New U.S. Travel Restrictions Unveiled

President Trump signed a proclamation on Sunday, September 24, 2017, imposing new restrictions on entry to the U.S. on foreign nationals.  This proclamation will replace his prior travel ban which expired on September 24th. The new travel rules will apply to citizens of Chad, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; and will go into effect on October 18, 2017.  

The previous travel ban barred citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who lacked a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S.” from entering the country.  The new travel ban under the proclamation has dropped Sudan from this list and added Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, three countries which were not subject to the earlier travel ban.  

The new travel restrictions include an indefinite ban on citizens of certain countries like Syria and a suspension of non-immigrant visas to certain government officials and their immediate families who are citizens of Venezuela. However, no current validly issued green cards, visas or travel documents will be revoked.  Foreign nationals with a “bona fide relationship” exception, such as a foreign grandparent of a U.S. citizen, or an individual with “significant business or professional obligations” in the U.S. can still apply for a visa until October 18, 2017, after which the new travel restrictions will come into play. 

The restrictions are aimed at countries that according to the Department of Homeland Security, fail to share sufficient information with the U.S. or haven’t taken necessary security precautions. 

Zeenat Phophalia, Esq., Senior Associate

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