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Executive Order and Related Immigration Information

The State Department has announced that the Trump Administration will begin to fully implement the third travel ban on December 8, 2017 at the start of business local time. 

Summary

The US Supreme Court issued an order allowing the Trump Administration to implement its newest travel ban while lower courts continue to consider challenges to it. Restrictions, which vary by country, will affect certain nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, unless exempt or granted a waiver. Effective December 4, 2017, the US government can fully enforce Travel Ban 3.0 on all 8 countries while the administration appeals the District Court orders. Consequently, OISS recommends that individuals from the eight countries listed in the travel ban do not travel outside the US unless absolutely necessary.

Details

On December 4, 2017, the US Supreme Court granted the federal government’s request to allow it to enforce the full set of restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump’s September 24 proclamation (Proclamation 9645), often known as the “travel ban.” The proclamation limits the entry into the United States of nationals from eight countries – Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria (all of which were covered by an earlier order, issued on March 6), along with North Korea, Venezuela and Chad (which were not covered by the March 6 order). A federal court in Hawaii blocked the government from implementing the September 24 order, while a federal judge in Maryland barred the government from enforcing the order with respect to nationals of affected countries who can claim to have a genuine relationship with a person or institution in the United States. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit imposed a similar freeze on the order while the government appeals the Hawaii judge’s ruling, but that didn’t go far enough for the federal government, which went to the Supreme Court last month seeking to implement the entire ban.

On December 4th, the justices agreed to the federal government’s request. In two brief orders (Brief 1 (PDF)*and Brief 2 (PDF)*), the court permitted the Trump administration to enforce the September 24 order while the courts of appeals consider the government’s appeals and, if necessary, during review in the Supreme Court. In doing so, the justices went further than they had in June, when they carved out the same kind of exception to the March 6 order that the lower courts imposed in this case – for travelers who can claim a relationship with the United States. In its most recent filings, the Trump administration had argued that the September 24 order is different from its predecessors not only because of the “extensive worldwide review process” that led to its creation, but also because it applies to countries where Muslims are not a majority, while removing some majority-Muslim countries from earlier lists.

This order by the Supreme Court removes the relationship exemption and allows the Administration to fully implement the ban while challenges continue in the Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and the Ninth Circuits. It means that for now, whether a citizen of one of the 8 countries has a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States is no longer relevant in determining if he or she is subject to the travel ban.

The travel restrictions

Beginning December 8, nationals of the following countries will be subject to the following U.S. travel limitations, unless exempt or granted a waiver: 

  • Chad:  No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Iran :  No nonimmigrant visas except F and M student visas and J exchange visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Libya:  No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • North Korea:  No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Somalia:  Nonimmigrant visa applicants subject to heightened scrutiny; no immigrant or diversity visas.
  • Syria:  No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Venezuela :  No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas for officials of designated Venezuelan government agencies. Other visa holders are subject to verification of traveler information. No restrictions on immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
  • Yemen:  No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.

Exemptions and waivers

Several classes of foreign nationals are exempt from the restrictions, including U.S. lawful permanent residents, dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country, foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. visa or advance parole and those who were physically in the United States on the applicable original effective date of the travel restrictions.

Those who are not exempt may request a waiver when applying for a visa. To be eligible for a waiver, a foreign national must demonstrate that he or she would suffer undue hardship if denied entry, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety and would be in U.S. national interest. Waivers are discretionary and may be difficult to obtain.

What this means for travelers

Foreign nationals who are currently in the United States, hold a passport from a restricted country (other than exempt dual nationals) and would need to apply for a visa to reenter the United States should carefully consider the risks of international travel and the potential for significant delays.

All foreign nationals - including those exempt from the travel restrictions - are subject to national security screening and the potential for additional vetting when applying for a U.S. visa or admission to the United States.

Looking ahead

The travel restrictions will be implemented while the Fourth and Ninth Circuits continue to hear challenges to the presidential proclamation. The Ninth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on December 6,2017, while the Fourth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on December 8, 2017.

Please feel free to contact OISS, if you have concerns or questions regarding this Supreme Court decision.

Please refer to this page for updated information and resources on how this affects MSU faculty, students, and staff.

