Oct. 12, 2017

Immigration Travel Ban 3.0: What You Should Know

On September 24th, 2017, the Trump administration issued its latest Proclamation, revising the travel and immigration ban first set forth in March of this year. Here’s what you need to know:

Which Countries Are Included?

Unlike the previous Order, Sudan is not included in this ban. The countries that do have imposed restrictions are as follows:

Suspension of persons seeking immigrant and nonimmigrant visas: Iran, North Korea, and Syria 

Suspension of persons seeking immigrant visas, and persons seeking business, tourist, and business/tourist nonimmigrant visas: Chad, Libya, and Yemen

The restrictions set on Somalia and Venezuela more limited. For Somalia, entry of persons seeking immigrant visas is suspended, and Somalians will be subject to additional scrutiny if they are seeking a nonimmigrant visa. For Venezuela, suspension of government officials, particularly those involved in screening and vetting procedures, as well as their immediate family members, will be suspended entry on nonimmigrant business and tourist visas.

What’s the Difference Between Immigrant and Nonimmigrant classifications?

Simply put, immigrants are those seeking admission to the U.S. on a permanent basis, whereas nonimmigrants are seeking admission to the U.S. on a temporary basis. For example, nonimmigrant visas are issued for purposes such as business visits, tourism, scholarly activities, study, and temporary employment.

When Does This Ban Go Into Effect?

For those who were included in the previous ban, with the exception of Sudan, this Executive Order became effective on September 24th, 2017. For all others, the ban is set to take effect on October 18th, 2017, and has no set end date. 

How Did We Get Here?

The Secretary of Homeland Security, Secretary of State, and the Director of National Intelligence performed a review on foreign governments to assess three components: identity-management information, national security and public safety information, and a national security and public safety risk assessment. After collecting and evaluating data collected from foreign countries, the Secretary of Homeland Security identified countries that it deemed inadequate, or at risk of becoming inadequate. At that time, the Department of State conducted an engagement period of 50 days to encourage foreign governments to improve their performance.  During this period, several foreign governments stepped forward and provided documentation to pull them out of these categories. When the engagement period concluded, the Secretary of Homeland Security set forth its recommendations for entry restrictions, as seen in this ban.

Am I Exempt?

Some individuals may be exempt from this ban. For example, those with green cards, traveling on diplomatic visas, or those who were granted asylum are qualifying exemptions. Those with bona fide relationships to the United States may also be exempted. If you have questions about whether or not you, or your employee may be included in this exemption, contact a trusted immigration attorney to discuss your case.

Additional information on immigration matters may be found here