Expansion of the Trump travel ban in the US

Changes were made to US immigration policy in an expansion of the initial ‘travel ban’, the US government has included non-Muslim majority countries such as Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela.

US travel ban
On the 24th of September, President Trump issued a proclamation, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.”The proclamation expanded and extended the President’s previous ‘travel ban’ just as it was expiring, pursuant to court order issued under pending litigation challenging the ban, as reported in previous Foster Immigration Updates.

Who was impacted?

The proclamation provided greater detail on the criteria used to determine which countries’ nationals would be subject to the ban, and tailors the ban more narrowly on a country-by-country basis. The restrictions were different for each country and are summarised in the chart below.

Scope of restrictions and possible waivers

The proclamation generally applies to foreign nationals – as referenced above – who are outside the US on the effective date and do not have a valid visa on the effective date. Those who are impacted and do not fall under one of the exceptions can apply for a waiver. The proclamation directs the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to “coordinate to adopt guidance addressing the circumstances in which waivers may be appropriate for foreign nationals seeking entry as immigrants or non-immigrants.” Waivers may be granted “only if a foreign national demonstrates to the consular officer’s or CBP official’s satisfaction” each of the following elements:
  1. Denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship
  2. Entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the US
  3. Entry would be in the national interest
Individuals who secure a waiver must still demonstrate eligibility according to all other requirements of the requested visa category.

Effective date of the 'travel ban'

For individuals subject to the previous travel ban, the effective date of the proclamation was 24th of September, the date the previous ban was to expire.For all other individuals, the effective date of the ban was the 18th of October 2017. The restrictions were put in place indefinitely, though the proclamation provides that countries may be removed from the list upon meeting certain criteria listed in the proclamation with respect to “identity-management information”, “national security and public-safety information” and “national security and public-safety risk assessment.”
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Potential legal challenges

The inclusion of non-Muslim majority countries such as Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, the specification of particular criteria used to evaluate a country’s inclusion on the list, and the provision for exceptions and waivers are all factors, which could impact the likelihood of success in efforts to challenge the order in court.The proclamation allows for case-by-case waivers and provides examples of circumstances wherein a waiver may be appropriate, though categorical waivers are disallowed. For a consultation to evaluate the applicability of the new travel restrictions to a particular applicant, or the potential availability of a waiver, visit the Foster immigration attorney website. All information was provided by Foster LLP who will continue to monitor the introduction and implementation of travel restrictions, and the availability of potential waivers, and will make new information available as appropriate in future immigration updates and on the firm’s websiteFor related news and features, visit our Immigration section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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