We recently outlined the major effects and the steps you can take to manage the impact of the travel ban executive order (See G2 Compliance Advisor, February 2017). Although that guidance was based on the first version, it remains valid given how much the newly issued version looks like the original. Still, the new version does include a few key changes that you need to know about. Here’s a quick rundown on the changes. For a more detailed discussion and side-by-side comparison of the old and revised executive orders, see the March issue of GCA.
1. 10-Day Grace Period
The new order will take effect on March 16, 2017, 10 days after it was issued, and exempts current visa holders.
2. Iraq No Longer on Restricted Countries List
The revised order only covers six countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Iraq has been removed from the list of restricted countries.
3. Elimination of Extra Restrictions on Syrians
The current version of the order removes the indefinite ban on Syrians. The new order treats Syrians the same as the other restricted nationalities.
4. Exemption for Green Card Holders
A clear exemption for green card holders and persons with valid visas is included in the latest version of the travel order removing some ambiguity that existed in the language in the original version.
5. Exemption for Dual Citizens
In the original order, dual citizens could be covered if one of the countries of citizenship was a restricted country. This new order provides a clear exemption for citizens of restricted countries who are dual citizens of a non-restricted country.
6. Exemption for Previously Granted Refugee Status
The new order states that the 120-day travel ban does not apply to individuals formally granted refugee status or scheduled for transit to the US by the State Department before the order’s effective date of March 16, 2017.
7. Individual Exemption Process
The latest order changes the wording regarding individual exemptions to hint that there will be a formal process for banned individuals to apply for a “waiver” but doesn’t list specifics.
8. Elimination of Post-Ban Religious Preferences
The order does not include the controversial “religious test” language that was criticized as expressing preference for Christians in Muslim countries.