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Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3400
Seattle, WA 98101-3034

News & Articles

5 Things You Should Know About the President's Executive Order on Immigration

Published on March 6, 2017

On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued a new, revised Executive Order (EO) changing the scope of the previous Executive Order and travel ban on immigrants and refugees.  The new EO goes into effect on March 16, 2017.  Below is important information about the revised order.

  1. Visa Travel Ban. The new EO bars entry by foreign nationals from Syria, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for a period of 90 days, until June 14, 2017.  The ban only applies to those individuals who did not have a valid visa as of 5pm EST on January 27, 2017; are outside the U.S. on March 16, 2017; and do not have a valid visa as of March 16, 2017.  The ban does not include nationals from Iraq, except in limited circumstances for national security reasons.
  1. Refugee Ban. The new Order bans the travel of refugees into the U.S. under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, until July 14, 2017.  Decisions on applications for refugee status are also suspended during this time.  In addition, the revised order caps the number of refugees who can enter the U.S. in FY-2017 at 50,000. Finally, there is no longer an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. There may be waivers available for refugees from the six countries listed on the order on a case-by-case basis.
  1. Visa Travel Ban Exceptions. The revised travel ban does not apply to individuals under any of the following categories:
    • Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. (green card holders);
    • Foreign nationals who are “admitted or paroled into the United States” on or after March 16, 2017;
    • Foreign nationals holding other valid types of travel documents that permit traveling to the U.S. and seeing entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;
    • Dual nationals of one of the six countries when traveling on a passport issued by a country that is not one of the six countries;
    • Foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa; or
    • Foreign nationals who have been granted asylum or refugee status prior to March 16, 2017.
  1. Visa Travel Ban Waivers. Under the revised order, waivers to the travel ban are available on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the consular officer or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  Consular officers or CBP may grant a waiver if they are satisfied that denying entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship, and that the foreign national’s entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest. The order lists several categories of individuals who may qualify for a travel ban waiver.
  1. Visa Interview Waiver Program. The Department of State will restrict the Visa Interview Waiver Program so that all visa applicants must undergo an in-person interview.

If you have questions about the Executive Order or any other immigration-related issues, please contact any member of our team for assistance.

Janet CheethamJoel PagetAmy Royalty and Marsha Mavunkel are Immigration attorneys at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC.

Janet can be reached at 206.654.2235 or [email protected].
Joel can be reached at 206.654.2215 or [email protected].
Amy can be reached at 206.654.2260 or [email protected].
Marsha can be reached at 206.654.2253 or [email protected].

This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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