International students concerned about how the Executive Order could affect their immigration status at MSU should contact OISS and speak with an advisor at 517-353-1720 or oiss@msu.edu.

Undergraduate Students

For concerns regarding how the Executive Order could impact your academics at MSU, contact Assistant Dean Debra Dotterer (dotterer@msu.edu, +1-517-353-3243).

Graduate Students

For concerns regarding how the Executive Order could impact your academics at MSU, contact Associate Dean Tony Nunez (nunez@grd.msu.edu, +1-517-353-3220).

Travel Advisory

EO Chronology

NOTE: OISS advises international students, scholars, faculty and staff from one of the six restricted countries, whose visa is valid for a single entry only, not to travel internationally at this time. Individuals with an expired visa or a visa that will expire during the ban are also advised against international travel. Foreign nationals from the restricted countries are advised to contact OISS before traveling outside of the U.S.

October 8, 2017

The U.S. embassy in Turkey announced that it temporarily suspended nonimmigrant visa services at posts in Turkey, including the embassy in Ankara and the consular posts in Istanbul and Adana. The suspension notice is general, and at this time appears to cover all nonimmigrant visa services at consular posts in Turkey, even if an applicant is not a Turkish citizen.

This suspension is unrelated to the recent Proclamation that suspends entry for nationals of eight other countries.

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass explained in a statement from October 9, 2017 (https://tr.usembassy.gov/ambassador-john-bass-statement-suspension-visa-services-turkey/) that the decision is based in part on the recent arrests by the Turkish government of two Turkish citizens who were employed by the U.S. embassy.

Ambassador Bass described the scope of the suspension:
"Now this suspension of services is not a visa ban on Turkish citizens. It’s a suspension of our consideration of new visa applications. If you have a valid visa, you can still travel to the United States. If you want to apply for a visa at another U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Turkey, you are free to do so."

Fore more information, visit: U.S. and Turkey Suspend Nonimmigrant Visa Services

September 24, 2017

President Trump issued a Proclamation pursuant to Section 2(e) of Executive Order 13780, restricting entry to the United Sates for the nationals of eight countries. The restrictions are country-specific, and tailored to the situation of each individual country.

The eight countries subject to the Proclamation are:

  1. Chad
  2. Iran
  3. Libya
  4. North Korea
  5. Syria
  6. Venezuela
  7. Yemen
  8. Somalia

Iraq is not listed as one of the countries, but the Proclamation states that DHS recommended "that nationals of Iraq who seek to enter the United States be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States."

This is a new exercise of authority under Executive Order 13780. The prior 90-Day entry ban under Section 2(c) expired on Sunday, September 24, 2017, except for the portion relating to refugees, which expires on October, 24, 2017. The current "list of 8" comprises five countries that had been included in the prior 90-day entry ban (Sudan was removed), and three new countries: Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela.

Section 7 of the Proclamation contains two effective date phases:

  • September 24, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. EDT
  • October 18, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. EDT

The September 24, 2017 effective date applies to nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia who were subject to the 90-day entry ban of Executive Order 13780 who "lack credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

The October 18, 2017 effective date applies to all nationals of Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, and to nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia "who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

The "bona fide relationship" distinction is a legacy of the Court orders surrounding the litigation against the prior 90-day entry ban. Basically, it means that nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia who do not benefit from those Court orders because they lack a "bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States" are subject to the new Proclamation immediately. All other foreign nationals from the new "list of 8" countries will become subject to the Proclamation on October 18, 2017. On that date, the Court order protecting those with "bona fide relationships" from the 90-day entry bar will no longer be applicable, unless subsequent litigation succeeds in reestablishing that protection under the Proclamation's entry bar.

The conditions imposed by the Proclamation will last until the country begins providing such information "or until the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies that the country has an adequate plan to do so, or has adequately shared information through other means.

For details on the new EO, visit: Indefinite Entry Bar Under Executive Order

June 26, 2017

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court partially reinstated President Trump’s March 6 travel ban executive order against nationals of six countries (Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) and all refugees.  Specifically, the Court held that the travel ban may not be enforced against nationals of the designated countries who have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”  

The Court provided the following examples of foreign nationals from the six countries who can claim a “bona fide relationship” and enter the U.S.:

  • Individuals who have a close familial relationship in the U.S., such as an individual who wishes to enter the U.S. to live with or visit a family member.
  • Individuals who have a “formal, documented” relationship with an American entity that was “formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading” the executive order.  Examples of such a relationship include:
    • Students from the six designated countries who have been admitted to attend schools in the U.S.
    • Workers who have accepted an offer of employment from an American company.
    • Lecturers who have been invited to address an American audience. 

