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The “New Travel Ban”: Will It Affect You?

The “New Travel Ban”: Will It Affect You?

The “New Travel Ban”: Will It Affect You?

President Donald Trump recently signed a policy endorsing stringent travel restrictions to six new countries. The named countries just added to the preexisting travel ban includes Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania.[1]

As it stands, the restricted travel list now includes a total of 13 countries:

When will this take effect?

President Trump seeks to issue the new travel restrictions on February 22, 2020. This means that immigrants who receive visas before then will still be able to travel to the United States.[2]

Who does this affect?

First, the new travel ban will not affect nonimmigrant visas, including those for students and some temporary workers, as well as visas for potential employees with specialized skills. However, it will affect immigrant visas issued to individuals seeking to live in the United States from Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan. It will also prevent immigrants from Sudan and Tanzania from moving to the United States through the diversity visa lottery. This means Sudanese and Tanzanian immigrants can no longer be granted green cards through the lottery system.[3]

Are there any exceptions?

Any immigrant from these six countries will still be able to apply for waivers from the new restrictions. Under the Presidential Proclamation 9645, to qualify for a waiver, an applicant must demonstrate each of the following:

  • Denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship;
  • Entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States; and
  • Entry would be in the national interest.[4]

Therefore, based on Presidential Proclamation 96545, if the consular officer determines, after consultation with the Visa Office, that an applicant satisfies each requirement, a visa may be issued with the agreement of a consular manager.[5]

The Proclamation includes a list of circumstances in which waivers are considered appropriate if the visa applicant is otherwise eligible and meets the standards for a waiver. There is also no separate application for a waiver. According to the United States Department for the Bursar of Consular Affairs, an individual who seeks to travel to the United States should apply for a visa and disclose during the interview any information that might demonstrate that he/she is eligible for a waiver.[6]

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[1] Zolan, Kanno-Youngs, Trump Administration Adds Six More Countries to Travel Ban, The New York Times, The New York Times (Jan. 31, 2020), www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/us/politics/trump-travel-ban.html.

[4] The White House, The United States Government, Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats, www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-enhancing-vetting-capabilities-processes-detecting-attempted-entry-united-states-terrorists-public-safety-threats/.

[6] U.S. Department of State, June 26 Supreme Court Decision on Presidential Proclamation 9645, travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/presidential-proclamation-archive/june_26_supreme_court_decision_on_presidential_proclamation9645.html.

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