President Donald Trump’s Executive Order to halt visa issuance to nationals of six countries for 90 days is set to take effect Thursday.

Several courts are considering legal challenges to block the order. Absent a ruling to stop it from taking effect, however, the order will be enforced beginning at 12:01 a.m. EDT.

Key points:

  • Trump’s Executive Order covers nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Nationals of these countries will not be permitted to travel to the U.S. for a 90-day period unless they are covered by an exemption or obtain a waiver. Iraqi nationals, who were included in an initial Executive Order that stalled in federal court, are exempt from the revised order.
  • Exemptions apply to green card holders, current visa holders and dual nationals, who can travel to the U.S. using a passport issued by a country not covered in the order.
  • The Department of Homeland Security and State Department consular officers may grant waivers on a case-by-case basis if foreign nationals can demonstrate that their entry into the U.S. is in the national interest, does not pose a threat to national security and that denying entry would cause undue hardship. Waivers approved for visa issuance will remain in effect for the validity of the visa.
  • A number of plaintiffs sued over the Executive Order, asking federal courts to block its implementation. A federal court in Maryland heard arguments today, and hearings were also scheduled for cases in Hawaii and Washington state. The judge in the Maryland case indicated he may issue a ruling today, according to press reports.

BAL Analysis: The Executive Order will take effect Thursday unless a court rules to block it. BAL will continue to follow the legal challenges to the order and will alert clients to any significant developments.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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