On March 16, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. EST, President Trump’s newly revised executive order, “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” went into effect. Foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are being denied entry into the United States for a period of 90 days. Let’s break down how this revised executive order affects foreign nationals.
Foreign nationals from the six countries listed above are being denied entry for 90 days if they were outside of the U.S. on March 16, 2017, did not have a valid visa on January 27, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EST, and did not have a valid visa on March 16, 2017. Although foreign nationals from Iraq have been excluded in the revision, Iraqi nationals might still be heavily scrutinized when entering the U.S. However, there are exceptions.
Certain foreign nationals from the above six countries are exempt from the executive order if they meet the following criteria:
- They are a lawful U.S. permanent resident;
- They are admitted to or paroled into the U.S. on/or after March 16, 2017;
- They have a document other than a visa that is valid on March 16, 2017, or thereafter, that gives them permission to enter the U.S., such as an advance parole document;
- They are a dual national of one of the six countries and are traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
- They are traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or,
- They have been granted asylum; they have been admitted to the U.S. as a refugee; or they have been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
Additionally, the newly revised executive order suspends the travel of refugees in to the U.S. under the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 beginning March 16, 2017. However, refugee applicants formally scheduled for transit before March 16, 2017 are not affected by the suspension. Also, certain individuals may still be admitted to the U.S. on a case-by-case basis if denial of their entry will cause undue hardship to the foreign national; their entry does not pose a threat to national security; and their entry will be in the national interest of the U.S.
Another important change to note for foreign nationals looking to renew their visa is that the Visa Interview Waiver Program that exempts some foreign nationals, who are renewing their visa from an in-person interview at U.S. consulates, will be immediately suspended. Therefore, all U.S. visa applicants will be required to go to a U.S. consulate for an in-person interview, significantly increasing the wait times for visa interviews and slowing down the application process.
Concluding, it is critical to note that the executive order may be expanded to include more countries and may be extended. It is advised to contact a business immigration specialist to address any concerns. Please stay tuned for further updates on more immigration news.
Edited by Winnie Kan, Director of Marketing and Public Relations.
Please note that this article is not legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your immigration case, your best option is always to contact an immigration lawyer to discuss your situation, because immigration cases are all individual and vary case-by-case. If you have any additional questions, please contact attorney Barbara Wong, Esq. at [email protected] or (408) 329-9184 ext. 120.