Yesterday, President Trump released new measures to Section 2 of Executive Order 13780 for enhanced national security. The new measures are aimed at creating minimum requirements for foreign countries to support visa and immigration vetting and adjudications for individuals seeking entry into the United States. Countries deemed uncompliant have been issued tailored travel restrictions.
Previously, the Executive Order banned foreign nationals from six countries, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, from entry into the U.S. unless they have a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity in the country. Individuals with the “bona fide” exception can still apply for visas until October 18th. After that date, the new restrictions will begin for all subject individuals.
The new restrictions add three countries that were not previously on the list, Chad, Venezuela, and North Korea, and removes Sudan from the list.
The restrictions for each country are as follows:
- North Korea and Syria: entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants suspended.
- Chad, Yemen, and Libya: entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants on some business and tourist visas suspended.
- Somalia: entry as immigrants suspended, and nonimmigrants traveling to the United States to face enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
- Iran: entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants suspended, except under valid student and exchange visitor visas, with enhanced screening and vetting measures.
- Venezuela: entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on some business and tourist visas suspended.
Even though Iraq is not a country on the list, nationals of Iraq who seek entry into the U.S. are subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to national security.
No current validly issued visas or travel documents will be affected. The suspension does not apply to lawful permanent residents of the United States, dual nationals when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country, diplomatic visas, and a foreign national granted asylum or refugee who has already been admitted to the U.S.
Consular officers have the discretion to waive the new restrictions on a case-by-case basis should the foreign national demonstrate that denying entry into the U.S. would cause “undue hardship” and he or she does not pose a threat to national security.
The earlier ban temporarily limited travel for 90 days, yet the new restrictions are indefinite and last until each subject country complies with the vetting requirements imposed. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the legality of the travel ban next month.