What changed?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s controversial Executive Order 9645, commonly referred to as the Travel Ban, in a 5-4 decision.

Who is impacted?

The Travel Ban restricts entry into the United States for citizens of seven countries: North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, and Venezuela. The table below describes the impact of the ban for citizens of each country:

Country Impact
Iran All entry prohibited except by persons holding nonimmigrant student (F and M) and exchange-visitor (J) visas.
Libya Prohibited from entering the US as immigrants or on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. No other restrictions are expressly stated.
North Korea All entry into the US prohibited.
Somalia Prohibited from obtaining immigrant visas; nonimmigrant visas may be subject to heightened scrutiny.
Syria All entry into the US prohibited.
Venezuela Government officials and their family members are restricted from entry on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. Other visa holders may be subject to verification of traveler information.
Yemen Prohibited from entering the US as immigrants or on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. No other restrictions are expressly stated.

Exceptions to the Travel Ban include:

  • US Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders)
  • Individuals present in the United States in valid nonimmigrant visa status on the date of enactment (September 24, 2017)
  • Dual nationals (citizens of a listed country and another non-impacted country)
  • Asylees
  • Diplomatic visa holders

The Travel Ban also provides for the possibility of waivers to the entry restrictions on a case by case basis. Persons eligible for a waiver may include (i) relatives of US citizens, (ii) those in need of urgent medical treatment, and (iii) persons previously admitted to the United States on a long term basis, including anyone employed in the US, who will suffer undue hardship if denied entry. No formal procedure has been enacted for the processing of waiver applications. These requests are being intensely scrutinized with low approval rates reported.

Actions to take

Visa applications for citizens of impacted countries will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements, with the possibility of denial increased. Please contact your Baker McKenzie team immediately if the Travel Ban affects your employees.

Baker McKenzie will continue to monitor the development of any formal process for waivers to the travel ban, as this will substantially impact the international mobility of citizens of the above countries. At this time, citizens of the impacted countries who are lawfully present in the United States should not be affected. Those individuals should limit non-essential travel outside the United States and consider speaking with counsel before departing.

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