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On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued a revised Executive Order banning entry into the United States for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days. Unlike the previous Executive Order issued on January 27, 2017, Iraq is not included. Refugees are still barred from entry for 120 days. This Executive Order will go into effect on March 16, 2017.

As you know, the President released an Executive Order on January 27, 2017 that banned people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days. It went into effect immediately, and resulted in tremendous confusion at our borders, as guidance had not yet been issued to employees of U.S. Customs & Border Protection. This previous Order has been on hold due to litigation, and has now been revoked and replaced with the new one.

There are a number of exemptions from the new ban. The following persons are exempt from the ban, even if they are from one of the six affected countries if they:

  • hold dual nationality with a country not on the list,
  • are Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States or
  • had a valid visa on January 27, 2017 or hold a valid visa on March 16, 2017.

There are additional exemptions that permit the State Department to issue waivers on a case-by-case basis: when it is in the national interest of the United States, when the individual does not pose a threat to national security and if denial of entry will cause undue hardship. This Order does not cancel any visas that are currently valid, and does not affect people currently in the United States in one of the categories listed above.

Fortunately, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services will continue to process petitions and applications filed with them for naturalization, lawful permanent resident status and extension/change of status.

Refugees are still affected by this Executive Order. All refugees from the six countries will be ineligible for admission to the United States for 120 days, unless they already hold visas. Syrian nationals are no longer subject to an indefinite ban; refugees from Syria will be treated the same as other refugees. The number of refugees that the U.S. will admit this year will be decreased from 110,000 to 50,000.

There is likely to be litigation regarding this Executive Order, but for now we anticipate that it will go into effect as written on March 16, 2017.

Please contact your Vedder Price attorney or one of the attorneys in our Business Immigration practice group if you have any questions regarding these issues or any other immigration matters.


Sara B. DeBlaze