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5 Things You Should Know About Traveling Under Trump Travel Ban 3.0

On September 24, Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation widely referred to as “ Travel Ban 3.0. ” The proclamation effects US travel by foreigners, and is officially titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats,” purports to be the White House’s response to the results of the review ordered in Travel Ban 2.0.

From a legal and technical perspective, Travel Ban 3.0 is better constructed than its predecessors. Most provisions won’t take effect until October 18. However, many of the restrictions and limitations are just as onerous as those included in Trump’s previous travel bans, and this us travel ban does not have an end date.

If you’re planning US travel, expecting a visitor, or hoping to hire someone from one of the impacted countries, here’s what you need to know.

  1. The list of affected countries has changed, and now includes Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia. Although Iraq didn’t make the list, the proclamation suggests that Iraqis seeking to enter the U.S. should be “subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States.”
  2. Citizens of each of the listed countries are subject to different restrictions, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specifics impacting the country in question. For example, while there is a blanket suspension on immigrant entry across all of the listed countries except Venezuela, only North Korea and Syria are faced with blanket bans on non-immigrant entry. However, the types of non-immigrant visas available to citizens of the other listed countries vary by country.
  3. For those who remain eligible to enter the U.S. on non-immigrant visas, it is not clear exactly what “additional scrutiny” means or how it will impact the logistics of their travel. Thus, anyone seeking entry from one of the countries subject to additional scrutiny should—to the degree possible—plan for possible delays and additional requests for information.
  4. The proclamation does provide for waivers in certain cases, but the bar is high. Obtaining a waiver would require the would-be-entrant to show that denying entry would cause him or her undue hardship, that entry would not pose a threat to the public safety or national security of the U.S., and that entry would be in the national interest.
  5. The list is subject to change, based on an assessment system that has not yet been devised. Every 180 days, the Department of Homeland Security (in consultation with other officials) is required to submit a report advising the president as to whether the limitations set forth in the proclamation should be continued, terminated or modified, and also whether limitations and restrictions should be applied to additional countries.

Travel Ban 3.0 is much more likely than its predecessors to stand up to legal scrutiny due to its stronger technical and legal construction. However, that isn’t because its impact is any less destructive. The proclamation will prevent Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., will ban immigration from all of the listed countries except Venezuela, and will limit opportunities for business travel and tourism from several countries. In addition, the vagueness of the “additional scrutiny” provisions and the frequency with which restrictions could change and new countries could be added create a new level of uncertainty for those who remain (today, at least) free to enter the United States.