United States: New Executive Order on travel restrictions has been signed – effective March 16, 2017
President Donald Trump signed a new Executive Order on March 6, 2017 that suspends the entry of nationals from six designated countries including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It does not include Iraq. The travel restriction lasts 90 days from its March 16, 2017 effective date, but may be extended.
On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order suspending the entry of nationals of seven countries, with limited exceptions, into the United States as immigrants and nonimmigrants for 90 days from the date of the Order. In response to the January 27, 2017 Executive Order, the State of Washington filed a lawsuit alleging the unconstitutionality of the Executive Order and on February 3, 2017, a Federal District Court in Washington issued a temporary restraining order preventing the enforcement of the travel restriction. On February 9, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously denied the request for a stay of the temporary restraining order, thereby making the travel restrictions unenforceable. On February 16, 2017, the Trump Administration stated that the Executive Order would be replaced with a new one.
On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued the new Executive Order that takes effect on March 16, 2017 at 12:01 am EDT, which revokes and replaces the January 27, 2017 Order. The new Order suspends the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen into the US for a 90 day period from the March 16, 2017 effective date.
President Trump’s new Executive Order makes the following significant changes to the previous Order:
– Foreign nationals from Iraq are no longer included in the travel restriction.
– The Order will only apply to foreign nationals of the six designated countries who are outside the US on March 16, 2017, who did not hold valid visas on January 27, 2017 at 5 pm EST, and who do not have a valid visa on March 16, 2017.
– Foreign nationals of these six countries who are US lawful permanent residents (green card holders) will not be restricted from entering the US.
– Dual nationals of these six countries who are travelling on the passport issued by a non-designated country will not be restricted from entering the US.
– Waivers may be available on a case-by-case basis.
While nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with valid visas are no longer subject to the travel restriction, they are still likely to be subjected to heightened scrutiny at US borders. As such, it is advised that foreign nationals from these countries exercise caution and do not travel outside of the US unless necessary. 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 executive order, or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team. www.pwc.com/ca/law