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Trump Travel Ban: What You Need To Know

In 2017, parts of President Trump’s travel ban went into effect. Citizens from the following countries may be affected: Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan. Citizens traveling from these countries cannot enter the borders unless they can show a ‘bona fide’ relationship with the United States.

Congresswoman Fudge opposes the travel ban and is committed to doing everything in her power to support our nation’s immigrants and their families, and keep affected constituents informed.

FAQs on the Trump Administration Travel Ban

(from the U.S. Department of State)

What does the Supreme Court’s decision mean for applicants for U.S. visas?

The Supreme Court’s order specified that the suspension of entry provisions in section 2(c) of Executive Order 13780 may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. All other foreign nationals of the designated countries are subject to the provisions of the Executive Order, which will be implemented worldwide as of June 29, 2017, at 8:00 pm, EDT, taking into account the Supreme Court decision.  The Executive Order prohibits the issuance of U.S. visas to nationals of Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen unless they are either exempt or are issued a waiver. Consular officers first determine whether the applicant qualifies for the visa class for which they are applying before considering whether an exemption to the executive order applies or whether the applicant qualifies for a discretionary waiver.

What are nonimmigrant visa classes subject to the Executive Order?

The Supreme Court’s order specified that the suspension of entry in section 2(c) of Executive Order 13780 may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.  Applicants seeking B, C-1, C-3, D, I or K visas will need to demonstrate that they have the required bona fide relationship in order to be exempt, or they may qualify for a waiver pursuant to the terms of the E.O.  Qualified applicants in other nonimmigrant visa categories are considered exempt from the E.O., as a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States is inherent in the requirements for the visa classification, unless the relationship was established for the purpose of evading the order.

What immigrant visa classes are subject to the Executive Order?

Qualified applicants in the immediate-relative and family-based immigrant visa categories are exempt from the order since having a bona fide close familial relationship is inherent in the requirements for the visa.  Likewise, qualified employment-based immigrant visa applicants generally are exempt from the E.O., since they have a bona fide formal, documented relationship with a U.S. entity formed in the ordinary course.  Unlike other employment-based immigrant visa applicants, certain self-petitioning employment-based first preference applicants with no job offer in the United States and special immigrant visas under INA section 101(a)(27)) may be covered by the E.O. and, consequently, would need to demonstrate that they have a bona fide relationship with an entity in the United States or otherwise qualify for a waiver.  Diversity visa applicants will need to demonstrate a qualifying relationship or qualify for a waiver since a relationship with a person or entity in the U.S. is not required for such visas.   

An individual who wishes to apply for an immigrant visa should apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might demonstrate that he or she is exempt from section 2(c) of the Executive Order.  A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the E.O. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for a waiver.

If a principal visa applicant qualifies for an exemption or a waiver under the E.O., does a qualified derivative also get the benefit of the exemption or waiver?

Yes, eligible derivatives of these classifications are also exempt.

Does this Order apply to dual nationals?

This Executive Order does not restrict the travel of dual nationals, so long as they are traveling on the passport of an unrestricted country and, if needed, hold a valid U.S. visa.

Our embassies and consulates around the world will process visa applications and issue nonimmigrant and immigrant visas to otherwise eligible visa applicants who apply with a passport from an unrestricted country, even if they hold dual nationality from one of the six restricted countries.

Does this apply to U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents?

No. As stated in the Order, lawful permanent residents of the United States are not affected by the Executive Order.

Are there special rules for permanent residents of Canada?

Permanent residents of Canada who hold passports of a restricted country can apply for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa to the United States if the individual presents that passport, and proof of permanent resident status, to a consular officer.  These applications must be made at a U.S. consular section in Canada.  A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the E.O. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for a waiver.

Will you process waivers for those affected by the E.O.?  How do I qualify for a waiver to be issued a visa?

As specified in the Executive Order, consular officers may issue visas to nationals of countries identified in the E.O. on a case-by-case basis, when they determine: that issuance is in the national interest, the applicant poses no national security threat to the United States, and denial of the visa would cause undue hardship.

What is a close familial relationship for the purposes of determining if someone is subject to the E.O. per the Supreme Court decision?

A close familial relationship is defined as a parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, whether whole or half, and including step relationships.  “Close family” does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, fiancé(e)s, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and any other “extended” family members.

I sponsored my family member for an immigrant visa, and his interview appointment is after the effective date of the Order. Will he still be able to receive a visa?

The Supreme Court’s order specified that section 2(c) of the Executive Order may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide close familial relationship with a person or a formal, documented relationship with an entity in the United States that was “formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading [the Executive Order].”  One example cited in the Supreme Court’s decision was a foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, thereby demonstrating a bona fide relationship with a person in the United States.  Applicants for immigrant visas based on family relationships are excluded from the E.O. under the Supreme Court’s decision if they otherwise qualify for the visa.

Can those needing urgent medical care in the United States still qualify for a visa?

The Executive Order provides several examples of categories of cases that may qualify for a waiver, to be considered on a case-by-case basis when in the national interest, when entry would not threaten national security, and denial would cause undue hardship.  Among the examples provided, a foreign national who seeks to enter the United States for urgent medical care may be considered for a waiver.

An individual who wishes to apply for a waiver should apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might qualify the individual for a waiver.  A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the E.O. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for a waiver.

I’m a student or short-term employee that was temporarily outside of the United States when the Executive Order went into effect.  Can I return to school/work?

If you have a valid, unexpired visa, the Executive Order does not apply to your return travel.

If you do not have a valid, unexpired visa, the Supreme Court’s decision specified that section 2(c) of the Executive Order may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.  One example cited in the Supreme Court’s decision was a student from a designated country who had been admitted to U.S. university, thereby demonstrating a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with an entity in the United States.

An individual who wishes to apply for a nonimmigrant visa should apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might demonstrate that he or she is exempt from section 2(c) of the Executive Order.  A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the E.O. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for a waiver. 

 

Useful Links:

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

 

If you need help with legal aid, please call:

National Immigrant Justice Center

Detained immigrants call collect at (312) 263-0901 or use the pro bono platform and NIJC's 3-digit code, 565.

All others call (312) 660-1370 or (773) 672-6599.

Cleveland Legal Aid

New intakes are processed via phone: (888) 817-3777 (toll-free) or (216) 687-1900 (Cleveland local)

ACLU Ohio

If you are seeking the ACLU’s help in a legal matter involving your constitutional rights, please send them a one-page letter summarizing your situation along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address below (do not send legal documents with your letter) or fill out their online complaint form here: https://action.aclu.org/secure/ohio-legal-intake

Please call (216) 472-2200.

Cleveland Catholic Charities

Phone: (216) 939-3769

Asian Services In Action (offices in Akron and Cleveland)

Akron Office:  (330) 535-3263

Cleveland Office: (216) 881-0330