This report covers the new entry/travel restrictions issued by the U.S. affecting citizens from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia.
On Sunday, September 24, 2017, the U.S. President, Donald J. Trump, issued a Proclamation “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.”1
The new restrictions replace the previous travel ban issued through an Executive Order that expired on September 24, 2017. The restrictions affect most or some nationals of the enumerated countries. Unlike prior versions of the ban, this Proclamation states that Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia failed to satisfy U.S. security measures.
Employers and educational institutions with employees and students, faculty, and researchers from the affected countries should monitor the status of this situation as any change in the legal position of these individuals could have consequences on their ability to enter or re-enter the United States if they are among the categories of individuals covered under the Proclamation.
Visa holders from the banned countries will likely be unable to renew their visas and employment authorizations.
U.S. citizens may also receive additional scrutiny if they have recently travelled to one of the specified countries.
Furthermore, officers at ports of entry in the U.S. could be asking green card holders to sign Form I-407, voluntarily relinquishing their permanent residency – they should not sign Form I-407 without first contacting a U.S. immigration attorney.
The U.S. State Department has provided a chart delineating how each of these countries are affected by the Proclamation, and the effective dates of the restrictions as they apply to each country.
The Proclamation provides exceptions for certain individuals, including (in part):
The Proclamation allows some of the banned countries’ citizens to travel to the United States. Iranian students will still be permitted to study in the U.S., although they will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
Venezuelan citizens will be able to travel to the U.S., except for certain government officials and their families.
Somali nationals may no longer immigrate to the U.S., but may visit, subject to additional screening.2
As with the previous travel ban3, the Proclamation confirms that persons holding green cards are not subject to the ban (noted above), nor will foreign nationals already holding valid visas have their visas revoked. However, visa holders from the banned countries will likely be unable to renew their visas and employment authorizations.
The restrictions contained in the Proclamation will remain in place indefinitely. Periodic reviews will be conducted for each restricted country to assess whether the travel limitations should be continued.
After this Proclamation was released, the U.S. Supreme Court cancelled arguments on the previous travel ban that were scheduled for October 10. The Court is now attempting to address the issue as to whether reviewing the constitutionality of the prior ban is still necessary. In effect, the Administration has used the Proclamation to implement a more robust suspension of travel rights/privileges and a much-heightened security regime that it hopes will better withstand judicial scrutiny.
KPMG Law LLP will continue to provide updates regarding the impact of this requirement as and when they become available.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
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