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Travel Warning for Nationals of Certain Countries Designated by Executive Order

  • The American Immigration Council has posted a practice advisory, Challenging President Trump’s Ban on Entrywhich provides information about how last Friday’s Executive Order is being implemented, offers resources and practice tips for attorneys whose clients are affected by it, and outlines legal challenges that have been filed to date.

  • DHS issued guidance on 1/29/17 stating that those individuals “traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entry to the United States.” (Emphasis added.) This weekend, DHS told AILA that anyone who holds a passport from a designated country is considered as being “from” the designated country. See 1/28/17 update below.

    • Dual Citizens: DHS also told AILA that the ban included dual citizens who hold passports from a designated country as well as a non-designated country, BUT that CBP would be processing people based on how they present themselves at primary inspection. (Emphasis added.) AILA members report clients being processed based on which passport they present.

    • However, it is important to note that reports from the UK and Canada, as well as various media reports, appear to conflict with each other in certain respects. We are seeking more concrete guidance for dual nationals who hold two passports, and will update members as soon as possible.

  • USCIS Suspension of Adjudication: Media articles have reported that USCIS has suspended the adjudication of certain affected immigration benefits. Given the language of the Executive Order and the reports, it appears likely there has been or will be some directive to USCIS on how to handle benefits applications. AILA has contacted USCIS, but has been unable to confirm these reports definitively. AILA has also asked what benefits may be affected and how USCIS will treat dual nationals. We will update members as soon as possible.

  • DOS Visa Issuance: DOS posted a notice to their website over the weekend stating that per the Executive Order, visa issuance to nationals of the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended until further notification.

  • Litigation: Please note that litigation has been filed in several jurisdictions that may affect individual clients, including lawsuits in New York (JKF airport), Boston (Logan airport), Los Angeles, Washington State (SeaTac airport), and Virginia (Dulles airport). For more information on those lawsuits, please see the Council’s practice advisory.

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Sweta Khandelwal

Sweta completed her Masters in Law from the University of California, Los Angeles and her JD from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in India and has been practicing law for 15+ years getting visas, green cards, and citizenship for 1000+ clients, 100+ companies across 50+ nationalities.

Sweta has been recognized as a ” Super Lawyer, Rising Star,” and as amongst the ” Top 40 under 40″ immigration attorneys in California (American Society of Legal Advocates). She is also the recipient of the Advocacy Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sweta is also a chartered accountant — the equivalent of a CPA. This makes her uniquely positioned to understand the immigration needs of her business clients in the broader context of their corporate objectives.

Sweta is actively involved with immigration issues and immigrant communities in various capacities. She has assumed key roles at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), both at the local and national level. She has been a past chair at the Santa Clara Valley Chapter at AILA and has also been involved in various practice area committees at AILA National. Sweta has addressed multiple conferences/forums in the United States and worldwide on immigration and business issues.

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