New U.S. travel ban blocked by judges

Last updated: Oct. 23, 2017

On Sept. 24, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. In addition, citizens of Iraq and some Venezuelan government officials and their families will face restrictions or heightened scrutiny if they seek to visit the U.S.

Here’s a summary of what this could mean for corporate travelers:

  • The new rules were scheduled to take effect on Oct. 18. But on Oct. 17, a U.S. judge from Hawaii blocked the Trump administration from implementing the ban. The next day, a federal judge in Maryland also ruled against the presidential order. The Trump administration is expected to appeal.
  • The rules would not apply to legal permanent residents of the United States; dual nationals of any of the nine designated countries who are traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country; or foreign nationals traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, a C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations or a G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-4 visa.
  • Visitors who currently hold valid visas from the affected countries would not have their visas revoked.
  • Employees of businesses in the United States who are from the targeted countries may stay for as long as their existing visas remain valid. People from these countries whose visas expire would be subject to the travel ban, according to a report from the New York Times that cites administration officials.
  • The White House has published a list of frequently asked questions about the new restrictions.

Separately, the U.S. lifted a different set of restrictions, first issued in March, that banned laptops and other large personal electronic devices from cabins of flights headed to the U.S. from 10 airports and via nine airlines in the Middle East and North Africa. A statement on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website notes the affected airports and airlines have “successfully implemented the first phase of enhanced security measures.”