United States: FAQs On The Impact Of The Executive Order Suspending Admission To The U.S. Of Foreign Nationals From Certain Designated Countries

On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order, "Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States," which suspended admission to the United States of foreign nationals from the following countries for a period of at least 90 days: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The executive order also suspended implementation of the Visa Interview Waiver Program (which is also known as drop-box). This order was effective immediately upon issuance. Several issues related to the order still require clarification. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the executive order.

Official guidance from U.S. federal agencies on implementation of this order may continue to be issued throughout the 90-day period. The information contained within these FAQs is based upon guidance available as of February 1, 2017, and we will note any updates based on subsequent guidance.

Nonimmigrants (B-1, H-1B, L-1, O-1, E-3 etc.)

Q: I am a nonimmigrant visa holder from one of the designated countries, and I am currently in the United States. Will I be impacted?

A: The order suspends entry of nonimmigrant visa holders into the United States, but does not require nonimmigrant visa holders from the designated countries who are already present in the United States to depart the country.

Q: I am a nonimmigrant visa holder from one of the designated countries, and I am currently outside the United States. Will I be allowed to enter the country?

A: Admission to the United States will likely be denied at all ports of entry (air, land, and sea).

Q: I am from one of the designated countries and have a visa appointment scheduled at a U.S. Consulate abroad. May I still attend my visa appointment?

A: No. The U.S. Department of State has issued a statement confirming that, if you are from one of the designated countries and already have an appointment scheduled, you should not attend your appointment. The U.S. Department of State has advised that it will not permit entry to the Embassy or Consulate.  

Q: Are any nonimmigrant visa categories excluded from this order?

A: The executive order does not suspend entry for foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G- 4 visas, even if these foreign nationals are from a designated country. 

Q: I am a nonimmigrant visa holder from a designated country. I am currently abroad, and I have an urgent need to enter the United States. Are there any exceptions to the travel ban?

A: The executive order states that the secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals from the designated countries. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has advised that both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) can review individual cases and grant waivers on a case-by-case basis if that individual's admission to the United States is deemed to be in the national interest and if the individual does not pose a national security threat. However, CBP retains the sole authority on whether to admit an individual to the United States. 

Neither the DHS nor the DOS has released guidance on the process by which an individual may apply for an exception, or the criteria that will be used to adjudicate these exceptions. Without official guidance on how a nonimmigrant may qualify for this exception, it is uncertain what documentation or circumstances may be deemed to warrant a waiver.  

Q: I am a nonimmigrant visa holder from a non-designated country, but I have traveled to a designated country. Will I be allowed to enter the United States? 

A: The executive order only suspends admission for nationals "from" a designated country.  However, you may be subject to additional questions and review by CBP. 

Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)

Q: I am a lawful permanent resident and a national of a designated country. Will I be allowed to board an airplane to the United States?

A: Permission to board an airplane is granted by airlines. However, boarding an airplane does not indicate that you have been cleared for entry to the United States. Your admission will be reviewed by a CBP officer upon arrival at a port of entry. At some airports, individuals pass through CBP at the point of departure.

Q: I am a lawful permanent resident and a national of a designated country and I am currently outside the United States. Will I be allowed to reenter the United States?

A: The plain text of the executive order applies to lawful permanent residents from designated countries. It is not certain that you will be allowed to reenter the United States. The Secretary of Homeland Security has released a statement affirming that entry of lawful permanent residents is in the national interest and has released guidance that lawful permanent residents are eligible for national interest waivers. However, the Secretary of Homeland Security further stated that lawful permanent residents who hold citizenship from a designated country will only be admitted after a review for significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety. Thus, admission will be determined on a case-by-case basis and is not automatic. 

Individuals who choose to apply for admission can expect to be subjected to extensive review and delay at the port of entry. There is no guarantee of admission.

Q: I am a lawful permanent resident and a national of a designated country and I am in the United States. May I travel outside the United States and reenter?

