Full question: I’m confused about the new Executive Order. Can you please explain it in an easy way?
Background: On March 6, 2017 Mr. Trump signed a revised version of his original January 27, 2017 executive order, which bans immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries. Under the original Executive Order certain immigrants from seven countries were suspended from entering the U.S. for 90 days due to Trump’s belief that these immigrants posed a terrorist threat to the U.S. States sued to stop the ban in the original executive order. A federal district judge in Washington state suspended the ban on February 3, 2017; and on February 9, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed with Washington state and upheld the suspension on the ban.
When does the new executive order start: The new executive order goes into effect on March 16, 2017 at 12:01am EST.
What does the new executive order do: For the next 90 days, foreign nationals from six countries who are outside of the U.S. on March 16th, do not have a valid visa on March 16th, and did not have a valid visa at 5pm EST on January 27, 2017 are not eligible to come to the U.S.
What are the six countries: The new executive order bans immigrants from Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Iraq, which was banned in the original executive order, has been removed from this revised executive order because since the original executive order, the Iraqi government has “undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to final orders of removal.”
Who is NOT affected: The new executive order will not apply to:
a. Lawful permanent residents (aka people with a green card)
b. Foreign nationals admitted to the U.S. after March 16th
c. People with a document that is valid on March 16th or any date thereafter that allows travel to the U.S.
d. People with dual citizenship of one of these six countries, when travelling on a passport issued by a country that is not one of the six countries
e. People who have already been granted asylum or refugee status in the U.S., or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture before March 16th
Are there any exceptions: the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State may use their discretionary authority on a case-by-case basis to issue visas to allow immigrants from these six countries to come to the U.S.
What about refugees: the Refugee Admissions Program will be suspended for 120 days. When this program starts up again, it will not admit more than 50,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017.
What if I have a green card from one of these countries and I’m applying for U.S. citizenship: USCIS will continue to process Applications for Naturalization
What if I am from one of these countries and I am in the process of applying for a green card: USCIS will continue to process Applications to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
If you have questions about your immigration rights and options, please contact us.