Instructions on Exceptions to Nonimmigrant Ban

On February 24, 2021, President Biden revoked former President

Trump's proclamation issued in April 2020 that banned many

immigrants from entering the United States.

Biden Proclamation Revoking Immigrant Ban

Included in the Trump administration's freeze on immigrant

admissions were green cards for new immigrants and certain family


President Biden's proclamation states that the Trump-era

ban, whose stated purpose was to prevent entry by those who

presented a risk to the U.S. labor market during the coronavirus

outbreak, does not advance the interests of the United States.

“To the contrary, it harms the United States” and

“harms industries in the United States that utilize talent

from around the world,” the new proclamation states. It also

“harms individuals who were selected to receive the

opportunity to apply for, and those who have likewise

received” fiscal year 2020 diversity visas.

The Biden proclamation orders the Departments of State, Labor,

and Homeland Security to review any related regulations, orders,

guidance, policies, or other agency actions and, as appropriate,

issue revised guidance consistent with the new proclamation.

DOS Instructions on Exceptions to Nonimmigrant Ban

The new Biden proclamation did not lift a Trump-era ban on

certain H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 temporary work visas, set to

expire on March 31, 2021. It is unclear whether the Biden

administration plans to revoke that ban before it expires. In the

meantime, the Department of State announced on February 24, 2021,

that those who believe they may qualify for a national interest or

other exception should “follow the instructions on the nearest

U.S. Embassy or Consulate's website regarding procedures

necessary to request an emergency appointment and should provide

specific details as to why they believe they may qualify for an



  • “A Proclamation on Revoking Proclamation 10014,” Feb.

    24, 2021,

  • “National Interest Exceptions to Presidential Proclamation

    10052,” DOS, Feb. 24, 2021,

  • “Biden Reopens Gateway for Green Cards, Reversing Trump

    COVID-19 Freeze,” National Public Radio, Feb. 24, 2021,

  • “White House Lifts Trump Order That Temporarily Banned

    Certain Immigrant Visas During Pandemic,” CNN, Feb. 25, 2021,

  • “The Biden Administration Reversed a Policy That Used the

    Coronavirus Pandemic To Limit Immigration,” BuzzFeed, Feb. 24,


The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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