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Biden Administration Executive Order Update

Immigration Law

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Updated Travel Restrictions and Required Covid 19 Tests:

The Biden Administration has issued an executive order reinstating the prior Administration’s travel restrictions for the Schengen Area, UK, Ireland and Brazil as well as create a new travel restriction with similar terms for South Africa. The travel restrictions for South Africa go into force January 30th, 2021. Please note the China and Iran travel restrictions remain in place. The orders are identical to the prior restrictions, and the waiver process has been confirmed by the Department of State.

The CDC order for all air travelers to the United States to provide a negative covid-19 tests is effective January 26th 2021. PCR or Antigen “Rapid tests” are required within three days of travel to comply with the order. More complex requirements are in place for individuals who have had Covid-19. The CDC confirmed there will be no variances of the order after they were asked for waivers for countries without enough testing facilities.

International Air Passengers to Self-Quarantine Upon Arrival:

As part of the Executive order implementing at federal mask mandate President Joe Biden is requiring air travelers to follow CDC self-quarantine rules. The Order also directed agencies to implement CDC guidelines. Although the EO falls short of a legal requirement the leeway given to agencies could certainly see the imposition of a specific rule in the short to medium term.

Removal of Travel Bans:

President Joe Biden revoked the Trump era travels bans referred to as the co-called “Muslim Ban” and the “African Ban”. The order directed the Department of State to return to fair visa processing and address harms imposed by the bans. We are still waiting to see exactly how the Department of State will be implementing the redress for individuals. Given the current suspensions of routine visa services we can expect updates in the medium to long term.

Protect DACA:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival holders were bolstered by the news of a potential path to citizenship but also an executive order protecting them from deportation and directing federal agencies to ensure the continued processing of DACA applicants.

Ban on Deportations and Halting Construction of the Border Wall:

Although not technically an executive order the DHS has announced a 100 day suspension of all deportation actions – a stated goal of the Administration to overview immigration enforcement priorities. In addition, President Biden via executive order terminated the Trump era “national emergency” on the southern border of the United States and ceased all border wall construction. The order also calls for a review of the border wall construction, including its legality and the contracting process.


Tully Rinckey is able to assist people and organizations world-wide with domestic and international immigration matters. Attorney Michael Freestone is well versed in representing large corporations and is able to navigate complex immigration issues and analyze the facts and recommend the best course of action.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at (202) 787-1900, or click the link below to book a consultation online.

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