UPDATE: The federal judge in Hawaii who previously blocked the first and second versions of President Trump’s travel ban has also temporarily blocked most of version three. The ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson applies only to the six Muslim-majority countries on the list (Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, and Somalia). It does not affect the restrictions against North Korea or Venezuela.
BACKGROUND: On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending and limiting the entry of foreign nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen from entry into the United States. The following restrictions, also detailed in a fact sheet, apply under the proclamation:
- Chad: Entry of nationals as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended.
- Iran: Entry of nationals as immigrants and as nonimmigrants is suspended, except that entry by nationals of Iran under valid student (F and M) and exchange visitor (J) visas is not suspended, although such individuals will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
- Libya: Entry of nationals as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended.
- North Korea: Entry of nationals of North Korea as immigrants and nonimmigrants is suspended.
- Somalia: Entry of nationals as immigrants is suspended, and nonimmigrants traveling to the United States will be subject to enhanced screening and vetting requirements.
- Syria: Entry of nationals of Syria as immigrants and nonimmigrants is suspended.
- Venezuela: Entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas is suspended.
- Yemen: Entry of nationals as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is suspended.
The restrictions and limitations apply only to foreign nationals of the designated countries who are outside the United States on the applicable effective date of the proclamation, do not have a valid visa on the applicable effective date, and do not qualify for a visa or other valid travel document under Section 6(d) of the proclamation. In a FAQ, the administration answered questions regarding where the suspension of entry does not apply.
On March 6, 2017 President Trump signed a new Executive Order, still titled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" in response to the suspension of his original Executive Order. The Executive Order did not apply to anyone traveling with U.S. citizenship. Injunctions to the Executive Order ensued and now the challenges will have to be addressed within the context of the new proclamation.
Key Takeaway for MRA Members: The situation is fluid and subject to change without notice. Because the situation is evolving, we recommend that you do not make changes to your existing policies. However, members employing foreign nationals who may be affected should review the risk of sending employees on international business trips. Going forward, organizations employing foreign nationals or having employees travel internationally for work will need to recognize that more changes may be coming that could affect their current HR practices.
If you are unsure how to proceed or need to talk through all the considerations, MRA is here to help! Our 24/7 HR Hotline Advisors can answer questions and help you evaluate which option is best for your organization. Reach out to us to assist you during these uncertain times at 866-HR-HOTLINE (866-474-6854), or email InfoNow@mranet.org
Source: Michael Hyatt, HR Government Affairs Director, MRA – The Management Association; CCH/Wolters Kluwer