On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order
that provided the following:
Suspends nonimmigrants (persons coming temporarily to the
United States) from designated countries from entry to the United
States for a period of up to ninety (90) days from the date of the
order (January 27, 2017). At this time, the designated countries
are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Additional countries may be added. This prohibition does not
apply to foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, NATO
visas, and United Nations visas. It is unclear if the
Executive Order applies only to (1) individuals who hold passports
from the designated countries, or if it also applies to (2) foreign
nationals who were born in the designated countries, but who are
citizens of other, non-designated countries or who are dual
nationals, or (3) whose parents were born or hold citizenship from
the designated countries. However, according to the Wall
Street Journal, the State Department will announce that dual
nationals are subject to the ban. For example, a dual
national of Iraq and the United Kingdom would be denied entry, even
if the dual national travels on a UK passport.
Allows for the entry of permanent residents (green card
holders) from the affected countries on a case-by-case basis.
Initially the order suspended the entry of permanent residents, but
the administration later decided that the entry of permanent
residents is in the national interest. Permanent residents
from these countries will be subject to a Department of Homeland
Security determination as to whether entry will be permitted.
Accordingly, such individuals should expect to encounter
significant delays at U.S. consular posts or ports of entry while
this determination is being made.
Suspends for 120 days the US Refugee Admissions Program,
subject to case by case exceptions for national security or undue
hardship grounds. Halted the processing of Syrian refugees
indefinitely, until the President determines that the admission of
Syrian refugees would be "in the national interest".
Orders the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of
State to determine what information is required to make security
determinations that are the basis of the visa adjudications
process, and to determine which countries do not currently provide
this information. Countries in violation would then be given 60
days to supply the requested information necessary to adjudicate
visa applications by its foreign nationals. Countries that do
not comply within the 60 day period may be added to a Presidential
proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals
from these countries. It is unclear which countries may be
included in this prohibition.
The Executive Order also suspends the Visa Interview Waiver
Program and requires that ALL individuals seeking a nonimmigrant
visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to undergo an in-person
interview. Although the name sounds similar, this is NOT the 90 day
Visa Waiver Program that allows individuals from certain countries
to register (ESTA) and travel to the US without visas. It
pertains to visa interviews, and not travel without a visa.
This action may increase interview wait times and process times at
U.S. Embassies and consulates overseas.
As of the evening of January 28, 2017, a federal judge has
issued a stay of the order. However, the stay is limited only
to persons detained at airports or in transit at the time the order
was signed. It does not affect enforcement of the ban going
forward. The situation appears very fluid and may change at
Based on what we know at the moment of publication, this is the
current state of affairs. Please note, however, that this
order is subject to modification, whether through presidential
action, congressional legislation, agency determination or court
order. Please exercise caution in any international travel,
as changes may occur. MSK's immigration department is
pleased to handle any questions you may have regarding this order
and its potential effect on the rights of individuals to travel to
and remain in 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.
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