Update on 90-Day Travel Ban

You may recall that President Trump earlier this year had two Executive Orders challenged in the court regarding a 90-day travel ban giving the Department of State time to properly vet travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen before awarding them visas.  Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court partially upheld the modified travel ban.  To allay your concerns, this means that individuals from any one of those countries who have a “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States” will be able to enter the country.  A bona fide relationship would include students enrolled in a University or anyone who may have work authorization such as H-1B or F1 OPT/STEM with a U.S. company or institution.  And, as before, legal permanent residents are exempt from the ban. 
ISFS recommends that employees who are from any of those countries here on a visa that allows work authorization take, when traveling, documentation that confirms the relationship such as a valid visa and certainly the H-1B visa petition approval notice (I-797).  These documents should serve as evidence to support the bona fide relationship.   B visitors should be prepared to establish the specific reason and relationship with the U.S. entity and be ready to answer questions.
Our office will continue to monitor this on your behalf.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Revised I-485 Form Announced

USCIS announces a revised I-485 form for green card applicants. The form and instructions have been updated to make the form easier to complete. USCIS will continue to accept both the 1/17/17 and 6/26/17 versions of the form for 60 days. However, beginning on August 25, 2017 only the revised I-485 will be accpeted.

You can read more about the revision on USCIS' website.

Carry-on Restrictions for Certain Flights to the U.S.

On March 21, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced a change to international carry-on items.  Electronic devices larger than a smart phone will have to be checked into the cargo for passengers departing for the US from certain airports.  Those airports are:
  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)                              
  • Cairo Int’l. Airport (CAI
  • Ataturk Int’l. Airport (IST)                                            
  • King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED)
  • King Khalid Int’l. Airport (RUH)                                  
  • Kuwait Int’l. Airport (KWI)
  • Mohammed V. Airport (CMN)                                  
  • Hamad Int’l. Airport (DOH)
  • Dubai Int’l. Airport (DXB)                                             
  • Abu Dhabi Int’l. Airport (AUH)
U.S. citizens are not exempt from these restrictions.  Airlines have been directed to enforce these restrictions until at least October 14, 2017.
Again, these restrictions apply to flights departing from those airports with the U.S. as the destination, not outbound flights from the United States.
For more information, DHS has published a Fact Sheet: Aviation Security Enhancements for Select Last Point Departure Airports with Commercial Flights to the United States.
Our office will post updates on our website as we continue to monitor events as they impact our travelers.

Know Before You Visit

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection website provides some helpful resources for international travelers coming to the U.S. Check out the helpful tips on bringing food to the U.S., traveling with medication, and required documentation. They also have videos on what you need to know about entering the U.S. and how the entry process works.