Revised travel ban issued

News Release from Jewell Stewart & Pratt – March 6, 2017 An Executive Order signed by President Trump on Monday, March 6, 2017 suspends entry by citizens and nationals of six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen --  for at least 90 days from the new order’s effective date of March 16, 2017.  The March 6, 2017 Executive Order (EO) expressly revokes and replaces EO 13769 of January 27, 2017, which banned travel by nationals of seven countries, including Iraq, which is not designated in the new EO.

The new ban suspends entry primarily by preventing visa issuance to citizens and nationals of the six countries who are outside of the U.S. at or after 12:01 A.M. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, March 16, 2017. According to a Fact Sheet and Q&A issued by the administration, the new ban is expected to be implemented in the following ways:

  • New Visa Issuances: The revised ban prevents visa issuance to citizens and nationals of the six affected countries for the duration of the ban.
  • Lawful Permanent Residents: The ban does not apply to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States. Therefore, LPRs who are citizens or nationals of one of the six countries are not barred from entering the United States.
  • Valid Visa-Holders: The ban does not apply to individuals with valid, unexpired visas.
  • Multiple-Entry Visas; Expiring Visas:  Note that not all visas are issued for multiple entries. Therefore, anyone from one of the six countries should not travel without seeking advice regarding their current visa. A citizen or national of any of the six countries who has an expired visa will not be able to renew it while the ban is in effect unless a waiver is granted.
  • Visa Revocations: The ban does not revoke current, unexpired visas. With the exception of visas that were physically revoked or marked cancelled, visas that were revoked under the initial ban of January 27, 2017 (EO 13769), which were reinstated due to litigation following the initial ban, are also expressly reinstated by the new EO. (Anyone whose visa was physically revoked or cancelled “solely” pursuant to EO 13769 “shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry,” according to the new EO.)
  • Advance Parole: The ban does not affect parole into the U.S. on a valid, unexpired advance parole document.
  • Status: The ban does not revoke or cancel the status of anyone currently in the U.S. It applies only to visa issuance.
  • Travel and Admission Procedures: The administration’s Q&A about the new EO indicates that individuals who are in transit to the U.S. on valid visas when the ban takes effect and arrive at a U.S. port of entry can still apply for admission to the U.S. on their valid, unexpired visa. As with any applicant for admission, they must otherwise meet all admissibility requirements.
  • Dual Nationality: The new ban is not applicable to dual nationals “traveling on” a passport issued by a non-designated country. Applicants for admission to the U.S. at ports of entry will be treated according to the travel document they present to U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP).  The Department of State has not indicated whether it will issue visas to dual citizens.
  • Waiver Authority: The Department of State and CBP have waiver authority to issue a visa or to permit U.S. entry, on a case-by-case basis, if denying entry during the ban would cause undue hardship, if entry during the ban would not pose a threat to national security, and if entry during the ban would be in the national interest. It is not clear how liberally this waiver authority will be applied.
  • Landed Immigrants of Canada: Permanent Residents (“Landed Immigrants”) of Canada who are citizens or nationals of one of the six countries are subject to the ban. Therefore, they would need a waiver to apply for a U.S. visa during the ban.  The new EO indicates that case-by-case waivers “could be appropriate” in the case of a Landed Immigrant of Canada who applies for a U.S. visa at a U.S. Consulate in Canada.
  • USCIS Benefits Requests: As with EO 13769, it is expected that the new EO will not affect USCIS adjudication of applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the U.S., regardless of citizenship or nationality. However, this has not been confirmed by the administration.
  • Pending Litigation: Existing litigation challenging the original ban of EO 13769 will likely be considered moot; legal challenges to the new EO are expected, however, and those may change implementation of the new EO.

© Jewell Stewart & Pratt PC 2017