Tension as Trump’s travel ban comes into force tonight + Things to know about the ban
President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban is set to come into force today after the initial one was widely criticised as a ban on Muslims.
The Supreme Court partially restored the president’s executive order earlier this week.
It banned people from six mainly Muslim countries from applying for admission to the US.
With the ban comes new criteria for visa applicants as follow:
Which countries are affected by the ban?
- Under the new guidelines, new visa applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship to a ‘close’ relative already in the US to be eligible for a US visa.
- The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for refugees from all nations that are still awaiting approval for admission to the US.
Who counts as a ‘close’ relative?
- Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships, according to the guidelines sent to all US embassies and consulates late on Wednesday.
When does the travel ban start?
- The new rules take effect at midnight GMT tonight (8pm EDT in the US).
- As far as business or professional links are concerned, the State Department said a legitimate relationship must be ‘formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading’ the ban.
Who is exempt from the ban?
- Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the US would be exempt from the ban.
- Consular officers may grant other exemptions to applicants from the six nations if: they have ‘previously established significant contacts with the United States’ ‘significant business or professional obligations’ in the US; they are an infant, adopted child or in need of urgent medical care; they are traveling for business with a recognised international organisation or the US government; they are a legal resident of Canada who applies for a visa in Canada.
Where does the exemption not apply?
- The exemption does not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules.
- A hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if it was pre-paid, would also not count, it said. Punch