NOTE: The travel ban provision of this executive order, and its provision suspending refugee admissions, have been blocked from taking effect under court orders in Hawaii and Maryland. Other court challenges remain pending. More information can be found here.
The following is a simple summary of the March 6 executive order and related guidance from the Departments of State and Homeland Security on refugee admissions, visas for travelers from six countries and other provisions pertaining to entry to the United States.
- Revokes the prior executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
- Goes into effect on March 16, 2017.
- Bars travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Iraq is not included in the new executive order, although Iraqis may be subject to heightened screening.
- The 90-day ban does not apply to: 1) lawful permanent residents (green card holders), 2) foreign nationals admitted to or paroled into the U.S. on or after March 16, 2017, 3) any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on or after March 16, 2017, that permits travel to the U.S., such as an advance parole document, 4) dual nationals traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country, 5) foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, NATO visa, C-2 visa for travel to the U.N., or G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visa and 6) foreign nationals granted asylum; refugees already admitted to the U.S.; and people who have been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
- People in the U.S. on visas who are subject to the travel ban will be denied entry if they leave the U.S. and their visas expire while abroad, unless they have a valid multiple-entry visa.
- Case-by-case waivers may be available for people affected by the travel ban at the discretion of a consular or Customs and Border Protection officer, if the foreign national can show that denying entry to the U.S. will 1) cause undue hardship, 2) pose no threat to national security and 3) would be in the national interest.
- Although entry will be denied for 90 days, embassies/consulates are so far continuing to process
- Bars refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days. This does not include refugees who have already been formally approved for travel to the U.S.
- Does not include an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.
- No decisions will be made on refugee cases for 120 days but some processing/interviewing may continue.
- Refugee waivers may be granted on a case-by-case basis if 1) a refugee’s admission to the U.S. is in the national interest and 2) poses no security or welfare threat to the U.S.
- The refugee waiver does not apply to people applying to join their refugee family members in the U.S. based on an I-730 petition.
- Directs the secretaries of State and Homeland Security and the attorney general to consider rescinding the duress exception to terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds.
- Lowers the U.S. refugee admissions cap from 110,000 to 50,000 for fiscal year 2017.
- Naturalization and adjustment of status applications for people from the six named countries will continue to be processed.
- Directs agencies to enhance screening and vetting procedures for all visas/immigration benefits.
- Suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, with narrow exceptions.
- Calls for expedited completion of a biometric entry-exit system.
- Requires the secretaries of State and Homeland Security to submit periodic progress reports to the president on the implementation of the executive order.
- Requires the review of visa reciprocity with other countries.
- Requires agencies to collect and make publically available data about foreign nationals and terrorism-related offenses, gender-based violence including “honor killings” and the immigration status of foreign nationals who have been charged with major offenses, dating back to Sept. 11, 2001.