𝐐: Who is prohibited from entry to the United States under the current US travel ban?
There are four presidential proclamations that suspend entry into the United States of all non-citizens who were physically present in any of 33 countries during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. They are Presidential Proclamation 9984 (China); Presidential Proclamation 9992 (Iran); Presidential Proclamation 10143 (Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa); and Presidential Proclamation 10199 (India).
3) European Schengen area
• Czech Republic,
• San Marino,
• Vatican City
4) United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
5) the Republic of Ireland
7) South Africa
𝐐: I have an urgent business need to travel to the US and I’m a UK/European citizen/resident. How do I circumvent the travel ban?
As you’ve probably noticed from the answer to the prior question, the travel ban only applies to non-US citizens who were physically present within the following countries during the 14-day period preceding their entry to the United States.
Meaning, if you need to get into the US urgently, the best way to circumvent the travel ban is by spending 14 FULL DAYS in a country that is not listed in the proclamation above.
Such countries include Latin America, including Mexico, non-Schengen Zone countries such as Turkey, or countries such as Canada. [There might be additional COVID travel restrictions between your home country and your point of destination – please check the guidance from your local government for more info]
𝐐: I have an ESTA. If I spend 14 days in a country that is not subject to the travel ban, can I enter the US on my ESTA, even though I do not have a B1/B2/E2 visa?
Yes – and you’ll have 3 months to start your business or attend to your business while you’re there. This can be extended by another 3 months in certain circumstances.
𝐐: I have a valid B1/B2 visitor’s visa. If I spend 14 days in a country that is not subject to the travel ban, can I enter the US on a B1/B2 visa?
Yes – the maximum stay on your B1/B2 visa is 6 months. That can be extended in certain circumstances for a period of further 6 months. There is also an option to adjust your status once you’re physically present in the United States to an E-2 visa through USCIS. This option is not available to ESTA holders.
𝐐: I have a valid E2 investor visa. If I spend 14 days in a country that is not subject to the travel ban, can I enter the US on an E2 visa?
Yes – and you’ll be legally able to stay in the US until your E-2 Visa expires.
𝐐: What to expect at the US border?
Ever since the travel ban was put in place, the admission of non-US citizens to the US has changed significantly. You’ll be likely taken into a room where a Customs Officer will interview you, asking you questions pertaining to your visit to the US. You’ll be asked to put your phone away while you’re waiting to be interviewed.
The questions are simple:
– What is the purpose of your travel to the US?
– Why are you traveling to the US despite the travel ban? [Because of the 14-day requirement you’ve complied with, you can enter the US legally despite the travel ban.]
– How long are you staying in the US for?
– Do you have a valid visa/ Esta to allow you to enter the US?
– What is the name of your business? When did you start your business?
– What business are you planning to start and why do you have to be physically present in the US to do it?
Again, the questions are simple and for the most part, the Customs Officers are extremely helpful – they’re as fed up as we all are with the travel ban.