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New Travel Ban Executive Order To Take Effect March 16, 2017

On March 6, 2017, the U.S. President issued a new Executive Order titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States" that imposes a new travel ban against nationals of Iran, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Sudan. This Order shares the same title as that issued previously on January 27, 2017, which has been blocked in large part by several U.S. federal Courts. You can read more about the January 27 Executive Order here. The March 6, 2017, Executive Order expressly revokes the January 27, 2017, order.

There are several items from the original order that have been revised in the new order, many addressing the concerns that led to the wave of federal lawsuits across the country. This article summarizes the most pertinent changes in the new executive order.

A. Effective Date

The new travel ban that is the subject of the March 6, 2017, Executive Order takes effect on March 16, 2017. This allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Consulates abroad several days to implement the new requirements, while at the same time it allows nationals of the affected countries to travel to the U.S., where applicable, before the ban takes effect.

B. Applicable Countries

The new travel ban only applies to nationals of six countries, instead of seven. The six countries are: Iran, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Sudan. The new travel ban does not apply to Iraq, which was previously included in the January 27 order.

The new order allows DHS to include additional countries whose nationals are banned from traveling to the U.S. unless adequate background information is provided by those countries for its citizens.

C. Period of Suspension

Travel for nationals of the six countries is suspended for 90 days, while DHS assesses what information is necessary from all countries with respect to their citizens, for purposes of issuing U.S. visas and travel authorization.

D. Individuals Affected by the New Travel Ban

The March 6, 2017, Executive Order suspends travel for nationals of the six named countries who:

  • are physically outside of the U.S. on March 16, 2017, the effective date of the order;
  • did not have a valid U.S. visa as of 5:00 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017; and
  • do not have a valid U.S. visa on March 16, 2017, the effective date of the order.

E. Exceptions form the New Travel Ban

The new travel ban does not apply to:

  • permanent residents (green card holder);
  • holders of advance parole or other travel document that is not a visa but allows for legal travel to the United States;
  • a dual national of any of the six countries and another country not listed in the travel ban, as long as the individual is traveling on a passport issued by the country that is not designated for the travel ban;
  • any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic visa, NATO visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations or G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visa;
  • any foreign national who has been granted asylum;
  • any foreign national who has been admitted to the U.S. as a refugee;
  • any foreign national who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

F. Case-by-case Waivers Remain Available

The new travel ban also allows DHS and Consular Officers to issue waivers of the travel ban on an individual, case-by-case basis. This type of waiver may be warranted when the foreign national:

  • was previously admitted to the U.S. for lawful work or study and seeks to return to the U.S. to resume those activities;
  • has previously established significant contacts with the U.S. but is outside of the U.S. on the effective date of the order for work, study or other lawful activity;
  • seeks to enter the U.S. for work or business obligations;
  • seeks to enter the U.S. to visit or reside with a close family relative who is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or in a valid non-immigrant status;
  • is an infant, young child or adoptee needing urgent medical care;
  • has been employed by, or on behalf of the U.S. Government;
  • is traveling for purposes related to certain international organizations, for purposes of conducting business with the United States;
  • is a landed Canadian immigrant; or
  • is traveling as a U.S. Government-sponsored exchange visitor.

G. Other Provisions

The new Executive Order contains other provisions as well, and several of them remained unchanged from the original order. For instance the new Executive Order:

  • suspends travel of refugees to the U.S. for 120 days after March 16, 2017, unless already scheduled for transit as of that date; additional waivers are available on an individual, case-by-case basis;
  • limits admission of refugees to 50,000 for Fiscal Year 2017;
  • suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which requires all visa applicants to undergo an in-person interview at a U.S. Consulate abroad (not to be confused with Visa Waiver Program, which is not affected by this Executive Order).

H. Status of U.S. Visas Previously Cancelled After the January 27 Executive Order

Individuals whose U.S. visas were cancelled or revoked as a result of the January 27, 2017, Executive Order, shall be entitled to apply for a travel document confirming the person is eligible to travel to the U.S.

According to the March 6, 2017, order visa cancellations or revocations as a result of the January 27, 2017, order shall not be given any negative consideration in processing future applications for visas or other immigration benefits by affected individuals.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of this new Executive Order and will provide updates as necessary. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding this Order or any other immigration issues, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Raluca (Luca) Vais-Ottosen at (608) 252-9291 or rvo@dewittross.com, or contact your existing DeWitt attorney.

About the Author

Raluca has assisted numerous clients with immigration matters ranging from family-based and individual immigration applications, to employment related visas and I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification issues. In addition to her immigration practice, she also has an extensive background in Employment Law. She assists companies in a number of areas, including but not limited to claims of workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation, termination and constructive discharge, workplace investigations by state and federal agencies, as well as employment litigation.

Contact Luca by email or by phone at (608) 252-9291.

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