President Trump signed a revised Executive Order, Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States, March 6, 2017. The Executive Order re-issued a new travel ban for international travelers. This time, only six countries made it to the list. Iraq was bumped off due to some heavy political diplomacy and maneuvering on the part of its leaders.
What Purpose Does the revised Travel Ban Serve?
The travel ban is meant to put a pause on certain foreigners entering the U.S. from various countries, in order to allow the government a chance to review existing security measures to determine if those measures are adequate to properly screen foreigners for terrorist related activities and their threat to the U.S.
Which Countries Are Impacted by the Travel Ban?
Six countries have been outlined to be impacted by the travel ban. Individuals who are nationals (or citizens) of any of these six countries are impacted: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Iraq was removed from this revised travel ban.
When Does the Travel Ban Go Into Effect?
This new, revised travel ban goes into effect on March 16, 2017 at 12:01am Eastern Daylight Time.
Which Individuals Are Impacted by the Travel Ban?
Individuals who are nationals or citizens of the six countries who meet all three of the following criteria are subject to the travel ban:
- Is outside of the United States as of the Effective Date;
- Does not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time on January 27, 2017; and
- Does not have a valid visa on the Effective Date.
Which Individuals Are Excepted from the Travel Ban?
The following individuals are NOT impacted by this revised travel ban:
- Lawful permanent residents in the U.S. (aka greencard holders)
- Individuals who have been admitted to, or paroled into the U.S. on or after the Effective Date
- Individuals who have received permission to travel to the U.S. (such as an advanced parole document) issued on or after the Effective Date
- Dual-national individuals traveling to the U.S. using their non-designated country passports. (For example, an individual who holds a French passport and an Iranian passport who is seeking to enter the U.S. using the French passport is not subject to this travel ban.)
- Foreign diplomats traveling on a C-2, G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visas
- Individuals granted asylum status, refugee status, or protection under the Conventions Against Torture are not impacted by this travel ban
Waivers for the Travel Ban?
This revised travel ban also carves out areas where consular and customs officers may grant visas/entries to individuals who would otherwise be subject to the travel ban, on a discretionary basis. The individual must have been determined not to be a national security threat and a denial of entry would otherwise cause undue hardship to the individual. The waivers may be applicable under the following circumstances:
- Previously admitted individuals who were working, studying or conducting other long-term activity in the U.S. prior to the Effective Date of the new travel ban
- Foreign nationals entering the U.S. to pursue work, study or other lawful activity
- Foreign nationals entering the U.S. to pursue significant business or professional obligations
- Foreign nationals entering the U.S. to visit or reside with close family members who are U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or individuals otherwise lawfully admitted to the U.S. in non-immigrant status
- Foreign nationals who are young infants or children requiring medical care
- Foreign nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government
- Foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. for purposes related to an international organization designated by the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA)
- Landed Canadian immigrants with a valid visa
- Exchange visitors sponsored by the U.S. government
How Long Will the Travel Ban Last?
The travel ban will last 90 days from the Effective Date. (There are separate sections regarding refugees on this travel ban that suspends admission of new refugees into the U.S. for 120 days from the Effective Date.)
Course-Correction For Previously Banned Individuals?
Fortunately, the revised travel ban clarifies that any individual whose visa was previously revoked as a result of the first travel ban, would be entitled to a travel document to the U.S. The Executive Order 13769 (the first travel ban) would essentially be revoked on the Effective Date of this revised travel ban.
Stay tuned for more details on how Presidential executive power impacts immigration rules, laws, and regulations.