President Donald Trump signed a national security memorandum Tuesday to establish a National Vetting Center. The center will be charged with developing more comprehensive vetting standards for those looking to immigrate or travel to the United States. Trump’s memo gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) six months to develop an implementation plan to make the vetting center operational.

Key Points:

  • DHS will lead the effort to create the National Vetting Center and will be tasked with improving inter-agency cooperation and use of intelligence when vetting foreign nationals immigrating or traveling to the United States.
  • Trump has repeatedly called for “extreme vetting” of foreign nationals coming to the United States, and the establishment of the vetting center is the most recent example of this policy. The administration has already rolled out a new set of questions for visa applicants subject to additional screening and begun requiring employment-based visa holders applying for lawful permanent residence to attend an in-person interview.

BAL Analysis: Tuesday’s announcement focused solely on the creation of a new, centralized center for security screening and no mention was made of any changes to screening standards or criteria. It is too early to know whether the creation of the center will lead to lengthier screening processes for visa applicants or others traveling to the United States. More will be known about what impact the center may have once DHS puts together its implementation plan, which it will be required to do in the next six months. BAL will alert clients once additional information about how the center will operate becomes available.

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

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