On September 24, 2017 President Trump announced an extended and enhanced version of the travel ban that was previously in place under Executive Order 13780 (EO-2). The Presidential Proclamation titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats,” a related Fact Sheet, and FAQs for the new ban are available on the White House website. As with EO-2, the ban affects immigrant and nonimmigrant visa issuance only. Therefore, nationals from the affected countries who already hold visas will not have those revoked. The U.S. Department of State has also announced that previously scheduled visa appointments will not be cancelled.
The following table issued by the Department of State details the new restrictions for nationals of these countries:
The Department of State outlines two phases of implementation:
Phase 1: For nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, as of 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 24, 2017 and until 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday October 18, 2017, they remain under suspension of travel (i.e., prevention of visa issuance) unless they can meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s bona fide “close family” or “U.S. entity” exemptions. As of 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 24, 2017, nationals of Sudan are no longer subject to travel restrictions.
Phase 2: Beginning at 12:01 a.m. EDT of Wednesday, October 18, 2017, restrictions related to nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia go into effect, and the bona fide relationship exemptions will no longer apply.
There are several exemptions to the Travel Ban detailed by the Department of State, including:
- Any affected national already in the United States;
- Any affected national who already has a valid visa;
- Any affected national who is already a Lawful Permanent Resident (“green card” holder);
- Any affected national who has a non-visa travel document, such as an advance parole;
- Any dual national of a designated country when traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
- Any applicant who has been granted asylum, refugee status, or related protections;
- Canadian Permanent Residents may qualify for a case-by-case waiver;
- A “national interest” waiver will be available on a case-by-case basis; and
- Medical waivers may be available on a case-by-case basis.
Finally, nationals of Iraq who seek to enter the United States are to be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States. We are watching these developments and agency interpretations closely.
© Jewell Stewart & Pratt PC 2017