On June 25, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the Administration’s travel ban issued last September. The ban places indefinite limitations on travel for impacted foreign nationals from eight countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. The Court held that the travel restrictions are within the President’s broad powers to suspend the entry of foreign nationals and that laws prohibiting nationality-based discrimination do not limit the President’s power to determine who may enter the U.S. Consequently, the court held that such entry would be detrimental to the national interest, as the travel restrictions are consistent with U.S. national security objectives.
Nationals of the restricted countries will remain subject to the following U.S. travel limitations, unless otherwise exempt or granted a waiver:
· Iran: No nonimmigrant visas except F/M student visas and J exchange visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
· Libya: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
· North Korea: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
· Somalia: Nonimmigrant visa applicants subject to heightened scrutiny; no immigrant or diversity visas.
· Syria: No nonimmigrant, immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
· Venezuela: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas for officials of designated Venezuelan government agencies. Other visa holders are subject to verification of traveler information. No restrictions on immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
· Yemen: No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visitor visas; no immigrant or diversity lottery visas.
Exemptions and Waivers
Several classes of foreign national are exempt from the restrictions, including U.S. lawful permanent residents, dual nationals traveling on a passport from a non-restricted country, foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. visa or advance parole, and those who were physically in the U.S. on the applicable original effective date of the travel restrictions. Waivers are also available but are highly discretionary and infrequently approved. To be eligible, a foreign national must demonstrate that he or she would suffer undue hardship if denied entry; that his or her entry would not pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety; and that his or her entry would be in the U.S. national interest.
The travel restrictions will remain in effect for these eight countries indefinitely, unless the Administration removes them from the list. The Administration may also add new countries and broaden restrictions on foreign nationals already subject to the travel ban.
CPG Immigration Law Group will continue to monitor these developments and will publish more information as it becomes available. You can call us at (415) 371-1800 to set up an appointment with an attorney to discuss your specific concerns. You can also subscribe to our Newsletter to receive updates.