Starting January 25, 2017, President Trump began signing a series of executive orders that include reference to various aspects of immigration regulation and practices. These include a wide range of orders. This page will focus only on those orders that impact our international scholars and employees.
On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upholds the Travel Ban (Executive Order 13780 Presidential Proclamation Implementing Entry Bar for Certain Countries).
On April 10, 2018, a Presidential Proclamation removed Chad from the Travel Ban list effective April 13, 2018 due to a Department of Homeland Security review which found that “Chad has made marked improvements in its identity-management and information-sharing practices.”
On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States stayed preliminary injunctions that had partially blocked the ban, which allows the government to enforce Travel Ban 3.0 on all 8 countries, (Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia) pending resolution of the government’s appeal to the Ninth and Fourth Circuits, and during any further SCOTUS proceedings.
This is a new exercise of authority under Executive Order 13780. The prior 90-day entry ban under Section 2(c) expired on Sunday, September 24, 2017, except for the portion relating to refugees, which expires on October, 24, 2017. The current “list of 8” comprises five of the six countries that had been included in the prior 90-day entry ban (Sudan was removed), and three new countries: Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela.
On October 17, 2017, a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii blocks enforcement of the Proclamation 9645 bar on the following countries, effective October 17, 2017:
The Proclamation 9645 bars on North Korea and Venezuela were not included in the TRO, and remain in effect.
On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation entitled Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processing for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats. This Proclamation partially or fully restricts entry into the United States for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. The Proclamation contains specific provisions for each impacted country, as summarized below. The new restrictions established by the proclamation take effect October 18, 2017.
Who is directly impacted?
The Proclamation cites country-specific entry restrictions for nationals of the subject countries. Individuals from all impacted countries should expect increased scrutiny and screening of visa applications in all nonimmigrant categories.
- Chad – Entry in B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas and immigrant visas are suspended.
- Iran – Entry in all nonimmigrant categories is suspended – except, F, M, and J exchange visitor visas. F, M, and J exchange visitor will be subject to enhanced screening requirements. Entry for immigrant visas is also suspended.
- Libya – Entry in B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas and immigrant visas are suspended.
- North Korea – Entry is indefinitely suspended for all nonimmigrant and immigrant visas.
- Syria – Entry is indefinitely suspended for all nonimmigrant and immigrant visas.
- Venezuela – All Venezuelan nationals who are visa holders may face increased screening and scrutiny. Entry is specifically suspended only for B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visas for officials of the following government agencies: Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigators, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members.
- Yemen – Entry in B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas and immigrant visas are suspended.
- Somalia – Entry is indefinitely suspended for all nonimmigrant and immigrant visas.
On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear the government’s appeal of two lower court decision that had blocked President Trump’s executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending the U.S. refugee program for 120 days. The Supreme Court order today kept in place part of the lower court injunctions, but stayed the lower court’s decisions for foreign nationals “who lack any bona fide relationship” with U.S. persons. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the merits of the executive order in October.
The Supreme Court’s order is here.
The Court’s order provided the following examples of individuals who would likely have the required “bona fide relationships” with a U.S. entity, and therefore would remain exempt from the 90-day ban:
- Students who have been admitted to a U.S. school (e.g., F-1, J-1 student)
- Workers who accept an offer of employment from a U.S. employer (e.g., H-1B, O-1, TN)
- Lecturers invited to address an American audience.
Based on those examples, an international scholars from one of the six affected countries who is already in the United States should be able to leave for the summer and return. Similarly, students who have been admitted to U.S. universities and who now are applying for visas should be able to enter the country. But much may be left up to the discretion of State Department consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulate, and Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry.
President Trump had stated in a June 12, 2017 memorandum that any enforceable parts of the travel ban would take effect 72 hours after a court decision lifting the injunctions, so the partial lifting of the section 2(c) injunction should go into effect on our about June 29, 2017.
