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New Rules for US Travel Ban to Require Family, Business Ties

29 June, 2017

The Trump administration has set new visa requirements for people from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees.

The Associated Press (AP) says the new rules require those seeking a visa to have a close relationship with a family or business in the United States.

The move came after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to parts of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump. Critics of the order compared it to a ban on Muslims.

The State Department released the guidance for U.S. diplomats on Wednesday.

The government is not canceling visas that have already been approved.

The new rules affect visa applicants from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It said they must prove a relationship with a parent, husband or wife, child, the husband or wife of an adult child, or a brother or sister already in the United States to be considered for a visa.

Other family members are not considered close relations under the new guidelines. They include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins and other extended family members.

Graphic depicting State Department details on 'bona fide' relationships
Graphic depicting State Department details on 'bona fide' relationships

The same requirement, with few exceptions, is in effect for would-be refugees who are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.

The new rules take effect at 0000 Universal Time (UTC) on Friday, the AP report said.

The State Department will consider whether visa applicants from the six countries have business ties to the United States. It said an acceptable business relationship has to be "formal, documented," and not created for the purpose of avoiding the ban.

The new guidance said a hotel or rental car agreement would not meet the requirement.

The new rules do not affect news reporters, students, workers or speakers who have valid invitations or offers of employment in the U.S.

On Monday, the Supreme Court partially lifted lower court rulings against Trump's executive order, which had temporarily banned visas for citizens of the six countries.

The new guidance will remain in place until the Supreme Court makes a final ruling on the issue. The court will not hear arguments in the case until at least October. So the temporary rules will remain in place for at least the next three months.

Shortly after taking office, Trump ordered the refugee ban and a travel ban affecting the six countries, as well as Iraq. He said it was needed to protect the United States from terrorists. But opponents said it was unfairly severe and was designed to meet his campaign promise to keep Muslims out of the country.

After a federal judge rejected the bans, Trump signed another order designed to overcome legal issues. That order was also rejected by lower courts, but the Supreme Court ruled that parts of the order are constitutional.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

The Associated Press reported this story. George Grow adapted the report for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.


Words in This Story

executiveadj. of or relating to the execution of laws

applicantn. someone who asks for something; a candidate

formaladj. following an established form or custom

validadj. having legal force; justifiable

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