The Supreme Court Partially Lifts Travel Ban
On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court partially lifted the injunctions on President Trumps revised travel ban (“EO-2”). EO-2 attempted to suspend entry of nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days, but provided case-by-case waivers. The Supreme Court allowed this ban to go into effect on June 29, 2017 at 8 p.m. EST, but only for individuals who cannot show “a bona fide relationship to a person or entity” connected with the United States.
Department of State (“DOS”) has interpreted this to mean that all family- or employment-based immigrant visas have credible bona fide relationships, except for EB-1 and some EB-4, EB-5, and SIV applicants. Most nonimmigrant visas can also demonstrate bona fide relationships with the US, except for F, H, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, and R visas applicants. Those who do not have inherently bona fide relationships can apply for case-by-case waivers by showing close familial relationships or formal and documented relationships to US entities.
DOS interpreted close familial relationships to include parents, mother- or fathers-in-law, spouses, fiancé(e)s, children, and siblings. However, it did not include, for example, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers- and-sisters-in-law, etc. In addition, DOS did not give detailed guidance on what formal, documented relationships to US entities entail. Nevertheless, Hawaii has already filed a federal lawsuit to challenge this interpretation.
In conclusion, some tourists, business travelers coming to the US for conferences, Diversity Visa applicants, certain EB-1, EB-4, and EB-5 visa applicants, and certain family members from the six countries may be impacted by the EO-2 for the next 90 days. The Supreme Court will reconvene in October 2017 to hear the case fully.