January 31, 2020
China: 212(f) Visa Restrictions on Travelers from China
- On January 31, 2020, the President signed a proclamation suspending the entry into the United States of any aliens who were present in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.
- We strongly encourage all visa applicants who have traveled to, or who are intending to travel to, the PRC, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, to reschedule their visa interview appointment so it falls more than 14 days after their departure from the PRC, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau; or, they should not plan to travel to the United States until they have been outside of the PRC, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, for more than 14 days.
- When an alien applies for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, a consular officer must determine to his or her satisfaction that the applicant will not have been to the PRC, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, for a period of 14 days immediately preceding the planned or actual travel to the United States.
- If a consular officer determines a visa applicant will have been in the PRC, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, within the 14 days immediately preceding the planned or actual travel to the United States, the consular officer will refuse the visa application unless one of the enumerated exceptions applies.Otherwise qualified applicants will be issued a visa if they can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a consular officer that they have not, or will not have been present in China for at least 14 days immediately preceding their travel to the United States.
- Read the full text of the proclamation: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/
Q: What about applicants who are applying for a visa in China?
- Due to the Chinese government’s restrictions on large gatherings of people, the United States Embassy and Consulates in China are cancelling routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments the week of February 3. A limited number of emergency appointments will be available. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Continue to monitor the U.S. Embassy in China’s website at https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/ .
Q: Are there any exceptions to this? What are they?
Yes. The following are excepted:
- Any lawful permanent resident of the United States.
- Any alien who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
- Any alien who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of twenty-one;
- Any alien who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of twenty-one;
- Any alien who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or any prospective adoptee who is seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
- Any alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
- Any alien traveling as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(C) or (D) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as a crewmember or any alien otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew;
- Any alien seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to 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;
- Any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or his designee;
- Any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or
- Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees;
Q: Are nationals who were present only in Hong Kong and Macau but not PRC included in these visa restrictions?
Q: Will current visa holders / VWP participants be subject to these entry restrictions?
- We refer you to DHS for procedures regarding entry into the U.S.
Q: What about residents of Taiwan?
- The proclamation does not apply to those who were physically present on Taiwan prior to their entry or attempted entry.
- If pressed: Our one China policy remains the same.