On March 6, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a new Executive Order temporarily banning the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who are outside of the United States, do not hold a valid visa on March 6, 2017, and did not hold a valid visa at 5:pm EST on January 25, 2017.
The new Executive Order follows – and revokes – an Executive Order issued on January 25, 2017 that immediately banned nationals from the above-mentioned six countries and Iraq. The prior Executive Order generated significant controversy due to its application to legal permanent residents and valid visa holders, along with the immediate effect of the order. The Executive Order was reviewed and halted by federal courts in February 2017.
The Executive Order issued on March 6, 2017 is more limited in scope than its predecessor. Notable differences include exemptions for legal permanent residents, dual nationals from non-designated countries, foreign nationals holding a valid visa on the effective date of the order, and individuals already granted asylum or refugee status in the United States before the effective date of the order. The new Executive Order also fails to exempt religious minorities from the ban and imposes a 120-day – rather than indefinite – ban on Syrian nationals. The Trump administration cited concerns for the stability for the United States-allied Iraqi government as justification for excluding Iraqi nationals from the new ban.
Attorneys at the Mitzel Group recommend that all foreign nationals consult with their immigration attorneys before any international travel. As always, please contact our immigration attorneys, Lisa Liu and Amelia Lancaster, with additional questions.