And many vaccinated Americans plan to visit Europe this summer after a full year of vacationMany Europeans who live and work in the United States cannot return home – and if they do, they are not allowed to return to the United States.
Yasha Toj, who is in possession of an H-1B visa, intended for temporary workers with special skills, has not seen her family in France for almost two years, thanks to the travel restrictions linked to the Coronavirus which took place there. over a year ago. were strength. A product manager for a Los Angeles-based tech company might not be able to come home this summer to watch his brother marry. He says the situation is “getting more 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 anytime soon. I am putting my career in danger, ”he said. “AsFor a vacation, I hope vaccinated U.S. visa holders can return home quickly without having to stay outside the U.S. indefinitely. “
Since March 2020, the United States has banned most visitors to the Schengen area, a group of 26 countries in Europe, from entering the country. While U.S. citizens and green card holders are exempt from the travel ban, many U.S. visa holders are not. Not an immigrant Visa holders traveling to Europe are not allowed to return to the United States to resume their work and life – which in many cases could mean the loss of their jobs.
The United States too Limited travel From UK, Ireland, Brazil, China, Iran, South Africa and India. Some restrictions have been in place for over a year.
Dimitri, who asked not to include his last name and is a French citizen working in Miami on an H-1B visa, said it was “ frustrating ” to see the rules relaxed for American tourists vaccinated for visiting Europe, while many residents of the United States of America were vaccinated in which Europeans could not return. Their home country and families have been reunited since the ban was imposed.
“The reopening of the European Union’s borders to non-essential travel is a positive step. The fact that thousands of Europeans legally residing in the United States may have to wait to do the same seems rather inconsistent ”. he said.
As Europe begins to ease travel restrictions, the Biden government has not publicly set a timeline for lifting the restrictions, and it is unclear where the reopening plan fits on 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 us.”
A foreigner who owns a store in South Florida said her father was “very sick” and lived in a nursing home in Germany. She has an E-2 visa, which allows individuals to work in the United States on the basis of an investment in a U.S. company, and said she was forced to make one of the toughest decisions in her life. life.
“It’s very difficult for me to make the decision to stay with him because I just wouldn’t be allowed to return to the United States because of the travel ban if I did,” she said. . “I cannot leave my children alone here, my staff, without knowing when I can return. I cannot jeopardize my business and lose everything I have built all these years because of my presence outside. It is heartbreaking.“
In January, President Donald Trump announced a plan to end the ban, saying it was not necessary because international travelers had started providing evidence of a negative coronavirus test from January 26 before. to board flights to the United States. But within days of taking office, the Biden government reinstated the ban.
Jean Girard, a French businessman from Miami, said the travel restrictions were particularly unfair for foreign citizens living in the United States, calling the situation “unacceptable” and “shameful”.
“Foreigners work, pay taxes and contribute to the economy. We are not citizens, but neither are we tourists, but we face the same restrictions as tourists, ”he said. “Our whole life is here, so we must have the right to go home. It is as if we are being held hostage.