State Department Provides Information Regarding New Executive Order15 Mar 2017
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has posted answers to a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Trump Administration’s new travel ban, which is scheduled to go into effect on Thursday, March 16, 2017. This travel ban is based on an executive order (EO) signed by the President on March 6, 2017.
New EO Does Not Apply to Current Visa Holders
The DOS information clarifies that the new EO does not apply to current visa holders who are nationals of the affected countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). Visa “stamps” issued by the DOS prior to the effective date of the EO remain valid for travel to the United States. Additionally, foreign nationals whose visas were physically cancelled with a stamp or notation as a result of the January 27, 2017 travel ban EO, which was eventually blocked by federal courts, are entitled to obtain new travel documents from a U.S. embassy or consulate.
New EO Does Not Apply to Dual Nationals, Green Card Holders
The new EO does not apply to any foreign national who has dual citizenship from a restricted and unrestricted country, as long as the person travels on the passport of the unrestricted country. Furthermore, the EO does not apply to U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPRs), or “green card” holders.
Waivers Available for Restricted Foreign Nationals
Waivers may be available for visa applicants from restricted countries in certain circumstances on a case-by-case basis. The DOS identifies some circumstances that may qualify, including undue hardship to a U.S. citizen or LPR family member, the need for urgent medical care, or when the applicant’s entry to the United States would be in the national interest, not threaten national security, and denial would impose undue hardship. The DOS recommends that any individual who wishes to request a waiver should apply for a visa and disclose the reasons for a waiver to the consular officer.
The Murthy Law Firm will continue to monitor the new EO, including the efforts to block its implementation through lawsuits. Stay tuned to the MurthyBulletin and MurthyDotCom for updates.
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