President Trump Issues New Travel Ban

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On Sunday, September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation on Enhancing Vetting Capabilities & Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats that 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). Please note that this information is subject to change.

The Proclamation applies immediately (effective at 3:30pm EST on September 24, 2017) to those who are covered by the prior travel ban that had been subject to federal court litigation and who lack a credible bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the U.S. For all other persons – including nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia who have a bona fide relationship in the U.S. – AND nationals of Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, the new ban becomes effective at 12:01 am on October 18, 2017.

The White House has issued a Frequently Asked Questions page on the new travel ban. A summary on those who are impacted by this new travel ban is below:

Travel Restriction for Nationals of Eight Countries – Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Venezuela, Syria, and Yemen

General Conditions

  • 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
  • Until October 18, 2017 , Citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are exempt from the travel ban if they have a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, meaning:
    • A close family member living in the U.S.,
    • An offer of employment in the U.S., and/or
    • An admission to study in the U.S.

Previously-Impacted Countries – Restrictions Effective Immediately:

  • Iran
    • Effective immediately, immigrant and nonimmigrant entry are suspended for Iranian nationals except for those with a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity OR 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.”
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Libya
    • 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.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Somalia
    • Effective immediately, immigrant visas are suspended for Somali nationals, except for those with a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity.
    • Non-immigrant visas are permitted, subjected to heightened screening.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Syria
    • Effective immediately, immigrant and nonimmigrant entry is suspended for Syrian nationals, except for those with a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity.
      The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Sudan
    • 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.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.
  • Yemen
    • Effective immediately, all immigrant visas and nonimmigrant business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas are suspended, unless the visa holder has a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity.
    • The bona fide relationship exemption ends October 18, 2017.

Newly Impacted Countries

  • Chad
    • Effective October 18, 2017, 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
    • Effective October 18, 2017, all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders are suspended from entering the U.S.
  • Venezuela
    • Effective October 18, 2017, 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.

Refugee Program

  • No changes were made in today’s order that impact refugees.
  • There continues to be a 120-day halt of the entire refugee program, which started on March 16, 2017.
  • Refugees with a bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or entity are exempt from the ban.
  • Currently, a formal assurance from a refugee resettlement agency is insufficient on its own to establish a bona fide relationship. This matter is under appeal.
  • The number of refugees to be admitted to the U.S. for fiscal year 2017 is reduced to 50,000.

This post originally appeared on Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group. Copyright © 2017 Wolfsdorf Connect - All Rights Reserved.


About The Author

Bernard Wolfsdorf Bernard Wolfsdorf is the managing partner of the top-rated law firm, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP (www.wolfsdorf.com), and the past national president of the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Established in 1986, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP is known worldwide for providing exceptional quality legal services. With 19 lawyers and offices in Los Angles and New York, the firm was recently listed as a top-tier immigration practice by Chambers & Partners with several of the firm's attorneys listed in the 2015 International Who's Who Legal. Mr. Wolfsdorf specializes in EB-5 investment immigration in addition to the full range of global immigration matters.


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