Dept of State Provides Visa Processing Information in Light of Travel Ban

While further court review of the Executive Order (EO) will not occur until October, Federal agencies are lending their own interpretations of what to expect during the next few months.  The US Department of State (DOS), the agency responsible for the issuance of visas, just provided such insight.  Overall, the DOS appears to be taking a liberal approach to visa processing matters and indicates that:

  • Consulates are not canceling previously scheduled visa application appointments
  • The DOS is not acting to revoke any visas issued prior to the order’s effective date, June 29th
  • Qualified applicants in categories such as F, J, L. H, K, where a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States is inherent in the requirements for the visa classification itself are NOT SUBJECT to the Executive Order
  • U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) are not impacted by the EO.
  • Permanent residents of Canada (landed immigrants) who hold passports of a restricted country can apply for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa to the United States if the individual presents that passport, and proof of landed immigrant status at a U.S. consulate in Canada
  • Qualified applicants in the immediate-relative and family-based immigrant visa categories are exempt from the order since having a bona fide close familial relationship is inherent in the requirements for the visa.
  • For those subject to the EO, waivers are available on a case-by-case basis
  • Travel documents may be available to those whose visas were canceled as a result of the first EO.