Today, President Trump issued a revised executive order on travel that becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. EDT on March 16, 2017 (“March 16 EO”). The March 16 EO affects foreign nationals (“FNs”) who are citizens or nationals of six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (collectively, the “Six Countries”). In addition, the March 16 EO suspends, for at least 90 days, the entry into the United States of FNs from the Six Countries unless they hold a valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued on or before 5 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017, or have obtained a waiver. January 27, 2017, is the date on which the President’s initial executive order on travel was issued (“January 27 EO”). As our readers know, the January 27 EO was enjoined by the federal courts.

In addition to imposing a travel ban on FNs from the Six Countries, the March 16 EO:

  • revokes the January 27 EO;
  • applies only to FNs from the Six Countries who, on March 16, 2017:
    • are outside the United States;
    • do not have a valid visa issued prior to 5 p.m. EST on January 27, 2017; and
    • do not have a valid visa;
  • does not apply to any FN from one of the Six Countries who:
    • holds a valid green card,
    • holds a valid document other than a visa (such as an advance parole document),
    • is a dual national and traveling on a passport from a country other than one of the Six Countries, or
    • is an FN granted asylum or a refugee;
  • does not bar “landed immigrants” of Canada who hold passports from the Six Countries from applying for and obtaining visas if they secure a waiver;
  • allows individuals from one of the Six Countries with visas issued prior to the deadline to secure entry into the United States if they satisfy all other admission requirements;
  • indicates that the Department of State (“DOS”) will not revoke valid visas held by affected FNs, but if an FN has only a single entry visa, he or she may not be able to secure a new visa if he or she departs the United States;
  • does not apply to international students, exchange visitors, and their dependents from the Six Countries who are in the United States; if they hold visas that were provisionally revoked under the January 27 EO, those visas will remain valid for travel under the March 16 EO, but they may not be able to secure new visas if they depart the United States;
  • permits FNs from the Six Countries to apply for waivers of its provisions from the DOS or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), and suggests that such case-by-case waivers might be appropriate when an FN:
    • is outside the United States but has previously been here for work, study, or another long-term activity, and the denial would impair that long-term activity;
    • has significant contacts in the United States but is out of the country pursuing valid work, study, or other lawful activities;
    • seeks admission for significant business or professional obligations, and the denial of entry would substantially impair those obligations;
    • seeks to come here to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., spouse, child, or parent) who is an American citizen or FN with a green card or valid visa, and the denial would cause undue hardship;
    • is an infant, a child or an adoptee, a person needing urgent medical care, or someone who presents other special circumstances;
    • has been employed by the U.S. government and can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service;
    • is traveling for an international organization or to conduct business on its behalf; or
    • is coming as a U.S. government-sponsored exchange visitor;
  • requires added security screening on FNs from Iraq;
  • suspends, for 120 days, the travel of refugees to this country under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, unless the refugees had previously been formally scheduled for transit by the DOS;
  • does not permanently bar refugees from Syria or provide a priority for religious minorities; and
  • places a ceiling of 50,000 refugees who can be admitted in fiscal year 2017.