Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 2, 2013

The Secretary of State has determined that Presidential Proclamation 6925, also known as the 1996 Visa Ban, which suspended entry into the United States as immigrants or non-immigrants of “persons who formulate, implement, or benefit from policies that impede Burma’s transition to democracy, and the immediate family members of such persons,” is no longer necessary. This termination, effective immediately, is consistent with the Administration’s calibrated approach to strengthen and encourage further reform while holding Burma to its commitments on human rights and democratization.

The broad travel restriction was implemented in 1996, largely in response to the then-military regime’s poor human rights practices, including repression of the pro-democracy National League for Democracy (NLD) opposition political party. Since 2011, the civilian-led Government of Burma has taken important steps toward significant social, political, and economic reform that demonstrate substantial progress on areas of concern emphasized in the 1996 Proclamation. These reforms include legislative by-elections in 2012, in which the NLD contested and successfully secured seats in the Burmese Parliament.

Termination of Presidential Proclamation 6925 will facilitate increased engagement between the United States and Burma. The termination, however, does not automatically entitle persons, formerly excludable under its provisions, to visas for entry into the United States. Ineligibilities that apply under provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008, and Executive Order 13619 of July 11, 2012 remain in effect.

PRN: 2013/0502