President Biden Ends Travel Ban from Several Muslim-Majority and African Countries

On January 20, 2021, President Biden revoked President Trump’s executive orders, which suspended the entry of individuals from several Muslim-majority and African countries, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. President Biden further ordered the Secretary of State direct all Embassies and Consulates to resume visa processing of effected cases.

President Biden also directed the Secretary of State to report, within 45 days, the number of visa applicants who were being considered for a waiver, a plan for adjudicating those applications expeditiously, and a proposal for ensuring that those whose applications were denied under the ban have their applications reconsidered.

President Biden also ordered that, within 120 days, the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), provide a report describing the screening and vetting procedures currently in place, a review of foreign government information-sharing practices, recommendations to improve screening and vetting activities, and a review of the current use of social media identifiers in the screening and vetting process.

On January 22, the State Department announced it would be reviewing previously denied applications for reconsideration and that, pending its review, those with applications denied under the ban and determined not to qualify for a waiver will need to submit new fees and a new visa application. However, those who are still pending consideration for a waiver will resume processing without the need to submit new fees and a new application. The State Department will prioritize those who remain in the waiver process.

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