According to a draft Executive Order obtained by major media, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, President Trump seeks to suspend immigrant and non-immigrant entry into the U.S. by foreign nationals from countries referenced in the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act. That Act, passed in December 2015, included a provision that restricted the use of the visa waiver program by dual nationals of certain countries and by persons who had recently visited certain countries. According to CBP, the countries on the list (and those we expect to be affected by this Executive Order) include:
- Somalia; and,
Accordingly, any foreign nationals from those countries, whether in the U.S. on temporary visas (including but not limited to F-1 students, E-1 and E-2 treaty traders/investors, E-3 Australians, H-1B professionals, J-1 exchange visitors, L-1 intercompany transferees, O-1 aliens of extraordinary ability, R-1 religious workers), or as permanent residents should be aware that if they travel outside the U.S., they risk not being re-admitted to the U.S.
In addition to not granting re-entry into the U.S. for visa and green card holders from the countries listed above, the proposed Executive Order references the suspension of issuance of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals of those countries. It remains unclear how long delays will be for those seeking adjudication of a visa, admission to the U.S. or other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA").
Although it has been widely circulated in the press, the proposed Executive Order is not yet final. The wording could be changed and it is also possible that such an order ultimately may not be implemented. We share this information with you so can be prepared for the actions the new administration is considering taking imminently. We encourage you to visit our website for further updates and details.