On February 9, 2017, The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied an emergency motion from President Trump’s administration, meaning that citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with valid travel documents may continue to enter the U.S. for the time being.
Previously, President Trump’s administration issued an executive order which prevented citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from traveling to the U.S., regardless of whether they possessed valid travel documents. The travel ban remained in effect until February 3, 2017, when a Federal Judge in Seattle, Washington issued a nationwide restraining order that temporarily blocked enforcement of the executive order. President Trump’s administration appealed the restraining order, arguing that the travel ban should be reinstated until the court made a final decision on the case.
However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, and upheld the restraining order issued by the lower court. The decision was made unanimously by the three-judge panel, which discussed the public’s interest in free travel, avoiding separation of families, and freedom from discrimination. As a result, citizens of Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are currently authorized to travel to the U.S. until further notice, provided they possess valid travel documents.
Despite the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who are physically present in the U.S. are advised not to travel out of the country at this time, until the situation is further resolved. Additionally, citizens of the above mentioned countries who are currently outside the U.S., but who have immigrant or non-immigrant visas, are advised to return to the U.S. as soon as possible, while the travel ban is temporarily suspended.
For further details regarding the travel ban, or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team.