With the President currently being embroiled in an impeachment trial, the Trump Administration used last week to announce sweeping changes to US Immigration. These changes include:

  1. Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E1, E2 trade and investment visas
  2. Plans to add seven countries – Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania – to its travel ban list
  3. Restrictions aimed at “birth tourism,” in which women travel to the U.S. to give birth so their children can have a coveted U.S. passport.

Whilst the withdrawal of E1 and E2 visas for Iranian nationals was not unpredicted, after months of increasing tensions, this change was due to the October 2018 termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights. Since this date, applicants have been placed in Administrative Processing and will now a receive a Notice Of Intent to Deny (NOID). Iranian nationals have been eligible to apply for the E1 and E2 visas since 1957, longer than countries including France, Ireland (E-2), Denmark, Australia and Canada.

These changes can be viewed as part of the wider changes to reciprocity agreements, which have recently hit many countries including India, France and Australia. These changes have come about as part of a review announced in 2017 when President Trump signed the executive order and charged the Secretary of State to review all non-immigrant visa reciprocity agreements. It’s anticipated that in the coming months, many more countries will be impacted by similar changes.

Later in the week, it was announced that the President was considering increasing the number of countries on the travel ban list, by including Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. While it remains to be confirmed if and when the countries will be added to the list, rumours circulate that this could take place as early as Monday January 27, 2020. This move, which has taken analysts by surprise, particularly in Belarus and Nigeria (an anti-terror partner), will ban visitors from these countries entering the US and is sure to sour diplomatic relations.

The third announcement made last week is that new visa regulations are to be implemented to restrict pregnant women entering the US. The Administration announced on January 23, 2020 and effective from January 24, 2020 that no B-1/B-2 visas will be issued to those seeking to enter the US primarily to give birth. In guidance released yesterday, State Department officials warned that staff must not ask whether an applicant is pregnant but warned that applicants would be subject to questioning should they indicate they are traveling for a medical procedure on the application form.

At Davies Legal, we represent clients in connection with all types of immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications. We offer competitive fixed fee billing and an assurance that your case will be handled only by your designated, fully licensed US immigration attorney. Call now for a free no obligation quote.

Published: 27th January 2020