Implementation of Executive Order Imposing Temporary Travel and Refugee Ban

By Benjamin Lau and David Rugendorf

On March 6, 2017, President Trump reissuedbusiness travel the Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” with an effective date of March 16, 2017. The previous Executive Order 13769 of January 27, 2017, will be revoked on March 16, 2017, and replaced with this reissued Order.

The new Executive Order bans immigrant and nonimmigrant entries for nationals of six designated countries – Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen – for at least 90 days beginning on March 16, 2017. The new Executive Order specifically removes Iraq from the list of designated countries.  

The new Executive Order only applies to foreign nationals of the designated countries who:

  • Are outside of the United States on March 16, 2017;
  • Did not have a valid visa at 5:00 PM, eastern standard time on January 27, 2017; and
  • Do not have a valid visa on March 16, 2017.

The new Executive Order DOES NOT apply to the following individuals:

  • Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States;
  • A foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after March 16, 2017;
  • Foreign nationals in possession of an Advance Parole Travel Document, or other document that allows for travel to the United States, such as a valid US visa stamp;
  • A dual national of a designated country who is traveling to the US on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
  • Any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa;
  • Any foreign national who has been granted asylum, any refugee who has already been admitted to the USA, or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

In addition to the above exceptions, the Executive Order specifically allows for Consular Officers to grant waivers in nine (9) pre-designated categories, including:

  • A foreign national who has been previously admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity and seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity;
  • A foreign national who 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;
  • A foreign national who is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; or
  • A foreign national who is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.

The Executive Order also suspended travel of refugees to the United States for 120 days.

The Executive Order clearly states that no immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before March 16, 2017, shall be revoked pursuant to this order, and that any individual whose visa was marked revoked or canceled as a result of the January 27, 2017, Executive Order shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that they are permitted to travel to the USA and seek entry. Any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa that was solely pursuant to the January 27, 2017, Executive Order shall not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination about entry or admissibility.

The Executive Order instructs the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General to review current US visa issuance procedures, determine what additional information is required, and provide a list to the President of countries that do not provide such information. The President may then include these countries in a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of appropriate categories of foreign nationals from countries on this list until the information can be obtained. At any point, the Secretary of Homeland Security can recommend that countries be added or removed from this list.

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