Authored by Diane E. Metzger
Jan 30, 2017
President Trump’s executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” temporarily suspends entry of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The executive order also suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which is used by many H-1B visa holders to apply for a visa permitting them to return to the U.S. to resume work after temporary travel abroad.
While the situation remains very fluid, and court orders in various jurisdictions have stayed portions of the executive order, we are currently recommending that employers of foreign nationals proceed as follows:
The order applies to individuals with employment-based visas, such as H-1B, F-1, and L-1 visas, lawful permanent residents or “green card,” holders as well as persons with dual citizenship with one of the countries on the restricted list.
The Department of Homeland Security has issued further guidance suggesting lessened restrictions on green card holders, stating that green card status “will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations”, but only to the extent that additional information does not indicate the individual is a threat to public safety and welfare. While this guidance provides much needed assurances to green card holders, it does not guarantee that all green card holders will be granted entry into the U.S.
The order gives the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security discretion to issue visas on a case-by-case basis to individuals from these countries. At this moment, it does not appear that a process is in place for granting these exceptions. The order also indefinitely suspends the entry of all Syrian refugees and suspends the admission of refugees from all other countries for 120 days.
Please contact Lowenbaum Law’s lead immigration attorney Diane Metzger if you have any questions or need assistance because of this new executive order.