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US Travel Ban Executive Order FAQs

These FAQs are based on the executive order, titled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attack into the United States" that was signed on Jan. 27, 2017.


The president has suspended issuing visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for 90 days. During that time, screening procedures will be toughened and the secretary of Homeland Security, working with other Cabinet officials, will determine what information is needed from other countries to determine whether the individual seeking entry to the U.S. is not a security risk.

What happens after the 90-day suspension?

The secretaries of Homeland Security and State will draw up a new list of countries from which foreign nationals will be barred from entering the United States.

What if I am a diplomat?

Exceptions are being made for diplomats, NATO visas or those people traveling to work at the United Nations.

What if I am a green card holder?

Attorneys recommend that green card holders come back to the United States and try to get in. After the Trump administration first said that green card holders were included in the order, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued a statement, saying that green card holders in general would be allowed in, although they would first be subject to a "case-by-case" review.

What if I already have A visa?

Visa holders from the specified countries are mostly being turned away, although they are being reviewed on a case by case basis.

If I am already here, can my family members come?

Not now. Maybe there will be more clarity on this after the 90-day moratorium.


If I have already undergone screening and am on the list for entry to the United States, can I still come?

All refugee admissions are suspended for 120 days. After that, you will have to undergo additional screening no matter where you are in the process.

But the order says the United States will prioritize claims made on the basis of religious-based persecution provided "the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's home country." This includes during the 120-day moratorium.

If I am a Syrian, can I come to the U.S. on a refugee basis?

No. Syrian refugees will not be processed or admitted until the United States decides it is in the national interest. But the secretaries of state and defense are directed to identify a plan for a safe zone in Syria.

President Obama said the United States would take 110,000 refugees in FY 2017, is that still on track?

No. The executive order calls for 50,000 refugees this year. Roughly 32,000 refugees have already been admitted in FY 2017. About 5,000 are Syrians.

Source: Voice of America