Travel Ban

The travel ban is partically in effect. See our "Litigation Update" on the right.

On September 24, the Trump Administration announced its third iteration of a travel ban barring entry to the United States of individuals from a group of Muslim-majority countries with a few exceptions. The first travel ban announced in January caused confusion and chaos. After a federal court blocked the executive order, the president signed a second order on March 6  (Executive Order 13769) that banned travelers from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria.
 
The second order was also challenged in court and eventually accepted by the Supreme Court for review. When taking the case, the Court allowed the ban to go into effect with exceptions for those who the court claimed had a “bona fide relationships” with an individual or entity in the United States (for more, read our June 24, 2017 policy update). 
 
The third iteration of the travel ban was issued September 24 by presidential proclamation.
 
This is a brief description of countries included in the third iteration of the travel ban issued September 24.
 
New Countries

Chad Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).
North Korea Suspends the entry of all immigrants and nonimmigrants. 
Venezuela Suspends the entry of certain government officials and their immediate family members on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).

Countries in the previous travel ban also included in September President's Proclamation

Iran Suspends the entry of immigrants and all nonimmigrants, except F (student), M (vocational student) and J (exchange visitor) visas, though they will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements. 
Libya Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2). 
Somalia Suspends the entry of immigrants, and requires enhanced screening and vetting of all nonimmigrants. 
Syria Suspends the entry of all immigrants and nonimmigrants.
Yemen Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2). 
Iraq Requires enhanced screening of all individuals seeking to enter the United States.

Sudan is the only country removed from the March 6 Executive Order Travel ban.

The new travel ban goes into effect October 18, 2017. For those who were barred from entering the U.S. by the previous travel ban (the March 6 EO), the ban goes into effect immediately. What this means is that individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen without a bona fide relationship with an individual or entity in the United States are currently barred from traveling here.
 
Bona Fide Relationship
Until October 18, 2017, individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen with a bona fide relationship with a U.S. person or entity are exempt from the new travel ban.
 
Who is barred from entry to the United States under the new travel ban
Unless there is an exemption or an individual is eligible for a waiver, the travel ban restrictions apply to individuals in the designated countries who are:

  • Outside the United States on the effective date (Oct. 18);
  • Do not have a valid visa on the effective date (Oct. 18);
  • Do not qualify for a reinstated visa or other travel document that was revoked under the March 6 executive order.

 
Who is exempt from new travel ban

  • Individuals who are lawful permanent residents of the United States.
  • Individuals admitted to or paroled into the U.S. on or after the effective date (Oct. 18) of the new travel ban.
  • Those with a document (not a visa) that allows them to travel to the U.S. if the document is dated on or after Oct. 18 (for example, an advance parole travel document)
  • Dual-nationals traveling on a passport for a non-designated country.
  • Individuals traveling on diplomatic visas, NATO visas, C-2/UN visas, or G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 visas.
  • People granted asylum
  • Refugees already admitted to the United States or granted withholding of removal, advance parole or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Case-by-case waivers
Case-by-case waivers are available only for people who can show:

  • that being denied entry would cause undue hardship;
  • that their entry does not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety; and
  • that their entry would be “in the national interest.”

Important to Know

Effective Dates
There are two effective dates to be aware of:
 
September 24, 2017: This date applies to people of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia who were prohibited from entering the United States under the previous travel ban due to lack of a bona fide relationships to a person or entity in the United States.
 
October 18, 2017: This date applies to people of Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, and to people of Iran, Syrian, Libya, Yemen and Somalia who have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.
 
Last June, the Supreme Court ordered that individuals with a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States was not subject to the first travel ban. The proclamation essentially says that ends October 17, 2017 and the court order no longer applies, unless legal challenges succeed in reestablishing that protection.
 
The ban is indefinite.
Previous bans were limited. This most recent proclamation, which goes into effect October 18, is indefinite and “condition based.” The proclamation requires the Department of Homeland Security to submit a report within 180 of the “continued necessity” of the current travel ban or new restrictions to a country not currently included, and continue to submit periodic reports subsequently.
 
Most people who will be affected by the new travel ban are in Muslim-majority countries. Advocacy groups say Venezuela and North Korea were likely included in the travel ban to prevent legal challenges. During his campaign, the president said he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States and his first two travel bans focused on predominantly Muslim countries. Very few North Koreans travel to the United States and the restrictions on Venezuela apply only to certain government officials and their families.

Litigation Update

Injunctions in Maryland and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit mean the travel ban is only partially in effect. The U.S. District Court in Maryland and the appeals court allow citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia if they have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”  People from those countries without a “bona fide relationship” are subject to the travel ban. The ban on North Korea and Venezuela also remain in effect.