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President Biden Ends Discriminatory Bans

| Jan 25, 2021 | Immigration Law

The Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney is happy to report that one of President Joseph Biden’s first acts as president was to publish the Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States, available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/proclamation-ending-discriminatory-bans-on-entry-to-the-united-states/

This proclamation rescinded former President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, which effectively barred entry to the US of citizens of Iran and several other Muslim-majority countries, in addition to multiple African countries.

According to Biden’s Proclamation, the Department of State must resume normal visa processing for all visa applicants, and must report on how it will re-open any applications which were denied due to the ban. The proclamation states:

  • Sec. 2.  Resumption of Visa Processing and Clearing the Backlog of Cases in Waiver Processing.  (a)  The Secretary of State shall direct all Embassies and Consulates, consistent with applicable law and visa processing procedures, including any related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to resume visa processing in a manner consistent with the revocation of the Executive Order and Proclamations specified in section 1 of this proclamation.
  • (b)  Within 45 days of the date of this proclamation, the Secretary of State shall provide to the President a report that includes the following elements:
  • (i)    The number of visa applicants who were being considered for a waiver of restrictions under Proclamation 9645 or 9983 on the date of this proclamation and a plan for expeditiously adjudicating their pending visa applications.
  • (ii)   A proposal to ensure that individuals whose immigrant visa applications were denied on the basis of the suspension and restriction on entry imposed by Proclamation 9645 or 9983 may have their applications reconsidered.  This proposal shall consider whether to reopen immigrant visa applications that were denied due to the suspension and restriction on entry imposed by Proclamation 9645 or 9983, whether it is necessary to charge an additional fee to process those visa applications, and development of a plan for the Department of State to expedite consideration of those visa applications.
  • (iii)  A plan to ensure that visa applicants are not prejudiced as a result of a previous visa denial due to the suspension and restriction on entry imposed by Proclamation 9645 or 9983 if they choose to re-apply for a visa.

This means that, in approximately 45 days, the Department of State must make a full report on its proposal to reconsider visa applications which were previously subject to the ban; it must also resume processing all applications.

This is a very positive development for the many applicants who have been unfairly prevented from completing the process of immigrating to the United States, due to former President Trump’s misguided policies.

We look forward to continuing to assist our clients from all over the world as they navigate the United States immigration system.

Reach out to the Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney today to arrange a consultation to find out how your immigration matter might be impacted! Call us at 415-503-9653 or contact our offices through our online form to arrange a consultation with one of our lawyers.