After over a year of litigation, the United States Supreme Court recently upheld President Trump’s so-called “travel ban” as constitutional and statutorily permissible. See Trump v. Hawaii, 585 U.S. ____ (2018). Criticized by many as invidious, imprudent, or unnecessary, Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 attempts to improve screening procedures related to national security for individuals from countries that may present “public safety threats.” 82 Fed. Reg. 45161 (2017) (the “Travel Ban”). To this end, the Travel Ban placed certain types of entry restrictions on the nationals of eight (8) countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia, and Yemen. Although the restrictions differ from country to country and do not apply to all individuals attempting to enter the United States from those countries, many still wish to know what the Travel Ban does and whether it will affect them.
The Travel Ban prohibits entry into the United States as an immigrant for nationals of the following countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. For those seeking to enter the United States as nonimmigrants, the Travel Ban prohibits the issuance of certain business and tourist visas from the following countries: Chad, Libya, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Yemen. Importantly, for nationals of North Korea and Syria, the Travel Ban prohibits entry into the United States regardless of whether the individual seeking entry is attempting to enter as an immigrant or a nonimmigrant. As for Venezuela, the Travel Ban’s entry restrictions only appear to apply to certain Venezuelan government officials.
However, the Travel Ban does contain exceptions. The Travel Ban does not prohibit entry of the following categories of individuals coming from the countries listed above: lawful permanent residents of the United States, foreign nationals who have been granted asylum by the United States, refugees who have already been admitted to the United States, or individuals who have been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.