On September 24, 2017, the President issued a new Executive Order (“EO”) entitled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public Safety Threats”. This new EO builds upon the last order, which was only valid for 90 days. However, part of the old EO directed DHS to do a worldwide review to determine what additional information is needed from each foreign country to assess whether foreign nationals who seek to enter the United States pose a security or safety threat. DHS completed that review and gave the President a list of seven countries that had “inadequate” information sharing practices. The new EO implements certain types of restrictions against nationals of these seven countries (plus one additional country that the President felt posed security risks) in terms of their ability to get certain visas.
Who Does the Ban Affect?
The countries that are part of this new Executive Order are:
- North Korea
As stated, the restrictions are not uniform for all the above countries. The following table lays out what restrictions are placed on immigrant and non-immigrant visas for each country:
|Country||Non-Immigrant Visas||Immigrant Visas|
|Chad||No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas||No Immigrant or diversity lottery visas
|Iran||No non-immigrant visas except the F, M and J student visas||No Immigrant or diversity visas
|Libya||No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas||No Immigrant or diversity lottery visas
|North Korea||No nonimmigrant visas||No Immigrant or diversity lottery visas
|Syria||No nonimmigrant visas||No Immigrant or diversity lottery visas
|Venezuela||No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies: Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and, the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members.
|Yemen||No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas||No Immigrant or diversity lottery visas
|Somalia||No nonimmigrant visas||No Immigrant or diversity lottery visas
Dual Nationals: Dual nationals can still travel and get visas based upon another nationality besides the ones listed above (So, for example, a national of both Iran and Canada can still get any nonimmigrant visa or immigrant visa based upon their Canadian Nationality).
Those in the US at the time the travel ban takes effect: They are not affected by the travel ban as they are already in the US.
Those Outside the US with valid visas: Exempt from the restrictions
Permanent Residents of the US: These people are exempt from the Travel Ban
There are other certain exemptions as well, please make an appointment if you feel you may be affected by the travel ban and we can review the waivers and exemptions with you.
When will the Ban take effect?
From 3:30 pm on September 24, 2017, until 12:01 am on October 18, 2017, Nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria Yemen and Somalia will remain under the previous Travel Ban (i.e. only those with close family ties can get visas). Sudanese national will no longer be subject to any ban as of that date and time.
From 12:01 am on October 18, 2017, forward the above travel restrictions will be in force and will replace the previous Executive Order Travel Ban.
If you feel you may be affected by the new travel ban, please do call our office. We can assess your case and let you know if the travel ban does affect you, and if you are eligible for any of the waiver/exemptions.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.