FAQ on 212(f) visa restrictions for Burma under Presidential Proclamation

FAQ on 212(f) visa restrictions for Burma under Presidential Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry, issued on January 31, 2020

(“Proclamation”)

 

Q: Does this Proclamation prohibit all travel by Myanmar nationals to the United States?
A: No. The Proclamation restricts the entry of immigrant and diversity visa applicants from the subject countries. Non-immigrant visas, such as tourist and student visas, are not affected.

Q: When will these new restrictions take effect?
A: The effective date of the Proclamation is February 21, 2020.

Q: I was already issued a visa.  Will my visa be revoked?
A: No visas will be revoked pursuant to this new Proclamation.  Individuals subject to these new restrictions who already possess a valid visa or valid travel document generally will be permitted to travel to the United States, irrespective of when the visa was issued.

Q: I am a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)(“Green Card Holder”).  How does the Presidential Proclamation affect my status?
A: The Proclamation does not affect existing legal permanent resident card holders‎. 

Q: I am a U.S. citizen and have petitioned for an immigrant visa for my family member.  How does the Proclamation affect my petition?  Does the Proclamation mean no new immigrant or diversity visas will be issued for Myanmar nationals?
A: As noted in the Proclamation, waivers may be appropriate in individual circumstances; limited exceptions and waivers may be granted on a case-by-case basis.  A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether an applicant otherwise eligible for an immigrant or diversity visa is affected by the Proclamation and, if so, whether the applicant qualifies for an exception or a waiver.

Q: Can I apply for a waiver?  What is the form for the waiver application?
A: No, you cannot apply for a waiver.  There is no application form.  A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether an applicant otherwise eligible for an immigrant or diversity visa is affected by the Proclamation and, if so, whether the applicant qualifies for an exception or a waiver.

Q: Will these new restrictions affect fiancé visas or asylee and refugee following-to-join spouse and children (V92 and V93, respectively)?
A: No. The Proclamation only restricts the entry of immigrant and diversity visa applicants from the subject countries.

Q: Can I make an appointment for my immigrant/diversity visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon before February 21?
A: There is no change to the immigrant/diversity visa interview appointment procedure.  Visa appointments are set by the National Visa Center.

Q: I have an immigrant visa interview coming up in March.  Should I come to my interview?
A: You are free to continue with your application.  Starting February 21, 2020, no immigrant or diversity visas will be issued for Myanmar nationals, with limited exceptions and waivers granted on a case-by-case basis.  A consular officer will determine whether an applicant otherwise eligible for an immigrant or diversity visa is exempt or, if not, may be eligible for a waiver under the Proclamation allowing issuance of a visa.

Q: I’ve paid all the fees for my IV/DV application and submitted the required documents.  Will I receive a refund?
A: No.  Refunds will not be provided.

Q: I already had my interview.  Does this affect me?
A: The effective date of the Proclamation is February 21, 2020.  All immigrant and diversity visas that have not been issued as of this date will be subject to the Proclamation.

Q: Does this have anything to do with the situation in northern Rakhine State?
A: No.  This action has nothing to do with the Rakhine crisis.

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Q: What prompted this expansion now? Is there a new threat to national security?
A: The President issued Presidential Proclamation 9645, titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats,” on September 24, 2017.  Per Section 2 of Executive Order 13780 of March 6, 2017 (Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States), a global review was conducted to determine what additional information, if any, was needed from each foreign country to assess whether foreign nationals who seek to enter the United States pose a security or safety threat.

As part of that review, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed a comprehensive set of criteria to evaluate the information-sharing practices, policies, and capabilities of foreign governments on a worldwide basis.

The Departments of State and Homeland Security have continued to assess global compliance with these criteria on an ongoing basis following the initial implementation of P.P. 9645. Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania have been identified as failing to meet these critically important national security standards.

These restrictions are being employed to address the threat these existing information-sharing deficiencies, among other things, present to the security and welfare of the United States, and to pressure host governments to remedy these deficiencies.

Q: Why these countries, specifically?
A: The Departments of State and Homeland Security have determined that Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania do not meet key information-sharing standards which ensure the protection and security of the American people.

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