Understanding the Current Administration & Immigration: FAQs

Since the election and inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, questions from concerned foreign nationals and U.S. employers have reached our firm. These are sample questions, answered by Murthy Law Firm attorneys. More information can be found in the Current Administration & Immigration page on MurthyDotCom.

Access more immigration FAQs here.


Does the travel ban apply to me?


The executive order temporarily prevents nationals from seven countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia – from being issued U.S. visas or from being admitted to the United States. The ban is currently in place for 90 days from January 27, 2017, the date this order was signed. As of now, only nationals of these countries are affected. Foreign nationals from these countries are being advised not to schedule visa appointments or pay appointment fees at this time. Additionally, those who already have scheduled appointments have been advised not to attend. (30.Jan.2017)

Will more countries be added to this ‘travel ban’ list?


It is unclear whether any other countries will be added to the list. One White House official suggested that perhaps other countries could be added in the future, but there is no clear indication as to when, or even if that may happen. (30.Jan.2017)

I am originally from one of the designated ‘travel ban’ countries, but I am now a U.S. citizen. Is it safe to travel?


U.S. citizens should not be denied admission. (30.Jan.2017)

I am from one of the designated ‘travel ban’ countries, but I am now a lawful permanent resident (i.e. LPR, or “green card” holder”). Is it safe to travel?


Initially, nationals from the designated countries who were also green card holders were to be denied admission to the United States. On Sunday, January 29, 2017, however, following the issuance of an injunction by a federal court to prevent LPRs from being denied admission, the Department of Homeland Security altered course, and exempted LPRs from the ban. Still, as late as Monday afternoon (January 30, 2017), there were still some reports of such LPRs encountering problems at U.S. ports of entry. (30.Jan.2017)

I am from one of the ‘travel ban’ countries, but am already in the United States in nonimmigrant status. How does the travel ban affect me?


With regard to travel, nationals of Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and Iran should not travel outside of the U.S. at this time. Doing so will almost certainly result in denial of readmission until the travel ban is lifted.

With regard to an application or petition to be filed with the USCIS on behalf of a national of one of these countries, it remains unclear how, or even if, such cases will be processed. There have been unconfirmed reports that cases filed on behalf of such foreign nationals will simply go unprocessed for the time being. But, there has been no official word from the USCIS on this, as of yet. (30.Jan.2017)

I am from one of the seven countries designated for a temporary travel ban and I have a U.S. employer that wishes to file an H1B petition for me in this year’s H1B lottery. Is this possible?


The petition can still be filed – but, as mentioned above, it is not clear whether the USCIS will adjudicate the petition. H1B cap case filed this year must be filed in April, requesting an October 2017 start date. And, it is certainly possible that the travel ban will end before October. But, again, it is not clear how the USCIS will respond to petitions filed on behalf of foreign nationals from one of the ‘banned’ countries. (30.Jan.2017)

I am an Indian Muslim in H1B status. If I travel to India, will the new executive order prevent me from being readmitted to the U.S.?


Presently, H1B workers (and other nonimmigrants) who are not citizens of one of the countries subject to the temporary visa ban should not be denied admission based on this executive order.

That being said, the situation could change with little or no advance warning. It is possible that there are additional immigration-related executive orders on the horizon, or that one of the existing orders could be expanded to include additional groups of foreign national workers. (30.Jan.2017)

I heard the visa interview waiver program has ended. What does that mean?


The visa interview waiver program allows a qualifying nonimmigrant visa holder to apply for a visa renewal without having to attend an in-person interview at a U.S. consulate. President Trump is cancelling this program via executive order. However, we have received a number of reports indicating that at least some consulates are still allowing use of the interview waiver program (frequently referred to as the ‘drop box’ program) in certain situations. You will need to check with your local consulate to determine whether you may be eligible to use the program.

It is important to note that the visa interview waiver program is different from the visa waiver program, which is unaffected by these executive orders. The visa waiver program allows nationals of certain countries to request permission via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to be admitted for tourism or business without a visa. (30.Jan.2017; updated 01.Feb.2017)

I heard there is a new law that will make the minimum salary for most H1B workers $100,000. Is this true?


This is merely a proposed bill – one of thousands that will be proposed this year. The overwhelming majority of proposals like this never make it out of committee (i.e. never even get put up for a vote), let alone get signed into law. At this point, there is no reason to believe this particular bill will ever become a law. If, however, this or any other proposed immigration bill appears to get some traction, details will be posted on MurthyDotCom. (26.Jan.2017)

Is the H-4 EAD rule going to be cancelled?


At this point, it is unclear whether the Trump administration is going to take any action related to the H-4 EAD rule. If, however, President Trump does wish to alter or undo the program, it generally could only be done by going through the entire formal rulemaking process (or by Congressional action). (26.Jan.2017)

Is it true that I can no longer enter the U.S. using an advance parole (AP) document?


In order to get rid of the AP (or EAD/AP) program, it would almost certainly require a new regulation – which would have to go through the formal rulemaking process – or Congressional action. Further, although there is a rumored proposal that would try to get rid of certain types of parole, it does not appear to include the AP program for those with a pending I-485. (26.Jan.2017)


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.