Trump administration expands travel ban, adds six new countries

President Donald Trump has added six new countries to his travel ban, one of the signature policies of his administration.

The White House announced last week that restrictions have been placed on foreign nationals seeking immigrant visas to the United States from Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.

The updated proclamation, which is set to take effect Feb. 22 at 12:01 a.m. ET, should not impact individuals from those nations looking to acquire nonimmigrant visas.

"In issuing (the) Proclamation, President Trump makes clear that certain countries who fail to meet minimum security and information sharing requirements will not enjoy the same freedom of travel to the United States as those who do," the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement released shortly after the announcement.

The statement continued: "These restrictions are the product of a comprehensive and systematic global assessment conducted by the Department of Homeland Security and the interagency. These restrictions are tailored to country-specific deficiencies, as well as travel-related risk to the Homeland."

As of Feb. 2020, there are 13 nations affected by the travel ban, which was originally issued by Trump in 2017. Specific information about the restrictions placed on foreign nationals from each individual country can be found below (via the American Immigration Lawyers Association):

  • Eritrea: Suspends the entry of immigrants, except as Special Immigrants who have provided assistance to the U.S. government.
  • Kyrgyzstan: Suspends the entry of immigrants, except Special Immigrants who have provided assistance to the U.S. government.
  • Iran: Suspends the entry of immigrants and all nonimmigrants, except F (student), M (vocational student) and J (exchange visitor) visas, though they are subject to enhanced screening.
  • Libya: Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).
  • Burma (Myanmar): Suspends the entry of immigrants, except Special Immigrants who have provided assistance to the U.S. government.
  • Nigeria: Suspends the entry of immigrants, except Special Immigrants who have provided assistance to the U.S. government.
  • North Korea: Suspends the entry of all immigrants and nonimmigrants.
  • Somalia: Suspends the entry of immigrants and requires enhanced screening of all nonimmigrants.
  • Sudan: Suspends the entry of Diversity Visa immigrants.
  • Syria: Suspends the entry of all immigrants and nonimmigrants.
  • Tanzania: Suspends the entry of Diversity Visa immigrants.
  • Venezuela: Suspends the entry of certain government officials and their family members on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).
  • Yemen: Suspends the entry of immigrants and temporary visitors on business or tourist visas (B-1/B-2).


All individuals remain subject to the exceptions and waivers that are described in the initial Proclamation.

Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm continues to monitor the situation closely and will reach out and advise as it impacts our clients. As always, please do not hesitate to call us at 704-442-8000 or contact us via email with any questions.

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