Trump Issues New Travel Restrictions


With his most recent travel ban order expiring, President Trump issued a proclamation yesterday implementing travel restrictions for eight countries. In his proclamation, the President states these new restrictions stem from a recently completed worldwide review of whether countries meet criteria related to national security and public safety risk assessments, as well as sharing information relevant to the screening and vetting of foreign nationals traveling to the United States.

The countries affected by the new proclamation are: North Korea, Syria, Chad, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Iran, and Venezuela, with the restrictions varying for each country. The Department of State's announcement provides a breakdown of the respective restrictions, the most severe of which apply to North Korea and Syria. The respective restrictions apply to foreign nationals who are outside of the U.S., do not have valid visas, and are not eligible to have visas revoked previously pursuant to the President's original travel ban reissued.

Similar to the President's most recent travel ban, the new travel restrictions encompass numerous exceptions, including:

• Lawful permanent residents, commonly known as green card holders;
• Foreign nationals with valid travel documents other than visas, such as advance parole;
• Foreign nationals admitted to the United States by CBP on or after the applicable effective date;
• Dual nationals traveling using a passport issued by a non-designated country;
• Foreign nationals who have already been granted asylum or admitted as a refugee; and
• Foreign nationals travel on certain diplomatic visas.

The new restrictions are currently set to take effect at different times. For foreign nationals who were subject to the previous travel ban and "lack a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," the restrictions took effect at 3:30 p.m. EST yesterday, September 24th. Everyone else will be subject to the new restrictions at 12:01 a.m. EST on October 18th.

Consular and CBP officers will continue to have discretion to grant waivers for the issuance of visas and admission into the United States on a case-by-case basis if it is determined that denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship; entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States; and entry would be in the national interest. The proclamation identifies several circumstances which would justify a waiver, including both business and humanitarian reasons. For the full list of current exceptions to the new restrictions and possible waivers, please refer to the full text of the new proclamation.

While the new travel restrictions are indefinite, the proclamation does state that "the Secretary of Homeland Security may recommend to the President the removal or modification of any or all restrictions and limitations" at any time. Beyond that, the Secretary of Homeland Security is required to submit a report to the President every six months with recommendations for whether existing restrictions should be continued, modified, or ended, as well as whether to impose additional restrictions.

For more information, you can refer to the White House's FAQs. Goel & Anderson will continue to monitor developments and provide updates. If you have any questions, please contact your Goel & Anderson attorney.