President Donald Trump signed a Proclamation on September 24, 2017, imposing new indefinite travel restrictions on citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea. Entry into the US by certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families is also barred. The travel restrictions will take effect on October 18, 2017, with certain sections of the Proclamation already in effect as of September 24, 2017.
In an effort to encourage foreign governments to improve their information-sharing and identity-management protocols and practices and to regularly share identity and threat information with US immigration screening and vetting systems, President Trump has issued a new proclamation. In order to support the US Government’s ability to confirm the identity of individuals seeking entry into the US as immigrants and nonimmigrants, a baseline of the necessary information required by foreign governments was established in a review produced by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, and the Directory of National Intelligence.
The three categories that incorporate this baseline are: (1) identity-management information, (2) national security and public-safety information, and (3) national security and public-safety risk assessment. DHS collected information and evaluated each country against the baseline. DHS identified 47 countries as either “inadequate” or “at risk” and encouraged all foreign governments to improve their performance with respect to the baseline. After the 50-day engagement period, DHS identified the following countries as still being “inadequate” in respect to the baseline: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Somalia was also identified as a country that falls short of the baseline for identity-management information. It was also identified as a terrorist safe haven. On September 24, 2017 President Trump suspended entry for certain nationals of the 7 countries identified. For nationals of Somalia, entry as immigrants is suspended and applications for nonimmigrant visas will be subject to additional scrutiny.
These restrictions will be reevaluated against the baseline in 180 days from September 24, 2017 and every 180 days thereafter.
President Trump’s Proclamation makes the following significant changes to his previous Executive Order:
– Foreign nationals from Sudan are no longer included in the travel restriction
– The travel restrictions are indefinite
– The restrictions are targeted at countries that the DHS says fail to share sufficient information with the US or have not taken the necessary security precautions
– Citizens of Iraq will not be subject to the travel restrictions but will face enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
The following chart provides a country-by-country breakdown of the new travel restrictions:
|Country||Nonimmigrant Visas||Immigrant and Diversity Visas|
|Chad||No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas||No immigrant or diversity visas|
|Iran||No nonimmigrant visas except F, M, and J student visas||No immigrant or diversity visas|
|Libya||No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas||No immigrant or diversity visas|
|North Korea||No nonimmigrant visas||No immigrant or diversity visas|
|Syria||No nonimmigrant visas||No immigrant or diversity visas|
|Venezuela||No B-1, B-2, or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies: Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members||No restrictions|
|Yemen||No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas||No immigrant or diversity visas|
|Somalia||Subject to additional scrutiny||No immigrant or diversity visas|
Please note that the Proclamation does allow for the granting of waivers on a case-by-case basis. US immigration counsel should be sought for assessment of waiver eligibility.
Citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea who already have travel plans to the US and a valid nonimmigrant visa or immigrant status are advised to enter the US before October 18, 2017. Citizens of these countries who are already present in the US and are in valid immigrant or nonimmigrant status are advised not to leave the US after October 18, 2017, as they may be barred from reentering. US immigration counsel should be sought before any travel.
PwC continues to monitor this matter and will be sure to update you as changes occur.
For further details regarding the Proclamation, or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team.