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Impact of Coronavirus on Travel from China to U.S.

Updated on 2/4/2020

The White House has issued a proclamation effective Sunday, February 2, 2020, that restricts foreign nationals from entering the U.S. if they have traveled to China (except Hong Kong and Macau) at least 14 days prior to their attempted admission into the United States. The following groups of individuals are exempt from the travel restriction:

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents;
  • Spouse of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents;
  • Parents (and legal guardians) of a child who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and is unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • Children, foster children, or wards of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or prospective adoptees seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
  • Foreign nationals traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
  • Foreign nationals traveling as nonimmigrant crewmembers;
  • Foreign nationals seeking entry or transiting the United States under an A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4 or NATO-6 visa;
  • Foreign nationals whose entry would not pose a significant risk of transmitting the virus, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director or his designee;
  • Foreign nationals whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees; and
  • Foreign nationals whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Sectary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.

Further, all flights from China will be directed to eleven airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas, Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, New York, Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Illinois, San Francisco International Airport in California, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Hawaii, Los Angeles International Airport in California, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, and Washington-Dulles International Airport in Virginia for immediate health screening.

In addition to the travel restrictions, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China have cancelled immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments scheduled for the week of February 3, 2020, due to the Chinese government’s restrictions on large gatherings.

Immigration attorneys at Ryan Swanson and Cleveland are closely monitoring the restrictions on travelers to the U.S. as a result of the coronavirus. If you or your employee has an upcoming visa appointment in China, please contact our immigration team.

Amy Royalty can be reached at [email protected].
Marsha Mavunkel can be reached at [email protected].
Cody Nunn can be reached at [email protected].
Janet Cheetham can be reached at [email protected].
Joel Paget can be reached at [email protected].
Jen Chen can be reached at [email protected].






This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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