Breaking news! Executive Order expected later today may affect travel for thousands of non-immigrant visa holders and immigrants

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: 

  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Iran
  • Sudan
  • Libya
  • Somalia; and,
  • Yemen.

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. 

DHS announces redesignation of TPS for Yemen & extension for Somalia

USCIS recently announced Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for Yemen and Somalia will be extended for an additional 18 months. For Yemen, the extension is effective March 4, 2017 through September 3, 2018, and the re-designation allows eligible nationals of Yemen to register for the first time or to re-register for TPS. For Somalia, the extension is effective March 20, 2017 through September 17, 2018, and applicants can re-register for TPS during the 60 days registration period that runs until March 20, 2017.

For more information please visit USCIS's TPS website.

TPS update: Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen and proposal for adding several Central American countries

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced several important designations and deadlines related to Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for nationals from Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen: 

  • On January 25, 2015, DHS announced it was extending TPS for nationals of Sudan.  Current TPS Sudan beneficiaries who wish to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from January 25, 2016 through March 25, 2016.
  • On that same day, Secretary Johnson announced redesignation and extension TPS for nationals from South Sudan. Current TPS beneficiaries from South Sudan have until March 26, 2016 to re-register, and new applicants for TPS from South Sudan must apply by July 26, 2016 and prove they are either South Sudanese nationals or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan with continuous residence in the U.S. since January 25, 2016 and continuous physical presence in the U.S. since May 3, 2016.
  • Yemen was designated for TPS on September 3, 2015 and the registration period runs through March 1, 2016, so applicants from Yemen have less than a month remaining to apply. 

Also on January 25, 2016, a group of 273 civil rights, labor rights, faith-based, immigrant, human rights, humanitarian, and legal service organizations sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary Johnson requesting DHS designate El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for TPS.  These three countries, known as the Northern Triangle, have experienced a period of escalating violence that has been visible in the U.S. in light of the huge numbers of refugees (particularly minor children) fleeing the Northern Triangle countries.  Iandoli Desai & Cronin P.C. will post news and updates from the White House or DHS regarding this request and any agency action on this page: