The Supreme Court’s ruling that the Trump administration’s travel ban can temporarily take effect has made a lot of waves with people on both sides of the issue.
What seems to be getting lost in this conversation, however, is what the travel ban actually does. As previously stated, the decision by the high court is temporary, so it is worth watching how the executive order continues to progress, particularly through the lower courts.
The temporary travel ban is the version that was released in September and it affects the following eight countries:
- North Korea
The travel ban’s limits are profound – it is solely a ban on travel. There is nothing blocking citizens of these countries from becoming a U.S. citizen or banning green-card holders and dual citizens from these countries.
The restrictions for each country under the travel ban vary. For example, visa holders who are Venezuelan nationals could be subjected to more thorough screening, as well as Iranian students with valid student and exchange visas.
That being said, if you have relatives – grandparents, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, in-laws etc. – in these countries for whom you are trying to arrange travel to the U.S., those people are now barred. Lower courts had originally allowed travelers “who have a bonafide relationship with a person or entity” to be exempted.
For those looking for a way to help their relatives in these nations become citizens, working with an immigration attorney who knows the ins and outs of the restrictions and available options can help get through the weeds of current immigration policy and bring those loved ones to the U.S.