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TRAVEL RESTRICTION/CAUTION – Executive Order 01/27/2017

TRAVEL RESTRICTION/CAUTION – Executive Order 01/27/2017

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order relating to visa issuance, screening procedures, and refugees. The Executive Order is titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Among other provisions, Section 3 of the Executive Order, “suspends” the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of nationals from certain designated countries for 90 days from the date of the order. Designated countries are identified as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

After 90 days, travel is not automatically reinstated. Instead, DHS is required to report whether countries have provided information “needed … for the adjudication of any … benefit under the INA … to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.” If not, the country would have 60 days to comply, or the travel ban would become indefinite.

General Information on the Executive Order is as follows:

  • The Executive Order applies to individuals “from” the seven designated countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
  • It applies to Legal Permanent Residents/Green Card Holders, nonimmigrant visa holders, refuges, derivative asylees, Special Immigrant Visas, etc.
  • Anyone who holds a passport from one of the designated countries is considered to be “from” the designated country. This includes dual citizens who hold passports from a designated, as well as a non-designated country.
  • Custom & Border Protection (CBP) will process people based on how they present themselves at primary inspection.
  • The EO does not apply to persons who merely travel to the designated countries.
  • Legal Permanent Residents: There appears to be some limited discretion for DHS to admit LPRs on a case-by-case basis, and following a thorough security review. LPRs will be allowed to board planes. Their cases will be adjudicated at the port of entry.
  • Nonimmigrants: Nonimmigrants will be allowed to withdraw their application for admission. Expedited removal will generally only be used for those individuals who do not wish to withdraw their application for admission.

While the admission of current green card holders will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, US Visa Pro strongly suggest that green card holders who are citizens of the noted countries contact legal counsel before traveling outside of the U.S.  Moreover, all non-immigrants from the noted countries should remain in the U.S.  If the status of a nonimmigrant from one of the noted countries will expire in the next 180 days, it is imperative to contact legal counsel to preserve lawful status in the U.S.