Executive Order on Immigration: Travel Ban Details

The following details are important to understanding the travel ban imposed by the executive order, which is effective March 16, 2017:

Iraq 

Iraq, which was included in the first order, is not included in the new Order.  However, Iraqi nationals will be subjected to “additional scrutiny”.  Additional countries may be added to the list or taken off of the list at any time.

No Visa Revocation 

The new Order confirms that of the no visa issued before March 16, 2017 will be revoked as a result of the Order, and that any individual with a revoked or cancelled visa issued prior to the January 27, 2017 Order is entitled to a travel document for travel and entry to the U.S.

To Whom the Travel Ban Applies 

Foreign nationals of the designated countries who:  are outside the U.S. on March 16, 2017; did not have a valid visa at 5 pm EST on January 27, 2017; and do not have a valid visa on March 16, 2017.

The travel ban does NOT apply to the following:

  • Dual nationals of one of the designated countries, who travel on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
  • Permanent Residents (“green card” holders);
  • Foreign nationals who were granted asylum;
  • Any refugee who was already admitted to the U.S.;
  • Foreign nationals admitted or paroled into the US on or after March 16, 2017;
  • Foreign nationals who have travel or admission documents to the US, other than a visa, which are valid on or after March 16, 2017;
  • Foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or
  • Any individual granted withholding of removal, advanced parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Case-by-Case Exceptions

A consular officer may decide on a case-by-case basis to issue a visa to, or permit the entry of, a national of one of the prohibited countries in circumstances such as the following: 

Previously in the US for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, but is outside the US on March 16, 2017; and would enter to resume the activity;

  • Has significant contacts with the US but is outside of the US on March 16, 2017;
  • Has significant business or professional obligations that would be affected;
  • Has a spouse, child, or parent who is a US citizen, permanent resident, or in nonimmigrant status;
  • An infant, young child, or adoptee;
  • Needs urgent medical care;
  • Has “special circumstances”;
  • Landed Canadian immigrant applying for a visa at a location within Canada; or
  • Traveling as a US-government-sponsored exchange visitor.

In such cases the national must demonstrated to the officer’s satisfaction that denying entry would cause undue hardship; that the foreign national’s entry would not pose a threat to national security; and it would be in the national interest.

The Department of State will likely issue additional guidance operationalizing the process for such exceptions.