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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — The United States has exempted students, journalists, academics and individuals who provide critical infrastructure support from coronavirus travel restrictions.
“In keeping with he Department of State’s commitment to facilitate legitimate travel to the United states, Secretary Antony Blinken decided Tuesday to apply several National Interest Exceptions to all regional travel restrictions currently in effect as result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads a statement by the US Department of State.
It stated that students seeking to commence studies in the fall, certain academics, journalists and individual who provide critical infrastructure support in countries affected by a geographic COVID-19 restriction may now qualify for a National Interest Exception.
The new order will allow non-US citizens from Brazil, China, Iran, or South Africa to become eligible for entry to the United States. “This includes qualified applicants who have been present in Brazil, China, Iran, or South Africa,” it clarified.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and high numbers of infections in the respective countries, Washington placed a travel ban on non-US citizens traveling from these areas. Europe was also included in the ban but was recently removed from the list.
It said that the pandemic continues to limit the number of visas US embassies and consulates abroad are able to process, The department promised that as the global situation evolves, its continues to seek ways to process more visa applications in line with science-based guidance from health authorities, and with the health and safety of staff and applicants as priority. — Agencies
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