U.S. imposes entry restrictions on China travelers

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The U.S. government issued a presidential proclamation at short notice to take measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Details of the entry ban for travelers to China

Since Sunday, February 2, 2020, a ban on entry into the USA has been in force for the following groups of persons:

All foreign travelers who are not U.S. citizens and who have stayed in China within 14 days prior to their planned U.S. entry (except Hong Kong and Macau) will be denied entry. This concerns both visa holders and persons who wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA).

The following groups of persons are excluded:

  • Close family members of U.S. citizens (e.g. spouse, children)
  • Green Card holders (Legal Permanent Residents)
  • Crew members of airlines or shipping companies (C-1/D visa)
  • Diplomats, government officials or members of their families (A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO visas)

The decree is initially valid for 15 days. The U.S. authorities indicated that after this period, the security situation will be reviewed every two weeks and the entry restrictions will be lifted or extended accordingly.

Note: U.S. citizens and Green Card holders are also affected by the stricter controls.



U.S. citizens and Green Card holders (and their close relatives),

  1. who fly directly from China to the United States or who have stayed in China for 14 days before entering the country are routinely redirected to seven US airports equipped with special health centres until further notice. There the travellers are examined. Provided these persons do not show any symptoms of coronavirus, they may enter the country, but as a precaution they must maintain a 14-day quarantine at home.
    If symptoms are detected, the travellers are subjected to quarantine or further treatment in special hospitals.
  2. who have stayed in Hubei Province for 14 days immediately prior to arrival will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine immediately upon arrival.

Our recommendation

Due to the current situation, we strongly recommend all travelers who have been in China in the past weeks to check their travel plans to the USA. If the stay in China is more than 14 days before the planned entry into the United States, (foreign) persons may enter the country, but must prepare themselves for more intensive inspections or checks.

In addition, all U.S. consulates in China have been closed since 3 February 2020. No nonimmigrant or immigrant visa applications are currently being processed. All appointments already made at consular posts have been cancelled. The closures are initially announced for this week, but it is not yet known exactly how long they will last.

We recommend all travelers to the United States or visa applicants to be prepared for further changes at short notice and to inform themselves comprehensively about the current regulations and the legal situation before entering the country or applying for a visa.

Of course, we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

Updated on 11.2.2020

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