Update on Travel Ban Litigation and Resumption of Visa Processing from Turkey (Nov. 19, 2017)

We recently reported that the White House issued Proclamation No. 9645, Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats (Proclamation), which established an indefinite bar against entry into the U.S. by citizens of certain countries. Federal trial courts temporarily blocked the Proclamation, except as it relates to citizens of North Korea and certain citizens of Venezuela. The White House appealed the lower courts’ decisions to the Ninth and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals.

On Nov. 13, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order partially granting the White House’s request to allow implementation of the Proclamation. Specifically, under this latest ruling, the restrictions on entry set forth in the Proclamation can be implemented on a nationwide basis unless the foreign national has a close familial relationship with a person in the United States (including grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins), or a close relationship with a U.S. entity that is formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading the entry restrictions. The restrictions on entry related to foreign nationals from North Korea and certain individuals from Venezuela continue to be implemented regardless of the existence of a close tie to the United States.

The Ninth and Fourth Circuit Courts have both scheduled oral arguments in the cases for early December. We will provide a further update as new information becomes available.

Separately, we also recently reported that the Department of State indefinitely suspended the issuance of non-immigrant visas from diplomatic facilities in Turkey. That suspension has now been lifted, and visa processing has resumed on a limited basis. Additional information regarding the process for obtaining visa appointments in Turkey can be found here.


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