U.S. Supreme Court about Trump Travel Ban
29 Jun 2017
Since the beginning of the year, there has been much discussion in America about President Trump’s Executive Order banning travel for citizens of certain Muslim countries. This 90-day ban refers to the revised order from March 6th, 2017. It bans travel and suspends visa applications for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. On Monday June 26th, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on the Executive Order for the first time. One thing is certain: Green Card holders are not affected by the ban.
The following article will inform you about:
- What did the U.S. Supreme Court decide?
- The impact on USA travelers, visa applicants and holders
- GreenCard applicants
- Who is not affected by the travel ban?
- Recommendations for upcoming trips to the USA
After the Executive Order was blocked by multiple court orders in March, the Trump administration requested that the Supreme Court rule on the case. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal which will most likely take place in October 2017. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that parts of the order from March 6th, 2017 will be allowed.
Starting on Thursday June 29, 2017, citizens from the following six countries will presumably be banned from traveling to the USA and from applying for a U.S. visa for 90 days (foreseeably until September 27th, 2017): Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
If you are a current Diversity Visa (Green Card) applicant and a citizen of one of the affected countries, then they are a few things you should be aware of. First of all, all Diversity Visa applicants should be able to attend their visa interview at the U.S. consulate. If the applicant will receive a diversity visa relies on the following points:
- The applicant’s eligibility will be checked first. The applicant must meet the work and education experience requirements. Those who do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.
- The consular officer will then check if the applicant is exempt from the executive order; i.e. applicants already in the USA or those already with a U.S. visa.
- The consular officer will then check if the applicant can apply for a waiver; i.e. a visa denial would cause undue hardship, entry would not pose a threat to national security or be in the national interest.
- If the applicant does not qualify for an exemption or a waiver, their Diversity Visa application should be refused.
Diversity Visa applicants will be notified by the U.S. consulate where they will have the interview about these guidelines. The consulate will also ask the applicant if they want to continue with the Green Card application process.
If you are already a Green Card holder, then you have nothing to worry about. The travel ban does not affect the citizens of the above-mentioned countries if the following applies:
- They are Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders)
- Have entered the United States legally before June 29th, 2017 or are already in the USA
- Do not yet have a U.S. visa, but have, for example an Advance Parole travel document
- Have dual citizenship and can travel to the USA with a second passport from a country not on the banned list, have a U.S. visa issued or are currently applying for one under the second citizenship
- They are diplomats, NATO officials, C-2 or G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visa holders as well as applicants
- Refugee status has already been granted
Important: People who have traveled to the above-mentioned countries are not affected and can continue to plan their trip to the USA.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the travel ban and the suspension of visa applications will not apply to the following groups of persons. Citizens of the six countries who:
- … currently have an open case against the Executive Order in the USA
- … can show evidence of very close familial relationships in the USA
- … can show evidence of a genuine relationship to an American organization
The last point especially leaves a lot up to interpretation. According to the decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court, people visiting relatives, traveling into the USA for studies, or coming to America for work are still allowed to enter the country.
More clearly stated, that would mean people who already have or are applying for a student (F-1) or work visa (e.g. B, E,L,H,O) still have a chance to come to the USA as well as citizens from the banned countries who are visiting relatives. To do so, however, the traveler must present enough evidence to the officer at the border or the consulate to prove their close ties with the USA.
Important: Green Card applicants should bring evidence of familiar relationships or present an offer for a job in the USA (important: do not present a job contract since you do not yet have a work permit) to highlight their ties to the USA.
- All travelers flying on or a few days after June 26th, 2017 should expect to encounter longer waiting times in American airports and on the border.
- We highly recommend affected citizens who are currently living in the USA with an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa to not leave the USA. This applies to citizens whose visa status is still valid.
- If you are a citizen of one of the affected countries and are traveling to the USA after June 26th, 2017 with a work, student or business visa, make sure to be prepared to answer questions at the border. It is very advisable to bring supporting documents to prove your close ties to the USA.
- If you are a student, this can be an enrollment certificate or a letter from the university; employees may bring a work contract or a letter from their employer; and people traveling for business should bring, for example a letter of invitation.
Nothing although is standing in the way of the Green Card Lottery DV-19 and you can continue to apply. Find out more about the participation requirements and get a list of current countries excluded from the Lottery here.