New Entry Restrictions Affecting Travelers from China in Response to Coronavirus   

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on February 2, 2020 that effective on February 2, 2020, all U.S. citizens who have visited the Hubei Province of the People’s Republic of China (China) within 14 days of their return to the United States will be subject to a quarantine period of up to 14 days.  In addition, U.S. citizens who are returning from travel to other parts of mainland China within the past 14 days will be subject to an entry health screening and up to 14 days of self-quarantine.

All foreign nationals (with the exception of immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and airline crew members) who have traveled to mainland China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days of their arrival in the United States will be denied entry to the United States.

U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who are returning from China and who are allowed to enter the United States will be diverted to one of 11 U.S. airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Los Angeles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, Detroit Metro Airport, Michigan, Newark Liberty International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.

The U.S. embassy and consulates in China have canceled all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments the week of February 2, 2020. It is not clear when appointments will resume. Those with urgent travel needs should contact their attorney at McCown & Evans. If an appointment has already been scheduled, it will likely be cancelled.  The MRV (machine-readable visa) fee remains valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.

Given these new entry restrictions, those planning travel between the U.S. and China are strongly advised to reconsider or delay their travel plans. The global response to the coronavirus is evolving rapidly, and we will alert clients to additional changes or restrictions as additional information becomes available.