Homeland Security: Green Card Holders Will Be Allowed to Return

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Jan 30, 2017
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

President Trump signed an executive order on Friday, January 27, 2017, that suspends the admission into the U.S. of people from certain countries for 90 days. This three-month ban applies to citizens of the following countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.

Citizens of those seven countries who hold U.S. visas or U.S. green cards are included in this temporary ban. Anyone traveling abroad when the executive order was signed is now unable to enter the country for at least three months. Individuals who are nationals of the countries mentioned above who are currently in the United States should not depart the United States.

Editor note: The Fisher Phillips firm issued an alert today urging employers to immediately suspend travel for non-U.S. citizen employees from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Sudan even if they have a green card or H-1B visa. See additional details here.

Saturday, a federal judge issued a stay of deportation for those detained in the U.S., but it is unclear how those who are traveling will be impacted. At least three other federal judges have issued related orders.

There have been conflicting reports from the White House and Homeland Security regarding how the executive order applies to lawful permanent residents (those with Green Cards) from the seven countries.

Sunday night, DHS Secretary John Kelly issued a statement saying, “In applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest.

“Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.”

They can expect to face additional questioning before being allowed to enter.

Employers are analyzing their workforce to determine who could be impacted by this ban. Companies like Google are calling for all of their impacted employees to return to the U.S. immediately. Employers and employees should contact their global mobility departments and immigration partners immediately for advice and counsel.

Other Immigration Changes

Trump ordered a four-month suspension of America’s broader refugee program. The U.S. will stop issuing visas to Syrian nationals and halt processing and admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The State Department now requires interviews for all visa applicants, except for those under 14, over 79, or who previously held a similar visa that expired less than 12 months prior. Diplomats and other official applicants also are exempt.

Trump’s order also calls for extreme vetting. It did not spell out specifics on how he wants to increase vetting system for refugees. Instead he calls for a review of the refugee application and approval process and recommend other security measures to prevent people who pose a threat from using the refugee program.


A version of this article originally appeared on the Envoy Global immigration blog. The URL is

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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