The President’s Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017 continues to affecttravelers on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen who are applying for entry to the United States at any port of entry—air, land or sea. Government agencies can review individual cases and grant waivers on a case-by-case basis if that individual’s admission to the United States is deemed to be in the national interest and if they do not pose a national security threat. See our Jan. 7th Client Alert.
The Department of State has recently issued a statement that nonimmigrant visas held by individuals from the affected countries are revoked. Airlines have been notified and instructed to deny boarding of US bound flights to such individuals. Immigrant visas have not been revoked. The Department is still determining if F-1/J-1/M-1 individuals who were outside the U.S. when their visas were revoked and thereby unable to reenter the U.S. at this time will be considered to be maintaining valid status.
Under recent guidance from the White House, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has been instructed to ensure that U.S. lawful permanent residents are allowed to enter , even if citizens of the impacted countries,. The Executive Order applies to dual nationals, but individuals will be processed based on the travel document they present. A dual national with citizenship from an unrestricted country with a valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visa will be permitted to apply for admission to the U.S. Similarly, a dual national with citizenship from an unrestricted country who is outside the U.S. may apply for a visa. CBP provides the following information in a series of FAQs sound at https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states:
- The review of emergency refugee interviews and requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The case-by-case basis also applies to refugees in transit and petitioning to follow-to-join.
- Landed immigrants from Canada (not including refugees) who hold passports of a restricted country are eligible to apply for admission to the U.S. and to apply for U.S. visas.
- Iraqi passport holders with valid Special Immigrant visas are deemed to be in the national interest and may apply for admission to the U.S. Absent information that the individual is a serious threat to public safety and welfare, admission is expected to be granted. Iraqi passport holders may also apply for Special Immigrant visas.
This guidance has been provided to CBP officers at each port and airline carriers. CBP has the authority to search all international travelers, including computers, disks, tapes, mobile phones, cameras, music players, and other electronic devices.
CBP reports the following actions have been taken in accordance with the Executive Order as of 7am Wednesday, February 1, 2017:
CBP Executive Order Actions
Recommended Denial of Boarding
Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) waivers
Visa holders granted waivers
(Statistics are valid as of 0700 hrs, February 1, 2017)
We will continue to update our readers as additional information regarding these significant U.S. immigration changes becomes available.