Trump sets new visa criteria for applicants from Muslim countries

The applicants eligible for family/employment-based immigrant visas are exempted from the ban.

The Dollar Business Bureau 

The US administration under President Donald Trump has issued new guidelines for the visa applications from six Muslim-majority nations and all refugees. Visa applicants from these countries now require a ‘close’ family/business relation to become eligible for entering the US.

This move came after the US Supreme Court partly restored the executive order issued by the Trump administration barring citizens from the six countries for 90 days to travel to US that was extensively criticised as it targeted only Muslims.

Visas, which have been approved already, will not be cancelled. However, the new guidelines issued by the US State Department mentions that the applicants from six Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen must now have to prove relationship with a parent, child, spouse, adult son/daughter, daughter-in-law, son-in-law or a sibling who is already in the US, to be eligible to get a visa.

The same eligibility, with a few exclusions, is required from would-be refugees of all the countries who are awaiting the approval for entering the US.

Grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and fiancés/fiancées or any other extended members of family do not come under the close relationship category, as per the guidelines, issued in a cable, sent to all the US consulates and embassies.

Referring to the Trump’s executive order, the cable specified, “Any relationship with a US entity must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading the executive order.”

The guidelines gave various examples of what may comprise a ‘bona fide relationship’ and mentioned that broad categories would be exempted from travel ban, like those who are eligible for student visas.

Likewise, the applicants eligible for family/employment-based immigrant visas are exempted from the ban, the cable said. 

The cable further said, “A worker who accepted an offer of employment from a company in the US or a lecturer invited to address an audience in the US would be exempt" from the travel ban.”

The new guidelines will take effect on Thursday, the cable pronounced.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jun 29, 2017 12:00 IST