Today, the existing travel ban has expired, would would have (perhaps) given some chance to a few DV2017 cases waiting for the travel ban to expire. However, as we know, it is now widely reported that people are being told that DV2017 visas are exhausted. I reported that in this post.
In fact, the new ban has two phases. Phase 2 is the new rules starting from October 18. Phase 1 is effectively a continuation of the first ban (apart from Sudan). So – people affected by the first ban who have now cleared AP cannot get a visa because the ban has been extended AND DV2017 visas have run out in any case. So – there is no hope for those who were waiting for the ban to be lifted in the final days of DV2017.
However, President Chump has now introduced a new ban, planned to be effective from October 18 (with a few immediate impacts).
The new ban has a slightly different list of affected countries namely Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen. So Sudan has been removed from the list of affected countries and Chad, Venezuela and North Korea added. However, the new ban does not affect all those countries in the same way. The ban on Venezuela for instance only affects certain government officials – so it is unlikely to affect many or any DV winners from that country. Other countries are more impacted however.
The precise wording of the new ban can be read here.
A good level of detail has now been provided on the travel.state.gov site here.
The implementation and details of the new ban are only just becoming available, and more information will be made available later. However, the following points are already clear:
- Green Card holders from the affected countries are not impacted.
- People with a second nationality of an unaffected country can travel on the passport of that country.
- Some waivers are available, but the details are unclear.
- The previous exemptions for a Bona fide relationship seem to have been removed from this version.
- The new ban is not for a limited period of time like the earlier ban. It will continue unless the countries involved improve their processes and co-operation, or this ban is successfully challenged.
- People inside the USA on other visa types are not affected by the ban.
So – the countries and selectees affected now look like this:
|Country||DV2018 Selectees||Region||Impact to DV2018 Selectees|
|Iran||4500||AS||All selectees effected|
|Libya||441||AF||All selectees effected|
|Somalia||436||AF||All selectees effected|
|Yemen||1239||AS||All selectees effected|
|Chad||85||AF||All selectees effected|
|Syria||414||AS||All selectees effected|
|Venezuela||2209||SA||Only certain government officials affected|
|North Korea||1||AS||All selectees effected|
There may be legal challenges to this ban. The arguments over the existing ban is scheduled to be considered by the Supreme Court on October 10. There will be a move to include this new ban under that case, since the effect (and intent) is largely the same. However, this new ban gives well reasoned points about why the ban is being introduced on each country. If this is how the first ban was written, it would have been less likely to have been successfully challenged. The new order focuses on security and the failings of certain countries to provide information necessary to perform security screenings. Of course, the actual intent behind this ban is clear, so hopefully the courts will find that this new ban is no more than a transparent attempt to reinvent the previous ban.
I don’t know how affected cases will be handled. KCC may allow interviews to proceed on cases affected by the new ban,. or they may cancel the interviews. I don’t know what will happen. The handling will hopefully become more clear soon. But until then, I really don’t know.
Now – people will ask about the effect of this ban on other countries in the region. DV2018, unlike DV2017 is more obviously over selected. So – people with high case numbers are already uncertain whether they will get a chance to be interviewed, and they will want to know whether this ban changes their chances in any way. The answer to that is – I don’t know. We may get more information as time goes on but we may simply have to wait and see what happens.