A limited version of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order restricting travel and entry to the United States will take effect Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT.

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court ruled Monday that parts of Trump’s Executive Order, which bans nationals of six Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S. for a 90-day period, may take effect. The court carved out an important exemption for anyone with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship” to a U.S. person or entity, however.
  • A State Department cable issued late Wednesday stated that travelers would qualify for an exemption based on a family relationship if they have a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the U.S. Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, fiancés and other extended family members will not be eligible for an exemption based on their family relationships in the U.S.
  • The State Department said that those seeking an exemption based on business or professional ties to the U.S. must have a relationship that is “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the Order. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. will be exempt from the ban, but the exemption will not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules, a State Department cable said. A hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if prepaid, will also not count.
  • BAL anticipates that short-term business travelers in possession of an invitation letter from a U.S. company will be exempt from the travel ban, but this is not clearly addressed in the guidance.
  • Trump signed the revised Executive Order March 6, banning nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from traveling to the U.S. for a 90-day period. The Order was enjoined by lower courts before the Supreme Court said it could be partially implemented pending further legal arguments, which will be heard in October. In addition to the exemptions provided under the Court’s ruling, the Order itself exempts green card and visa holders and dual nationals, and authorizes consular officers to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis. It also does not cover Iraqi nationals, as an earlier version of the Order did.

BAL Analysis: While a limited version of Trump’s travel and entry restrictions is set to take effect Thursday night, those with close family, business or employment ties to the U.S., as outlined above, should be exempt. BAL has updated an FAQ that addresses who is affected by the Executive Order, who is exempt, and other questions businesses and employees might have regarding traveling to or out of the U.S. at this time. The FAQ is available here.

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

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