On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that immediately suspended the entry of ALL foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a period of at least 90 days. The following morning, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson confirmed that this 90–Day Ban applies to even U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents who are nationals of those countries; but as of Sunday, DHS retracted and declared that U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents are “deemed a national interest” and therefore will be admitted into the U.S. absent any “derogatory information indicating that [the individual is] a serious threat” to the U.S.
This 90–Day Entry Ban, that only came into effect on Friday early evening, has already received much opposition from various organizations, congress members, and foreign governments. All of this, in turn, has resulted in the U.S. Federal District Court blocking the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from enforcing the executive order at U.S. borders and airports at least until February 21, the date of the next hearing; and the White House has been forced to modify their position on the ban—exempting U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents from an “automatic” 90–day ban but remaining subject to additional screening.
The following information has been provided to all those currently traveling or plan to travel in the next few months:
- President Trump’s Executive Orders affect ALL foreign nationals and some U.S. citizens seeking entry into the U.S.
- Nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen should not depart the U.S. or risk being banned from re-entry for 90 days or longer. Nationals of the above-referenced countries have been banned from entering the U.S. for a period of at least 90 days, effective 1/27/2017. The ban applies to any nationals of these countries including those who hold dual citizenship; hold a valid non-immigrant visa (e.g., H-1B, L-1, E-3, O-1, TN, F-1); or have a U.S. green card application pending with the government.
- ALL foreign nationals from ANY country (even if not subject to the ban) should be aware of increased delays and scrutiny at the border and/or administrative delays in visa processing at U.S. Consulates. All employees requiring a new U.S. visa stamp should account for administrative processing delays at the U.S. Consulate. Administrative processing may take about 6 weeks or more.
- Foreign Nationals who had been eligible for the interview-waiver “drop box” program (e.g., some U.S. Consulates in India) must undergo in-person visa interviews, as the drop box program has ceased. All U.S. visa renewal applicants, regardless of country of nationality or citizenship, must attend an in-person interview. All employees requiring a new U.S. visa stamp should account for administrative processing delays at the U.S. Consulate. Administrative processing may take up to 6 weeks or more.
- Travel advisory for U.S. Citizens. If you are a U.S. Citizen and have visa stamps from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, or other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, or UAE, you may be detained for additional questioning.
If you have further questions about immigration and Trump’s Executive Order, please contact an immigration lawyer.