On March 8, 2021, the US Department of State announced that visa applicants whose applications had previously been denied due to the Trump administration’s Executive Order and Presidential Proclamations suspending and restricting entry to the US for nationals of certain countries on security grounds were at liberty to seek a new adjudication on their application or file a new application, subject to the date of filing.

Background

Readers will recall that, between March 6, 2017 and January 31, 2020, the Trump administration issued an Executive Order and a number of Presidential Proclamations, seeking to suspend and restrict entry to the US for citizens of countries deemed by Trump to pose a security risk to the US. Many visa applicants had their applications denied, or found their applications were placed in administrative processing, pending extreme vetting, for several months or even years, preventing travel to the US. By the time President Trump left office, the travel restrictions applied to citizens of Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen.

Revocation of Executive Order and Presidential Proclamations  

The announcement on March 8, 2021 is a seismic victory for many visa applicants, whose properly executed US visa applications were unfairly denied under the Trump administration, solely due to their country of citizenship. According to statistics released by the US Department of State, approximately 40,000 foreign nationals were barred from travelling to the US, as a result of the Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations. Indeed, one of President Biden’s first actions, upon his inauguration on January 20, 2021 was to revoke the restrictions. In his Presidential Proclamation, “Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States”, President Biden described the impact of the restrictions introduced by his Predecessor as a “stain on our national conscience”.

In their statement on March 8, 2021, the US Department of State announced:

  • Applicants denied visas prior to January 20, 2020 due to the aforementioned restrictions may file new visa applications and pay new filing fees.
  • Visa applicants denied visas on or after January 20, 2020 due to the aforementioned restrictions may seek reconsideration of their applications and do not have to pay additional fees.
  • Diversity Lottery winners who were denied visas prior to the current fiscal year remain barred from receiving visas, as the deadlines for visa issuance in those fiscal years has expired.

At Davies Legal Immigration, we are delighted that President Biden has revoked the discriminatory bans on entry to the US introduced by President Trump and, moreover, we are pleased that a mechanism is in place to allow some of the affected visa applicants to seek visa issuance.

We hope that the Biden Presidency continues to recognize and support the valuable role played in US society by immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders. If you believe you may be affected by the above, please contact us to discuss your position.

Davies Legal Immigration

At Davies Legal Immigration, we offer advice and representation in relation to all areas of US immigration law including, inter alia, applications for immigrant and non-immigrant visas, including business visas, applications for waivers of inadmissibility and applications to change or adjust status. We offer a diligent, efficient, fully-flexible service, at a transparent fixed fee and undertake to respond to all urgent client communications within four hours. Call now for further information regarding our services and for a free, no obligation price quotation.

Published: 19th March 2021

Filed under: Biden, President Trump, US Immigration, US Visas, USCIS