Travel Ban's Impact on Artists (02/10/17)
Update! On February 9, 2017, a federal appeals court denied the request by the Department of Justice to reinstate the travel ban for individuals using passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The American Immigration Lawyers Association reported that on February 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order on a nationwide basis related to the Executive Order described below. The decision by the appeals court means the restraining order remains in force, which prohibits the federal government from enforcing the 90-day travel ban on immigrants and nonimmigrants from designated countries on a nationwide basis until further order from the court. All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality. The Department of State has confirmed that, assuming there were no other issues in the case, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are valid again. The Department of Justice is reviewing the decision and considering its options, which may include an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. This page will be updated as further developments unfold.
On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order that immediately affects screening, visa issuance and admissions procedures for individuals using passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Department of Homeland security posted details related to implementation of the order on February 1, and issued a press statement on February 3 outlining the intent of the "90 day temporary pause on travel."
Among other provisions, Section 3 of the Executive Order, suspends the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of individuals using passports from the designated countries for 90 days from the date of the order. Note that, after the 90 days, there is no assurance that travel automatically will be reinstated.
At present, foreign guest artists traveling on passports from the seven designated countries will not be able to enter the U.S., including those artists who already possess an approved visa. Consular locations have ceased issuing nonimmigrant visas for passport holders from the 7 named countries.
In the case of those who might attempt to travel to the U.S. on a previously-issued visa, Customs and Border Protection personnel are supposed to allow nonimmigrants to withdraw their application for admission. Immigration attorneys are advising all those affected to do so, as the only alternative at present is a procedure called "expedited removal." Those subjected to expedited removal will, in the future, be required to obtain permission before applying for a new visa and they may be barred from entry into the U.S. altogether, at least for a period of 5 years.
This order applies to anyone who holds a passport from any of the seven designated countries. Dual nationals traveling on a passport that is not from the seven designated countries remain able to enter the U.S., but they should expect additional scrutiny and delay on entry.
The Executive Order does NOT apply to people who merely traveled to designated countries, though travel to those countries also may cause additional questioning and delay on entry into the U.S.
Those holding green cards may re-enter the U.S., but they, too, should expect additional scrutiny and delays.
Because the situation can change at any time, it is strongly advised that anyone from the seven designated countries contact a qualified immigration attorney before making any travel decisions.