On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a newly revised Executive Order titled, “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” The newly revised Executive Order is set to supersede the January 27, 2017 Executive Order and come into effect on March 16, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Who is affected?

Subject to the exceptions listed below, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen will be denied entry into the United States for a period of 90 days starting on March 16, 2017 if they meet the following criteria:

  1. He or she is outside of the United States on March 16, 2017.
  2. He or she did not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 27, 2017; and
  3. He or she does not have a valid visa on March 16, 2017.

Contrary to the January 27, 2017 Executive Order, this newly revised Executive Order excludes foreign nationals from Iraq from the suspension of entry into the United States. However, a foreign national from Iraq may nevertheless be subject to further scrutiny when entering the United States.

Who is not affected?

Foreign nationals from the above six countries are excepted from the Executive Order if they meet any of the following criteria:

  1. He or she is a lawful permanent resident of the United States;
  2. He or she is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after March 16, 2017;
  3. He or she has a document other than a visa valid on March 16, 2017 or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;
  4. He or she is a dual national of one of the six countries when he or she is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
  5. He or she is traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or
  6. He or she has been granted asylum; he or she is a refugee who has already been admitted to the United States; or he or she has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Is there a possibility of a waiver?

On a case-by-case basis, a consular officer, the Commissioner of the United States Customs and Border Protection, or the Commissioner’s delegee may authorize the issuance of a visa to or permit the entry of a foreign national for whom entry is otherwise suspended. The following criteria must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the officer:

  1. A denial of entry would cause undue hardship to the foreign national;
  2. His or her entry would not pose a threat to national security; and
  3. His or her entry would be in the national interest of the United States.

What else is affected?

The newly revised Executive Order will suspend the travel of refugees into the United States under the USRAP for 120 days beginning March 16, 2017. However, the suspension will not apply to any refugee applicants who have been formally scheduled for transit by the Department of State before March 16, 2017. The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis during the 120-day suspension period insofar as they determine that the entry of an individual as a refugee is both in the national interest of the United States and does not pose a threat to the security or welfare of the United States.

The Executive Order will also immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program. All individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa will undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.  Any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the IOIA; or traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government are excepted from this suspension.

What now?

If you are a foreign national from one of the six countries listed in the Executive Order, we highly recommend that you refrain from any travel outside of the United States until further direction is provided after the 90-day period of the Executive Order.

Although the original Executive Order from January 27, 2017 was blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court, there is no guarantee that a similar ruling will apply to the newly revised Executive Order.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Executive Order and its implementation, please contact a Business Immigration Specialist.

SWLG, P.C. will keep you informed of any new developments regarding the Executive Order and its implementation.