How Does the Current Travel Ban Affect You?

Posted By Law Offices of Elsa Martinez

At the end of June, the Supreme Court reinstated key parts of President Trump’s travel ban and agreed to review the case in the fall. This latest iteration of the travel ban, which is currently in effect, continues to cause uneasiness in the immigrant and refugee communities across the United States. Not only does it bar immigrants from six countries, but it also blocks refugees from every single country from entering the U.S.

So how exactly does the current travel ban affect you and your loved ones? Well, to talk about that, we have to start at the beginning.

First Version of the Travel Ban

Back in January, President Trump issued an executive order aimed at temporarily banning travel from certain countries in the Middle East and Africa. People from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia were banned from entering the U.S for 90 days. In addition, the U.S. refugee resettlement program was stopped for several months, the resettlement of refugees from Syria was suspended and the number of refugees that could be accepted into the U.S in 2017 was reduced. In total, more than 180 million foreigners and refugees were suspended from entering the United States.

Thanks to widespread protests and strong bipartisan criticism, the challenges for the Trump administration began to rapidly grow. The backlash culminated in a travel ban collapse, under the weight of a decision from a Washington federal judge to place the ban on hold for a week. An appeals court in San Francisco later refused to lift the temporary stay on the travel ban—indefinitely blocking it.

Travel Ban 2.0

After months of revisions, a “watered-down” version of the travel ban went into effect at the end of June. The new travel ban includes many revisions directly aimed at the most controversial aspects of the original:

  • Iraq is dropped from the list of targeted countries.
  • Those who are legal permanent residents or have a valid visa can come to the U.S.
  • Admission of Syrian refugees is no longer restricted.
  • No preference to religious minorities, such as Christians from the Middle East, that want to enter the U.S.
  • Includes a list of who may qualify for a waiver.

What Does This Mean for You?

For now, the current travel ban temporarily suspends new visas and travel for people from Iran, Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia without a “bona fide” relationship in the United States. Since the court did not explain their meaning of “bona fide” relationships, the Trump administration defined it as parents, fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, spouses (even if only engaged), children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law and siblings.


Only immigrants from the six targeted countries without a bona fide relationship are currently banned from the United States for 90 days. That includes:

  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Brothers-in-law
  • Sisters-in-law
  • Aunts
  • Uncles
  • Nieces
  • Nephews
  • Cousins

Note: On October 10, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals may repeal the bona fide relationship definition to allow grandparents, uncles, aunts and the rest of the banned people from entering the United States.


All refugees, from any country, are currently banned from entering the United States for 120 days, except for those with a bona fide relationship in the U.S. Ties to a refugee organization do not count as a bona fide relationship. Those who have already been admitted or are exempt on a case-by-case basis will still be allowed to enter. Additionally, only 50,000 refugees will be allowed to enter in 2017—less than half of what was allowed the year before by President Obama.

Students and Workers

Students and workers with temporary, non-immigrant visas from the six targeted countries are allowed to enter the United States, since the visas they have require a bone fide relationship in the first place.

Tourists and Business Travelers

Only those from the six targeted countries with a bona fide relationship in the U.S. are allowed to enter. Additionally, if a traveler wants to visit because of business or to give a lecture at a college, they’ll need a formal “relationship” with a U.S. entity, as defined by the Trump administration.

Green Card Holders, Dual Nationals and Diplomats

All green card holders, dual citizens and diplomats, or those with government visas, are all allowed to enter the United States, regardless if they’re from the six targeted countries.

Unsure of how the current travel ban affects you or your loved ones? Reach out to our Los Angeles immigration attorneys from the Law Offices of Elsa Martinez immediately. Let us put our 20 years of legal experience in your corner.

Call (213) 985-4550 or contact us online to speak with an immigration attorney.