State Department exempts some immigrant visa applicants denied under Trump-era bans from paying visa fees

19 Jan 22

UNITED STATES

The State Department published a final rule today that exempts some immigrant visa applicants whose applications were denied under Trump-era entry bans from paying visa fees.

Key Points:

  • Applicants who were denied an immigrant visa on or between Dec. 8, 2017, and Jan. 19, 2020, solely because of Trump presidential proclamations that barred entry from a number of Muslim-majority and African countries (presidential proclamations 9645 and 9983), can reapply for their visa without paying the normal application and affidavit of support fees.
  • Applicants who were denied an immigrant visa under one of the above-noted proclamations and on other grounds, must pay the normal application fees when they reapply unless a consular officer has previously determined and notified the applicant that the refusal on other grounds has been overcome and the only impediment to visa issuance is presidential proclamation 9645 or 9983.
  • The fee exemption rule was published today and took immediate effect.

Background: President Joe Biden repealed the Trump proclamations his first day in office. Biden directed the State Department to develop a proposal for reconsidering applications that were denied under the Trump proclamations and to determine whether it was necessary to charge an additional fee to process these applications.

The State Department’s rule provides a one-time exemption per eligible applicant. The rule does not apply to immigrant visa applicants who were denied under the Trump proclamations on or after Jan. 20, 2020, because federal regulations already provide for the reconsideration of their previously filed applications, without an additional application fee.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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