Important Announcement from State Department regarding Sept. 24, 2017 Presidential Proclamation on Visas

On September 24, 2017, the President issued a Presidential Proclamation titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats.”  Per Section 2 of Executive Order 13780 of March 6, 2017 (Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States), a global review was conducted to determine what additional information is needed from each foreign country to assess whether foreign nationals who seek to enter the United States pose a security or safety threat. 

As part of that review, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed a comprehensive set of criteria to evaluate the information-sharing practices, policies, and capabilities of foreign governments on a worldwide basis.  At the end of that review, which included a 50-day period of engagement with foreign governments aimed at improving their information sharing practices, there were seven countries whose information sharing practices were classified as “inadequate” and for which the President deemed it necessary to impose certain restrictions on the entry of nonimmigrants and immigrants who are nationals of these countries.  The President also deemed it necessary to impose restrictions on one country due to the "special concerns" it presented.  These restrictions are considered important to addressing the threat these existing information-sharing deficiencies, among other things, present to the security and welfare of the United States and pressuring host governments to remedy these deficiencies.

Nationals of the eight countries are subject to various travel restrictions per the following table as outlined in the P.P.

CountryNonimmigrant VisasImmigrant and Diversity Visas

Chad

No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Iran

No nonimmigrant visas except F, M, and J student visas

 

No immigrant or diversity visas

Libya

No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

North Korea

No nonimmigrant visas

 

No immigrant or diversity visas

Syria

No nonimmigrant visas

 

No immigrant or diversity visas

Venezuela

No B-1, B-2 or B-1/B-2 visas of any kind for officials of the following government agencies Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration; the Corps of Scientific Investigations, Judicial and Criminal; the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and the People’s Power Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their immediate family members. 

No restrictions

Yemen

No B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas

No immigrant or diversity visas

Somalia

 

No immigrant or diversity visas

 

The implementation of the Presidential Proclamation (P.P.) at our embassies and consulates abroad pursuant to the proclamation is as follows: 

Phase 1: From 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 24, 2017 until 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 18, 2017:

a)  Nationals of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.  Nationals of these five countries will generally remain under suspension of travel except for those individuals who have a credible claim of a "bona fide relationship” with a close family member or entity in the United States.  “Close family” is defined as a parent, including parent-in-law, spouse, fiancé, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, and first-cousin.  For all relationships, half or step status is included (e.g., “half-brother” or “step-sister”).  “Close family” does not include any other “extended” family members.  A credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a “U.S. entity” must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading suspension of entry under the P.P.  If the national does not qualify for this exemption, they may be eligible for other exceptions or waivers listed in the P. P.

b)   Nationals of Sudan.  As of 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 24, 2017, Sudanese nationals are no longer subject to travel restrictions.   

Phase 2: Beginning 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 18, 2017:

c)  Nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia:  The exceptions and waivers listed in the P.P. are applicable for qualified applicants, but the bona fide relationship exception is no longer applicable.

We do not plan to cancel previously scheduled visa application appointments. In accordance with all applicable court orders, executive orders, and proclamations, for nationals of the eight designated countries, a consular officer will make a determination in the course of the interview whether an applicant otherwise eligible for a visa is exempt from the P.P. or, if not, will consider whether the applicant is eligible for a waiver under the P.P., and may be issued a visa.

The P.P. provides specifically that no visas issued before its effective date will be revoked pursuant to the P.P., and it does not apply to nationals of affected countries who have valid visas on the date it becomes effective.

The National Visa Center (NVC) will continue to work on in-process cases for these applicants. You should continue to pay fees, complete your Form DS-260 immigrant visa applications, and submit your financial and civil supporting documents to NVC. NVC will review your case file and schedule a visa interview appointment if no additional paperwork is required. During the interview, a consular officer will carefully review the case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the P.P. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for an exemption during phase 1 of implementation or a waiver during Phase 2 of implementation.The National Visa Center (NVC) will continue to work on in-process cases for these applicants. You should continue to pay fees, complete your Form DS-260 immigrant visa applications, and submit your financial and civil supporting documents to NVC. NVC will review your case file and schedule a visa interview appointment if no additional paperwork is required. During the interview, a consular officer will carefully review the case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the P.P. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for an exemption during phase 1 of implementation or a waiver during Phase 2 of implementation.

We will keep those traveling to the United States and partners in the travel industry informed as we implement the order in a professional, organized, and timely way.

