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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban: On June 26, 2018, the United State Supreme Court upheld a presidential proclamation that imposes indefinite travel restrictions on certain nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, reversing a federal district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction against the restrictions.  For detailed, up-to-date information on the travel ban/entry bar, please visit NAFSA’s Travel Advisory on the Section 2(e) Entry Ban.

 

Chad Removed from List of Travel Ban Countries: Effective April 10, 2018, a Presidential Proclamation removed Chad from the list of countries subject to the country-specific travel ban.  For updated information, please visit NAFSA's Advisory on the Indefinite Entry Bar Under Executive Order.

 

New U.S. Domestic Air Travel ID Requirements Take Effect on January 22, 2018: Beginning January 22, 2018, air travelers in the United States must show identification that complies with the document security requirements of the REAL ID Act. If you use a state-issued driver's license or identification card when traveling domestically: 

  • The state of issuance must meet REAL ID requirements or have received an extension; or
  • You must present an alternative form of identification, such as a valid passport or other acceptable documentation, to board a domestic flight.

To date, most U.S. states have either complied with the REAL ID Act or have received an extension.  This includes the State of Florida which is compliant.

For information on how to obtain a Driver’s License or ID in Florida, go to Obtain a Driver's License.

Is your state driver's license acceptable for air travel?
Before January 22, 2018, check the REAL ID Act compliance status of your state using the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's color-coded map.

  • If your state is compliant, you may use your state-issued identification to board a U.S. domestic flight.
  • If your state was granted an extension, you may use your state-issued ID to board a domestic flight through the specified extension date.
  • If your state is under review, prepare to use a REAL ID-compliant document for air travel beyond
    January 22, 2018. Keep checking the map, however, because DHS could grant your state an extension or deem it compliant before January 22, 2018. 

Other acceptable forms of identification
If your state has not met REAL ID requirements or received an extension, the Transportation Security Administration will accept the following documents, among others:

  • An unexpired U.S. or foreign passport;
  • A DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST);
  • A USCIS Employment Authorization Document (EAD);
  • A U.S. lawful permanent resident card (green card); or
  • An enhanced driver's license (EDL) (even if your state is not otherwise compliant with REAL ID).

For additional acceptable documents, see the TSA's full list

Looking ahead
By October 1, 2020, all U.S. states will be required to issue REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and state identification documents. All domestic air travelers will be required to use a REAL ID-compliant document by that deadline.

 

 

Greater Scrutiny for Visa Applicants at U.S. Consular Offices: The U.S. Department of State has ordered U.S. consulates to increase the screening of visa applicants and restrict the number of visa appointments held each day.  Visa officers will conduct more intensive interviews to determine whether visa applicants are eligible for the immigration category they seek and will have more discretion to order additional security checks beyond the regular background checks that all visa applicants undergo. These new processes, and the limits on the number of visa interviews, are likely to cause longer waits for interview appointments, and longer waits for passports with visas to be returned after the interview.  For detailed information on how to apply for an F or J visa and approximate wait times for visa interviews and visa application processing, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Foreign nationals flagged by a US consular officer for additional security screening will be asked to complete new visa application questions and may be asked to provide the following additional details:

  • Five years of public social media account information, email addresses and phone numbers
  • All prior passport numbers
  • 15 years of residence, employment and travel history (including source of travel funds)
  • The names of all children, siblings and current and former spouses

Though not every visa applicant will be subject to the new questions, foreign nationals may wish to prepare for the possibility that they will be asked to respond. Gathering social media, travel, work and residence history, details of prior passports and the like before a visa appointment can help minimize delays in the event a traveler is asked to provide additional information.