On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation detailing updated travel restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. The new restrictions are intended to replace the president’s previous travel ban issued through Executive Order 13780, which was set to expire on September 24, 2017. The restrictions vary in severity for the countries on the list. According to administration officials, the more tailored approach is based upon the perceived deficiencies in the countries’ respective levels of cooperation with U.S. requests for national security-related data on travelers.
Which Foreign Nationals Will Be Affected?
As the proclamation reads, the travel restrictions will be applied to foreign nationals of the designated countries as follows:
- For foreign nationals of Chad, Libya, and Yemen, entry into the U.S. as immigrants or nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas is suspended.
- For foreign nationals of North Korea and Syria, all entry into the U.S. as immigrants or nonimmigrants is suspended.
- For foreign nationals of Iran, travel is suspended as immigrants and as nonimmigrants, except that entry by such nationals under valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas will still be permitted.
- For foreign nationals of Somalia, entry into the U.S. as immigrants is suspended, while entry as nonimmigrants is subject to additional scrutiny.
- For foreign nationals of Venezuela, travel of certain government officials and their family members as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas is suspended, while other visa holders will be subject to additional scrutiny.
The above travel restrictions took effect at 3:30 p.m. eastern daylight time (EDT) on September 24, 2017, for foreign nationals of countries that were subject to the previous travel ban (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen). For all other foreign nationals subject to the newly expanded suspension of entry rules, the restrictions will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT on October 18, 2017. This includes foreign nationals from Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, as well as foreign nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen who were previously exempted by virtue of a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity of the United States.
Who Is Not Covered by the New Restrictions?
Any foreign national from the designated countries in the proclamation who has a valid visa on the effective date of the proclamation will not be subject to visa revocation. In addition, any foreign national subject to the previous Executive Order 13780 (i.e., those from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen) with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity of the United States will not be subject to the new restrictions until October 18, 2017.
How Long Will the Restrictions Last?
No end date was set for any of the new restrictions. However, the proclamation still allows the secretary of homeland security to recommend to the president the removal of a country from the travel restrictions as long as it is determined that the country has implemented proper vetting and screening standards that meet the security interests of the United States.
Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor developments with respect to any travel restrictions issued by the administration and will report information as it becomes available.