FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Travel Ban Executive
Frequently Asked Questions on the Impact of President Trump's Executive Order – “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry in the United States”
UPDATE (3/20/17): The Executive Order signed on January 29, 2017 was revoked by the revised Executive Order signed by the President on March 6, 2017. The revised Executive Order which has an effective date of March 16, 2017, removed Iraq from the designated countries and clarified that it did not apply to lawful permanent residents. On March 15, 2017, two federal judges temporarily blocked enforcement of the revised Executive Order nationwide. If the federal government appeals the temporary injunctions and prevails, the revised Executive Order will likely go into effect immediately.
(Updated January 30, 2017)
President Trump signed an Executive Order on Friday, January 27th that imposes new restrictions on foreign nationals seeking to enter or reenter the United States. Among the important changes, the Executive Order bans foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Libya from entering or reentering the United States for at least 90 days, suspends admission of all refugees for at least 120 days, and cancels the interview visa waiver program for all foreign nationals seeking visa renewals at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy outside the U.S. We are providing this list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help you understand the implications on how this might affect you and/or your family members. The situation is in flux and the new Administration’s policy is changing almost daily. There are other "Draft" Executive Orders that may be signed in the coming days. These proposed Orders may have further impact on foreign workers, and their employers. We will update these FAQs when/if these Orders are signed.
When did the Executive Order go into effect, and for how long?
The Executive Order was signed by the President on January 27, 2017 and was put into immediate effect. The suspension of visa issuance and entry to the United States for nationals from the designated countries will be in effect for at least 90 days.
Does the Executive Order apply to Lawful Permanent Residents?
Yes, the language of the Executive Order encompasses all foreign nationals from the 7 countries, including permanent residents. However, the Department of Homeland Security issued a press release on Sunday, January 29th indicating that he will, as a matter of discretion, admit U.S. permanent residents in the national interest. The language of the press release indicates that the DHS still reserves the right not to admit a permanent resident where it has “significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare.” It is unclear at this point how this discretionary standard will be employed. We expect that permanent residents will continue to face significant delays when seeking admission to the U.S., and some maybe ultimately be denied admission where the DHS finds what it calls “derogatory information.” Based on reports at various international airports Sunday and Monday, most permanent residents from the designated countries are being admitted, after being detained for two or more hours.
Does the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Federal Judge in the Washington v. Trump on February 3, 2017 stop the Executive Order?
Yes, but only temporarily. The TRO could be lifted as early as Monday, February 6, 2017.
Will the President’s Executive Orders affect my chances in the H-1B Lottery?
No. The Executive Order from Friday does not address H-1Bs. Although future Executive Orders may impact areas of employment-based immigration, the number of new H-1Bs allocated in the annual cap lottery can only be changed by an Act of Congress.
For more FAQs on travel in light of the recent and ongoing changes in U.S. immigration policy, please see our travel advisory here.