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Immigration Restrictions – Practical Advice for Relocation Managers

President Trump issued an executive order on Friday, January 27, 2017 that immediately halted entry into the United States for any citizens from a handful of countries considered terrorist havens.

Countries impacted by the executive order

  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • Sudan

This order states that anyone with a passport issued from one of those seven countries – regardless of where they are in the world – cannot enter the U.S. Since Friday, January 27th, the order was clarified to state that valid green card holders will be permitted entry, but as of today, anyone else with a valid visa or who has applied for and received refugee status from one of these countries cannot enter the U.S. This ban is expected to be in effect for at least 90 days, with all Syrians prohibited from entry indefinitely.

Graebel is monitoring the situation and in contact with our immigration partners. In addition, we are working to ensure that any client assignees or transferees currently unable to return to the U.S. are given appropriate relocation services to help them mitigate changes this executive order may have caused.


Impacted Employees

There are four employee types that are most likely to be impacted by this immigration policy:

  • Assignees and cross-border transferees with citizenship from one of these countries (or dual citizenship with another country, such as the UK) who plan to travel to the U.S. or plan to leave the U.S.
  • Business Travelers who are from one of these countries who plan to travel to the U.S. or plan to leave the U.S.
  • Recently graduated students from US schools with F1 visas from one of these countries who plan to travel to the U.S. or plan to leave the U.S.
  • US-based employees with valid work visas (L1, F1, J1, etc.) or with green cards who are in the U.S. now but plan to travel outside – even with the change to green card holders, relocation managers need to consider the confusion that exists now at U.S. airports.

Please note that non-U.S. citizens who visit one of these countries will be flagged for added attention and will require a new visa in order to enter the U.S., regardless of their citizenship.


What do Relocation Managers need to do?

We encourage you to stay in close touch with your Travel and/or Travel Security teams for the latest information on employee location and status as well as for upcoming travel plans that may need to be changed.

We also encourage you to reach out to your immigration provider(s) as this is a very fluid situation, with court injunctions changing the processes in airports across the country. Here are useful links to Graebel’s immigration providers as well as a link to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website that posts frequent updates.

Contact us if you have questions, concerns or are seeking additional information or clarification.