Washington: A “watered down”, revised version of US President Donald Trump’s fiercely litigated travel ban will be finally put into effect from Thursday evening, the media reported.
The White House on Wednesday set new guidelines for visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries — Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan — and all refugees, requiring them to have a “close” family or business tie to the US.
The new guidelines were issued in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling partially restoring Trump’s controversial travel ban.
According to the new guidelines, sent to overseas posts on Wednesday, visa applicants must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling in the US, CNN quoted a senior administration official as saying.
If the applicant cannot sufficiently establish such a close relationship, he or she will be banned for 90 days if one is from the six Muslim-majority countries, and 120 days if one is a refugee from any country.
The guidelines have not yet been posted by the State Department or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and could be subject to change, the official said.
Advocacy groups such as Amnesty International plan to send researchers to US airports, such as the Washington Dulles International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on Thursday, to monitor developments and observe implementation of the ban in case any disputes arise.
DHS spokesperson David Lapan confirmed to CNN on Wednesday that the President’s revised executive order “would not affect persons who arrive at our ports of entry with legitimate travel documents”.
Before the executive order was halted by the courts, the categories of travellers who were excluded from the travel ban comprised US citizens; legal permanent residents or green card holders; current visa holders; dual nationals; and foreign nationals with “bona fide” family, educational or business ties to the US.