As you may have seen in the news, the United States government has prohibited non-US citizens who are from the 26 countries that make up the European Union’s Schengen Area or who have visited the Schengen Area in the previous two weeks from entering the United States. These countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The United States government’s policy goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 13, 2020 but does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 13, 2020. The United States government has stated that they intend for this policy to be in place for the next 30 days.
This policy does not include or impact:
- American citizens, permanent legal residents and their immediate families
- Any child, foster child or ward of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Anyone traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for virus-related work, certain travelers related to NATO or United Nations work, and certain travelers doing work related to the CDC, Department of Homeland Security, State Department and other law enforcement issues
- Certain classes of air or sea crew members
- Anyone traveling from the United Kingdom who has not been to the Schengen Area in the last 14 days
While not prohibited from entering the United States, these travelers who have been to the Schengen Area may be required to return to the US through select airports where enhanced screening procedures have been established.
Moreover, like the suspension of entry from China and Iran, people from the Schengen Area are going to be denied entry if they were physically present in one of these countries within 14 days of the attempted entry into the U.S. This means that a person from the Schengen Area country can be admitted to the U.S. if he or she was physically present in a third country for at least 14 days (ex. Mexico) immediately prior to attempting entry into the U.S.
Additionally, a person who physically resides in one of the Schengen Area countries but is not a national of that country (ex. Palestinian living in Germany) would still be subject to this restriction. Please note that this information is likely to change with short notice and we will provide updates as further information becomes available.
While the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a rapidly changing and fluid situation from a public health perspective, we are committed to keeping you informed.