In the beginning of the year, President Donald Trump announced his proposal for a travel ban that included restrictions on traveling to the United States from seven Muslim countries. Recently, POTUS revealed new travel restrictions on certain foreign nationals from the countries of Chard, Iran, Libya North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. These newly announced restrictions will replace the restrictions announced early on in January 2017, and later in March 2017. Although new restrictions will be implemented, restrictions will vary greatly by country and will be enforced on a “case by case” basis when foreign nationals from each country will be traveling to the United States.
President Trump hopes that these new restrictions will serve as a vetting process to ensure only those properly screened foreign nationals and only those who do not pose a safety concern to the United States will be admitted into the U.S. Each country listed as part of the new travel ban will have to adhere to the following restrictions:
North Korea – AND – Syria:
Entry as immigrants and non-immigrants is suspended.
Chad, Libya, Yemen:
Entry as immigrants and non-immigrants on some business and tourist visas is suspended.
Entry as immigrants suspended, and non-immigrants traveling to the United States to face enhanced screening and vetting requirements
Entry as immigrants and non-immigrants is suspended, except under valid student and exchane visitor visas, with enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
Entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as non-immigrants on some business and tourist visas is suspended.
Although in some instances travel will be suspended, in other instances travel will be subject to a strict vetting process. President Trump’s original travel band blocked refugees from seven Muslim countries including Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. The travel ban was introduced as the result of growing concerns about terrorism. The ban was then revised; as a result of this revision, there has been an executive order used for the last three months to ban foreign nationals from Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan and the only way around the ban would be having a bona fide relationship with a person or entity already in the United States possessing some form of legal status. Those who meet the “bona fide” exception can still apply for visas until October 18, 2017, at which time the new ban will take effect.
It is important to note, however, that the new travel restrictions are conditioned-based and not time-based, and entry of individuals into the Unite States will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, consular officers are allowed to exercise discretion when deciding whether or not to waive new restrictions on a case by case basis. For example, if undue hardship were to arise as a result of denying entry into the United States a consular officer can use discretion in waiving new restrictions. Another example that would allow a consular officer to use discretion to waive new restrictions would be if a foreign national does not seem to pose a threat to national security. It is also important to note that as of yet, no validly issued green card, visa or travel documents will be revoked.
The new restrictions that have been announced are meant to serve a purpose; President Trump hopes that this will get foreign governments to work with the United States to enhance security measures as a preemptive effort against terrorism. The initial travel ban introduced earlier this year was met with many legal challenges as it was fraught with concerns of constitutionality. Such concerns and legal challenges have hindered the full implementation of the travel ban. The United States Supreme court is set to hear arguments on the legality of the travel ban next month, so it will be interesting to see what is in store for those wishing to travel to the United States in the coming months.
Further the new travel ban has been stopped by the US District court from Hawaii and the government has filed an appeal with US court of appeals in the Ninth Circuit. This appeal is pending right now and ban still is on hold.