Travel Ban Expands to New Countries

Travel Ban Expands to New Countries

Travel Ban Expands to New Countries

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued Presidential Proclamation 9645, entitled “Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public Safety Threats.”   At that time, the following countries were identified as not meeting identity management protocols, information sharing and risk factors: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and to Yemen.  Iraq did not meet the minimum requirements, however, nationals of Iraq were not subject to the travel ban but were subject to additional screening.  Chad was later removed from the list. 

On January 31, 2020, President Trump a Presidential Proclamation expanding the Travel Ban to include certain foreign nationals of the following six counties:  Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.   According to the Department of Homeland Security, these additions were based on an assessment after reviewing updated security assessment criteria first established after the first iteration of the travel ban.  It should be noted that restrictions have only been placed on those seeking immigrant visas (green card visas) from the newly added countries. Individuals from these countries seeking nonimmigrant visas should not be restricted. The effective date of the expansion is February 21, 2020. 

Unless an exemption applies or the individual is eligible for a waiver, the travel restrictions

apply to foreign nationals of the designated countries who: (i) are outside the U.S. on the applicable

effective date; (ii) do not have a valid visa on the applicable effective date; and (iii) do not qualify

for a reinstated visa or other travel document that was revoked under Presidential Executive Order


Exemptions: The travel restrictions in the proclamation do not apply to:

  • lawful permanent residents;
  • foreign nationals who are admitted to or paroled into the U.S. on or after the applicable
  • effective date;
  • foreign nationals who have a document other than a visa (e.g., transportation letter,
  • boarding foil, advance parole document) valid on the applicable effective date or issued on
  • any date thereafter;
  • Dual nationals of a designated country who are traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
  • Foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic visas, NATO visas, C-2/U.N. visas, or G-1, G-
  • 2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or
  • AILA Doc. No. 20020190. (Posted 2/1/20)3
  • Foreign nationals who have been granted asylum in the U.S., refugees who have been
  • admitted to the U.S.; or individuals who have been granted withholding of removal,
  • advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Waivers: A waiver may be granted if a foreign national demonstrates to the consular officer’s or

CBP official’s satisfaction that:

  1. Denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship;
  2. Entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the U.S.; and
  3. Entry would be in the national interest.

Contact us for additional information related to this topic and for advice regarding how to navigate U.S. immigration laws.


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