On October 18, 2017, the government will begin implementing a new travel ban, colloquially known as “Travel Ban 3.” There are some notable differences between the new guidelines and the two previous ones. For one thing, the new order imposes permanent restrictions on visas from designated countries in contrast to the 90-day moratorium authorized by its predecessor. Secondly, some of the countries on the list have changed, indicative that future travel bans will be malleable, capable of adapting to current political realities. For example, one of the newest countries on the list, North Korea, should bring no surprise given the current state of affairs between our two countries. The new restrictions will not affect legal permanent residents and visitors who already have valid visas from the affected countries (however, these individuals may be affected once and if their visas expire).
The details are found in President Trump’s Presidential Proclamation titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public Safety Threats.” The following summary is reproduced from the September 24, 2017 Department of State Alert on this issue:
Country Nonimmigrant Visas Immigrant and Diversity Visas
Chad no B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Iran No nonimmigrant visas except F, No immigrant or diversity visas
M, and J student visas
Libya No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No immigrant or diversity visas
North Korea No nonimmigrant visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Syria No nonimmigrant visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Yemen No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Somalia No nonimmigrant visas No immigrant or diversity visas
Venezuela No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas of No restrictions
Kind for officials of the following
Government agencies Ministry of
Interior, Justice, and Peace; the
Administrative Service of Identification,
Migration, and Immigration; the Corps
Of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and
Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence
Service; and the People’s Power Ministry
Of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate
The Proclamation will be implemented through two phases, Phase 1 occurring between September 24 and October 18; and Phase 2, starting October 18, 2017. Notwithstanding these general categories of prohibited visas, there may be instances in which individuals may qualify for a waiver of the general requirements. Waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis after an appropriate showing that 1) issuance is in the national interest; 2) the applicant poses no national security or public safety threat to the United States; and 3) denial of the visa would cause undue hardship.
Just as the new restrictions reflect current developments, it is incumbent on those wishing to enter the country or apply for permanent residence to keep abreast of the latest changes in immigration law. These days, it appears that policies are being rapidly packaged to manifest the President’s mercurial posture on certain immigration issues, whether it be against Muslims or DACA dreamers. In this climate, especially with talk geared towards revamping the whole system to dismantle family based “chain migration,” nothing should be taken for granted. Depending on the politics, who knows which countries will be banned in the future, or if all immigration is temporarily ceased?
The above is general information only and not to be relied upon as legal advice. It does not create an attorney client relationship nor should it be relied upon as advice in lieu of consultation with an attorney.