Travel Resumes Under Emergency Court Order for Natives of 7 Banned Countries

February 7, 2017 Immigration Alert

Normal travel to the United States has resumed for natives of seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – now that a court order is in place that puts a temporary hold on President Trump's Jan. 27 executive order.

On February 3, a federal judge in Seattle handed down a temporary restraining order that suspended enforcement of Trump's order, titled Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals.

The Trump Administration has appealed the injunction and a ruling on that appeal could come at any time after the case is argued on Feb. 7.

For right now, however, the lower court's order is in place and travel has resumed for those with all of the necessary documents.

In accordance with the lower court's ruling, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the executive order, including actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the order..

DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure. Further, the State Department has lifted the provisional revocation of valid visas of nationals from the seven named countries.

According to the State Department, those visas are now valid for travel to the United States if the holder is otherwise eligible. However, the State Department also stated that “individuals whose visas are expired or were physically cancelled, must apply for a new visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, absent a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) decision to grant parole or waive the visa requirement at the port of entry.” The State Department has also resumed processing those immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications that were halted by the executive order.

All CBP field offices have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures, and all airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality.

For questions or more information about this alert, please contact Alka Bahal at 973.994.7800 or [email protected]  or any member of the firm’s Immigration Practice.