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How Will Athletes In China Or Europe Enter The U.S. During Travel Ban?

In March, President Trump issued multiple proclamations suspending the entry into the United States of individuals who were physically present within the Schengen Area of Europe, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the People’s Republic of China during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions.

The following exceptions allow individuals to be admitted to the U.S. in spite of the proclamations:

(i) any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the CDC Director or his designee;

(ii) any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.

As of this date, the White House has been working with various sports leagues and/or tours to facilitate the admission of athletes and key support personnel during the travel ban pursuant to specific waivers. All leagues, tours and other organized professional sports organizations should endeavor to join in these talks.

Additionally, the government has asked these leagues or tours to gather specific information concerning these personnel, presumably in preparation for a waiver review process, including the following specifics relating to each individual:

Last Name: First Name: Date of Birth: Passport Number: PPT Country (2 Digit) Reference (optional): Phone (while in U.S.) Format: ### - ### - #### : Email Address: Physical Address in U.S. (Street address, City, State): Departure Airport Code (e.g., LHR, DUB): Airline, Flight Number and Date (If already purchased):

If sports leagues or tours have foreign personnel who will be required in the U.S. to train for or start their season, they should immediately gather this information.

It is important to note that there are a number of other issues that could impact travel and performance in the U.S., even if the travel ban problem can be overcome. These would include a lack of available flights to the U.S., individual country exit restrictions, availability of open airports, the CDC recommended 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival to the U.S. and the current closure of U.S. consulates that are required to issue visas to these athletes.

*Steven M. Ladik is past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and represents numerous professional golfers on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR. He also serves as the outside Immigration Counsel to the National Football League. He is a Partner at Seltzer Chadwick Soefje & Ladik, PLLC.

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