UPDATE March 6th, 2017:
On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States which revokes and replaces an initial order issued on January 27, 2017. As with the initial order, the new order suspends all immigrant and non-immigrant entry of nationals and citizens from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for a period of 90 days. The new order also suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.
There are several key differences between the initial order and the new Executive Order. First, the new order does not apply to permanent residents or individuals with valid U.S. visas on the order’s effective date or as of January 27, 2017 prior to 5:00pm EST. The new order also does not apply to dual nationals of the six (6) nations traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country. Second, the new order does not apply to foreign nationals or citizens of Iraq. Third, the new order does not include the indefinite ban on the entry of refugees from Syria nor the prioritization of refugees who are members of the religious minority in the individual’s country of nationality.
The new order is effective at 12:01am EST on March 16, 2017. Foreign nationals from the six (6) affected nations who are outside the United States as of the effective date and do not currently possess a valid U.S. visa on March 16, 2017, and did not have a valid visa as of January 27, 2017 at 5:00pm EST, will not be eligible to travel to the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has indicated that U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visas will not be revoked solely based upon the new Executive Order. The Department of State will adjudicate waivers for travelers without valid U.S. visas in connection with visa applications.
UPDATE February 10, 2017
There have been recent developments regarding President Trump’s Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals” which temporarily suspends all immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for a period of 90 days.
On February 3, 2017, Judge Robart of the Western District of Washington granted a motion for a temporary restraining order, halting the enforcement of key sections of the Executive Order, including the 90-day suspension of travel from affected nations, nationwide. Land and air ports of entry across the U.S. are prohibited from enforcing these sections until further order from the court.
On Saturday, February 4, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a statement indicating that the agency has “suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order” in accordance with the ruling.
The Department of State has confirmed that visas provisionally revoked as a result of the Executive Order have been reinstated and are now valid for travel to the U.S. Airlines have been instructed by DHS to allow those with valid visas from the affected nations to board U.S. bound planes. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has resumed inspection and admission of travelers based upon standard policies and procedures. Waivers have been issued by CBP for those from the affected nations with visas which have been physically canceled.
On February 9, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government’s request to reinstate the enforcement of the Executive Order. Accordingly, the temporary restraining order remains in place pending the outcome of a full hearing on the merits of the case. The Trump Administration may appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
We will continue to provide updates regarding any further legal action involving the Executive Order.
Original Post Below
On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals. The Executive Order temporarily suspends all immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for a period of 90 days. The Executive Order also suspends U.S. refugee admissions for a period of 120 days and Syrian refugee admissions indefinitely.
The Department of Homeland Security issued an order on January 29, 2017 exempting Permanent Residents from the January 27, 2017 Executive Order; however, these Permanent Residents may be subject to questioning upon entry into the U.S. We understand that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued guidance on waivers for certain individuals subject to the January 27, 2017 Executive Order.
The Department of Homeland Security issued an update on January 29, 2017 indicating that “nearly all travelers, except U.S. citizens, traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entry to the United States.” Accordingly, if an individual holds a passport from a nation not subject to the order and uses that passport for travel, they will be allowed to enter the US even if they are a national or passport holder of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, or Yemen.
The Department of State has suspended visa issuance to nationals of these countries and stated that individuals should not schedule visa appointments, pay visa fees, or attend previously scheduled interviews at this time.
A Federal judge in the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency stay on January 28, 2017 which temporarily halts the removal of refugees, visa holders, and others from the nations subject to the January 27, 2017 Executive Order. Judges in California, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington have subsequently issued similar orders. The Department of Homeland Security has issued a statement indicating that the agency will “comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement President Trump’s Executive Orders.”
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