This question is both unclear and complex, and travelers’ hopes lie with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Based on released guidance from USCIS, each travel restriction needs to be understood by understanding only the single “entrance-point” that an immigrant is entering into the US. In addition, such agencies as the State Department can clarify any gaps in this guidance.
Disclosure under different entry-point authorities
To avoid confusion, these points need to be understood one at a time and in absolute terms:
• US entry into the US is confined to people from five individual countries: Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Libya, and Iran. The countries are newly designated for extended national travel controls by the United States under Executive Order 13769 (EO). These entry restrictions apply to people who wish to enter the US from these countries at any point, and not to those who may enter the US as visitors on their own, for reasons such as a business trip, vacation, or family visit.
• Entry-point authority is determined, not by President Trump, but by the person, person of a government that issues that entry-point authority. Under Executive Order 13769, only one person — USCIS — has authority to declare national restrictions and prohibitions.
• The five countries are also designated for a 15-day suspension of in-person visa processing and a mandatory 24-hour suspension of in-person issuance of nonimmigrant visas at the same points of entry. This suspension continues until 15 August 2017.
• Like all other airports in the US, H1-B visa offices and offices of the US State Department will be closed for a four-day period beginning 12 July 2017. The limited suspension of in-person visa issuance will extend to 11 July 2017, and will apply to nonimmigrant and immigrant categories. If you wish to enter the US, you will be unable to do so during that period.
While the United States is not alone in this situation, it is by far the most prominent one. Following executive orders issued by the US government to ban people from seven Muslim-majority countries, travelers from six of those countries have already been kept from entering the US. At the moment, citizens of these countries remain unable to apply for a visa, or travel to the US after obtaining it.
After those orders, as Trump said in January: “We want certain people in certain countries coming into our country, but we want people coming into our country who love our country, and will love our country.”
The President of the US Citizens and Immigration Services, Sara L. Riolo: “We’re looking at what’s best for the country, and we’re certainly taking into account the safety and security of the United States. We’re going to do whatever is necessary to keep Americans safe.”
The State Department did not respond to an eTurboNews query on whether they would be issuing visas to or returning people currently on holiday abroad to the US prior to the prohibition of entry through national entry restriction at any point. The State Department also did not offer a complete response to eTN’s written questions for clarification.