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Travelling to the USA? Here's what you need to know

04 September 2020 Grace McGill Blog

This  information covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

Entry requirements for the USA  in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Since 16 March, it is not possible for many British nationals to enter the USA if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil, or China within the previous 14 days.

US citizens and permanent residents of the USA, certain specified close family members and certain other limited categories of visas holders (such as UN staff and diplomats) are exempt. They will still be able to enter the USA, subject to normal entry requirements.

Entry for Green card and visa holders

New and renewed Green Cards (a Permanent Resident Card) are not currently being issued until at least 31 December 2020. However, existing Green Cards remain valid.

New and renewed H1-B, H2-B, J and L visas are not currently being issued until at least 31 December 2020. There are some exemptions to certain J visa categories. However, existing visas in these categories remain valid. Someone who holds a visa in these categories, who was not in the USA at the time of the Presidential proclamation, can enter the country as long as their visa is valid. There will be no renewals of these visas or issuances of new visas in the listed categories.

Our understanding is that British nationals currently in the USA on one of these visas can depart and enter as long as their visa is valid – subject to other rules.

However, you cannot enter or transit the USA if you have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil, or China within the previous 14 days. US citizens and permanent residents of the USA, certain specified close family members and certain other limited categories of visa holders (such as UN staff and diplomats) are exempt. They will still be able to enter the USA, subject to normal entry requirements.

As of 27 July 2020, the US Embassy in London (and, as of 3 August 2020, the US Consulate General in Belfast) are resuming certain immigrant and non immigrant visa services, including: immigrant visas for spouses and children of US citizens; and F-1 and M-1 student visa categories. Students travelling from the UK (and the Schengen Area and Ireland) with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel.

For those seeking to travel under other visa categories, British nationals can contact the US Embassy to ascertain if they might qualify for an economic interest, humanitarian, or other exception. However, the criteria for these exceptions are very strict.

Further information is available on the US Embassy’s website.

Source.

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