White House Executive Order Issues Ban On Issuance Of US Visas
On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that became effective immediately, which aimed to protect Americans from terrorist attacks by foreign nations. The EO covered key points including the following:
Issuance of US visas was specifically banned for nationals of 7 Muslim countries. These 7 countries include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen. The ban has been put in place for 90 days currently, but it may be extended if these countries do not cooperate with the United States by providing certain requested information.
This 90-day travel ban prohibits the issuance of visa to individuals of these countries. The entry of individuals to the United States from these countries has also been prohibited. US Consulates across the world have been ordered not to issue visa to individuals who are nationals of these 7 countries. Individuals affected by the EO will also have any pending visa applications denied, whether they applied for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa.
Border Protection officers as well as US Customs at border crossings have also been ordered to delay admission to individuals who are nationals of the listed countries. Airports have also been ordered to delay the admission process for such individuals. Nationals of these countries are banned from entering the United States as per the EO.
DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has been advised to immediately review information needed from any country. DHS also has to adequately determine the identity of any person seeking US visa or other immigration benefit. In-person interviews will have to be conducted in order to determine if the person is a security threat or not. This report has to be submitted by DHS within 30 days. Countries that do not provide enough information will be added to the list.
The EO has another condition which is the suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days.
The Executive Order also orders to implement uniform screening standards for all immigration programs. In-person interviews have also been reinstituted by the EO, which means that individuals seeking US visas have to apply for them in-person by visiting the US consulates in their respective countries. Individuals cannot apply for a visa by simply dropping in their applications or by “mail-in.”