inundated with such requests.  If you have persuasive information, it may possibly enable, but unless of course you have a life-or-loss of life circumstance, Congressional guidance is not probably to support.

18. If I depart the United States and cannot get a new visa, can I perform from abroad right until I can obtain the new visa to return to the United States?

Response:  It depends on your company’s procedures. Your employer may possibly not make it possible for you to complete your US placement from overseas, as it may possibly raise tax or other authorized difficulties.  This is a little something you ought to focus on with your manager, human means, and/or your world-wide mobility division ahead of generating strategies to depart.


Copyright © 2021, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Legal rights Reserved.
Nationwide Law Overview, Quantity XI, Variety 162