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What Does the Supreme Court’s Decision on the Travel Ban Mean?

statue_of_liberty-237x300On Monday, the Supreme Court partially reinstated Trump’s travel ban against foreigners from six Muslim majority countries; Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen.  (mnemonic “SISSLY”).  [ see the entire S.Ct. Order here] The ruling clears the way for the 90-day travel ban to begin excluding foreign travelers from the designated countries, except those who have bona fide relationships with Americans, or U.S. Entities, including spouses, other close family members, employers and universities.  So how do we sort out those people excluded from those who are allowed in?

First of all, nothing has changed regarding the visa or entry process for countries not included in the list of six travel-banned designated countries.  Moreover, those foreign travelers from the six designated countries who already have a valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visa into the United States will be most likely be allowed to enter the United States – as long as that Visa was issued before  June 26, 2017.  This includes student visas, visitors visas, employment visas, and legal permanent residents.  Those people who wish to enter the United States to visit close family members will  be allowed to apply for a visa; also, students who have been admitted to a U.S. university and workers who have accepted offers of employment from U.S. companies, and lecturers invited to address an American audience.  Refugees processed overseas who have family or other connections to the United States, including refugee resettlement agencies will not be excluded.  The court was not clear about what will happen with individuals who form bona fide relationships with American citizens, companies and universities prospectively, after June 26, 2017.

The original executive order banning travelers from the six designated countries is temporary, to allow for extreme vetting procedures to be put in place and will expire on its own terms 90-days from now, in October 2017.  For now, until such terms as  “close family relationships” and “credible claim of a bona fide relationship”  are defined by the courts or USCIS policy, there will be confusion as to who will be denied admission to the U.S.  We at Kalita Law Group will continue to post updates on this blog as the government’s order is implemented.