Monday, February 6, 2017

Travel Advisory - Update

The following is an updated Travel Advisory in connection with the Executive Order (EO) issued by the White House on January 27, 2017 barring foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for a period of 90 days, suspending admission of all refugees for a period of 120 days, and suspending admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely. 

On February 4, 2017, a federal court granted a nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO), prohibiting the federal government from enforcing sections of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order.  (State of Washington v. Trump) Based on this ruling, all U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing portions of the EO until further order from the court.  U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) field offices and personnel have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures.  All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has confirmed that, assuming there are no other issues in the case, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are once again valid for travel.  The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has confirmed with CBP that those individuals who whose visas physically cancelled as a result of the EO will not need to re-apply for a new visa and absent any other admissibility issues will receive an I-193 waiver (Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa) to be properly admitted into the U.S.  For those traveling by air, airlines have also been instructed to contact CBP to receive authorization to permit boarding.

As this situation continues to be fluid, and this court decision may be appealed, we recommend that all clients from the affected countries should remain  in the U.S. and avoid traveling outside of the U.S.  For those currently abroad, we recommend that you return to the U.S. as soon as possible while the restrictions proposed by the EO have been temporarily lifted.  

If you are a national of (or born in) Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen and are:

In the U.S., we recommend:
Refraining from travelling outside the United States.

Outside of the U.S., we recommend:
Returning to the United States as soon as possible.

Looking ahead, due to a shift in government resources and personnel devoted to carrying out the President's Executive Order, we anticipate heightened scrutiny of all visa applications and border admissions (i.e. background security checks and administrative processing, etc.), longer visa wait times, as well as delays in visa processing and issuance at U.S. Consular posts worldwide. 
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide additional guidance as it becomes available. In the meantime, please contact our office with specific inquiries or urgent travel issues.
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