Travel Ban 3.0 Explained - A Consular Officer's Guide to Adjudication
Last month, the U.S Supreme Court lifted P.P. 9645 orders for the suspension of the distribution of visas from the following eight countries; Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela. Lifting the lower courts injections takes away the opportunity for an exemption for nationals from the eight countries who have a bona-fide relationship with a person in the United States. Individuals from North Korea and Venezuela will continue to be ruled under the P.P restrictions as this lifting did not officially affect them.
Individuals who fall under the categories of the P.P and are seeking a visa will be reviewed by Consular Officers and issued a visa only when the applicant is found eligible for the present visa classification under the INA without respect to the P.P, is exempted from the Proclamation, or qualifies for a waiver. Applicants who already held a valid visa on the date that the P.P became effective will continue to receive an exception. Applicants who received visas after the P.P effective date and entered the United States will also be issued an exception as long as proof of legal entry is acquired.
The following are exceptions for entry for NIV, IV, and DV applicants:
1. Any national who was found present in the United States on or before the P.P effective date regardless of their current immigrant status;
2. Any national who obtained a visa on or before the P.P effective date;
3. Any national who had a visa that was revoked or canceled due to the Executive Order 13769 and then qualified for another visa or travel document;
4. All lawful permanent residents of the United States;
5. Any national that is paroled or admitted into the United States on or after the P.P effective date;
6. Any national who holds a document that is not a visa that became effective on the P.P effective date and allows them to enter, travel, or reside in the United States;
7. Any duel national from a country under the P.P on a passport that was issued from another non-designated country;
8. Any national on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, NATO-1-6 visas, C-2, C-3 or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; This excludes some Venezuelan government officials and their family members;
9. Any national who holds asylum status or has been granted protection under the convention against torture.
A consular officer may allot a waiver to an NIV, IV, and DV applicant if denying them entry into the United States would cause hardship to the applicant. The applicant must than provide proof that a situation holds where the applicant must travel immediately and if the visa was not issued until after the restrictions were lifted, would defeat all purposes of the applicants travel. They may also grant a waiver if the entry of the individual will be in the "national interest". This could be met if denying entry to an individual would cause hardship on a U.S person. An individual must also be seen to not pose a threat to national security or the public to be considered for a waiver.
An applicant may be able to qualify for a waiver if they hold “significant business or professional obligations” if the commitment occurred on or before the P.P effective date. Examples of “significant business or professional obligations” often come with an income and affect a large group of people. Individuals with previously established contacts in the United States, ones that have “provided faithful and valuable service to the U.S government and those falling into special circumstances may also qualify for a waiver as each applicant will be reviewed on a case to case basis.
If you have any questions regarding the lift against P.P. 9645 and the possibility of a waiver please contact Attorney Nicholas J. Mireles, Esq. at Attorney@loonjm.com.