Administration Adds Six Additional Countries to “Travel Ban” List

On January 31, 2019, The Administration has announced that it I adding Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania to the restricted travel list.  They joint the current seven countries subject to the ban, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela and North Korea (Chad was originally on the list, but was ultimately removed).  Implementation will begin on February 22.


Initially enacted in the early days of the administration as a “Muslim Ban” impacting primarily Muslim countries, the policy has undergone several iterations and many injunctions against its implementation before finally being permitted to go into effect in its third incarnation by the US Supreme Court in July of 2018.  The six additional countries also in most cases have substantial Muslim populations.


Immigrant visas (preliminary to green cards) are to be banned for Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan under the new pronouncement.  The new pronouncement also prevents potential immigrants from Sudan and Tanzania from using the Diversity Visa Lottery.  As with earlier bans, there are waivers available although this continue to be difficult and time-consuming to obtain.


Strangely, non-immigrant [temporary] visas, including student visas and many employment-based non-immigrant visas aren’t impacted by the ban.  While a good thing, it does beg the question of how the addition of these countries improves Us national security if nationals of these countries can still use temporary visas to enter the US.