Department of State (DOS) Answers 8 Questions on Visa Revocations Following President Trump’s Travel Ban
Though we are all awaiting a new Executive Order on immigration from President Trump to replace the one blocked in federal court last month, the American Immigration Lawyer Association (“AILA”) asked the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) Visa Office several questions related to provisional visa revocations, consular interview cancellations, and other impacts of the prior Executive Order. On 2/27/17, DOS provided AILA with the following responses.
- What happened to the passports of applicants who had been cleared for visa issuance and were awaiting the return of their passports at the time the January 27, 2017, Presidential Executive Order (EO) was signed? If passports were returned to the applicants without the visa, what is the process for reinstating the application and receiving the visa at this time?If visa issuance had been authorized, but the passport and visa remained in the consular section, we would have expected the consular section to spoil the visa, deny the application, and call the applicant in to pick up the passport with any issued visa having been revoked. Visa denials under the Executive Order were final, but the applicant may reapply without prejudice.
- Do nonimmigrant visa applicants whose visa interviews were scheduled and then cancelled when the EO was signed need to reschedule their interviews, or are posts taking steps to reschedule them affirmatively? If visa applicants must take affirmative steps to reschedule their interviews, what is the process? What is the process for immigrant visa applicants?We instructed our embassies and consulates to resume regular processing of visas for nationals of the seven countries subject to Executive Order 13769. Nonimmigrant visa applicants should contact their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for information about scheduling an interview. The National Visa Center cancelled all scheduled immigrant visa interviews for these applicants scheduled in February 2017. The National Visa Center or U.S. Embassy will contact those affected to reschedule interview appointments.
- In lieu of issuing a new nonimmigrant visa, can posts assist individuals whose nonimmigrant visa was physically cancelled (as opposed to provisionally revoked) in obtaining a boarding or transportation letter to facilitate embarkation to travel to the U.S.? Are boarding letters available for individuals with physically cancelled immigrant visas?
Visa cancellation by CBP constitutes visa revocation precluding travel. In certain situations, consular sections have issued boarding letters at CBP’s request. Other affected visa holders should apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, or contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where they received an immigrant visa for further instruction.
- For dual nationals, please confirm that only nonimmigrant visas issued in a passport of a restricted country were provisionally revoked, and that nonimmigrant visas issued in a passport of an unrestricted country continued to remain valid.
Given that the provisional revocation was reversed on February 3, 2017, any visas that were not canceled or revoked on other grounds were reinstated. If you have concerns about a particular case, please explain the circumstances and current status of the visa holder.
- Were the nonimmigrant visas of citizens or nationals of the seven restricted countries who were present in the U.S. when the EO took effect provisionally revoked? If so, please confirm whether they have been reinstated.
When the provisional revocation was reversed on February 3, 2017, any visas that were not canceled or revoked on other grounds were reinstated.
- Are individuals whose visas were provisionally revoked and then reinstated as a result of the TRO required to indicate on future applications that they have had a visa revoked?
Holders are not required to indicate on future applications that they have had a visa revoked.
- Has DOS taken any additional steps has to notify individuals that their visas have been revoked other than the general notice on state.gov? Have these individuals been notified that their visas have been reinstated? If no notices have been provided, what steps can an individual take to proactively determine if his or her visa has been provisionally revoked and/or reinstated?
When the provisional revocation was reversed on February 3, 2017, any visas that were not canceled or revoked on other grounds were reinstated. Individuals with any questions should contact their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Did the EO have any effect on the processing of J-1 waiver applications for applicants from the restricted countries?
The Waiver Review Division in the Visa Office generally continued processing of J-1 waiver applications while the EO was in effect.
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