Nationals from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, as well as all refugees seeking to visit the United States will have to face stringent entry checks following the implementation on Thursday, of US President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
According to the new rules, for the next 90 days travelers from the listed countries without documented “close” family or business relationships in the US could be denied visas and barred entry.
Close relatives – defined as spouses, parents, children or siblings as well as fiances – will potentially be allowed in. However grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces do not apply as “bona fide” relations.
Exempt from the new regulations are also those with business or educational ties to the US. Refugees will face a 120-day ban.
The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday to lift a block on an executive order banning nationals from the aforementioned six Muslim countries from entering the US for a 90-day period. The court said it would hear the full case complete with lawsuits in October.
“Our people are well prepared for this,” said a Department of Homeland Security official as immigration rights activists and lawyers prepare to ensure travelers with valid visas are allowed in at airports across the country.
Trump said the decision was “a clear victory for our national security”, citing the terror strikes in Paris, London, Brussels and Berlin.