You are here

Travel Alert: USA Immigration Ban Update

7th March 2017

**UPDATE 18/12/2017**

An updated version of the US President’s executive order relating to the travel ban was upheld by the Supreme Court on 04 December 2017. There have been a few changes to the previous version and there are now restrictions on citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen from entering the US. Please note: Iraq and Sudan have been removed from the list but citizens of these countries will be subject to additional screening.

What about dual citizens?

If someone is a citizen of one of the listed countries and another (such as Australia, New Zealand, Britain etc) they are not subject to the restrictions above. They will however require a visa and to travel on a passport other than from one of the restricted nations.

What about US residents or Green Card/visa holders?

Citizens of one of the restricted nations who are also US residents, citizens or holders of a valid visa or Green Card are not subject to these restrictions. Bear in mind that the US border and immigration authorities still reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone, even those holding valid ESTAs or visas.

What about people who have visited one of these listed nations since March 2011?

Regardless of your nationality, if you have visited Libya, Somalia, or Yemen since March 2011, you will need a visa to enter the USA. You will not be able to travel on an ESTA. Please check directly with your nearest US consulate regarding travel to Iran, Sudan or Syria since 01 March 2011 and if this impacts you getting an ESTA.

We strongly recommend that anyone who has any questions about their travel status or visa validity, contacts their nearest US embassy or consulate.


**UPDATE 26/9/2017**

US President Donald Trump has updated the current travel ban with a new executive order to take effect on 18 October 2017. In addition to the previous ban, the ban now includes Chad, North Korea and certain individuals from Venezuela. Sudan has been removed from the banned list of nations. 

This means all immigrant visas are suspended for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Non-immigrant visas, such as for business and tourism, are suspended for nationals of Chad, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Yemen. Somali citizens applying for non-immigrant visas will be subject to additional screening. Iranian citizens are also banned, however an exception is made for student and cultural visas, subject to additional screening. 

We strongly advise that you apply for your visa at least two months prior to travel. We also strongly recommend that anyone who has any questions about their travel status or visa validity, contacts their nearest US embassy or consulate.


**UPDATE 28/6/2017**

In recent months the President of the United States has attempted to implement an executive order to ban citizens from six predominantly Muslim nations from entering the USA.  More than one federal court judge blocked the ruling and it was subsequently put forward to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
 
This week the SCOTUS ruled that the travel ban will now go into limited effect before it reviews the full executive order in October of this year.
 
This means that effective Thursday 29 June and until further notice, citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen will be restricted from entering the United States.
 
Please note that the revised (and now implemented) executive order only affects citizens of the six countries listed above.  People who are dual citizens of one of the listed countries and another will still require a visa to enter the USA but will not be restricted.

**UPDATE 17/3/2017**

A US federal judge has blocked President Donald Trump's latest revised executive order reintroducing a travel ban imposed on certain countries, which was due to take effect on March 16. Until further notice, there is no travel ban in place for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen.

This means:

  • Citizens and dual citizens of any of the six countries who hold an existing visa, US citizenship or a Green Card to enter the USA may do so.
  • Citizens and dual citizens of one of the six listed nations may continue to apply for visas to enter the USA, including refugee visas.
  • Iraqi citizens were exempt from the most recent version of the ban and may enter the USA as before.
  • There is no change to the ESTA requirement for citizens of visa waiver countries.

We strongly advise that you apply for your visa at least two months prior to travel. We also strongly recommend that anyone who has any questions about their travel status or visa validity, contacts their nearest US embassy or consulate. 


On 6 March 2017 a revised executive order was issued by the President of the United States which among other things, imposed a ban on entry to the USA for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days.   This new travel ban takes effect from 16 March 2017 and as it stands, would deny these citizens entry to the USA until at least 14 June 2017.

This replaces the previous travel ban which was overturned by the Federal Court.  It is important to note that the ACLU and other organisations intend to dispute this order also.

*These FAQs do not constitute visa advice. Visa advice can be obtained from the US Department of Homeland Security or your nearest US embassy or consulate.

Who is banned this time?

People who are citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen will be denied entry to the USA from 16 March 2017.  Iraqi citizens were previously included and are now exempt.

There is a 120 day suspension on the entry of any refugees (including Syrian refugees who were previously banned indefinitely).

What are the exceptions?

There are some important exceptions:

  • Citizens of any of these six countries listed above who hold an existing visa, US citizenship or a Green Card to enter the USA that was also valid as at 27 January 2017, will be able to enter from 16 March.
  • Dual citizens of one of the six listed nations and another (not listed) country may apply for a visa to enter the USA from 16 March 2017.  Please note: these people should travel on a passport other than the one they have for the banned country.
  • Citizens of these countries who are inside the USA at the time of this ban are exempt but may not be able to return if they leave the USA.
  • Certain diplomats and government officials.
  • Hardship cases (on a case-by-case basis)

How do I apply for a US visa?

We strongly advise that you apply for your visa at least two months prior to travel.  The process may be expedited but it is best to allow as much time as possible.

You should begin your visa application here:

http://www.ustraveldocs.com/

Can my travel consultant contact the US consulate on my behalf?

It is best if you contact the consulate yourself due to the personal nature of the information and the identity verification they will require.  You should have your passport details handy when you are speaking to the consulate.

I have visited one of the six banned countries since 01 March 2011.  Can I travel to the US?

Whether a citizen of one of the six countries or not, you will require a visa to enter the USA if you have visited Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since 01 March 2011. You must contact your nearest US consulate or embassy for further advice.

I am not a citizen of one of these countries, nor have I visited any of them since 01 March 2011.  What do I need to do to travel to the USA?

If you are a citizen of a visa waiver country (including Australia, New Zealand, Britain) you will be required to hold a valid ESTA.

I was affected by the previous ban and adjusted my travel arrangements accordingly.  Can I change them again since I can now travel?

Please speak to your travel consultant.  Our airline and wholesale partners are working with us to help all of our affected customers.  We will do all we can to re-accommodate you.

I am not personally affected by the ban but no longer wish to travel to the United States at this time.

We suggest that you refer to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice on the United Sates before making any decision about your travel. Please be aware that normal change and cancellation fees apply to customers who are not directly affected by this executive order.

Will this all change again?

Unfortunately it may as we have already seen significant changes to the original executive order in the past few weeks. We suggest that you stay in close contact with your travel consultant and continue to refer questions to the US embassy or consulate nearest you.

We strongly recommend that anyone who has any questions about their travel status or visa validity, contacts their nearest US embassy or consulate.

Contacts:

US Consulate in Australia: 1300 139 399 or

https://au.usembassy.gov/


For the latest deals in travel, browse our great range of offers online, visit your local Escape Travel or call 1300 273 482