Trump Travel Ban to be Implemented in Part on June 29, 2017

21:27 27 June in News Updates

The Supreme Court has partially lifted the preliminary injunctions established by the lower courts of appeal of the Trump Administration’s travel ban.  For 90 days, the travel ban will only apply to travelers holding a passport from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who cannot establish a credible, bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.

The Court provides examples of the types of relationships travelers would need to establish to gain entry into the U.S.

  • For individuals, including tourists, immigrant visa holders, and refugees, a “close familial relationship” is required.  A traveler seeking to enter the U.S. for the purposes of living with or visiting a spouse or an in-law clearly has such a relationship.
  • For entities, the relationship must be “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course.”   Common examples include:
    • F-1 and J-1 students who have been admitted to attend school in the U.S.
    • H-1B, L-1, O-1 workers with a bona fide offer of employment in the U.S.
    • B-1 business visitor invited to attend a conference in the U.S.

Note that a bona fide relationship cannot be established simply to avoid the travel ban. The Court explained, “[A] nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from their exclusion.”  This example may extend to individuals such as business visitors seeking to enter the U.S. with a B-1 visa to attend meetings or engage in other legitimate business visitor activities.  Such visitors may find it difficult to establish a legitimate connection to the U.S.  Until the implementation of the travel ban is tested, travelers with tenuous connections to the U.S. should avoid U.S. travel.

All travelers can expect heightened scrutiny when seeking admission to the U.S.  Notwithstanding the Court’s examples of what would and would not constitute a legitimate connection to the U.S., admissions to the U.S. are discretionary and subjective.  What one officer may deem sufficient proof of a connection to the U.S. may be viewed differently by another officer.

LAC will continue to follow the issues around the implementation of the travel ban and the Supreme Court’s final decision when it hears the full case in October.

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