Starting Friday 27 January, it is no longer possible for citizens from seven Islamic countries to enter the United States. The ban applies to people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. All new US visa application are blocked for 90 days. For refugees, a similar ban of 4 months applies. The ban does not apply to people with a double passport.
ESTA and “green card”
For this group of people, the ban also holds if they already received a valid ESTA USA (what does ESTA mean?). In other words, they are fully barred from entering the USA. Even people with a green card or a similar permanent residence permit are temporarily not allowed into the country.
The new president of the USA, Donald Trump, made clear that these people are no longer welcome in the United States. Trump insists that the travel ban isn’t aimed at Muslims in particular. With the ban, he is looking to better protect the country against terrorist attacks.
WThe decision led to worldwide chaos and consternation. The ban was heavily criticized by both Western allies and Islamic countries. Canada reacted by continuing to take in refugees, stating: “For those fleeing from persecution, terror and war: Canadians will always welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. Welcome to Canada”.
The travel ban made it so airlines operating from the United Kingdom were also forced to refuse travellers, because they could receive heavy fines from the USA for taking travellers from banned countries to the USA. The travel ban severely impacted many people and organisations across the world.