Latest POTUS Executive Order - Impact on Business Immigration

The latest of President Trump's first three immigration-related Executive Orders ("EO") entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" (link here) impacts an already crippled business immigration system as well as family immigration and refugee programs.

This New EO:

  • Imposes a travel ban on individuals who are from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The ban applies to individuals with visitor and work visas (e.g., B-1/B-2s, H-1Bs, L-1s, and O-1s). It is in effect for 90 days, until April 27, 2017.

  • Orders the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to suspend processing of all immigration benefit applications filed by or on behalf of nationals of these seven countries. The U.S. Department of State has temporarily stopped scheduling appointments and halted processing of immigrant visa applications for individuals who are nationals or dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen at consular posts abroad in accordance with the Order (link here).

  • Does not impact the Visa Waiver Program. Does immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program (e.g., dropbox programs at consulates in India).

  • Appears to apply to individuals in the adjustment of status green card process who are traveling on advance parole travel documents.

  • Does not affect naturalized U.S. citizens from the seven named countries. LPRs (green card holders) from the specified countries should be admitted to the United States, but will likely undergo secondary screenings at U.S. ports of entry. Individuals who are not citizens of one of the specified countries but who are residents of or have other strong ties to any of these countries may also be barred from entering the United States.

  • Appears to ban citizens of the specified countries who hold dual citizenship with another country, albeit on an inconsistent basis and with an unclear scope of enforcement.

  • Indefinitely bars Syrian refugees from entering the United States, and suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days, until May 27, 2017.

The court orders issued over the weekend do not strike down the EO, and they do not benefit anyone who has not already arrived in the United States.

Best-Practices for Employers:

  • Cancel all international travel for at least 90 days by employees or individuals doing business with your company who will be subject to the travel ban.

  • Identify any pending requests for immigration benefits on behalf of individuals from one of the specified countries in order to assess the implications of the apparent suspension in the processing of those petitions or applications.

  • Prepare for potential disruption with service providers whose employees may be impacted by the EO.

Three additional draft immigration-related EOs have been leaked from the White House but have not yet been signed. Stay tuned for further developments.

Matthews Immigration Group exists to deliver high-value immigration strategies and solutions to its clientele. Contact our office today for assistance: 919.882.2026 / info@matthewsimmigration.com.