United States – Executive Order Imposes Travel Ban on Citizens of Seven Nations

What has changed

Last night, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order imposing a travel ban barring citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States. While certain diplomatic visa holders are exempt, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that the travel ban extends to green card holders. Although it isn’t yet precisely clear how this Executive Order will be interpreted, we have already seen reports of persons being detained at U.S. airports.

Who is affected?

  • Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas.

What to expect

As of the evening of January 28, a federal judge had partially blocked the executive order, ruling that refugees and other travelers detained at airports in the United States should not be returned to their home countries. However, the ruling stopped short of allowing the travelers into the United States.

In addition to the seven listed banned countries, the Executive Order also permits the U.S. to refuse admission to persons from “any other country that is designated, at the time the alien applies for admission, by the Secretary of Homeland Security […] whether the country or area is a safe haven for terrorists.”  As a result, the list of banned countries could very well expand.  Currently, the State Department lists the following additional areas as terrorist safe havens, so some of these could potentially be added to the travel ban:

Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia, Venezuela, Southern Philippines,  Trans-Sahara (Mali),  The Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral.

Obviously, this is a highly volatile situation, but one with a potentially significant impact.  We will continue to update you on this situation as it develops.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • If you are a citizen of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen, .be aware of the travel ban on entering the United States regardless of visa status (except for certain diplomatic visa categories).
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.