03/07/2017 - President Issues New Executive Order

On March 6, 2017, President issued a new Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which essentially revoked his previous Executive Order 13769 issued on January 27, 2017.  This new Executive Order seeks to address the concerns raised by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals while continue to limit the entry of certain nationals into the United States.  The new Executive Order becomes effective on March 16, 2017.
The most notable provisions in the new Executive Order are the following:
  • Nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian, and Yemen will not be allowed to enter the United States for 90 days from the effective date of the new Executive Order if they “are outside of the United Sates on the effective date of the order, did not have a valid visa at 5:00 pm EST on January 27, 2017, and did not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order.”  (Notably nationals from Iraq have been omitted from this revised list.)
  • The restriction will not apply to nationals from the aforementioned countries if (1) they are lawful permanent residents of the United States; (2) they are admitted or paroled into the United States on or after March 16, 2017; (3) they have documents other than a visa (i.e., advance parole document) that allows them to enter the United States if the documents are valid on March 16, 2017, or are issued thereafter; (4) they are dual nationals of another country and they are “traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;” (5) they are foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type of visa;  or (6) they have been granted asylum or have been admitted to the U.S. as refugees, or have been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
  • The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security may also provide to the President the names of additional countries whose nationals may pose a threat to the security or welfare of the United States.
  • On a case-by-case basis, a consular officer or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may issue a visa, or permit the entry of a foreign national for whom entry has been suspended, if denying the entry would cause undue hardship, the entry does not pose a threat to the national security, and it would be in the national interest to allow the foreign national to enter the U.S. Foreign nationals who would be able to apply for case-by-case waivers to the Executive Order may include those previously admitted to the United States for “a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity;” those with “significant business or professional obligations;” and those seeking to visit or live with family.
  • The travel of refugees to the U.S. under the United Sates Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) will be suspended for 120 days after the Executive Order becomes effective, but this provision will not be applicable to those who have been formally scheduled to resettle to the United States as long as it is scheduled before the effective date of this new Executive Order.
  • Only 50,000 refugees will be allowed to enter in the fiscal year 2017.
  • The Visa Interview Waiver Program is immediately suspended. (This is a program that allows individuals who are applying for a visa at a consulate abroad to bypass an in-person interview.  This is not to be confused with the Visa Waiver Program, also known as ESTA, which allows individuals to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days if they are from certain countries without first obtaining an actual visa stamp from a consular office.)
  • Any immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before the effective date of this Executive Order will not be revoked pursuant to this Executive Order.
  • If an individual’s visa was marked revoked or canceled as a result of the previous Executive Order 13769, the individual will be “entitled to a new travel document to enter the United States” and any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa solely pursuant to the previous Executive Order will not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination regarding entry or admissibility.
  • The new Executive Order will not be applicable to those who have been granted asylum, a refugee who is already in the U.S., or an individual who is granted withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
Please note that the above has been offered for educational purposes only.  Please contact Clark Lau LLC to determine how the above may impact your particular circumstances.

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