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AILA Doc. No. 21012139 | Dated January 26, 2021
Thanks to AILA members Mahsa Khanbabai and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia for their work on this alert.
On January 20, 2021, the Biden administration issued a proclamation to end the Muslim & Africa Travel Bans. On January 22, 2021, the Department of State issued guidance on how it will address immigrant and nonimmigrant visa processing previously subject to the bans.
The Proclamation revokes the following, including the two proclamations governing the Muslim and African travel bans:
The Proclamation states the Secretary of State shall direct all Embassies and Consulates to resume visa processing in a manner consistent with the revocations listed. The Secretary of State will provide the President, within 45 days, with:
The Proclamation calls for the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, to provide the following within 120 days:
Department of State issued guidance on January 22, 2021 stating that it will undertake a review to ensure that immigrant visa (IV) applicants denied on the basis of Proclamations 9645 or 9983 will have their cases reconsidered. The review will consider reopening cases, whether additional fees are necessary, and develop a plan to expedite these cases. The Department of State also mentioned the following:
Nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applicants who were denied by the travel bans or did not qualify for a waiver will need to submit a new visa application (DS-160) and pay a new visa application fee to reapply for a visa.
Department of State can immediately begin to process visa applications for all individuals from the affected countries. There is no provision to immediately schedule visa interviews for affected applicants. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, consular posts will occur on a post-by-post basis. Applicants should check consular post websites to determine if they meet expedited processing guidelines.
While the Administration determines how it will address cases currently in queue and those that had been denied due to the Muslim and Africa Travel Bans, members can take several steps to prepare for the eventual processing of these cases:
AILA will continue monitoring this issue and provide additional information as necessary. Please review AILA’s Featured Issue page “First 100 Days of the Biden Administration” for more information on this and other actions.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 21012139.
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