On March 29, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii converted its March 15, 2017 temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction, which will continue to block enforcement of all of Section 2, including the Section 2(c) 90-day travel bar and the Section 2(e) prospective indefinite entry bar, as well as the Section 6 120-day refugee admissions bar for the duration of the litigation in the Hawaii District Court. The Government appealed the decision to convert the TRO to a preliminary injunction, to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide temporary restraining order, preventing the Government from enforcing Executive Order 13780’s 90-day entry bar and 120-day entry bar, which had been scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017.
Other sections of the Executive Order 13780 that are not enjoined by court order became effective 12:01 a.m. EST on March 16, 2017.
Executive Order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” signed March 6, 2017.
On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed the above entitled Executive Order. The full text of this order is available here. This Executive Order revokes and replaces the January 27, 2017 Executive Order 13769. It contains provisions that seriously impact the entry to the U.S. of individuals without valid visa from particular countries of origin. Additionally, effects of the Executive Order’s increased screening procedures may have an impact on travel and visa issuance for many other immigrant and non-immigrant visa holders. This Executive Order becomes effective on March 16, 2017.
Entry Restrictions for Specific Countries
Effective March 16, 2017 entry to the U.S. is suspended for 90 days ONLY for nationals or citizens of the six designated countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who:
- Are outside the U.S. on March 16, 2017
- Did not have valid U.S. visa at 5:00 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017; and
- Do not have a valid U.S. visa on March 16, 2017
The Executive Order does NOT revoke existing visas for nationals or citizens of the designated the six designated countries. Suspension of Entry does NOT apply to:
- Individuals who had a valid visa as of 5:00 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017 or who have a valid visa as of March 17, 2017.
- U.S. lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
- Dual nationals when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country (i.e., citizen of Iran who is a dual Canadian citizen traveling with a Canadian passport)
- Individuals who are admitted to the U.S. or paroled into the U.S. on or after the effective date of the order
- Individuals who have travel documents other than a visa which are valid on or after the effective date of the order (i.e., advance parole document)
- Foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, NATO visas, C-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visas; granted asylum; refugees already admitted to the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicates that the Department of State (DOS) consular officers or Customs and Border Protection officers have the discretion to decide on a case-by-case basis to allow visa issuance or entry to the U.S. for foreign nationals for who the suspension of entry would be an undue hardship, who do not pose a threat to national security, and whose entry would be in the national interest. Waivers would be adjudicated by DOS in conjunction with a U.S. visa application. DHS indicates possible circumstances for waiver for foreign nationals outside the U.S. on the effective date of the order:
- Foreign nationals who have previously been admitted to the U.S. for a continuous period of work or study, is outside the U.S. on the effective date of this order, who seek to reenter the U.S. to resume that activity, and for whom denial of re-entry would impair the ability to continue that activity
- Foreign nationals who have previously established significant contacts with the U.S., but are outside the U.S. on the effective date of this order for work or study
- Foreign nationals who seeks to enter the U.S. to visit or reside with a close family member (spouse, child, or parent) who is either a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or is on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry would cause undue hardship
- Foreign national traveling as a U.S. government-sponsored exchange visitor
Visa Application Process for Everyone, Regardless of Country of Citizenship
Individuals on immigrant and nonimmigrant visas from all countries will be impacted:
- Suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP) – The Executive Order suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allows individuals to apply for visas or visa renewals without an in-person interview. Effective March 16, 2017, in-person interviews will be required for all visa applications.
- Increased screenings and possible travel delays – Due to the Executive Order’s suspension of the VIWP and call for increased scrutiny at the Port of Entry and at consulate and embassies abroad, immigrant and nonimmigrant travelers should expect increased delays when applying for a visa or when entering the U.S.
- Future change in visa issuance for additional countries – Provisions of the Executive Order call for a review of U.S. visa issuance procedures in all countries, as well as visa reciprocity provisions. These continuing revisions and reviews may result in countries being continued on, added to, or removed from the visa/entry suspension list.
At this time, FSIS cannot predict how appointment wait times and processing times will be impacted. All FSIS can suggest at this point is to plan ahead as much as possible, and visit the website of the consulate where you would renew your visa to see the current wait times. FSIS recommends minimizing international travel due to the changing nature of the new administration’s policies on visas and U.S. entry.