The U.S. declares new visa criteria for six Muslim nations

Published on : Thursday, June 29, 2017

USAThe Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move was followed after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.


The visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but the new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen has to prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible for a new visa. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations that are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.


Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships, according to the guidelines that were issued in a cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late on Wednesday.


For the business or professional links, the State Department said a legitimate relationship must be “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the ban. However students, workers, journalists, lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempted from the ban.


The initial travel ban was declared in January which led to a lot of chaos at airports around the world. This time similar issues are not expected as the guidelines clearly exempt previously issued visas. After a judge blocked the original ban, Trump issued a scaled-down order and the court’s action Monday further reduced the number of people who would be covered by it. Also, while the initial order took effect immediately, adding to the confusion, this one was delayed 72 hours after the court’s ruling.

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