Our office receives a lot of questions regarding exemptions from the Travel Ban. We have created this post to answer questions and provide the latest updates.
Travel Ban 3.0 currently imposes restrictions on all immigrants and certain nonimmigrants from six countries:
- North Korea
There are also restrictions on certain visitors from Venezuela. A previous version of Travel Ban 3.0 included Chad, but it was removed from the list on April 10, 2018.
There are exemptions for certain individuals, such as lawful permanent residents and dual nationals traveling on a passport of a non-designated country. Travel Ban 3.0 applies to foreign nationals of the designated countries who:
(i) were outside the U.S. on the applicable effective date
(ii) did not have a valid visa on the applicable effective date; and
(iii) do not qualify for a reinstated visa or other travel document that was revoked under Presidential Executive Order 13769.
Travel Ban 3.0 contains several exemptions (see below). For nationals who are not subject to an exemption and are otherwise covered by the ban, the Proclamation sets forth a waiver scheme for affected nationals to demonstrate eligibility for a waiver based on three criterion:
1) undue hardship if entry is denied
2) entry would be in the national interest
3) entry would not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
As of September 30, 2018, the Department of State (DOS) indicates that it has “cleared” 1,836 applicants for waivers after a consular officer determined the applicants satisfied all criteria and completed all required processing. If a person has been “cleared” for a waiver does not confirm that this same number has been actually “granted” a waiver.
The numbers provided by DOS are a helpful guide for understanding the volume of cases that DOS has deemed to be eligible for a waiver.
Currently, certain nationals from seven countries, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen are prohibited from obtaining a visa and entering the United States, subject to exceptions and waivers:
Who is exempt from Travel Ban 3.0?
The exceptions are listed in Sec. 3 of the Presidential Proclamation and include:
● Any national who is in the United States on the applicable effective date;
● Any national who had a valid visa on the applicable effective date;
● Any national whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as Presidential Executive Order 13769 who qualifies for a visa or other valid travel document under section 6(d) of Presidential Proclamation 9645.
● Any lawful permanent residents of the United States;
● Any foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the U.S. on or after the applicable effective date;
● Any foreign national who has a document other than a visa (e.g., transportation letter, boarding foil, advance parole document) valid on the applicable effective date or issued on any date thereafter;
● Any dual national of a designated country traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;
● Any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic visa, NATO visa, C-2/U.N. visa, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or
● Any foreign nationals who have been granted asylum in the U.S., refugees who have been admitted to the U.S.; or individuals who have been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
In an October 2018 meeting between, DOS clarified that the following individuals from banned countries who are present in the United States on the applicable effective date would not be subject to any of the travel ban travel restrictions:
● Those present in the United States on the applicable effective dates in one nonimmigrant visa category, who depart the United States and apply for a nonimmigrant visa in a different category or an immigrant visa.6
● Those present in the United States after the expiration of their nonimmigrant status on the applicable effective date who depart the United States and apply for a nonimmigrant visa in a different category or an immigrant visa.
● Those in possession of a valid visa on the applicable effective date for the relevant nationality, but not present in the United States, who apply for a different nonimmigrant visa or an immigrant visa.
DOS indicated the following individuals would not be covered by an exception:
● Individuals who were not in the United States on the applicable effective date, but were issued a visa during the period the Travel Ban 3.0 was blocked by the courts.