On Sunday, September 24th, 2017, President Trump signed a new Proclamation entitled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities And Processes For Detecting Attempted Entry Into The United States By Terrorists Or Other Public-Safety Threats” effectively revising his earlier Travel Ban, which expired earlier the same day. The Trump Administration’s prior Travel Ban is currently pending review by the Supreme Court, with oral argument scheduled for October.
The new travel ban removed Sudan from the list of banned countries and added North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad. In most instances, travel will be broadly suspended, while in other cases, travelers will have to undergo enhanced screening and vetting requirements. The Administration clarified that, unlike the prior ban, which expired after 90 days, the new restrictions are indefinite and conditioned based, not timed based, focussing predominantly on improvements made by listed countries to their information-sharing and identity-management protocols and practices and their willingness to regularly share identity and threat information with U.S. immigration screening and vetting systems.
The new Proclamation places different levels of restrictions on nonimmigrant and immigrant visa issuance based on each country’s cooperation with the U.S. in terms of their current level information sharing for identity-management and counterterrorism.
The Proclamation blocks all nonimmigrant and immigrant admissions for nationals of North Korea and Syria. Admission to the U.S. of Iranian nationals as immigrants and nonimmigrants is also suspended, with the exception of individuals applying for student visas (F and M visas) or exchange visitor visas (J visas). Immigrant admission of Somali nationals will also be suspended with additional scrutiny given to those seeking admission as nonimmigrants. Nationals of Chad, Libya, and Yemen will be barred from entry as immigrants or nonimmigrants on business B-1, tourist B-2 and combination B-1/B-2 visas.
The new order additionally provides consular officers with discretion to waive the new restrictions on a "case-by-case basis" if a foreign national demonstrates that denying entry into the US would cause "undue hardship" and he or she does not pose a threat to national security. These new travel restrictions will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT on October 18, 2017, for everyone subject to the new Proclamation, including nationals of Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, and nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia who do have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship to U.S. person or organization.
The State Department has indicated that full instructions will be issued to U.S. consulates and embassies worldwide regarding the implementation of the new travel ban and D&S will provide more information as it become available.