© Attorney Farhad Sethna 2017
Here is a quick summary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday, June 26, 2017:
If you are not from one of these six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, the travel ban does not affect you.
However, if you are a refugee from anywhere, the travel ban will affect you, for upto one hundred twenty days.
Who is banned:
- Individuals who do not have a “credible claim of a bonafide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” and who are from one of these six countries, or fall into the refugee category.
- Anyone who obtains a visa after the Court’s decision of June 26, 2017.
- Tourists from one of these six countries who do not have any close family ties with citizens or permanent residents in the USA.
Who is not banned:
- Individuals who have valid nonimmigrant visas issued before June 26, 2017.
- Immigrant visa holders who are coming to permanently live with family members in the USA.
- Students who have been admitted to a US university, workers who have been employed by US companies, and lecturers.
What about refugees?
Under the Supreme Court’s requirement that a refugee or other immigrant or non-immigrant show a “bonafide relationship”, refugees who are already in the process are deemed to have established a bonafide relationship with a person or entity (for example, a refugee resettlement agency) in the United States, and therefore will still qualify to enter the United States. Those who start their process after June 26 will however be barred from entry for 120 days from June 29, the day the Trump administration will implement the limited Travel Ban.
Keep in mind: the ban applies only to individuals from these six countries who are not refugees, or to refugees from anywhere in the world. It does not apply to anyone else.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on this case in the new term, starting October 2017.
The decision really does not do anything positive for Trump: because refugee processing takes over 120 days, even a refugee who has NOT started her or his process as of June 26 will still be in process when the ban ends. Refugees who are already in the process will be able to show a “bonafide relationship” with a US entity, and cannot be banned from the USA.
Of course, US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) officers at the border and at airports may implement the Supreme Court ruling as they interpret it. That will probably give rise to more exclusions and more litigation. Stay tuned on this most interesting issue.
About the author: Attorney Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 25 years. Since 1996, he has been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio. He is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and New Philadelphia, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible