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8 Changes to the Trump Travel Ban

Although it applies to all industries, the Trump travel ban will have a disproportionate impact on health care providers. We recently outlined the major effects based on the first version of the executive order and even though the newly issued version looks like the original, there are a few key changes that you need to know about.

Here’s a quick rundown in the form of a briefing you can provide to your CEO.

1. 10-Day Grace Period

Old Version: The previous executive order (order) took effect immediately on the date it was issued, i.e., Jan. 27, 2017. Without notice or time to respond, many visa holders were left stranded abroad.

New Version: The new order will take effect on March 16, 2017, 10 days after it was issued, and exempts current visa holders.

2. Iraq No Longer on Restricted Countries List

Old Version: Covered seven countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

New Version: Covers six countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In other words, Iraq has been removed from the list of restricted countries.

3. Elimination of Extra Restrictions on Syrians

Old Version: Imposed three different entry bans, based on nationality and entrant status:

Duration Entrant Status Entrant Nationality
90 days Citizens, both immigrant and non-immigrant Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen
120 days Refugees All nationalities (no exemptions)
Indefinite Travelers and Refugees Syria

New Version: Removes the indefinite ban on Syrians. The new order treats Syrians the same as the other restricted nationalities; and

Duration Entrant Status Entrant Nationality
90 days Travelers Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen
120 days Refugees All nationalities (exemption for refugees granted status or scheduled for transit into US before March 16)

4. Exemption for Green Card Holders

Old Version: Wasn’t clear about the impact on green card holders. The Department of Homeland Security issued a press release stating that it would “deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest.” But it then added: “Absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent residence status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations” (emphasis added). Translation: Although green card holders would get the benefit of the doubt, the DHS could still bar entry if it had evidence that the individual posed a serious threat.

New Order: Makes a clear exemption for green card holders and persons with valid visas.

5. Exemption for Dual Citizens

Old Version: Covered dual citizens of both a restricted and non-restricted country outside the US, including a US ally like the UK, Canada, Australia or Germany.

New Version: Makes a clear exemption for citizens of restricted countries who are dual citizens of a non-restricted country.

6. Exemption for Previously Granted Refugee Status

Old Version: The 120-day travel ban into the US included no exemptions.

New Version: States that the 120-day travel ban does not apply to individuals formally granted refugee status or scheduled for transit to the US by the State Department before the order’s effective date of March 16, 2017.

7. Individual Exemption Process

Old Version: Allowed the DHS and State Dept. to grant individual exemptions on a “case-by-case” basis. The courts said the provision violated “due process” because it didn’t establish clear standards or processes.

New Version: Changes the wording to hint that there will be a formal process for banned individuals to apply for a “waiver” but doesn’t list specifics.

8. Elimination of Post-Ban Religious Preferences

Old Version: Upon restoring refugee entry after the ban, the order directed the DHS and State Dept. to give priority to refugees claiming religious persecution, “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

New Version: Eliminates the controversial “religious test” language which was criticized as expressing preference for Christians in Muslim countries.

At A Glance: The Differences between the New & Original Travel Ban

Provision Original Ban New Ban
Effective Date Took effect immediately Takes effect after 10-day grace period (March 16)
Restricted Countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen (Iraq removed)
Duration of Restrictions on Syrians Indefinite Same as other restricted countries, i.e., 90 day travel, 120 day refugee
Impact on Green Card Holders Covered Exempt
Impact on Dual Citizens Covered Exempt
Pre-Existing Refugee Status Covered Exempt
Individual Exemptions Granted case-by-case without specific process or standards Waivers to be granted via formal process, which isn’t described
Religious Preferences for Post-Ban Refugees Priority for Christians in Muslim countries None expressed

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