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Trump's Muslim Ban

On June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s September 24, 2017 Presidential Proclamation imposing country-specific travel restrictions on seven countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen (originally, the proclamation also included Chad, but in April 2019, the Proclamation was amended to remove Chad). In addition, pursuant to the Proclamation, nationals of Iraq will be subject to extra screening measures.


The travel restrictions apply to foreign nationals of the designated countries who: (i) are outside the U.S. on the applicable effective date; (ii) do not have a valid visa on the applicable effective date; and (iii) do not qualify for a reinstated visa or other travel document that was revoked under Presidential Executive Order 13769. 


Exemptions: The travel restrictions in the proclamation do not apply to: 

• lawful permanent residents; 

• foreign nationals who are admitted to or paroled into the U.S. on or after the applicable effective date; 

• foreign nationals who have a document other than a visa (e.g., transportation letter, boarding foil, advance parole document) valid on the applicable effective date or issued on any date thereafter; 

• Dual nationals of a designated country who are traveling on a passport issued by a nondesignated country; 

• Foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic visas, NATO visas, C-2/U.N. visas, or G-1, G2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or 

• Foreign nationals who have been granted asylum in the U.S., refugees who have been admitted to the U.S.; or individuals who have been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture. 


Waivers: A waiver may be granted if a foreign national demonstrates to the consular officer’s or CBP official’s satisfaction that: 

(a) Denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship; 

(b) Entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the U.S.; and 

(c) Entry would be in the national interest. 

• The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall adopt guidance addressing the circumstances in which waivers may be appropriate. 

• A waiver issued by a consular officer shall be valid for both the issuance of the visa and for any subsequent entry on that visa. 

• Waivers may not be granted categorically but may be appropriate in the following situations: 

o The foreign national has previously been admitted to the U.S. for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the U.S. on the applicable effective date, seeks to reenter the U.S. to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry would impair that activity; 

o The foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the U.S. but is outside the U.S. on the applicable effective date for work, study, or other lawful activity; 

o The foreign national seeks to enter the U.S. for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry would impair those obligations; 

o The foreign national seeks to enter the U.S. to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a USC, LPR or lawful nonimmigrant, and the denial of entry would cause undue hardship; 

o The foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by special circumstances; 

o The foreign national can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the U.S. Government; o The foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the U.S. Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA; 

o The foreign national is a Canadian permanent resident who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; 

o The foreign national is traveling as a U.S. Government-sponsored exchange visitor; or 

o The foreign national is traveling to the U.S. at the request of a U.S. Government department or agency, for legitimate law enforcement, foreign policy, or national security purposes. 


This article is based on AILA Practice Alert: Presidential Proclamation Set Forth Rules for Travel Ban 3.0(updated April 24, 2018) (AILA Doc. No. 17092638)


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