Changes to USA border and immigration policy

USA update
Travel News 01 Feb 2017

Monday 6 March - update

On Monday 6 March 2017 a revised executive order was issued by President Trump which imposed a ban on entry to the USA for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days. This new travel ban takes effect from 16 March 2017 and as it stands, would deny these citizens entry to the USA until at least 14 June 2017.

This replaces the previous travel ban which was overturned by the Federal Court.  It is important to note that the ACLU and other organisations intend to dispute this order also.

People who are citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen will be denied entry to the USA from 16 March 2017.  Iraqi citizens were previously included and are now exempt.

There are some important exceptions:

  • Citizens of any of these six countries listed above who hold an existing visa, US citizenship or a Green Card to enter the USA that was also valid as at 27 January 2017, will be able to enter from 16 March.
  • Dual citizens of one of the six listed nations and another (not listed) country may apply for a visa to enter the USA from 16 March 2017.  Please note: these people should travel on a passport other than the one they have for the banned country.
  • Citizens of these countries who are inside the USA at the time of this ban are exempt but may not be able to return if they leave the USA.
  • Certain diplomats and government officials.
  • Hardship cases (on a case-by-case basis)
If you think you may be impacted by these changes please contact your Travel Manager

 

Monday 6 February - update

On Friday 3 February a US federal judge overruled the executive order banning the entry of (certain) citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. 

This was subsequently appealed by the Department of Justice but the appeals court upheld the overturn of the ban.

Citizens of the seven listed countries (whether dual nationals or not) who hold a valid visa, may now, until further notice, enter the USA as before.  Citizens of these seven countries may also apply for new visas to travel to the USA but should anticipate delays in processing at this time.
 

Please continue to refer to your nearest US embassy or consulate for advice.  

 

Wednesday 1 February - update

As of this morning the US Embassy confirmed that embassies and consulates world-wide will now process visa applications and issue visas to those with a passport from a non-affected country, even if they were also citizens of one of the listed seven.

Dual nationals of New Zealand and Yemen, Libya and Somalia with a New Zealand passport are eligible for the visa waiver programme during this period unless they had travelled to any of the seven countries on or after March 2011.

Dual nationals of New Zealand and Iraq, Iran, Syria and Sudan with a New Zealand passport can be processed and issued with visas during this period. 

Dual nationals of New Zealand and Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a New Zealand passport who are transiting through the United States which requires travellers to be documented are also able to be processed and issued with a visa or if travelling on the Visa Waiver Program, an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Please note that dual nationals of New Zealand and Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a New Zealand passport who have travelled to any of the seven countries on or after March 2011 may be denied a visa at this time.

  Who cannot enter the USA?

  • For the next 90 days: Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who do not also hold citizenship and a valid passport for the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada or New Zealand
  • These dual citizens (above) who do not have a valid visa to enter the USA
  • For the next 120 days: Any refugees from any nation
  • Indefinitely: Refugees from Syria

Who can enter the USA?

  • Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who also hold citizenship and a valid passport for the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada or New Zealand WITH a valid visitor visa to enter the USA
  • Citizens of visa waiver countries holding a valid ESTA
  • For the next 90 days: Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who are also US citizens or permanent residents
  • For the next 90 days: On a case-by-case basis, citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who are also US Green Card holders

If you think you may be impacted by these changes please contact your Travel Manager or refer to US Customs and Border Protection.