Administration issues new travel advisory for eight countries
Effective Oct. 18, 2017, the Trump administration will impose new travel restrictions for nationals from the following eight countries:
- North Korea
The restrictions will require the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to impose enhanced screening and vetting requirements for nationals from these countries when applying for visas or admission into the U.S. In some cases, the restrictions will prohibit entry into the U.S. Anyone with a permanent residence card, i.e. a lawful permanent resident, or with a travel visa already issued, will not have this revoked, but should expect additional scrutiny, i.e. a secondary inspection, upon entering the U.S. This new policy will last indefinitely, or until changed by a new proclamation or order by the president.
This is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to impose additional scrutiny and review in the visa process. Earlier this year, State Department cables to U.S. embassies and consulates indicated possible enhanced vetting to include collection of additional background information from applicants for the past 15 years and social media history for the past five years (handles, email addresses, etc.). DHS has also stated it will begin collecting social media information on all immigrants including social media handles, aliases, and associated identifiable information and search results. Anyone traveling into the U.S. with a valid visa should nevertheless expect additional questioning and possible inspection of electronic devices like smart phones, tablets and laptops.
RIS advises ALL international religious workers, in particular nationals from the countries listed above, to speak with their immigration attorney about this new policy and travel as soon as possible.