US Citizenship

Update on US travel ban – October 2017

 (From the University of Queensland Student website)

The White House has updated its travel ban for nationals of certain countries, with some changes. Certain citizens from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen will be banned from entering the United States as of 18 October 2017.  Iraq and the Sudan have been removed from the list. Unlike the previous Executive Order, this one is permanent with no listed expiration date.

What are the new restrictions?

The new rules include the suspension of all immigrant visas for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, and the suspension of non-immigrant visas, such as for business and tourism, to nationals of Chad, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Yemen. Somali citizens applying for non-immigrant visas will be subject to additional screening. Iranian citizens are also banned (all immigrant and non-immigrant visas) however an exception is made for student and cultural visas – provided they receive additional screening. Only certain government officials from Venezuela are banned from entering the USA.

What about people with a 'bone fide' connection to the USA? 

People who can prove a genuine and close connection (as below) may apply for a visa up to 18 October. After that date, these exceptions may no longer apply.

  • Prove a close familial relationship with someone in the USA (immediate relative, including grandparents).
  • Have a proven and documented business relationship with an entity or organization in the USA.
  • Students registered at a US educational institution, someone with an offer of employment or someone invited to attend a conference or deliver a lecture would be permitted to enter.

What about dual citizens? 

If someone is a citizen of one of the 8 listed countries and another, they are not subject to the restrictions above. They will however require a visa and to travel on a passport other than from one of the restricted nations.

What about US residents, current visa holders or Green Card holders?

Citizens of one of the restricted nations who are also US residents, citizens, Green Card holders or holders of current valid visas are not subject to these restrictions. Bear in mind that the US border and immigration authorities still reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone, even those holding valid ESTAs or visas.

What about refugees? 

The current refugee ban was due to expire on 24 October 2017. The policy for refugees after this date is not immediately clear.

What about people who have visited one of the listed nations since March 2011?

Regardless of your nationality, if you have visited Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria or Yemen since March 2011, you will need a visa to enter the USA. You will not be able to travel on an ESTA. Chad, North Korea and Venezuela are not currently included in this.

Current advice is to apply for your visa at least two months prior to travel. The process may be expedited but it is best to allow as much time as possible. You should begin your visa application here: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/

It is also recommended that anyone who has questions about their travel status or visa validity, contact their nearest US embassy or consulate. Due to the personal nature of the information and the identity verification required, you must contact the consulate yourself.

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