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Executive Order Summary

President Trump signed a new Executive Order on March 6, 2017, relating to travel of foreign nationals from certain countries. This Executive Order is titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States." This Executive Order replaces the earlier version issued January 27, 2017. The new Executive Order becomes effective March 16, 2017 at midnight Eastern time.

You can read the full text of the order at WhiteHouse.gov.

90-Day Temporary Suspension of Entry of Certain Foreign Nationals to the U.S.

Under the new Executive Order, there is a 90-day temporary suspension for entry of nationals from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This suspension begins on the effective date, March 16. The 90-day temporary suspension applies only to foreign nationals from the six countries i) outside the US on the effective date of the order that ii) did not have a valid visa on January 27 and do not have a valid visa as of March 6, 2017.

The Executive Order exempts certain categories of foreign nationals including:

  • Lawful permanent residents of the US (green-card holders).
  • A dual national from a country of concern traveling on the passport of the non-designated country, e.g. Iran-Canadian dual citizen traveling on Canadian passport.
  • Foreign nationals admitted or paroled on or after the date of the order or individuals granted entry based on a different document like an advance parole application (for refugee/asylum seekers/traveling for humanitarian reasons).
  • Foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic visa.
  • Foreign nationals granted asylum on or after the effective date of the order.
  • Any refugee already admitted to the US; and an individual granted withholding of removal, advance parole or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
  • Anyone issued a valid visa that was revoked or not permitted to travel under the January 27, 2017 Executive Order. These individuals are entitled to new travel documents.

Foreign Nationals from Iraq

Iraq is no longer on the list of countries subject to the 90-day suspension. However, the Executive Order indicates that additional scrutiny may be applied to applications from Iraqi nationals for visa, admission, or immigration benefits based on suspected ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations.

120-Day Refugee Travel Suspension

Under the new Executive Order, travel of refugees under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is suspended for 120 days. Exceptions can be processed under the waiver process listed below.

Waivers for 90-Day Temporary Suspension / 120-Day USRAP Suspension

The Executive Order indicates that U.S. Consular Officials or Customs and Border Protection Officials (or their designees) can grant a visa on a case-by-case basis if the foreign national can demonstrate denial of entry would create undue hardship, would not pose a threat to national security, and would be in the national interest. It is not clear how the waiver process would work on the ground e.g. at an airport, in advance of travel, etc. However, the Order lists examples of reasons for a waiver including:

  • A foreign national previously admitted to the U.S. for work, study or long-term activity.
  • A foreign national that has established significant contacts within the US but is outside the US on the effective date of this order.
  • A foreign national that is entering for significant business or professional obligations and denial of entry would impair those obligations.
  • A foreign national seeking to visit or reside with a close family member who is a citizen, lawful permanent resident or lawfully admitted alien and denial of entry would cause undue hardship.
  • A young child or adoptee; an individual needing urgent medical care; or other special circumstances.
  • A foreign national who is traveling for international organizations or for meetings with the US government.
  • A foreign national who is "landed Canadian immigrant" who applies for a visa at a location within Canada.
  • A foreign national traveling as a US Government sponsored exchange visitor.

Additional Requirements

The Order indicates that the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and other federal agencies will also be reviewing several issues and requesting information from other countries. The Executive Order indicates that information received may result in the President recommending additional countries for "inclusion in a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of appropriate categories of foreign nationals of countries."

2017-03-06T15:49:57.349-06:00 2017
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