Many of the vaccinated Americans plan to visit Europe this summer after a year offMany Europeans who live and work in the United States cannot return home — and if they do, they may not return to the United States.
Yasha Tog, who holds an H-1B visa, intended for temporary workers with special skills, has not seen his family in France for nearly two years, thanks to coronavirus-related travel restrictions that were lifted more than a year ago. . A product manager for a Los Angeles-based tech company may not be able to come home this summer to see his brother get married. He says the situation is “increasingly difficult”.
“I have already missed many important moments in my life due to travel restrictions. But traveling to Europe means there is no guarantee that I will be back any time soon. I am risking my career,” he said.For a vacation, I hope that vaccinated US visa holders can quickly travel home without having to stay outside the US indefinitely. “
Since March 2020, the United States has banned most visitors from the Schengen Area, a grouping of 26 countries in Europe, from entering the country. While US citizens and green card holders are exempt from the travel ban, many US visa holders are not. I’m not an immigrant Visa holders traveling to Europe are not allowed to return to the United States to resume work and life – which in many cases could mean losing their jobs.
the United States too Limited travel From the UK, Ireland, Brazil, China, Iran, South Africa and India. Some restrictions were imposed over a year ago.
Dimitri, who asked not to be named and is a French national working in Miami on an H-1B visa, said it was “disappointing” that the rules for American tourists being vaccinated to visit Europe were relaxed, while many US residents have been vaccinated so that Europeans cannot return to it. Their country of origin and their families have been reunited since the ban was imposed.
Reopening EU borders to non-essential travel is a positive step forward. The fact that thousands of Europeans living legally in the United States may have to wait to do the same seems completely inconsistent,” he said.
As Europe begins to ease travel restrictions, the Biden administration has not publicly set a timetable for lifting restrictions and it is not clear where the reopening plan fits into the government’s agenda.
“We have no changes to announce at this time,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement to CBS News. “We look forward to resuming transatlantic travel as soon as our medical and public health experts advise.”
A foreign store owner in South Florida said her father was “extremely ill” and lives in a nursing home in Germany. She has an E-2 visa, which allows individuals to work in the United States based on an investment in an American company, and said she is forced to make one of the toughest decisions of her life.
“It is very difficult for me to make the decision to stay with him because I will not be allowed to return to the United States because of the travel ban if I do,” she said. “I can’t leave my kids here alone, my crew, without knowing when I can come back. I can’t jeopardize my work and lose everything I’ve built over the years because of being abroad. It’s heartbreaking.“
In January, President Donald Trump announced a plan to end the ban, saying it was not necessary because international travelers began providing evidence of a negative coronavirus test from January 26 before boarding flights to the United States. But within days of taking office, the Biden administration reinstated the ban.
Jean Girard, a French businessman from Miami, said the travel restrictions were particularly unfair to foreign nationals living in the United States, describing the situation as “unacceptable” and “embarrassing”.
Foreigners work, pay taxes, and contribute to the economy. We are not citizens, but we are not tourists either, but we face the same restrictions that we do as tourists. “Our whole life is here, so we should have the right to go home. It’s like being a hostage.”
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