Travel Ban Will Be Back in Effect Per 3/6/17 Executive Order

March 9, 2017 § 1 Comment

On March 6, 2017 President Trump signed another Executive Order that will reactivate a 90-day travel ban on foreign nationals from the following six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  Iraq is no longer on this list.  The ban will go back into effect on March 16, 2017.  The scope of the updated travel ban is now limited to foreign nationals from these six countries who: (i) are outside the United States on the effective date of this order; (ii) did not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m., eastern standard time on January 27, 2017; and (iii) do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order.

The Executive Order sets aside several exceptions to the ban and expressly allows for entry foreign nationals who are U.S. permanent residents, refugees or asylees, hold U.S. visas or a travel document like advance parole, have dual nationalities and hold a passport from another country not on the list, and foreign nationals and diplomats.  Additionally, the revised Executive Order allows for consular and CBP officers to decide, on a case-by-case basis, when to waive the travel ban for individuals in the following situations:

(i) the foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the effective date of this order, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry during the suspension period would impair that activity;

(ii) the foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity;

(iii) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations;

(iv) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship;

(v)the foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;

(vi) the foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee) and the employee can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government;

(vii) the foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq., traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA;

(viii) the foreign national is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; or

(ix) the foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.

The President noted in his Executive Order that Iraq is now no longer on the travel ban list due to its special status as a result of years of cooperation with the U.S. government in fighting and helping to eradicate terrorism and the Iraqi government’s many efforts “to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to final orders of removal” ever since the 1/27/17 Executive Order that first put it on the list as one of the banned countries.  Nevertheless, the President cautioned that any visa issuance to Iraqi nationals or admission of Iraqi nationals shall be subject to special scrutiny to see if there are any connections to terrorism.

Finally the President has put back in place the 120 day entry ban on refugees, effective as of March 16, 2017.  The 50,000 cap on refugee admission for 2017 (as opposed to the annual allotment of 100,000 under the previous administration) is also back in effect.

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