PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FEDERAL NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEAL FOR THE UNITED STATES HAS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN. THIS MEANS, IF YOU ARE FROM THE COUNTRIES LISTED BELOW , YOU CAN TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES.
Trump's Visa Ban
Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning visitors from seven Muslim countries, including: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The executive order suspends visas for nationals of these countries, including visas already issued, for at least 30 days. The visa ban does not affect United States Citizens who hold dual nationalities of the countries listed above. Permanent Residents tenporarily abroad, and who hold citizenship from the countries above ARE EFFECTED.
Who is Affected?
Nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and who are currently outside of the United States, and who hold an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, cannot enter the United States for 30 days until Trump revamps the so-called "extreme vetting process." Since the initial posting of this blog, it is now clear that the ban applies to lawful permanent residents who are abroad.
What is the Difference Between an Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa?
There are two types of visas, immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Non-immigrant visas are used for short stays with an intention to return to your country of origin. The most common non-immigrant visa is the B1/B2 tourist visa, other non-immigrant visas include investor visas and H-1Bs.
Immigrant visas are visas issued based on family-based petitions to enter the United States as a permanent resident. The distinction between an endorsed (entry stamp) immigrant visa, and the lack of a stamp, make a difference.
I have a Green Card and am Outside the United States, can I re-enter?
No, reports have confirmed that nationals of the above listed countries on temporary foreign travel have not been admitted to the United States pending the temporary ban,
I Just Received My Green Card From the Embassy, Can I Travel?
No, at least not for thirty days until there are further instructions. You are still considered to be entering the United States on a non-immigrant visa, and you do not become a permanent resident until you actually enter the United States. Since you cannot enter the United States, you are not a permanent resident, and must wait thirty days.
I am in the United States and a national of the countries listed in the Executive Order. Must I leave?
No, the executive order does not rescind your visa, but rather, bars you from entry into the United States for at least thirty days. You can stay in the United States until your I-94's expiration date.
I just received my visa after a very long wait and background check, can I still try to enter?
No, the plain language of the executive order bans you from entering the United States on any immigrant or non-immigrant visa. The best idea is to delay travel until further instructions from the US Department of State.
If you are a person who is willing to take a risk, and received your visa 72 hours prior to or after the visa ban, it may be worth the risk. There are conflicting reports of such individuals being admitted to the United States.
Is the Executive Order a permanent ban? Will I ever be able to enter the United States?
For now, the 30 day ban is in place so that the US Department of State can begin implementing the "extreme vetting process". It is not meant to be a permanent ban, but many rightfully fear that it will turn into a permanent ban. At this time, the best advice is to remain vigilant and voice your protest.
Take Action Now
We are all greatly saddened to see President Trump take such drastic arbitrary and discriminatory action. Acts of terrorism have occurred from people of all religions and all nationalities. If you are a United States Citizen or permanent resident and wish to voice your protest, please contact your local congress person's office immediately. The National Iranian American Council is actively seeking to end this discriminatory action.
Yekrangi & Associates, PC focuses exclusively on immigration and nationality law, serving people throughout the world, in their desire to pursue the American Dream.