March 6, 2016. President Trump signed a new Executive Order (EO) today, restricting travel to the US for nationals of six, mainly Muslim, countries. The order replaces the earlier EO, which has been on hold due to ongoing litigation.
The new EO bans travel to the US for nationals of the 6 countries for 90 days, if they don't have a green card or an existing visa permitting them to enter the US.
The new order makes the following changes to the original plan.
Iraq has been removed from the list of affected countries, leaving Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. However, Iraqi nationals will need "thorough review" before any immigration benefit is granted. According to the EO "Such review shall include consideration of whether the applicant has connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations or with territory that is or has been under the dominant influence of ISIS, as well as any other information bearing on whether the applicant may be a threat to commit acts of terrorism or otherwise threaten the national security or public safety of the United States."
Unlike the previous EO, which had immediate effect, the new EO takes effect on March 16, 2017.
Who is Excluded from the Ban?
The ban does not apply to
Are There Exceptions to the Ban?
The EO allows for consulates to grant visas in exceptional circumstances, where the foreign national can show "...undue hardship, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest."
The list of circumstances warranting a waiver are:
The new EO suspends refugee applications for 120 days and caps the number of refugees at 50,000.
This is a very initial analysis of the new Executive Order, and new details and interpretations will emerge daily. Please contact Elaine Martin, immigration lawyer, with questions.
For more information, please see
DHS FAQ on new Executive Order
DHS Fact Sheet on new Executive Order
ACLU Planning Legal Challenge to new Executive Order
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.