On Friday, January 31, the Trump administration announced travel restrictions for citizens from six countries. This action expands the travel ban introduced in a January 27, 2017 Executive Order.

The ban may now restrict the issuance of visas that can lead to a green card for nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Nigeria. Additionally, nationals from Sudan and Tanzania will no longer be eligible for the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery. The DV Lottery is a program for green card applicants from countries with historically lower numbers of applicants.

This proclamation comes three years after the initial travel ban, which had three versions after several Federal Court battles. On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the third version of the travel ban, which restricted travel and/or immigration for citizens as follows:

  • Libya: Ban on tourist and business visas
  • Yemen: Ban on tourist and business visas
  • Venezuela: Ban on some government officials
  • Iran: Ban on all visas except student and exchange visas
  • Somalia: Ban on Immigrant (“permanent”) visas
  • North Korea: Ban on all travel
  • Syria: Ban on all travel

Chad Wolf, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary, said the six countries failed to meet U.S. standards for security and information sharing.

Nationals and citizens from these countries with pending U.S. immigration applications should monitor these changes to the immigration laws to understand their impact.