Executive order on visa process, screening and refugees temporarily halted


On February 3, 2017, a District Court judge in Seattle issued a temporary injunction which halted the enforcement of the Jan. 27th executive order banning travel for persons from seven countries and suspending refugee processing. Over the past weekend, the Trump administration requested the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to immediately lift the injunction. The injunction halted the travel ban on people from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen and restarted the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, including allowing Syrian refugees to be resettled in the U.S.

The State Department, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Customs and Border Protection have issued respective statements announcing their compliance with the injunction.

The 9th Circuit denied the administration’s request to lift the injunction and have scheduled a hearing for today, Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 6pm Eastern Time. A decision is expected soon afterwards and the case will most likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, regardless of the outcome.

The injunction could be lifted and the travel ban put back in place at any moment. People who are affected are advised to book flights immediately. Currently, those with valid visas may travel to the U.S. They do not need to apply for a new visa unless their visas were canceled with a physical stamp or annotation.

Some airlines have confirmed that affected people traveling to the U.S. will be allowed to board flights. Travelers covered by the orders should confirm that the airline they choose will allow them to board before they book a flight. Travelers also should carry contact information for an attorney before boarding a flight. The travel ban could potentially be reinstated during a flight and people covered by the restrictions could be detained by Customs and Border Protection upon arrival.

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