Refugees are subject to the same “bona fide relationship” test.  

If you are a national of one of the six restricted countries, you are already exempt from travel restrictions by the terms of the March 6 executive order if you fall into one of the following categories: 

  • You are a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder);
  • You are a dual national traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country; Canadian permanent residents are not exempt, however; 
  • You hold a valid, multiple-entry U.S. visa and you are otherwise admissible to the U.S.;
  • You are an applicant for adjustment of status with valid advance parole;
  • You have been granted asylum in the U.S.; or
  • You have been admitted as a refugee or you are a refugee whose travel has been formally scheduled by the U.S. State Department.

It is anticipated that the travel ban will go into effect on June 29, 2017.  It will be in force for 90 days against nationals of the six countries who do not qualify for an exemption, and for 120 days against non-exempt refugees.  The Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the merits of the March 6th executive order in its next term, beginning on October 1, 2017. 

Since most visa holders have the necessary “bona fide relationship” to the U.S., the travel ban should not apply to most travelers from the six designated countries.  There is concern, however, that the “bona fide relationship” test could be applied narrowly and/or arbitrarily, or result in confusion as federal agents determine what “bona fide relationship” means.  For this reason, students and scholars from the six impacted countries are advised against traveling outside of the U.S. for the duration of the ban unless absolutely necessary and to consult with OISS before travelling.

A full copy of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the travel ban executive order can be found at U.S. Supreme Course Decision (PDF)*.

March 16, 2017

A Hawaii federal judge on Wednesday, March 16, 2017 blocked President Trump’s latest version of an immigration ban prohibiting the entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries from taking effect nationwide. On Thursday, March 17, 2017 another federal judge in Maryland issued a similar ruling that also blocked the ban on entry for people from the six countries.

April 18, 2017

President Trump signed a new Executive Order entitled: Buy American and Hire American.

March 6, 2017

President Trump signed a new Executive Order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States." The order includes a revised entry ban on nationals of six countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—for the next 90 days from March 16, 2017. The new order revokes and replaces Executive Order 13769 in its entirety, effective March 16, 2017.

February 9, 2017

On Thursday evening February 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government's emergency motion for a stay on the District Court's temporary restraining order preventing the government from enforcing Executive Order 13769's 90-day entry bar.

Read the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision (PDF)*. The Court of Appeals states in its order,
"we hold that the Government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay."

This leaves in place the District Court's temporary restraining order, which continues to prevent the government from enforcing Section 3(c) of Executive Order 13769, the provision that established the 90-day ban on entry of "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and Sections 5(a), 5(b), 5(c), and 5(e) of the Executive Order, which established a 120-day suspension of admission of refugees to the United States. In the meantime, the District Court proceedings will continue.

February 3, 2017

Following is an update posted on the USCIS website regarding processing of filed applications and petitions:

  • "USCIS continues to adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of lawful permanent residents outside the U.S. USCIS also continues to adjudicate applications and petitions for individuals outside the U.S. whose approval does not directly confer travel authorization. Applications to adjust status also continue to be adjudicated, according to existing policies and procedures, for applicants who are nationals of countries designated in the Jan. 27, 2017, "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States."
  • We will provide additional guidance as it becomes available."
  • For latest news about USCIS processing and decisions, visit the USCIS website: https://www.uscis.gov/

Department of Homeland Security Statement on Feb. 3 Court Ruling:

  • In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."
  • This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order.
  • DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure.
  • At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President's Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate. The Order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so.
  • For the latest information, please visit the DHS website: https://www.dhs.gov/news

January 27, 2017

On Friday, January 27, 2017 President Trump issued an Executive Order suspending entry into the United States of immigrants and nonimmigrants from seven countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—for the next 90 days. Please refer to this page for updated information and resources on how this affects MSU faculty, students, and staff.

Helpful Resources

 

*Adobe Acrobat Reader Opens in new window is required to read PDF documents.


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