Today, Monday, June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will review the currently pending challenge to the Trump Administration’s Revised Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” this fall. In the interim, the Court announced that the current injunction on the travel ban is too broad and, thus, the Court is allowing the ban to go into effect for foreign nationals from the 6 majority Muslim countries who lack any bona fide relationship to a U.S. person or business interest.
The Court explained that, “In practical terms, this means that [the travel ban] may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Thus, the travel ban still does not apply to non-citizens with relationships with persons or entities in the United States, such as individuals visiting U.S. family members, a student accepted to study at a U.S. University, an individual with a job offer from a U.S. employer or other credible U.S. business ties, and such individuals will continue to be eligible for visas and to travel to the United States. The Court made clear that with respect to a relationship with a business entity or University, “the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading [the Executive Order].”
There has yet to be any guidance regarding how the government will go about implementing the modified travel ban, however, individuals with U.S. travel plans who are from one of the impacted countries (Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Iran), will want to ensure that they prepare sufficient documentation of their credible, bona fide ties to the U.S. such as proof of a familial relationship to a U.S.-based family member, proof of employment with a U.S. company, or proof of acceptance to study at a U.S. University, prior to scheduling their visa interviews or seeking admission at a U.S. port of entry.
In light of the fact that the Executive Order’s effective date was March 16, 2017, and the 90-day travel ban would have expired on June 14, 2017, the Court will also be considering whether the case has now become moot as the 90-day period has now passed, not having been tolled by the issuance of the injunction.
D&S will continue to monitor this developing situation and provide updates as they become available.