You are Blocked From Traveling to USA if From Iran, Syria, Yemen and Others, Unless you Qualify for Exceptions
December 8, 2017
This week, the Supreme Court has allowed the third version of President Trump’s travel ban to come back. Citizens of the eight countries listed (Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela) are NOT allowed to travel to the United States, unless they qualify for a waiver or exception. Previously, in June 2017, the Supreme Court allowed the travel ban to come back, but in a limited way. At that time, the Court stated that an immigrant from one of the banned countries was required to have a personal or professional relationship in the United States, which was defined as a relationship with a qualifying family member in the United States or a professional relationship with a U.S. company or university. But now, such a qualifying relationship does NOT matter, as the Supreme Court has now ruled that the travel ban can be implemented to the FULLEST extent.
As we mentioned in our Justice360 bulletin regarding the third version of the travel ban, this is the most concerning edition. It provides absolutely NO time limit or deadline for the ban. In other words, it is an indefinite ban that could become the rule of law for years to come.
We have seen the travel ban come and go constantly since January 2017. President Trump issued two Executive Orders, and now a Presidential Proclamation. Since January, many states have challenged the travel ban (sometimes referred to as the Muslim Ban). We have seen several courts around the country blocking the enforcement of the Executive Orders.
The current Presidential Proclamation was issued in September 2017, and since then there have been several lawsuits against it. Now, we have to wait to see what happens with the outstanding lawsuits. Two separate lawsuits were heard this week. The courts might determine that the law is illegal, but the cases could be pushed up to the Supreme Court again delaying the process. We still have a long journey ahead to see how the Travel Ban will ultimately take effect.
For now, if you or a loved one is affected by the travel ban/Muslim Ban, here are some things you need to know:
- Countries in the Ban: Somalia, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea. Also, nationals of Iraq will be subject to more screening measures as well.
- Country-Specific Restrictions: The restrictions for each country is a little different.
- Somalia: Immigrants are suspended and there will be enhance screening for nonimmigrants.
- Syria: All immigrants and nonimmigrants are suspended.
- Iran: All immigrants and nonimmigrants are suspended, except for students (F visas), vocational students (M visas), and exchange visitors (J visas). However, those that are permitted will be subject to enhance screening requirements.
- Yemen: Immigrants are suspended and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas are suspended (B-1/B-2).
- Libya: Immigrants are suspended and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas are suspended (B-1/B-2).
- Chad: Immigrants are suspended and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas are suspended (B-1/B-2).
- Venezuela: Government officials and their immediate family members are suspended from entering on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).
- North Korea: All immigrants and nonimmigrants are suspended.
- Waivers Are Available: The travel ban does provide for waivers on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must show: (1) a denial would cause undue hardship, (2) he or she does not pose a national security threat, and (3) the approval would be in the national interest.
- Exceptions: The new travel ban does not apply to (a) lawful permanent residents (green card holders); (b) dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-designated country; (c) any foreign national traveling on a document other than a visa such as advance parole, humanitarian parole, or transportation letter.
For more information about Justice360, visit www.muslimcongress.org/wp/j360.
Sister Najmeh is the Founder and Lead Immigration Attorney at ImmigraTrust Law (www.ImmigraTrust.com), an immigration law practice in Orange County, California, representing individual and corporate clients in all 50 U.S. States and internationally. Sister Najmeh can be reached at Najmeh@ImmigraTrust.com.
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