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Anticipated Executive Order Likely to Impose Temporary U.S. Travel Ban on Individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen

27 Jan

It is anticipated that President Trump will sign a new executive order in the coming days, and possibly as soon as today, to institute a ban for at least 30 days on visa issuance and admission into the United States for all foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Once the executive order is signed, citizens or nationals of these countries will not be eligible for admission into the United States or eligible for issuance of a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa, for the duration of the ban.

While the final order has not yet been issued, a leaked draft suggests that all individuals from these countries, even if they hold a valid U.S. nonimmigrant or immigrant visa, would be barred from entering the United States for a period of at least 30 days, or for the full duration of the ban should it be extended. While the executive order also contains a provision to allow discretionary admission or visa issuance on a case by case basis for those that would be deemed to benefit the “national interest”, it is unclear how this provision will be implemented. Individuals from the affected countries who are currently outside of the United States and have the need to travel to the United States should contact a qualified U.S. immigration attorney as soon as possible. Also, individuals from the affected countries who are in the United States should delay any plans to leave the United States until there is more definite guidance and contact their immigration attorney before making international travel plans.

The anticipated order will also address other security-related immigration policies which impact refugee admissions and procedures for visa application and interview at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. The President’s order will likely suspend refugee admissions and will eliminate exceptions to the interview requirement during the visa application process.