On Monday, December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court issued two orders staying lower courts’ (Maryland & Hawaii) preliminary injunctions of President Trump’s September 24, 2017 presidential proclamation/travel ban. Accordingly, President Trump’s most recent travel ban will go into effect while the appeals are pending. The Supreme Court encouraged the appeals courts to quickly decide whether the most recent travel ban was lawful.
As a recap, the September 24, 2017, Presidential Proclamation on Enhancing Vetting Capabilities & Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats indefinitely blocks the entry for certain individuals from eight countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Chad, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen (Sudan had originally been included).
A summary on those who are impacted by the travel ban is below:
Travel Restriction for Nationals of Eight Countries – Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Venezuela, Syria, and Yemen
- Only applies to individuals who are (i) outside of the U.S. on the day the travel ban goes into effect, and (ii) who do not have a valid visa on the day MB-4 goes into effect, and (iii) who have not obtained a waiver under Section 3(c) of the Proclamation
- Does NOT apply to:
- Lawful permanent residents (green card holders);
- Individuals admitted or paroled into the U.S. on or after the effective date;
- Those with a document other than a visa that allows them to travel to the U.S., if the document is dated on or after the effective date;
- Dual-nationals traveling on a passport from a non-designated country;
- Individuals granted asylum;
- Refugees already admitted to the U.S.; or
- Individuals granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention against Torture
Previously-Impacted Countries – Restrictions Effective Immediately:
- Effective immediately, immigrant and nonimmigrant entry are suspended for Iranian nationals except for those with F, J, or M visas.
- Those with F, J, or M visas will most likely be subject to “enhanced screening and vetting requirements.”
- Effective immediately, immigrants and nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended except those with a bona fide relationship to the U.S.
- Effective immediately, immigrant visas are suspended for Somali nationals
- Non-immigrant visas are permitted, subjected to heightened screening.
- The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
- Effective immediately, immigrant and nonimmigrant entry is suspended for Syrian nationals
- Sudan was removed from the list of restricted countries in MB-4.
- Sudanese visa holders who were impacted by earlier Muslim Bans should now be able to reapply for visa.
- Effective immediately, all immigrant visas and nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended,
Newly Impacted Countries
- All immigrant visas and with nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended from entering the U.S.
- North Korea
- All immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders are suspended from entering the U.S.
- The entry of officials of government agencies of Venezuela involved in screening and vetting procedures and their immediate family members, as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended. Additionally, nationals of Venezuela who are visa holders are subject to additional measures.
- Per Section 3(b)(v) of MB-4, certain Venezuelans traveling on diplomatic visas are not affected by this order.
If you are from one of the countries covered by the travel ban and do not yet have a valid U.S. visa, you cannot obtain a visa at this time unless you qualify for a waiver. Consular officers may, on a case-by-case and discretionary basis, grant a waiver to affected individuals for certain reasons. The person seeking admission must prove that:
- denying entry to the U.S. would cause the foreign national undue hardship;
- admission would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States;
- entry would be in the U.S. national interest.
Travel Risks for those with Valid Visas:
If you are from one of the impacted countries and hold a valid visa, you may be able to apply for admission to the United States. The travel ban states that no visas will be revoked and that those with a valid visa are not covered by the ban. Nevertheless, travel outside the United States at this time carries risk. If you choose to travel, we recommend you consult with an immigration attorney so you understand the risks of departing the United States and seeking new admission.
For additional information, please review our prior blogs on the topic including “President Trump Issues New Travel Ban” and “President Trump’s New Travel Ban – Part 2: Update from Department of State.”