On March 6, 2017, the Trump Administration released an Executive Order aimed at banning individuals from certain countries from entering the U.S. The Executive Order, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” but referred to by some as Travel Ban 2.0, amends the first-issued travel ban issued in the first days of the new Presidency.
The first travel ban, designed to satisfy a Trump campaign promise and released with little preparation or analysis, was quickly stopped in the Courts. The new travel ban – more limited in scope and better scrubbed for Constitutional defects – suspended entry of all refugees for a period of 120 days, imposed heightened screening and vetting requirements for Iraqi nationals, and blocked entry to the U.S. for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Following its release, the amended order was challenged in the federal district courts and orders were issued to “stay” its implementation. The decision of the lower Courts and the stay were appealed by the Administration and, by order dated June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision to grant a “partial stay” but to allow the travel ban to take effect.
The Supreme Court has ruled that, within the revised ban, those individuals from the six countries who currently hold visas to continue to be allowed to travel in and out of the U.S. but those who intend to apply for a visa or for admission to the U.S. will now have to prove, “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States”.
So what does this mean?
The Supreme Court’s decision verified that visitors from the six countries identified by the links to international terrorism can only be issued visas if they prove that they have a mother, father, son‑ or daughter‑in‑law, step‑children or a fiancé in U.S. They can also be issued a visa if they are a student attending an American institution or if they are employed by an American company.
However, grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, cousins, or any other “extended” family members are not included within the “close and personal relationship” definition. If persons from the six countries are unable to prove a “bona fide relationship” then they are subject to the travel ban. In addition, with the exception of some individuals covered by exceptions, the revised Executive Order suspends are refugee processing for 120 days.
The travel ban does not affect U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (green card holders), current visa holders, any visa applicant who was in the U.S. before June 26, dual nationals, any individual granted asylum, and refugee already admitted into the U.S. or cleared for travel through July 6, 2017, and foreign nations who can show a bona fide family, educational, or business relationship in the U.S.