On January 20, 2021, the Biden Administration issued an executive action to overturn the travel ban that prevented non-citizens from 13 countries to travel to the USA. This executive action also directs the Department of State to start visa processing for applicants from those countries and to develop a plan to address harm caused by the ban.
The travel ban, also known as the “Muslim ban” went into effect in 2017. It prevented legal immigration from certain countries that the former administration considered a security threat. Many of the countries restricted are majority Muslim nations. The impact was that many people were stopped from coming to the US including those who had already been approved to come to the USA to join their family members, to work or through the US refugee resettlement program were stopped from coming.
The most recent version of this ban prevented citizens from the following countries from immigrating to the USA: Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen. As of January 20, 2021, citizens from these countries can apply for visas to the USA again.
For people who had visas already approved or in process when the ban went into effect, new information is expected to come from the US department of state soon.
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