On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation titled “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.” This proclamation ends the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 that had suspended entry into the United States of certain nationals, based on visa type, from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Pursuant to President Biden’s proclamation, the State Department will undertake a review to ensure that individuals whose immigrant visa applications were denied on the basis of the suspension and restriction on entry imposed by P.P. 9645 or 9983 may have their applications reconsidered. This review will consider whether to reopen immigrant visa applications that were denied due to the suspension and restriction on entry imposed by P.P. 9645 or 9983; whether it is necessary to charge an additional fee to process those visa applications; and development of a plan to expedite consideration of those visa applications.
Pending the Department’s review, under current Department regulations Immigrant visa (IV) applicants who were previously refused) due to either P.P. 9645 or 9983 and were determined not to qualify for a waiver before January 20, 2020, must submit a new visa application (DS-260) and pay a new visa application processing fee. IV applicants refused due to either P.P. 9645 or 9983 and whose eligibility for a waiver was still being evaluated, or who were determined not to qualify for a waiver within one year of January 20, 2021, and who also request their local embassy or consulate to resume processing on their case within one year of January 20, 2021 may be able to resume processing of their case without submitting a new application or paying a new visa application processing fee. Embassies and consulates will prioritize the adjudication of applications for those individuals who remain in the waiver process.
Nonimmigrant visa applicants who were previously refused due to either P.P. 9645 or 9983 and did not qualify for a waiver will need to submit a new visa application (DS-160) and pay a new visa application processing fee if they wish to reapply for a visa. Pursuant to President Biden’s proclamation, the Department can immediately process visa applications for individuals from the affected countries.
Please note that the rescission of P.P.s 9645 and 9983 does not necessarily mean that a U.S. embassy or consulate is able to immediately schedule all affected applicants for visa interviews. The resumption of routine visa services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, prioritized after services to U.S. citizens, will occur on a post-by-post basis, consistent with the Department’s guidance for safely returning the workforce to Department facilities.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates have continued to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services since March and will continue to do so as they are able. Applicants, including those previously denied due to P.P. 9645 or 9983, should consult the website of their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to determine if their case qualifies for expedited processing. As post-specific conditions improve, U.S. missions will begin providing additional services, culminating eventually in a complete resumption of routine visa services.