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White House Issues Updated Executive Order With Travel Restrictions

Today, President Trump revoked Executive Order 13769 and replaced it with a new Executive Order, effective March 16, 2017.

This Order restricts the entry of nationals from Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days with certain limitations, waivers and exceptions.   Individuals from these countries who did not possess a valid United States visa on January 27, 2017 and who do not have a valid visa on March 16, 2017 will be unable to travel to the United States.

There are limited exceptions:

  • any lawful permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States;
  • any foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the effective date of this order;
  • any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the effective date of this order or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;
  • any dual national when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
  • any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or
  • any foreign national who has been granted asylum; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States; or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

Certain waivers available to foreign nationals from these countries who:

  • have previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the effective date of this order, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry during the suspension period would impair that activity;
  • have previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity;
  • seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations;
  • seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship;
  • is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;
  • has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee) and the employee can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government;
  • is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq., traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA;
  • is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; or
  • is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.

The order also addresses visa issuance to and travel by nationals of Iraq.  According to the order, “Decisions about issuance of visas or granting admission to Iraqi nationals should be subjected to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants have connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations, or otherwise pose a risk to either national security or public safety.”  This means Iraqi nationals may still apply for visa to the United States and travel with existing visas.  However, they will likely face added scrutiny during the application process and when seeking admission into the United States.  “Such review shall include consideration of whether the applicant has connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations or with territory that is or has been under the dominant influence of ISIS, as well as any other information bearing on whether the applicant may be a threat to commit acts of terrorism or otherwise threaten the national security or public safety of the United States,” as explained in the order.

This new order also confirms that no immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before the effective date of this order shall be revoked pursuant to the order.  “Any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry. Any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa that was solely pursuant to Executive Order 13769 shall not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination about entry or admissibility.”

This order does not apply to foreign nationals who have been granted asylum, to a refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, or to an individual granted withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).  Nothing in this order shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture, consistent with the laws of the United States.

For additional information, please see the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Fact Sheet and Q&A.

 

Posted on 06 Mar