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President Trump Issues an Executive Order Indefinitely Barring Most Travel to the U.S. For Citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea

By September 25, 2017April 1st, 2021Immigration, Immigration Law Changes &  New Law

On Sunday September 25, 2017, as President Trump’s Executive Order barring travel from seven countries was set to expire, he issued a Presidential Proclamation (Executive Order) indefinitely suspending immigrant and non-immigrant travel to the U.S. for nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea.  Iraq and Venezuela face heightened scrutiny and suspensions placed on government officials in the case of Venezuela.

The Proclamation announced the new restrictions, effective October 18, 2017 for all individuals not covered by the Executive Order and effective immediately for all who were, were devised in what was described as a “more tailored approach.”  This tailored approach has imposed an indefinite suspension of all travel to the U.S., of any sort, for Syrians and North Koreans.  The Proclamation severely curtails travel to the U.S. for citizens of Chad, Libya, and Yemen by suspending the issuance of all immigrant visas and B-1 and B-2 nonimmigrant visas.  Iranian citizens face a total ban except for F and M student visas and J visas for exchange visitors, who will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting.  Starting on October 18, Somalians will be ineligible for all immigrant visas to the U.S., and will be subject to additional scrutiny in the adjudication of all nonimmigrant visas.

The Proclamation imposes additional scrutiny on Iraqi citizens to determine if they present risks to national security or the public safety of the U.S.  It targets the government of Venezuela who the administration believes to be responsible “for the identified inadequacies” of the agencies involved in screening and vetting procedures by suspending all B-1 and B-2 visas for government officials and their immediate family members.

Importantly, these suspensions do not apply to anyone from the listed countries who is a Legal Permanent Resident (Green-Card Holder) or has been admitted to the U.S on a valid visa or other document.  Those foreign nationals currently admitted to the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas are permitted to remain here to work, study, and travel until their period of admission expires.  Nor are any foreign nationals who have been granted asylum or those who have already been admitted as a refugee, anyone granted withholding of removal or advanced parole, or awarded admission under the Convention Against Torture.  Individuals who are dual nationals of a listed country will be permitted to travel to the U.S. on the other passport.

This Proclamation is far-further reaching than the now-expired Executive Order in that it imposes an indefinite suspension on certain travel from citizens of the named countries.  Moving forward, the Secretary of Homeland Security will work with other agencies to issue a report every 180-days making recommendations as to whether any suspensions should be lifted.

President Trump’s Executive Order 13780 was issued in March and instituted a temporary travel ban on the citizens of the seven predominantly Muslim nations of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  Part of the Executive Order called for a comprehensive review of each foreign country’s information gathering systems and whether those systems are adequate to assess whether individuals seeking entry to the U.S. pose a security or safety threat.

The Proclamation provides an individualized assessment of each of these countries, and identifies how the country has failed to meet at least one of three criteria set forth in the Executive Order relating to a foreign country’s protocols and procedures for (i) identity management of their citizens; (ii) the information sharing practices and cooperation in providing the U.S. information about citizens that may pose a national security or public-safety risk to the U.S.; and (iii) whether the country is a known or potential terrorist safe haven.  The degree to each of the listed countries’ travel restrictions imposed on immigrant and non-immigrant classifications is declared to be a “more tailored approach” by the administration.

Additional blog posts related to the travel ban imposed by Executive Order 13780 is available here.

The Presidential Proclamation is available in its entirety here.

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