Mar 02 2020

Coronavirus Update: U.S. Imposes Travel Restrictions on Certain Foreign Nationals with Recent Iran Travel

United States

At a glance

  • The U.S. government has expanded travel restrictions related to the coronavirus to include certain foreign nationals who have been present in Iran within 14 days of their attempted entry to the United States, according to a new presidential order.
  • Exempt foreign nationals include lawful permanent residents, immediate family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and certain others.
  • The order takes effect at 5 pm EST on March 2, 2020.

The issue

The White House has issued a presidential proclamation that imposes travel restrictions on certain foreign nationals who have been present in Iran within 14 days of attempting entry to the United States. The restrictions take effect at 5 pm EST on March 2, 2020, but do not apply to flights that departed prior to that time.

This expansion follows the imposition of travel restrictions that took effect on Sunday, February 2 for certain individuals traveling from China.

Travel ban on foreign nationals with recent Iran travel

The presidential proclamation temporarily bars the entry of foreign nationals coming from Iran in the 14 days preceding their attempted admssion to the United States. 

The following groups of foreign nationals are exempt from the ban:

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents;
  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • The parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, if the U.S. citizen or permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • The sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • The child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
  • A foreign national traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
  • Nonimmigrant crewmembers;
  • Foreign nationals seeking entry or transiting the United States under an A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4 or NATO-6 visa;
  • A foreign national whose entry would not pose a significant risk of transmitting the virus, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control; and
  • A foreign national whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement interests or would be in the U.S. national interest.

What this means for travelers

Foreign nationals who have recently visited Iran and who are not immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or green card holders will not be admitted to the United States until the presidential proclamation has been lifted. This includes foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa. 

Foreign nationals who have traveled to Iran within 14 days of their entry to the United States but are exempt from the new proclamation could be subject to the same or similar quarantine measures required for groups exempt from the China travel restrictions.

Fragomen is closely following the U.S. travel restrictions related to the coronavirus and will provide updates as further details are issued. For the latest information related to the coronavirus’ impact on immigration-related matters worldwide, please visit Fragomen’s Coronavirus Update Page

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.