Frequently Asked Questions

I received my immigrant visa but I haven’t yet entered the United States. Can I still travel there using my immigrant visa?

The P.P. provides specifically that no visas issued before the effective date of the P.P. will be revoked pursuant to the P.P., and it does not apply to nationals of affected countries who have valid visas on the date it becomes effective.

I recently had my immigrant visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas, but my case is still being considered. What will happen now?

If your visa application was refused under Section 221(g) pending updated supporting documents or administrative processing, you should proceed to submit your documentation. After receiving any required missing documentation or completion of any administrative processing, the U.S. embassy or consulate where you were interviewed will contact you with more information.

I am currently working on my case with NVC. Can I continue?

Yes. You should continue to pay fees, complete your Form DS-260 immigrant visa applications, and submit your financial and civil supporting documents to NVC. NVC will continue reviewing cases and scheduling visa interviews overseas. During the interview, a consular officer will carefully review the case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the P.P. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for an exception or may qualify for a waiver.

What immigrant visa classes are subject to the Executive Order?

During Phase 1 of implementation: Qualified applicants from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia in the immediate-relative and family-based immigrant visa categories are generally eligible for the bona fide close familial relationship exception since it is inherent in the requirements for the visa. Likewise, qualified employment-based immigrant visa applicants generally are eligible for the exception from the P.P., since they have a bona fide formal, documented relationship with a U.S. entity formed in the ordinary course. Unlike other employment-based immigrant visa applicants, certain self-petitioning employment-based first preference applicants with no job offer in the United States and special immigrant visas under INA section 101(a)(27)) would need to demonstrate that they have a bona fide relationship with an entity in the United States or otherwise qualify for a different exception or waiver. Diversity visa applicants will need to demonstrate a qualifying relationship or qualify for a waiver since a relationship with a person or entity in the United States is not required for such visas.

An individual who wishes to apply for an immigrant visa should apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might demonstrate that he or she qualifies for an exception or waiver. A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the P.P. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for an exception or waiver.

During Phase 2 of implementation: All immigrant visa classifications for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia are subject to the P.P. and restricted. All immigrant visa classifications for nationals of Venezuela are unrestricted. The bona fide relationship exception is no longer applicable. An individual who wishes to apply for an immigrant visa should apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might demonstrate that he or she is eligible for an exception or waiver per the P.P. A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the P.P. and, if so, whether the case qualifies for an exception or a waiver.

I sponsored my family member for an immigrant visa, and his interview appointment is after the effective date of the P.P.. Will he still be able to receive a visa?

During Phase 1 of implementation: Qualified applicants from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia in the immediate-relative and family-based immigrant visa categories are generally eligible for the bona fide close familial relationship exception since it is inherent in the requirements for the visa. Likewise, qualified employment-based immigrant visa applicants generally are eligible for the exception from the P.P., since they have a bona fide formal, documented relationship with a U.S. entity formed in the ordinary course. Unlike other employment-based immigrant visa applicants, certain self-petitioning employment-based first preference applicants with no job offer in the United States and special immigrant visas under INA section 101(a)(27)) would need to demonstrate that they have a bona fide relationship with an entity in the United States or otherwise qualify for a different exception or waiver.

During Phase 2 of implementation: All immigrant visa classifications for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia are subject to the Presidential Proclamation and suspended. The bona fide relationship exception is no longer applicable. An individual who wishes to apply for an immigrant visa should apply for a visa and disclose during the visa interview any information that might demonstrate that he or she is eligible for an exception or waiver per the P.P. A consular officer will carefully review each case to determine whether the applicant is affected by the P.P. and, if so, whether the applicant qualifies for an exception or a waiver.

I am applying for a K (fiancé) visa. My approved I-129 petition is only valid for four months. Can you expedite my case?

The National Visa Center already expedites all Form I-129F petitions to embassies and consulates overseas.  Upon receipt of the petition and case file, the embassy or consulate will contact you with instructions on scheduling your interview appointment.

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Types of Visas

The United States Government issues 185 types of visas. We are please to provide our expertise in helping you obtain your visa, and invite you to explore this list commonly issued visas–the Tourist B-1 visa, the Lottery visa DV 2019, the Investment E1 visa, E2 visa, EB-5 visa Employer Sponsored H visa, Student Research J visa, Fiancé K visa, Manager or Executive L-1 visa, and the Outstanding Ability O visa.

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