On January 27, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that bans the entry of foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to the United States for the next 90 days. The immediate enforcement of his executive order caused many travelers to be detained at U.S. airports and many unable to board flights headed to the U.S, thrusting the topic of immigration into the spotlight. With all eyes on Trump’s executive order that bans immigrants and nonimmigrants from the seven countries, let’s take a look at what the executive order really means for foreign nationals from those countries.
First of all, the ban applies to not only immigrants, but also nonimmigrants, including those on B-1, H-1B, and L-1 visas. The executive order also targets foreign nationals with a U.S. immigrant visa and applicants for adjustment of status. Additionally, there’s a chance that the adjustment of status for foreign nationals from the seven countries will be suspended until further notice, and it is speculated that the ban might be extended and expanded to include other countries.
Secondly, the executive order is said to suspend the interview waiver program that exempts some foreign nationals who are renewing their visa from an in-person interview at U.S. consulates. Without the waiver program, 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, we have a few words of advice for our readers:
- Foreign nationals on nonimmigrant and immigrant visas are recommended to shy away from international travel for the length of the ban, due to the possibility of being denied re-entry into the U.S.
- Foreign nationals coming to the U.S. could be prevented from boarding their flight to the United States or refused entry at a U.S. port.
- There is a chance that the ban could be extended, causing a delay in future travel plans for foreign nationals.
On a final note, our firm is deeply saddened to see the implementation of this ban and will try ensure that our clients’ best interests are protected. 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.