On January 31, 2020, the Trump administration expanded the list of countries affected by Presidential Proclamation 9645, more commonly referred to as “Travel Ban 3.0.” Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan, and Tanzania have all been added to the list after failing to meet minimum U.S. security standards. The new travel restrictions will take effect on February 21, 2020, and will include the following:
|Country||Immigrant Visas||Nonimmigrant Visas|
|Eritrea||issuance of immigrant visas suspended||no impact|
|Kyrgyzstan||issuance of immigrant visas suspended||no impact|
|Myanmar||issuance of immigrant visas suspended||no impact|
|Nigeria||issuance of immigrant visas suspended||no impact|
|Sudan||suspends participation in Diversity Lottery||no impact|
|Tanzania||suspends participation in Diversity Lottery||no impact|
Foreign citizens abroad who want to live in the United States permanently must first obtain an immigrant visa. The new travel ban will bar nationals of Nigeria, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and Eritrea from completing this first step toward becoming a lawful permanent resident (i.e., green card holder). Individuals applying for a green card through the “adjustment of status” process from within the United States are not affected by the new travel restrictions.
Nonimmigrant visas are those granted to foreign nationals temporarily seeking to enter the United States for a specific purpose (e.g., work permits or visitor/business visas). Foreign nationals from the designated countries may continue to travel on valid nonimmigrant visas (and apply for new ones), as those are not affected by the new restrictions. Previous travel restrictions remain unchanged for Libya, Yemen, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Somalia, and Venezuela. Exemptions and waivers for affected individuals may be available.
The Trump administration announced the original travel ban in January 2017. The ban was revised twice as the result of legal challenges. In October 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld Travel Ban 3.0, ruling that the travel restrictions were within the scope of presidential authority under the immigration laws.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to the policy changes and will post updates on our immigration blog as additional information becomes available.