Trump Administration Issues Third Version of Travel Ban Rules

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On Sunday September 24, 2017, the Trump Administration issued a third version of a Travel Ban restricting travel to the United States by visitors of now eight countries. The new Travel Ban rules, which will go into effect on October 18, represent an expansion over previously issued Travel Bans.

More specifically, three new countries whose citizens will face potential restrictions have been added to the list of affected countries being Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. However, Sudan, which was included under both of the two prior versions of the Travel Ban, has not been included in this latest version.

The original version of the Travel Ban issued in January, restricted citizens from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria, as well as refugees from around the world from entering the United States. Blocked in the Courts, a second and revised Executive Order removed Iraq and made further modification to the Travel Ban barring the issuance of visas to citizens of the six affected countries. This second Travel Ban was blocked but permitted by the Supreme Court in June to go into limited affect for 90 days for those citizens with no “bona fide” connection to the United States.

Reasons cited for the new Travel Ban included the results of the President’s recently ordered global review of information sharing among nations in support of immigration screening and vetting protocols. Further citing the President’s concerns for protecting the security and interests of the United States, this third version of the Travel Ban contains restrictions tailored differently for each country affected.

For example, as concerns North Korea, the Travel Ban requires a broad suspension of both immigrants (those seeking Permanent Residence) and all nonimmigrants (those seeking a Visa to visit the United States). Contrasting, the Travel Ban as concerns citizens of Libya suspends entry of immigrants and those nonimmigrants seeking to visit the United States under a Tourist (B-2) or Business (B-1) Visa. Entry under other Visa classes appears permitted.

Concerning the scope and further limitations on this latest version of the Travel Ban, it contemplates an immediate extension of the Supreme Court’s 90 day permissible ban for those with no discernible connection to the United States and further marks October 18, 2017 as the effective date for those deemed excluded under the terms of this latest version. While this latest version of the Travel Ban states that those nationals already in the United States with a valid Visa and Permanent Residents of the United States should not be affected, practical working application of these new requirements is not yet known. Additionally, legal challenges to this ban are anticipated.

If you or your business have any questions about how these travel bans may affect your business or employees, please contact Robert C. Seiger at (215) 246-3104 or Gregory J. Palakow at (609) 580-3700 in our Immigration Department.

DISCLAIMER: This client advisory is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal or tax advice, and may not be used and relied upon as a substitute for legal or tax advice regarding a specific issue or problem. Advice should be obtained from a qualified attorney or tax practitioner licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where that advice is sought.