Jun 16, 2021
Return to International Travel?
Jonathan A. Grode
On June 16th, 2021, reports from the European Union suggest that they will recommend that member countries remove restrictions on non-essential travel for United States citizens, with a formal vote on same expected to occur on Friday, June 18th. If these restrictions are indeed removed, United States citizens will again be able to travel freely to the European Union, marking a seismic shift in post-pandemic global mobility. As a large part of the underlying principles of US immigration laws are based on “reciprocity”, where the US government’s protocols for non-citizen travelers mirrors or closely resembles how US citizens receive visas or are admitted to other countries, we believe that the removal of the travel ban for US citizens in Europe will lead to similar changes to United States policy about travelers from Europe. In short, we believe this is the first critical step towards the removal of the National Interest Exemption and related ban for European citizens traveling to the United States. Although this is potentially a huge step forward for international mobility, we do anticipate that delays in visa interview appointment scheduling will continue for some time as they work through significant backlogs and capacity limitations remain in place.
Importantly, this is a developing situation and no formal announcements have been released by the United States or European Union. All previous travel restrictions remain in place until announced otherwise. Green and Spiegel’s attorneys and staff are constantly monitoring and will provide updated information as soon as it is made available.