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New US travel ban announced on Sunday, applies to 8 countries

The Trump Administration announced a new travel ban on Sunday, just as parts of the previous version were set to expire. Sudan has been removed from the list of affected countries, while three new countries have been added. The new list of countries is: Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea. The new ban is will be in place permanently unless it is overturned by the courts or reversed by President Trump or a future president.

Here's what we know about the new ban so far. It does not apply to:

  • Green card holders (lawful permanent residents)
  • U.S. citizens with dual nationalities
  • Refugees already approved for entry into the U.S.
  • Anyone currently in the U.S. with a valid visa

The restrictions described in the new executive order vary by country, and some details still need clarification. Overall, however:

  • People from Syria and North Korea can no longer enter the U.S. unless they meet specific criteria, such as being granted asylum or holding a diplomatic visa. The indefinite ban on Syrian refugees was lifted. However, a new, 120-day bar on all refugee admissions is now in place.
  • Those from Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Chad are now ineligible for immigrant visas and some kinds of nonimmigrant visas.
  • The order bars business and tourist visits by certain security personnel from Venezuela and their families.
  • In addition, however, American consular officials have the authority to waive the restrictions in certain situations. For example, waivers will be available for Canadian permanent residents, adoptees and other children, those seeking medical care in the U.S., and students or workers with substantial ties to the U.S. who happened to be out of the country at the time of the order's enactment.

How is this travel ban different from previous versions?

The Trump administration always said the previous iterations of the travel ban were meant to be short-term, rough measures meant to give the White House time to develop a permanent ban.

The new restrictions are tailored to each country and based on that country's ability or willingness to help the U.S. vet prospective travelers. Countries that couldn't meet a baseline threshold for cooperation were included in the ban. That baseline included identity verification for travelers, criminal history checks and risk assessments.

Somalia met the baseline but was still included in the ban for having "significant identity-management deficiencies." Iraq did not meet the baseline but was excluded from the ban because of its close ties to the U.S. -- and the significant American presence there.

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