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U.S. Travel Restrictions on More Countries Take Effect Soon

The list of countries whose nationals face U.S. entry restrictions effective 21 February now includes Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.

The Trump Administration has expanded the list of countries on which travel restrictions to the U.S. have been placed. The six countries added to the list are Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. The travel restrictions on the six countries are scheduled to take effect on Friday, 21 February, at 12:01 am.

Reasons for Immigration Restrictions

According to the statement of Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the six countries were added to the list due to their “unwillingness or inability to adhere to our identity management, information sharing, national security, and public safety criteria.” The President expanded the list of countries through a Presidential Proclamation issued on 31 January. The seven countries already on the list are Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Venezuela and Yemen.

Nationals from countries on the list who currently have a valid visa but do not enter the U.S. by 21 February may still do so after the effective date. Individuals who would be subject to the restrictions but arrive in the U.S. on or before 20 February will be granted entry. The restrictions do not apply to permanent residents of the U.S. Nationals from six countries are eligible for visas to visit family members in the U.S., travel to the U.S. for trips and accept employment by U.S.-based employers if otherwise eligible for a work visa.

The travel restrictions for the countries new to the list differ by country but fall into two categories.

Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria

Nationals of Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria will be denied an immigrant visa to the U.S. The exception is those individuals who have provided assistance to the U.S. Government.

Sudan and Tanzania

Nationals of Sudan and Tanzania will not be eligible for entry under the Diversity Immigrant Immigration Program which provides a limited number of visas from countries that have a low rate of immigration to the U.S.

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How This Impacts Mobility

The ability to move an employee around the globe is the foundation of our industry. Actions that suspend or restrict that movement have the ability to undermine a key tool for employers to ensure they have the appropriate employees in positions vital to their operations. The travel restrictions on the 13 countries do allow for employers to continue to transfer employees and new hires from one of the countries to the U.S. Thus, in theory, the expansion should have a minimal impact on workforce mobility, but could cause complications for workers from those countries when entering the U.S.