A: This executive order does not restrict your ability to travel outside the United States. However, persons who travel outside the United States are not guaranteed readmission (please refer to the prior question).

Q: What should I do if I am asked to abandon my lawful permanent resident status when I request admission to the United States?

A: Abandoning your green card can carry significant implications for your rights and options moving forward. Thus, individuals should carefully consider the significant consequences of such an action and should make such a decision only after becoming fully informed about their legal rights and options. 

Q: I am a lawful permanent resident and a national of a non-designated country, but I have traveled to a designated country. Will I be allowed to reenter the United States? 

A: The executive order only suspends admission for nationals from a designated country.  However, you may be subject to additional questions and review by CBP at the port of entry. 

Dual Citizens: United States and Designated Countries

Q: I am a dual citizen of the United States and one of the designated countries. May I travel internationally and reenter the United States?

A: The plain language of the executive order applies to nonimmigrant and immigrant entry and does not apply to United States citizens. You must present your U.S. passport at the port of entry.

Dual Citizens: Designated Country and Non-Designated Country

Q: I am a dual citizen of one of the designated countries, as well as a country not on the list. May I travel internationally and reenter the United States?

A: The DOS has provisionally revoked all "valid nonimmigrant and immigrant visas of nationals from" the designated countries. This may include individuals who hold citizenship from one of the designated countries, even if the individual also holds citizenship from another country. CBP has clarified that foreign nationals who request admission will be treated according to the travel document they present. However, this website posting is not legally binding. Individuals who hold dual citizenship with a designated country should expect increased questioning, screening, and delays when applying for readmission. Thus, such individuals who choose to travel internationally should understand that readmission to the United States is not guaranteed and that utilizing the passport of the non-designated country may be advantageous.

Q: I previously held citizenship from one of the designated countries, but not anymore. I am now a citizen of a country not on the designated list. Will I be allowed to enter the United States?

A: The executive order applies to all individuals "from" a designated country. There is no definitive guidance regarding individuals who previously held citizenship with a designated country. As previously noted, although CBP has clarified that foreign nationals who request admission will be treated according to the travel document they present, this website posting is not legally binding.  Individuals who previously held citizenship from a designated country, or who previously asserted a claim of citizenship to a designated country, can expect increased questioning, screening, and delays when applying for readmission. There is no guarantee of admission. 

General Information

Q: How long will the travel ban be in effect?

A: The ban will last for at least an initial 90-day period from the date of the order (through April 27, 2017). However, the timeline may be extended.

Q: I have heard that implementation of the executive order has been limited by litigation and that some foreign nationals from designated countries who were detained were allowed to enter the United States. Does this mean I am safe to travel even if I am from one of the designated countries?

A: No. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has stated that it will continue to implement the executive order. Admission to the United States will likely be denied to an individual who is a nonimmigrant from a designated country. As noted above, lawful permanent residents from one of the designated countries will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Visa Interview Waiver Program

Q: I planned to renew my visa through the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP), may I still do so?

A: The executive order suspends the VIWP, also known as the drop-box, requiring all nonimmigrant visa applicants to attend an interview unless an interview is not required by statute. However, exact procedures may vary by country and the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. Individuals hoping to renew their visas should follow any instructions from the U.S. Embassy/Consulate at which the individual has applied.   

Q: Will the executive order affect my visa appointment interview if I am not from one of the designated countries?

A: Suspending the VIWP will place an additional burden on U.S. consulates and embassies (particularly high-volume posts) by increasing already extended interview wait times and processing times. Consequently, travel plans should take into account the additional processing time that may be needed for visa issuance.

Q: Does the executive order affect the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which permits citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa?

A: No. The VWP was not addressed in the executive order. Citizens or nationals of the participating VWP countries are currently eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP, unless also a national of Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Sudan.

In addition, nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or have been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country) are not eligible to be admitted to the United States under the VWP.

The text of the executive order is now published on the White House website: Protecting the National From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.