On June 26, United States Supreme Court reinstated a portion of the Trump Administration’s “Travel Ban” that has been blocked in the federal appeals courts for several months. The ban on citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States will now go into effect. The ban will be in force for 90 days from the first date enforcement.
It is important to note the Travel Ban does not apply to citizens of the six nations listed above who have bona fide reasons for seeking entry to U.S. The Opinion describes this group as those “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” This would include, as explained in the Supreme Court Opinion, those with employment contracts with U.S. companies, students accepted to U.S. universities, or those entering to visit or live with family members.
Under the terms of the Opinion and revised Travel Ban issued on March 6, 2017 (EO 13780), returning employees, newly hired employees, returning students, or newly accepted students from the listed countries should not be barred from entering the U.S. if bona fide relationships can be presented at the Port of Entry. The Opinion states that the relationship to a U.S. employer or school “must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading [the Executive Order]”.
Therefore, FordMurray recommends that citizens of the affected nations who plan to exit and reenter the U.S., or to enter the U.S. for the first time, be prepared to extensively evidence their relationship to the U.S. entity with documentation, in addition to government approval notices, such as: offer letters, employment contracts, acceptance letters, correspondence on organization letterhead, relocation materials, and documentation of initial steps to establish the relationship such as meetings, applications, visits and interviews.
Of more concern, potentially, are those individuals who are establishing initial relationships with U.S. entities such as for business meetings or to interview for admission or an offer of employment. It will be critical to counsel these individuals to be prepared to thoroughly present their bona fide connections to the inviting organization, including with extensive documentation, at the Consulate and/or Port of Entry.
We anticipate that the Department of Homeland Security will issue guidance on the implementation of the Supreme Court Opinion. FordMurray will distribute additional pertinent information in future advisories as needed.
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