International Travel and Petition Processing - Clarification and Guidance on Trump Administration Executive Orders
February 3, 2017
The White House, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have issued guidance clarifying the impact of the Trump Administration Executive Orders issued last week. One of the Executive Orders placed a temporary hold on travel to the United States for individuals from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Please see our client alert
dated January 30, 2017 for more details.
Here are the key highlights of the government guidance:
- Green card holders (permanent residents). Individuals from the seven restricted countries who hold green cards will be permitted to travel to the United States. The White House and CBP have clarified that green card holders from these countries will still be able to apply to enter the United States. They should, however, expect to be referred to "secondary inspection" for additional questioning by CBP.
- Dual citizens. Individuals from the seven restricted countries who also hold citizenship of another country not included on the list can continue to apply for visas and travel to the United States. They must use the passport of the country of citizenship not included on the list of seven restricted countries to apply for a visa or entry to the United States.
- Canadian landed immigrants (Canadian permanent residents). Individuals from the seven restricted countries who are also Canadian landed immigrants (Canadian permanent residents) will be able to apply for a visa to the United States from a U.S. consular section in Canada. They will also be able to apply to enter the United States with proof of Canadian landed immigrant status, but only for travel directly from Canada at a land port or preclearance location.
- USCIS petition processing. On February 2, 2017, USCIS issued an internal memorandum clarifying that USCIS will continue to process petitions for immigration benefits on behalf of individuals who are from the seven restricted countries (with very limited exceptions for individuals outside the United States applying to USCIS for a travel benefit).
For updates on travel issues impacting individuals from the seven restricted countries, please see the CBP website
Tonkon Torp will provide ongoing updates on immigration law and policy changes impacting U.S. employers and their employees.
This client alert is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this update, or for more information about this topic, please contact any of the attorneys in our Business Immigration practice group, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.