Today, June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the blocking of the Trump Administration’s travel ban by lower courts. The Justices will hear the case on its merits during the first session of the next term, which starts this October. The Supreme Court partially lifted injunctions by the lower courts and now allows the administration to block “foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” However, foreign nationals from one of the six countries listed in the travel ban (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) who have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” will be allowed to seek a visa and admission to the United States.
The court defines “bona fide relationship with a person” as “a close familial relationship.” The two examples provided by the Court include the currently pending cases – someone who wishes to visit a family member’s wife or a mother-in-law. The Court’s definition did not distinguish as to whether a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or non-immigrant visa holder in the U.S. with a family relationship would qualify for purposes of a bona fide relationship.
The court defines “bona fide relationship with an … entity” as a relationship that is “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course.” This includes both students who have been admitted to U.S. universities and workers who have accepted offers of employment from American companies.
We are awaiting guidance as to how officials at the various government agencies impacted by this decision (including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Department of State) will implement today’s ruling. We may see implementation within 72 hours.
For URGENT travel questions while you are in transit, please contact the EIG Travel Hotline: 1-877-EIG-LAW1, for all other inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.