Presidential Proclamation Restricting Travel of Foreign Nationals (Including Brazilians) From Brazil to the United States

28 May 2020 Coronavirus Resource Center:Back to Business Blog
Authors: Roy J. Barquet

On May 24, 2020, President Donald Trump issued a new Presidential Proclamation suspending entry into the U.S. of any foreign national who has been physically present in Brazil within 14 days immediately preceding their arrival into the U.S.  The Presidential Proclamation enters into effect 11:59 p.m. [Eastern Daylight Time] on May 26, 2020, and it shall remain in effect until terminated by the President of the U.S.  Nonimmigrant visa holders [i.e. F-1, B-1/B-2, L-1A, etc.] who have been present in Brazil during the 14 days prior to entry into the U.S. are subject to these entry restrictions and cannot travel to the U.S. at this time.  By way of example, foreign nationals [including Brazilians] with valid nonimmigrant visas, who wish to return to the U.S. to continue studies/work, exchange educational programs, visit ill relatives, or seek medical treatment, are subject to the Presidential Proclamation.

Who is exempt from this Presidential Proclamation?

The Presidential Proclamation’s travel restriction does not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.  The Presidential Proclamation also exempts the spouse, minor children [under the age of 21], and unmarried siblings [under the age of 21] of a U.S. citizens or a lawful permanent resident.  

In addition to immediate family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, the Presidential Proclamation does not apply to certain categories of individuals, including foreign nationals traveling for a “purpose related to containment or mitigation” of the Coronavirus and foreign nationals whose entry into the U.S. “would be in the national interest.”  Foreign nationals who seek to qualify for one of these “national interest” exemptions should contact the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil.  However, these “national interest” exemptions are very limited and apply to those who could perform work “essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating” the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic or for which law enforcement or national security interests apply.

If I transit through any airport in Brazil, will I be prohibited from entering the U.S. for 14 days?

Yes.  For purposes of the new Presidential Proclamation, physical presence necessarily includes direct travel from, and transit through, Brazil.  Under this guiding principle, foreign nationals will be subject to the Presidential Proclamation’s U.S. entry restrictions, if they transit through or depart from any Brazilian airport, even if they do not enter the country or leave the airport. 

Will commercial flights continue to be available between the U.S. and Brazil?

According to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil, the Presidential Proclamation does not suspend commercial airline flights.  Regular commercial flights to the U.S. are still available from Sao Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport and Campinas International Airport.  Consequently, U.S. citizens can continue traveling from Brazil to the U.S. and Brazilians can continue returning to Brazil from the U.S.  Cargo shipments on passenger flights and cargo-specific flights can also continue between the U.S. and Brazil.

When re-entering the U.S. from Brazil, am I required to travel through particular airports or undergo enhanced screening? What are those airports and what screening can I expect?

The Presidential Proclamation instructs the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish standards and procedures to regulate the travel of persons and aircraft to the U.S.  To implement this mandate, the DHS will likely direct all inbound U.S. flights with individuals [including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals exempt from the Presidential Proclamation] who have recently traveled from, or were otherwise present within Brazil, to only land at one of the following U.S. airports.  This has been the usual procedure followed by the DHS when implementing prior Presidential Proclamations suspending entry from China, Schengen Countries, UK, and Ireland.  The designated airports include the following locations:

  1. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York
  2. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Illinois
  3. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in California
  4. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Washington
  5. Daniel K Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Hawaii
  6. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Georgia
  7. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey
  8. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in Texas
  9. Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) in Michigan
  10. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California
  11. Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Virginia
  12. Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in Massachusetts
  13. Miami International Airport (MIA) in Florida

In relation to medical screenings, the U.S. Embassy in Brazil directs U.S. citizens and foreign nationals excepted from the Presidential Proclamation who return to the U.S. from Brazil to follow the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and self-quarantine for 14 days, as well as to take steps to monitor their health and practice social distancing.

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