Resources on Travel Ban Waivers

These documents are guidance from the U.S. Department of State to U.S. consular officials regarding the processing of waivers under the travel ban, Presidential Proclamation 9645. They were obtained by IRAP through a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and as such, contain significant redactions from the U.S. Department of State.

Under the Presidential Proclamation, a waiver can be issued if:

(1) denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship;
(2) entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States; and
(3) entry would be in the national interest.

These documents, dated January 23, 2018, provide several pieces of insight into these standards, including that:
– conditions in the applicant’s country of origin or residence, including war, will not be considered by consular officials in considering undue hardship, even for an applicant who is from a conflict zone.
– national interest and undue hardship will be assessed on a sliding scale, so an applicant whose admission is deemed to promote the U.S. national interest more significantly need not show the same extent of undue hardship.
– each member of a family applying for a waiver must individually establish that a waiver is needed to prevent undue hardship.

IRAP continues to condemn this discriminatory ban and the opaque nature of the waiver process.