The executive order signed by President Trump on January 27, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” has sparked worry and fear among immigrant communities. For those holding valid non-immigrant visas, such as F-1s or H-1Bs, and those holding Advance Parole documents, travel is now uncertain. The order suspends entry for 90 days for any national (including those with valid visas and U.S. green cards) from 7 designated countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The order does not define what it means to be “from” one of these countries – it presumably includes nationals and passport-holders. However, even if you do not hold a passport from one these designated countries, it is recommended that you do not travel to them during the suspension, as returning to the U.S. may be constituted coming “from” a designated country.
At this time, use of Advance Parole for adjustment of status applicants has not been limited (with the exception of travel from the countries designated above). However, President Trump has indicated that he will look into use of Advance Parole, and could, if he chooses, limit its use to “humanitarian and public benefit purposes,” to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Use of Advance Parole therefore may potentially be limited in the future.
Furthermore, the executive order suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allowed certain visa-holders to renew their visa at a consulate via dropbox and forego an in-person interview. The suspension of the waiver program is expected to greatly increase already backlogged visa processing at U.S. consulates abroad. Visa holders who are planning to travel and need to apply for a visa stamp should strongly reconsider, as issuance of 221g forms and indefinite processing times are expected. .