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Expansion of U.S. Travel Ban

5 Feb

On January 31, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential “Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry” which becomes effective on February 21, 2020. The proclamation expands the March 6, 2017 Executive Order 13780 “Protecting the National from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” and September 24, 2017 Proclamation “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” to suspend the issuance of immigrant visas and admission in the United States as immigrants for citizens of the following six (6) additional countries: 

  1. Burma (Myanmar)
  2. Eritrea
  3. Kyrgyzstan
  4. Nigeria
  5. Sudan (suspension applies only to Diversity Immigrants under the diversity lottery; not applicable to other immigrants)
  6. Tanzania (suspension applies only to Diversity Immigrants under the diversity lottery; not applicable to other immigrants)

Citizens from these countries who obtain immigrant visas before the effective date of February 21, 2020 may still travel to the United States, and Special Immigrants who have provided assistance to the United States government have been excluded from this expansion. Nonimmigrant visa holders and applicants at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, as well as those seeking admission to the United States in nonimmigrant status, should also not be impacted by the expansion of this “travel ban.”

A U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad may grant a waiver of these travel restrictions based on “undue hardship.” Such waivers are discretionary, and the evidentiary burden for “undue hardship” consideration is significant.

Citizens of these countries who have questions about these new restrictions and whether their immigrant visa applications may qualify for a waiver should consult qualified immigration counsel. Foster will continue to monitor developments in connection with restrictions placed on immigrant and nonimmigrant travel to the United States and will make future updates available on our Firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com and via future Immigration Updates©.